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Friday, February 25, 2022

Review: 2022 Geely Emgrand Premium

There are so many ways for one car to be called a game-changer—it could be through pricing, specs, package, or a combination of all three. Whatever the case, it’s a game-changer if it has the ability to upend the status quo. Despite entering the largest and most competitive segment in the country, the 2022 Geely Emgrand satisfies that very criterion. It’s a game-changer indeed, and it’s something that will surely put everyone on notice.

In the Philippines, Geely’s made a name for itself with its SUV and crossover line-up, so it may be surprising at first to see them entering the sub-compact sedan segment. However, they’re no stranger to that particular segment. Spanning four generations, the Emgrand’s managed to move some 3.38 million examples making it the best-selling Chinese brand sedan. More than just numbers, the Emgrand’s been about continuous improvement, and the things you see here are the culmination of 12 years of work.

Starting with the most obvious, the Emgrand is huge. Despite being classified as a sub-compact, it can easily stand toe-to-toe with sedans a segment higher. In fact, its 4,638 mm length makes it longer than the already big-for-its-category MG 5; it even shadows the C-segment Toyota Corolla Altis. Now, size gives it obvious advantages like having a cavernous interior room, but the decision to upsize the Emgrand also results in a larger canvas for Geely to work with. The resulting car is elegant and well-proportioned—a far cry from the usual odd or frumpy sub-compact sedan designs.

If anything, the Emgrand eschews any aspiration to be sporty. Instead of defaulting to athleisure wear that so many other sub-compacts try hardest to fit in, this one’s all about regality—a well-tailored suit and oxfords sort of thing. We reckon the lines won’t play well with the aftermarket, but kept stock, it looks like a million bucks even if the price tag tops out at just P 908,000. And despite that budget positioning, this Premium variant comes with automatic LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and full-width LED taillights.

No question, Geely’s already managed to knock the ball out of the ballpark with the Emgrand’s exterior design, but things get even more game-changing when you get inside. The eyes are immediately drawn to the nautical-inspired white-and-blue color motif. This bold combination will certainly not be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s something unique and refreshing. It’s great to see a carmaker deviating from the usual black-and-gray tones, and actually getting it right.

The Emgrand’s interior fit and finish also shames every other sub-compact offering out there. Soft-touch plastics dot every touchpoint—be it on the dashboard, door trims, and even the center armrest, while anything that comes in contact with the driver—the steering wheel, stalks and switches, and even the gearlever feel first-class. Moreover, the cubby holes and cup holders are also lined in a rubberized material to make sure loose items like keys and coins don’t make any unnecessary ruckus. If anything, the cheapest feeling part would be the power windows witches, and even then, pointing them out is tantamount to nitpicking.

From the driver’s seat, the Emgrand doesn’t feel like a sub-compact sedan. With a platform shared with the Coolray, it’s safe to assume that things like the steering column mounting points and pedal box are shared. As a result, the driving position is uncompromising. The ideal seating is low, but with the wide windshield glass and thin A-pillars, visibility is never an issue. What could be an issue is the heavily bolstered front seats which could limit its comfort for stockier people. However, for the rest of the populace, it hugs and supports in all the right ways. There are no complaints from those seated in the back seat, except maybe for the fact that Geely decided to omit the rear center armrest there.

Going back to the driver, the Emgrand Premium gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Unlike what you find in the Coolray or Okavango though, it’s not the laptop or smartphone display variety. Instead, the entire implementation is pixel-starved with calculator-like numerals. It’s easy enough to decipher even at a glance, but the overall execution sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the cabin. They should have gone for traditional analog gauges instead.

To the right of the gauges and jutting out of the dashboard is the 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The touchscreen interface is easy enough to navigate with its decipherable menus and crisp graphics, but the absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is once again a missed opportunity. Another peculiar thing? There’s no way to adjust the system’s date unless you connect it through the “Easy Connection” smartphone mirroring. It’s purposely in quotation marks because this mirroring system is slow and loves to disconnect at random items.

There’s no turbocharged engine residing in the engine bay, but instead, you get a normally-aspirated 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The outputs won’t exactly excite the loins, but it makes everyday commutes so much more relaxing. If that reminds you more of an executive sedan than anything else, that mental image isn’t far off—it pretty much sums up how the Emgrand drives. Despite the portly 1,250-kilogram curb weight, power is never lacking even with three people aboard. The delivery itself is linear and hushed, with the CVT well-matched to the engine’s character. The ratios and responses are engineered more for smoothness, so it won’t do well being prodded. Still, a 9.61 km/L figure in city traffic for a non-broken-in motor is respectable.

The Emgrand’s engineering brief to provide top-notch smoothness extends even to the platform itself. This sub-compact sedan truly feels solid and sturdy, with nothing, not even the C5 truck lane upsetting its cossetting ride. There are some instances of it juddering through corrected surfaces (especially during cornering), but that’s down to the characteristics of its non-independent rear suspension than anything else. Meanwhile, the steering lacks any discernable feedback, but at least it’s precise around the center. Through corners, body lean is controlled, though corrective action will be required during heavy cornering.

Geely has managed to turn the small SUV segment on its head thanks to the impeccable performance of the Coolray, and it’s something they’ve managed to repeat yet again with the Emgrand. It already is a game-changer thanks to its unbeatable combination of pricing, specs, and packaging. But most impressive of all, it offers a different sort of experience. Instead of trying to appeal to the same sporty crowd that everyone else seems so focused on, the Geely Emgrand goes for elegance and comfort. It’s surely a different take in this segment, and shows how confident it is in itself.

2022 Geely Emgrand Premium

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Ownership 2022 Geely Emgrand 1.5 Premium
Year Introduced 2022
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Sedan
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers
The Basics0
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 102 @ 5,600
Nm @ rpm 142 @ 4,400-4,800
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 9.61 km/L @ 16 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,638
Width (mm) 1,822
Height (mm) 1,460
Wheelbase (mm) 2,650
Curb Weight (kg) 1,250
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Chao Yang Radial RP76+ 205/50R17 V (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Electric
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 6-way, Electric
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Leatherette/Suede
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
Sunroof Yes
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, Heated, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Manual, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Easy Connection
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Really impressive product from Geely. Love the blue and white interior. Looks really classy.

  2. To the pricey and underspecc'd cars, Patay!

  3. Game changer indeed. Will schedule a test drive soon 😎

  4. Vios and City: Yeah, you look good, but prove your long-term durability and reliability first, Mr. Emgrand.

  5. Sir Uly, how's your experience w the 122mm ground clearance? Did it pose any problems in bad roads?

  6. 2022 showdown:
    Toyota Raize vs Geely Emgrand

    1. What are you smoking? They belong to two different segments.

    2. Even if they belong to diff segments, they can still have a showdown.

  7. I own a Vios, very durable and reliable, but I'm very interested in the Emgrand.

  8. Sir Uly, just watched your driving impressions on Geely Phil's official launch of the Emgrand. Nice one ��

  9. I'd prefer to ride this as a taxi or grab car rather than a matagtag & buzzy-sounding Vios.

  10. Great specs for a price. Though, Geely still insists on not putting Android Auto or even just Apple Carplay (a bit of a bummer, as most of its competition had it.)

  11. This Emgrand Definitely will be the Best selling Geely in the Market. And for the Automatic Variant it will outsell the Toyota Vios it may not happen this year or the next year.

  12. That Apple carplay/Android Auto exclusion is quite and odd one for Geely, knowing that their sister companies Volvo/Polestar implement Apple carplay and android auto also to mention polestars infotainment is a bespoke fork of android for cars supported by Google. almera,city,mazda2 and vios already have that feature it begs the question why cant they take from their sister companies? we're not even inside the great firewall of china.

  13. This car is the perfect example of style over substance. Lots of toys but has a weak engine, poor aftermarket support, and bad driving dynamics.

    1. How were you able to say that Mr Anonymous, that Emgrand has a weak engine, poor aftermarket support, and bad driving dynamics, when it has been launched on 25 Feb? Were you able to test drive it already? Can you prove it?

    2. BASAG. weak engine? why? if you use skyway often you are limited to only 80 kms, and can you race down i EDSA? I saw this car first hand and looks beautiful. I drove a vios before. I wont bitch about the emgrand. Planning on getting one this year.


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