FIRST LOOK: 2019 Geely Jiaji – next Proton MPV?

You guys asked for it, so here’s a quick walk-around tour of the brand new Geely Jiaji MPV. The MPV measures 4,706 mm long, 1,909 mm wide and 1,690 mm tall, making it over 100 mm longer and wider than the Proton Exora, while being just as tall.

In Geely’s own words, the Jiaji combines the “sleekness of sedan, the power of an SUV, and the space of an MPV.” Design-wise, there’s the familiar “expanding cosmos” grille, a pronounced front fender bulge, a more subtle window line kink and a blacked-out D-pillars for that “floating roof” look. It rolls on 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels with a ground clearance of 165 mm.

Inside, build quality is excellent, and the modern design further elevates the cabin’s overall perceived quality. There’s a fully-digital instrument cluster, a freestanding 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with super fluid screen transitions!), as well as a floating centre console with Qi wireless charging tray for compatible smartphones.

Being an MPV, the GKUI head unit now comes with a “children” mode that automatically sets the air-conditioning and volume, closes the windows and plays children’s songs for the comfort of the little ones. Whether or not this is useful is up to you to decide, but we think it’s a thoughtful addition nonetheless.

The Jiaji can be configured several ways – a six-seater with 2+2+2 seating, or seven-seater with 2+2+3 or 2+3+2 setup. As seen in the video above, the second row gets captain’s chairs with special “sleep” headrests, much like what you get with a massage chair. Other features include a large panoramic sunroof, active noise cancellation and an AQS air purification system.

Under the bonnet, base models are powered by a 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo making 174 hp and 255 Nm, and this engine is matched to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. One rung up is the 1.8 litre four-cylinder turbo, which produces 181 hp and 300 Nm of torque. This is paired with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Lastly, the plug-in hybrid version gets an electrified 1.5 litre engine (it’s assisted by an electric motor) that produces a total system output of 255 hp and 385 Nm. This one consumes just 1.6 litres of fuel per 100 km, has a 56 km all-electric range and can be charged in 90 minutes through a fast charging station.

In terms of safety, the Jiaji is offered with Level 2 semi-autonomous driving features such as Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Lane Keep Assistant (LKA). Also available is Automated Park Assist (APA), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, Lane Change Assistant (LCA), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Speed Limit Identification (SLIF), Rear Collision Warning (RCW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

The Jiaji is set to arrive on Malaysian shores in 2020 as a Proton as part of a licensing agreement with the national carmaker, which has since spawned the X70 and which will also result in a B-segment SUV based on the Binyue. What do you think? Comment, below!

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