The CK is a subcompact sedan Geely has been manufacturing since 2005. Based on a South Korean design by Daewoo, the CK has remained largely unchanged since its introduction. Although the Chinese company has been exporting it to certain markets in South and Central America, the CK has yet to reach North America. However, the subcompact was the first Chinese automobile ever displayed at an American auto show. Geely showcased the CK at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show — it was only shown to the press and not the general public — claiming it will sell for less than $10,000 when it goes on sale by 2008. Geely dropped its ambitious plans after the sedan failed the IIHS and NHTSA safety tests.

As the Chinese manufacturer is again considering bringing its products to the United States, the CK returns as a potential candidate for the subcompact segment. But is the CK good enough to go against the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Kia Rio? Will it satisfy the demanding American customer and is it safe enough for challenging safety tests in the U.S. 10 years since its inception? Read on to get some answers.

Click past the jump to find out more about the Geely CK.

  • 2014 Geely CK
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    100 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    100 @ 2800
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    17.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    93 mph
  • Price:
    7000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2014 Geely CK Exterior
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2014 Geely CK Exterior
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2014 Geely CK Exterior
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Although Geely has developed increasingly attractive vehicles over the past few years, it appears as if the company completely ignored the CK. The subcompact sedan looked outdated when Geely brought it to Detroit in 2006 and very little has changed since then. The exterior seems like it was penned in the late 1990s and the fact that its front fascia looks like a poor interpretation of the W203-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2000-2007) makes it even worse.

Sure, I don’t expect for a cheap car to be a beauty-contest winner, but the CK was long in the tooth as far as design goes since day one. All told, the CK is in desperate need of a makeover.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,152 MM (163.46 Inches)
Width 1,680 MM (66.14 Inches)
Height 1,440 MM (56.69 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,434 MM (95.82 Inches)
Wheel tread (front/rear) 1,416/1,410 MM (55.74/55.51 Inches)
Minimum ground clearance 170 MM (6.69 Inches)

Interior

2014 Geely CK Interior
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2014 Geely CK Interior
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2014 Geely CK Interior
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The CK’s cabin is fairly simple and all the surfaces seem to be rock-hard plastic. Again, it’s like I’ve traveled back into the 1990s. There’s no sign of modern technology such as an infotainment system and all the buttons and switches are old-fashioned. Likewise, you won’t spot even an inch of leather throughout the cabin.

On the other hand, Geely offers a two-tone interior scheme that blends black and light-beige, helping the CK become a bit more tolerable on the inside. Air conditioning and power windows come standard.

Drivetrain

2014 Geely CK Exterior
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Two different gasoline engines help move the CK around. First up is a 1.3-liter four-banger rated at only 84 ponies and 81 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a five-speed manual, the four-pot pushes the sedan from 0 to 62 mph in a disappointing 18 seconds before reaching a top speed of only 93 mph.

The second mill is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 100 horsepower and 100 pound-feet at its disposal. With this engine, the car’s performance remains nearly unchanged with 62 mph coming in 17.9 seconds, while top speed sits at the same 93-mph mark. Needless to say, this sedan won’t take you anywhere in a hurry and it overtaking will require a good bit of planning and maybe a slight downward slope.

Drivetrain Specifications

Model MR479QA MR479Q
Output volume 1.498 1.342
Maximum power 100 HP @ 5,800 RPM 84 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Maximum torque 100 LB-FT @ 2,800-3,400 RPM 81 LB-FT @ 5,200 RPM
Compression ratio 9.8 9.3
Transmission 5MT 5 MT
Top Speed 150 km/h (93 mph) 150 km/h (93 mph)
0-100 km/h (62 mph) 17.9 seconds 18 seconds

Prices

2014 Geely CK Exterior
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Since the CK isn’t yet available in the U.S., there is no pricing information for these shores. On the other hand, Geely’s Uruguayan website lists the sedan from $13,990. That’s $90 more than the base Kia Rio Sedan, which isn’t exactly encouraging considering the base Korean car is equipped with a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a trip computer.

Unless Geely redesigns it and sells it for less than $10,000, the CK won’t find too many buyers in North America.

Competition

Nissan Versa Sedan

2015 - 2016 Nissan Versa Sedan High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The most recent iteration of the Versa Sedan made its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show with minor styling tweaks and a slightly improved interior. The Versa might not be on the better looking side of the subcompact market, but its design is definitely a lot more appealing than the CK’s. Although far from impressive when compared to other Nissan offerings, the Versa’s interior is decently equipped, carrying a new steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls and a revised center stack.

Under the hood, the sedan comes with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline engine that cranks out 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Besides being slightly more powerful than Geely’s range-topping four-pot, Nissan’s 1.6-liter can be had with either a five-speed manual, a four-speed automatic or an Xtronic CVT. The Versa is a slow machine at just under 12 seconds to hit 60 mph, but it’s still a lot faster than the Geely CK.

The sedan’s strongest point lies in its sticker of $11,990, which makes it the most affordable vehicle in its segment.

Kia Rio

2013 Kia Rio Sedan High Resolution Exterior
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In a desperate attempt to compete with the big boys of the segment, Kia completely redesigned the Rio sedan in 2012, making it one of the first vehicles to gain the company’s new signature grille. With a more athletic profile and a more modern stance the Rio finally ditched the very Korean and dull design lines of the first-generation model.

The heavily updated interior provides more passenger room and an impressive amount of convenience features for a subcompact. In addition, customers can opt for premium features like illuminated vanity mirrors, paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a voice-activated infotainment system. Power is provided by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder that cranks out 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. The unit mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and helps the sedan sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds.

Pricing starts from only $13,900 and goes beyond the $18,000 mark for the range-topping SX trim.

Conclusion

2014 Geely CK Exterior
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To say that Geely lacks the means and ability to build modern cars that could compete in the U.S. wouldn’t be exactly fair, but the CK is definitely one of its weakest products. Its design is outdated, its interior is way too cheap, and the engines aren’t powerful enough for a market that brings together vehicles such as the Kia Rio and the Ford Fiesta. Should Geely open shop in the United States, the CK wouldn’t stand a chance unless it’s redesigned from the group up. Then there’s the safety tests, and we know how that went last time it visited the IIHS and the NHTSA.

  • Leave it
    • Outdated design, poor interior
    • Awfully underpowered
    • Poor safety standards
    • The 1990s called, they want you back!
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