Geely has launched its first compact SUV, the Binyue for the Chinese market. The B-segment compact SUV is built upon the company’s BMA modular platform that was co-developed with Volvo. Like the Swedish manufacturer’s larger Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, Geely’s BMA is scalable and flexible for varying applications.

The Geely Binyue measures 4,330 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,609 mm tall, with a 2,600 mm wheelbase. The BMA platform is optimised for interior space, says Geely, and helps the Binyue attain a wheelbase utilisation rate of 68.7% for the cabin.

Powertrain options include two turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engines; the first is a 1.5 litre mill mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the second is a 1.0 litre unit available only with six-speed manual gearbox. The 1.5 litre engine is a Geely and Volvo co-developed unit with 174 hp and 255 Nm of torque, while the 1.0 litre churns out 134 hp and 205 Nm of torque.

Driver aids help the Binyue attain Level 2 autonomous driving; the equipment suite includes Intelligent Cruise Control and Automated Parking Assist. The former employs a combination of millimetre-wave radar and high-definition cameras to help it follow traffic ahead at speeds of up to 150 km/h, and is able to change lanes autonomously.

Safety equipment is further bolstered by the inclusion of electronic stability control, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, blind spot detection, tyre temperature and pressure monitoring system, a 360-degree HD imaging system, HD driving recorder, and more.

In keeping with present-day trends, the Binyue is equipped with Geely Auto’s latest-generation GKUI Geely Smart Ecosystem which helps users interface with mobile devices via the compact SUV.

Users can “talk directly to their cars,” says Geely, which suggests voice command, and they will also be able to stay connected to the car via their mobile devices, even when they are away from the car. The Binyue also supports unlimited 4G service and Wi-Fi to keep its occupants connected with data, while real-time, over-the-air updates keep the user experience up to date.

The interior of the Binyue has been “inspired by the enveloping cockpit of a jet plane,” Geely says, while many parts of the interior have been inspired by science fiction elements such as Star Wars machinery, which Geely says includes the air-conditioning vents which are fashioned to look like jet engine outlets.

The driver gets a seven-inch LCD instrument panel which brings additional information including telephony, multimedia, navigation and driving assistance. Alongside that is a 10.25-inch high-definition (1920 x 720) floating infotainment panel, with a unique 8:3 widescreen aspect ratio. The Binyue can be specified from three interior colour options; black, brown and red/black.

Other available features include powered seats, dual-zone automatic climate control with an air quality management system, keyless entry and start, selectable drive modes (Normal, Eco and Sport), an electronic parking brake with hold function, leather upholstery, paddle shifters and a six-speaker audio system. Customers in China will also be able to order the Binyue with a sporty bodykit, which includes new bumpers, side skirts and roof spoiler. Prices range from 78,800 yuan (RM47,194) to 118,800 yuan (RM71,150).

The Geely Binyue is already available for China, and will be launched to other markets globally ‘in due course’, the company said. The Binyue moniker at launch appears set to remain a China market fixture, as the company has kicked off a name-search contest where the winning entry will be appended to international market editions of the Binyue.

As major shareholder to national carmaker Proton, Geely has also already hinted at the latter’s use of the BMA platform, and said that it will be used by Geely’s foreign brands – of which Proton is one – and that it will be built in Southeast Asia. Given that Proton is due to launch its own SUV, the X70 in the near future, it makes sense to continue riding on the profitable crossover/SUV train.