2018 Proton SUV: Facelifted Geely Boyue gets more premium features

By THOMAS HUONG | 17 May 2018

Proton's first SUV (sport utility vehicle), due for a fourth quarter launch, is based on the best-selling 5-seater Geely Boyue and two variants including a turbocharged model, are in the pipeline for production in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Launched in China in March 2016, it is a top seller for Geely Auto with half a million units sold as of May 2018.

Deliveries in China range from more than 20,000 to 30,000 units a month.

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (4)

Proton has stated that its first SUV "will be the first premium C-segment SUV produced by a Malaysian automotive brand and have features usually found on more expensive rivals including a long list of passive, active and cognitive safety systems."

From a video that was part of a Proton contest that invited the public to vote for the name of its first SUV, it is understood that the SUV will get premium features such as automatic emergency brake assist, besides lane keeping assist, voice command, adaptive cruise control and 360-degree 3D view.

The Boyue was designed in Gothenburg, tuned in the United Kingdom by Horiba Mira for better ride and handling, and features passive safety systems from Bosch.

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (11)



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2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (8)

It is offered with a 139hp/178Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, or a 1.8-litre turbocharged unit with direct injection that produces 184hp at 5,500pm and 285Nm at 1,500 to 4,000rpm.

It received a significant facelift in March this year, with upgrades including a 360-degree 3D view camera system, a high-end Morel audio system, keyless rear hatch opening, six USB ports and optional tan brown leather upholstery and carpets.

Exterior upgrade include an all-new front grille design inspired by jet engine air intake manifolds, 19-inch rims, and new wrap-around tail lamps.

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (6)

The 2018 facelifted Boyue is also the first model to have the Geely Smart Ecosystem (GKUI) connected in-car digital platform which supports apps like Alibaba’s AutoNavi navigation, iFlytek voice recognition, ZTE connectivity to 4/5G networks, Ximalaya Radio, Tencent social network, JD Smart Home, high-speed data query, Guahao WeDoctor medical support and Babytree child education.

Using a touchscreen in the centre dashboard, the GKUI platform is designed to be as intuitive as a smartphone for an easy-to-use app experience.

We had driven the pre-facelift 1.8-litre turbocharged Boyue briefly in Ningbo, China last year, and found it to have a smooth and responsive powertrain, a nicely designed interior with a clean dashboard layout, and a comfort-tuned suspension.

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (7)

This time, we were allowed to check out the 2018 facelifted Boyue at a specially cordoned off area at Geely Auto's plant in Baoji, Shaanxi Province and again, we found a quiet and refined driving experience.

Fitted with Continental UltraContact UC6 performance tyres sized 225/55 R19, there was some turbo lag but once the SUV gets going, it is quite fast and responsive.

It also came with voice command in Mandarin, which can be used for features such as navigation, climate control and sunroof operation.

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (9)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (3)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (10)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (12)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (13)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (17)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (20)

2018 facelifted Geely Boyue (25)

GALLERY: 2018 facelifted Geely Boyue