Can you beat ABS, EBD, six airbags, rear parking sensors, a six-speaker sound system with MP3 hook-up and 63kW of 16-valve power for Just R94 990?
THE ALL-NEW GEELY LC
Geely South Africa has entered the small car market with the launch of the Geely LC, a 1,3-litre five-door hatchback that sells for between R80000 and R90 000 and offers 63 kW of economical power, ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, up to six air bags, air conditioning, power steering, sound system, electric windows and mirrors and remote central locking.
The range includes:
GS at R79999
GL at R84999
GT at R89 999.
They are available in white, silver, yellow, red, blue, gold orange, green and black body colours.
What immediately sets this A-class car apart from its rivals is its unique appearance, strongly reminiscent of the giant panda, the national treasure of China. It is only the second car after the Volkswagen Beetle ever to take its design cues from a living creature.
The Geely LC has a dynamic, rounded shape and distinctive panda-like characteristics that include large headlights outlined in black. The large air intake grille allows for ample engine cooling but also gives the little car a smiling appearance, with the rear-view mirrors shaped after the panda’s ears.
The rear taillight cluster design incorporating reverse, indicator and brake lights was inspired by the panda’s paw print and the unique ignition key and separate remote door and boot opener are shaped like a smiling panda face.
The Geely LC is strong on safety features and was the first Chinese car to boast a five-star CN-CAP crash test rating.
In addition to the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) fitted to all three models, the GL is fitted with driver and passenger front air bags which are combined with pre-tensioned seat belts.
The GT also has two side impact airbags integrated into each front seat as well as two side curtain airbags housed in the roof and covering the area from the A to the C pillar to provide head protection for front and rear passengers.
On all models, the steering column is collapsible and power assisted. Integrated energy-absorbing front and rear bumpers enhance the clean lines of the car and emphasise its roundness. The large rear windscreen/tailgate is electrically heated for visibility in cold weather and top-hinged, providing easy access to a roomy boot and has a uniquely-shaped rear wiper providing optimum rear view vision in rainy or muddy conditions.
There is a high-mounted LED rear brake light offering optimum visibility in traffic and twin front and rear fog lights.
Another safety item is an audible alert that automatically sounds when the car exceeds 120 km/h and there are reverse sensors fitted on the GT model to assist with gauging parking distances. There’s an anti-theft steering lock and child’s safety locks on the rear doors.
The 35-litre fuel tank is made of plastic with an average thickness of 5 mm and is designed not to explode or leak in the event of a collision.
Front disc brakes are ventilated and combine with rear drum brakes. Attractive 14-inch lightweight aluminium alloy wheels (GL and GT models) have five spokes for optimum ventilation and are fitted with 165/60 R14 radial ply tyres.
Unique space design concept provides generous interior space
Thanks in part to its large wheelbase of 2,3 metres, generous for such a small car, the Geely LC can comfortably accommodate four occupants. There is ample headroom with over a metre between the front seat and the roof and 0,9 metre between the rear seat and the roof.
Storage space is also generous and there is a 60/40 split for the rear seat, allowing for a variety of applications and increased boot space when required.
A ‘panda round’ design concept is present throughout the spacious and well-appointed interior. This theme is repeated in the dashboard centre console, air vents and instrument dials. The colour scheme is a combination of black and cream, with the upper part of the dashboard and instrument panel dark to eliminate glare and the lower part cream, accentuating the spaciousness and being easy on the eye.
The colour combination is carried over to the comfortable cloth seats, which have half-moon black ‘cut-outs’ again emphasising the panda connection.
A six-speaker stereo MP3 CD/radio with USB input is standard on the GL and GT. (The GS has a radio/Aux in).
Front seats slide and recline and both front and rear headrests are adjustable.
63 kW from a five-speed 1,3-litre 16-valve engine
The standard 1 342 cc in-line four-cylinder engine on all models has 16 valves, a double overhead camshaft and electrical fuel injection and is operated through a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine produces 63 kW of power at 6 000 r/min and 110 Nm of torque at 5 200 r/min.
Advanced suspension for a small car
Independent McPherson front suspension is teamed with a subsidiary frame (unusual in very small cars), with torsional rear combination suspension and coil springs all round. The subsidiary frame improves the connection rigidity of the suspension and isolates road vibration for increased comfort.
The torsional combination rear suspension allows for large wheel space, a stable camber angle, low friction and good ride comfort. Turning stability is improved.
Weight and dimensions
Overall length of the Geely LC is 3 598 mm, width is 1 630 mm, height 1 465 mm, wheelbase 2 340 mm, front and rear track 1 420/1410 mm, kerb weight is 1 060 kg.
The vehicle comes standard with a 36-month or 100 000 km factory mechanical warranty with AA Roadside Assistance. Optional service packages of 24 months/60 000 km and 36 months/90 000 km are available at R4 150 and R6 950 respectively.