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April 12, 2022

2022 Geely Emgrand Comfort: Shaking Up The Segment From The Ground Up

It’s a treat to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that’s out to challenge the norm. More so, if it was to upend the standard of a most unlikely category. For car manufacturers, regardless of the class or positioning, there are only a few ways to do this — either be the most competitive in pricing, or be the standout in features. 

For Geely, it has taken on both with the all-new Emgrand. Having been one of the brands that has been in the spotlight for delivering some of the brightest in SUVs in the past three years, Geely boldly entered the sub-compact sedan category; a sudden shift, if you will, from its SUV line-up.

What’s surprising is that the Emgrand is no ordinary sub-compact sedan. Its size alone pits it against sedans of a higher segment, so much so that it can go headlong with the likes of the Corolla Altis. It’s well-designed, with its elegant curvature and clean lines that offer a decidedly premium demeanor from the get-go. The Emgrand’s frontage was also given special attention, with elements that are proportioned and complementing, from the narrow projector LED headlights, generous hood range, and down to the front grille where the Geely logo discreetly sits.

And we’re only talking about the entry-level Emgrand Comfort, at this point. After all, making a splash shouldn’t be limited to the top bar. It has to do the job from the ground up. We took the all-new Geely Emgrand Comfort on a full day’s drive through some challenging mountain roads, counting on its size, heft, and handling to see what makes it Geely’s next best contender in a category that has, by all means, been the cushiest and contented arena for years.

From the moment we set off on the highway, it felt extremely stable. The car itself had a nice heft and the solidity that was comparable to higher-end Japanese sedans. This sense of weight kept it comfortably on the ground, yet the light steering allowed for easy maneuverability, accommodating quick turns and lane changes. It felt great when weaving through slow building traffic and working your way through roads without lane markings. The Emgrand also features a light suspension that allows it to pretty much glide over uneven streets and traffic humps.

Fitted with a 1.5-liter engine with a CVT gearbox, it performed better than what we expected. The performance defied its size in that it was incredibly responsive, showing no hesitations at following through with just the right power at any given time, especially when building speed on the highway. Its braking system also reacts instantly, slowing down and gliding to a stop without to stomp on the brakes intensely.

Its consistent performance, however, is limited to either an even highway road or slightly elevated mountain road. When we came to a steeper hill, or a challenging set of switchbacks, it takes more gas to prod the Emgrand. Once the CVT adjusts itself though and a burst of acceleration kicks in, it can maintain its sense of performance.

The elegant, premium-looking exterior isn’t the only thing that makes the Emgrand special. Inside the cabin, the same kind of detail, albeit finished in soft touch plastic, is visibly clear. The overall feel of the cabin is also closer to a mid-range compact than any of the competing models in the sub-compact category. This makes the Emgrand, even in Comfort trim, a force to be reckoned with.

For the Comfort variant, the seats were upholstered in a muted grey fabric that was smooth and plush to the touch. The steering wheel come in a modern flat-bottom with buttons made available to the driver. A note of appreciation goes out to the understated, monochromatic tones that is accentuated by a matte panel detail on the dashboard. The center console also proved to be quite functional, able to accommodate keeping smartphones and small trinkets out of the way, as well as hold a water tumbler for the journey.

The 8-inch touchscreen full-color stand-up infotainment system is equipped with standard connectivity options—although, we wish it were Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, instead of simply mirroring.

Like we said, changing the game has to start from the ground up and it seems like Geely is on the right track. Considering this experience aboard the Emgrand, and coupled with its remarkably affordable price tag—starting at just P 798,000—it may very well revolutionize what the sub-compact sedan category is all about.

Check out our full review of the 2022 Emgrand Premium here.

Words by Gen Tiu


  1. I also watched that review. The Almera, in fairness, demonstrated good torque/uphill capability :)

  2. Btw RG, good thing Uly is not deleting your post, considering that you mentioned another car review site (maybe not a direct competitor?).

  3. Oh, upon posting, Uly just deleted it RG.

  4. At least there is consistency.

    Btw, going back to the Almera, I was really impressed w its uphill capability, a lot better than the Emgrand (most likely bec the latter is a heavier vehicle).
    Vehicle choice really depends on preference and personal situation (ex. living in the city vs. living in a rural area w lots of inclines).

    1. It's not a fair comparison given the Almera has a turbocharged engine. Albeit it has a small displacement, it does have best in class torque and that peak power is available at lower rpms.

      Best comparison would be the Emgrand / City / Vios given they all have the same 1.5-liter NA mated to CVTs.

      That said, the Emgrand felt particularly weak when it comes to mountainous roads. TBH, you don't feel that unless you're pushing it. During the ride and drive, it only became obvious when the Geely team decided to go down via Star Tollway. The weakness of the Emgrand, particularly its handling, power, and brakes became apparent. For city dwellers though, it's more than enough.

      Sadly, there's no "perfect" sub-compact out there. All of the choices out there have noticeable weaknesses. It's sad. City, if equipped with Honda SENSING at those prices, could have walked away with that award. Alas, they opted not to put the feature in.


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