Geely’s large lineup is punctuated with cars from several classes and sizes. One of its smaller models is a tiny five-door called the Panda. In 2010 Geely took that same platform, added some height to the suspension to create a small soft-roader called it the GX2. Rather than a full-on crossover, the GX2 is more of a rugged hatch similar in line to what Subaru used to do with the Impreza-based Outback Sport.

For a Chinese car, there is a fairly substantial set of safety equipment including special additions to enhance pedestrian safety. The overall style of the GX2 is more interesting than most, and its quirky face could appeal to a huge audience of younger buyers here in the states if Geely ever decided to move the model over. The driveline choices do leave a bit to be desired, but with an exterior length that is 10 inches shorter than a Nissan Juke, its small size will help make the most of the tiny powerplants.

Click past the jump to read more about Geely GX2.

  • 2014 Geely GX2
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Five-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    84 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    81 @ 5200
  • Displacement:
    1.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    14 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    99 mph
  • Price:
    8500
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2014 Geely GX2 Exterior
- image 573988

The exterior features a rounded and bubbly appearance that should appeal to younger crowds and bring in new buyers for the Geely brand. In many ways it feels like a very European-style super mini. The squat proportions and smooth curves would look at home on any French car dealer’s lot next to machines form Peugeot or Citroen.

To add some extra rugged style to the look, the car features hard plastic bumpers painted in black, door guards, roof rails, and a rear-mounted spare tire like classic off-road SUVs. If you live in a rather rough area of the world where theft is common, Geely is quick to point out that the tire is mounted with dedicated anti-theft bolts. They don’t mention the other four wheels, so you could still find your new Geely on blocks with no tires, I suppose.

There is a touch of modern style and class on the outside thanks to features like blacked-out headlamp housings with chrome trim rings, a sculpted hood and a two-tone front bumper with a plastic piece styled to look like a brush guard.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 3,815 MM (150.19 Inches)
Width 1,648 MM (64.88 Inches)
Height 1,530 MM (60.23 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,340 MM (92.12 Inches)
Wheel tread (front/rear) 1,420/1,410 MM (55.90/55.51 Inches)
Minimum ground clearance 120 MM (4.72 Inches)

Interior

2014 Geely GX2 Interior
- image 573991

The inside is traditional “cheap car” territory. There is lots of space and plenty of convenience features, but little in the way of real luxury. The seats have a nice dual-color treatment in both gray and black, and the headliner is cream colored to help keep the cabin bright. The rear bench has room for three, and comes with a 60/40 split so you can fold the seats to make as much room as you need for cargo. Scattered about this cabin there are six airbags to help keep occupants safe in the event of a collision. There are dual-front, side impact for the front, and then a pair of full-length curtain airbags.

The dash is sort of interesting thanks to a design that features a huge center console that is rounded like the steering wheel. It is almost as large as the steering wheel too. Inside it holds little more than the stereo, two air vents and a few ancillary function buttons like your hazard lights. Under this console are three large round dials to handle climate functions. It’s all very simple, easy to see and should be a breeze to use.

Drivetrain

2014 Geely GX2 Drivetrain
- image 573997

Drivetrain/Specifications

Powering the GX2 is your choice form a trio of gas-burning engines that range in size from a 1.3-liter up to 1.5. The least powerful of these is the base 1.3; it produces a meager 84 horsepower with a similar 81 pound-feet of twist. Geely says this engine is good enough to drag the GX2 to 62 mph in 14 seconds. Top speed peaks at 99 mph.

The next engine up in the family is a 1.5-liter that produces an even 100 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. This is the fastest configuration with a top speed of 102 mph, but despite the extra power, the 0-to-60 time is an achingly long 18 seconds. Both of these engines come mated exclusively to a five-speed manual transmission.

The last engine in the lineup is also a 1.5-liter engine, but it comes mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. In this guise, the GX2 only produces 92 horsepower and 94 pounds of the twisty stuff. Top speed of this model matches the 1.3-liter’s 99 mph. Acceleration time is the same abysmal 18 seconds as the other 1.5-liter model.

Model MR479Q MR479QN MR479QA
Output volume 1.342 1.498 1.498
Maximum power 84 HP @ 6,000 RPM 100 HP @ 5,800 92 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Maximum torque 81 LB-FT @ 5,200 100 LB-FT @ 2,800-3,400 RPM 94 @ 3,400 RPM
Top speed 160 km/h (99 mph) 165 km/h (102 mph) 160 km/h (99 mph)
0 - 100 km/h 14 seconds 18 seconds 18 seconds

Prices

2014 Geely GX2 Exterior
- image 574002

Pricing for the Geely GX2 is hard to nail down, but thanks to some research we have found that 51,800 Yuan is about what a base model 1.3L would run. In U.S. dollars that comes out to just a hair over $8,400 as of 11/28/14. A top trim model runs in the neighborhood of 65,800 Yuan, or about $10,700. If Geely could actually manage to produce the GX2 to meet U.S. crash rating and still keep that sub $8,500 price, it would officially have the cheapest new car you can buy in the U.S.

Competition

Nissan Juke

2013 Nissan Juke Nismo - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 554218

The best hatchback that looks like a crossover that I know of right now is the Nissan Juke. It comes with a unique and funky style, five doors, and a rorty little 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine. With 188 horsepower and a 0-to-60-mph sprint in the seven-second range, the Juke is twice as quick as the Geely GX2, and nearly twice as powerful. With a starting price of more than $20,000 the Juke is also twice as expensive.

This still isn’t a very fair comparison though. The Juke offers a legitimate all-wheel-drive system, a CVT, if you want it, and there are even faster and more powerful Nismo versions available as well. Once you start to take into account available and standard interior options like Nissan’s AroundView monitor, navigation and satellite radio things get even more one-sided. In every single regard aside from price, the Juke is the clear winner. Still, the fact that you could theoretically buy TWO GX2 models for the price of one single Juke would likely win sales.

Mistubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Exterior
- image 501476

It may not have the higher ride height of the Geely GX2, but the Mitsubishi Mirage competes on size, style and most importantly, price. With a starting price of just $12,995 the Mirage is a great monetary competitor to the GX2. When you start to look at them from a stylistic point, they come away nearly even as they both employ the same rounded-bubble shape to their features. Since the Mirage isn’t supposed to look like a crossover, its body-color bumpers and lack of rear hatch-mounted spare wheel make it look much more up-class compared to the Chinese car.

From a drivetrain standpoint, the Geely seems to actually win the competition. The Mirage comes with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine as its only drivetrain configuration, and it produces only 74 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. Despite its lower power level the Mirage should equal or potentially best the GX2’s top speed and 0-to-60 sprints thanks to a much lower curb weight. As a bonus, you can get the Mirage with a nice touchscreen navigation system and lots of other modern technology options.

Conclusion

2014 Geely GX2 Exterior
- image 574003

The Geely GX2 is probably one of the most attractive machines in the Chinese brand’s arsenal for potential U.S. import. With a slew of airbags already packed inside and a maxed out Chinese NCAP safety score, there is hope that Geely wouldn’t need to change too much of the GX2 to make it compliant to U.S. crash regulations, clearing it for legal sale. The engines are little underpowered, and the interior equipment isn’t quite up to snuff, but with a price tag under $9,000 there are bound to be plenty of people who would at least give the new car a solid look when purchasing a new car.

  • Leave it
    • Likely built quite poorly
    • Auto transmission is only four-speed and makes car slower
    • Most powerful engine only manages an 18-second zero to 60 run.
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