As part of the agreement between Proton and its new foreign strategic partner Geely, the latter will be offering Proton its Boyue SUV to Proton as the basis for its first-ever SUV.
Launched in early 2016, the Geely Boyue is the company's fourth SUV in its massive line up. For the Chinese market, Geely is offering two engines, namely a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with two states of tune. In total, Geely offers 13 variants of the Boyue SUV for the Chinese market.
Geely's entry-level Boyue SUV receives the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated mill that does 139 hp and 178 Nm. Fitted exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission sending drive to the front wheels, the naturally-aspirated mill can achieve a top speed of 185 km/h.
Sitting above that is the 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The lower of two states of tune does 160 hp and 250 Nm, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Top speed is 10 km/h more than the naturally-aspirated unit, with a top speed of 195 km/h.
Then there's the more powerful 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, outputting 181 hp and 285 Nm. This version of the 1.8-litre turbocharged engine is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission that sends drive to the front wheels, though the range-topping Boyue comes with on-demand four-wheel drive. Top speed is identical to the other 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. Whilst the six-speed gearbox commonly reported as a dual clutch transmission, Geely's official specs describe it as a conventional auto.
Dimension wise, the Geely Boyue comes in at 4,519 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,694 mm tall. Wheelbase is 2,670 mm. That puts the Geely Boyue in the same segment as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail. Unlike some of its key rivals, the Geely is strictly a five-seater. Curb weight of the Geely Boyue ranges from 1,565 kg to 1,745 kg. A 60-litre fuel tank is standard for all Geely Boyue variants.
All variants of the Geely Boyue is equipped with electric power steering. Up front there are MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar and multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar. Tire wise, 225/60R18 tires are fitted to all variants of the Geely Boyue, except the entry-level model, which comes with 225/65/R17 tires. All models get ventilated disc brakes up front and solid disc brakes at the rear.
Looking at the exterior, the Geely Boyue can be had in six different colours, white, silver, brown, black, red and gold. Depending on the variant, the Geely Boyue can be fitted with halogen projector headlights, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, auto headlights with Follow Me Home feature, Active Bending Lights, auto wipers, panoramic sunroof with anti-pinch, luggage rack, puddle light, heated side mirrors and power folding side mirrors.
Safety kit is rather generous, as all variants of the Geely Boyue comes fitted with ABS, EBD, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Brake Assist, Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with auto hold, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and two front airbags. Apart from the cheapest Boyue variant, the rest of the lineup gets Hill Hold Control (HHC), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and side airbags (except the entry-level 1.8 MT turbo). Curtain airbags are available on higher grades of the Geely Boyue. Elsewhere, selected variants of the Geely Boyue receives seat belt pretensioners for all seats, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Intelligent High Beam, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), cruise control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), 360° camera with 3D imaging, reverse camera with guide lines plus front and rear parking sensors.
Inside, all variants of the Geely Boyue gets automatic air-conditioning with Air Quality System (AQS), adapted from Volvo's Interior Air Quality System (IAQS). The system utilizes a number of sensors and a multi-filter aimed to reduce the number of contaminants entering the vehicle. 60:40 split folding rear seats, all round one touch power windows and push start button are standard for all Boyue variants. Depending on the variant selected, the Boyue SUV can come with a drive mode selector with Sport and Eco modes, dual-zone air-conditioning, rear air vents, air purifier, seat upholstery with either high-grade fabric, leather or Nappa leather, power adjustable driver seat with six-way adjustment, power adjustable passenger seat with four-way adjustment, front heated seats, driver seat with massage function, anti-pinch power windows and keyless entry.
Elsewhere, the Geely Boyue can come with a regular meter cluster with a 3.5-inch multi info display or a full seven-inch LCD. Tilt and telescopic steering comes as a standard fitment for all Boyue variants. On top of that, leather-wrapped multi-function steering is standard, though depending on variant, Nappa leather can also be had. Electrochromatic rear view mirror is also available on selected trims.
The company is offering two types of infotainment system with the Boyue SUV. The first is the Geely G-Link system, featuring an eight-inch touchscreen display with Android connectivity, Bluetooth, USB, AUX-in and GPS navigation. More expensive variants of the Geely Boyue get the Geely G-Netlink system. Here, the system features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, on top of offering in-car WiFi, 3G connectivity, intelligent voice interaction system that is activated by saying "Hello Boyue", USB, Bluetooth, AUX-in, GPS navigation and Geely telematics system, similar to Toyota's G-Book service. There is also a 24-hour emergency service button located on the rear view mirror, for selected Boyue models.
Apart from the Boyue, Geely also offers sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs in its extensive product lineup. Other noteworthy products in the company's range include:
- Vision X1: This is the company's most affordable compact SUV, priced from CNY 47,800. Three variants are offered, all powered by a 1.3-litre VVT four-cylinder petrol engine that can be had with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Despite its entry-level nature, the Geely Vision X1 can be had with multi-function a flat-bottomed steering wheel, LED daytime running lights and a massive 11.6-inch infotainment system
- Borui GC9: The Geely Borui GC9, or GC9 is the company's flagship model. Power comes from three different engines, a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, 1.8-litre turbocharged and a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6. All three engines are paired to a six-speed automatic that sends drive to the front wheels. The Geely GC9 was named Car Of The Year in China for 2016.
What do you think? Could Geely's latest SUV help Proton regain lost ground? After all, new car buyers are favouring SUVs over the traditional three-box sedans in recent years.