Urban Plus trim gets more bells and whistles Pinoys asked for

PERHAPS WELCOMING ever more prosperity and good fortune, Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) — the country’s exclusive distributor of Geely vehicles — recently unveiled an additional locally available variant of the Okavango, Urban Plus, right in time for the onset of the Year of the Ox.

SGAP shares that the Okavango Urban Plus is the variant that carries additional bells and whistles many of Filipino customers have apparently been asking for. The highlighted new amenities are: A beautiful, 60-inch panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, and Adaptive Drive Beam (ADB) matrix LED headlamps. This higher-end variant sells for a rather convincing P1,478,000 as of the moment.

Similar to the initial Okavango Urban variant, the Urban Plus carries a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated with a seven-speed, wet dual clutch transmission. The vehicle also incorporates a mild hybrid system — with its 48-volt electric motor — thus gifting the Okavango with a delightful 190 horses and up to 300Nm of torque. That’s not bad at all for a seven-seater sold at this price point.

Moreover, the Okavango is quite versatile with three rows and 19 seat configurations to play around with. Triple-zone air-conditioning shares the love and the comfort among all passengers, while a CN95 cabin filter makes sure that the circulating air is purified of molds, spores and other infectious agents. A total of 42 smart storage compartments were also designed into the car’s interior, for full practicality amid many potential occupants.

There are also some amusing little details to the new features found in the Okavango Urban Plus. For starters, skin-sensitive motorists who might not be all that savvy about sun exposure will be happy to know that the vehicle’s panoramic sunroof uses three layers of special shading materials to filter out the sun’s harmful rays. The sunroof also has a handy rainfall sensor, which automatically closes it once the car detects that it is beginning to rain.

Meanwhile, the ADB matrix LED headlamps are quite a big deal because they have lots of practical built-in features, such as four different lighting modes and self-adjusting high and low beams. Its adaptive front lighting system has a useful “bend mode” which concurrently turns your lights in sync when you round a bend or turn into a corner. This is especially useful when on dark, country roads where greater visibility directly means heightened safety. The car’s lights also make automatic height adjustments; and its special City Mode offers some lighting alerts whenever pedestrians are detected within range.

Lastly, the Okavango Urban Plus gets a tasty 12.3-inch digital instrument panel which changes its display depending on the drive mode selected: Eco, Comfort or Sport.

SGAP Executive Vice-President Yosuke Nishi shared that “For SGAP, it will all be about moving forward and cautiously beefing up the game this year. We will further reinforce our product line for this year, starting with the introduction of the Okavango Urban Plus variant, and a few more updates and another model in the second half of the year.”

Although last 2020 was painful to almost any business, Geely — as a relatively newly introduced brand — still recorded a top-10 ranking in its total passenger vehicles sold in the Philippines, based on data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID).