In his book “The Acorn Principle”, author Jim Cathcart summarized people’s behavior into four major styles. The Thinker tends to be orderly, precise, conscientious, neat, trustworthy and careful but they are also a bit fearful, dependent, defensive, traditional, restrained and non-expressive. The Relater tends to be loyal, attentive, patient, mellow, cooperative and pleasant but they can also be indecisive, immobile, possessive, hesitant and poor delegators.
The Socializer tends to be open, trusting, enthusiastic, compelling, optimistic and charming but they can also be overly emotional, gullible, superficial, highly talkative, imprecise and unfocused. Lastly, the Director tends to be leaders, good at initiating, competitive, powerful, assertive and confident but they also tend to be impulsive, forceful, pushy, inattentive, demanding and impatient.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Author Cathcart went as far as identifying the kind of vehicles that a person of each behavioral style would drive. Thinkers might drive something efficient, with a paint color that won’t oxidize over time, with all the dashboard gauges that would inform them how the vehicle is operating at any particular time, and one that would have a warranty of more than 100,000 kilometers. Relaters might choose a vehicle with a lot of doors and lots of space for people to get into, like a van, station wagon, multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), or 3-row sport utility vehicle (SUV).
He observed that Socializers might choose a red sports car, a motorcycle, or even a helicopter, as long as it’s something fun and something that will draw attention. Directors, on the other hand, might drive a big, powerful car with dark color, a huge engine and with the look of authority. After reading this chapter of the book, I began to wonder which behavioral style would the 2023 Geely Azkarra 4WD appeal to. Let’s see…
Something for Thinkers to Think About
The Azkarra comes with a highly informative 7-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) instrument panel, 12.3-inch infotainment panel and a full-range 360º panoramic camera that will appeal to Thinkers who always like to monitor their vehicle’s performance and surroundings at any time. That it’s a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) with a miserly 3-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a 48-volt electric motor synergy (48V EMS) battery will also appeal to the Thinker’s need to drive something efficient.
The factory claims a fuel mileage between 15.3 and 17.3 kilometers per liter but, during our test drive period, we can only muster around 9 km/L in city traffic and around 12 km/L on the expressways. We think that our driving style didn’t give the 48V EMS enough time to help the gas engine achieve its rated efficiency. Still and all, we believe that Thinkers will appreciate the CN95 cabin filters that allows cleaner air into the interior, the six SRS airbags, and other safety features as they will appreciate the 5-year, 150,000-kilometer warranty (whichever comes first) that Geely offers with each Azkarra.
Relating to Relaters
The Azkarra is a 5-door sport utility vehicle (SUV) that can seat five occupants and transport them over long distances in a safe and comfortable cocoon that Relaters will easily relate to. They will be confident placing their relations’ safety in this Geely with its Real Time All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system; Comfort, Eco, Off-Road and Sport Drive Mode Selector; Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Geely Auto’s G-Safety Technology, which the company claims set a new benchmark for automotive safety.
During our drive of the Azkarra, which is the top-of-the-line model in Geely Philippines’ lineup, we tend to believe all these safety claims because Geely Auto, the mother company, also owns Volvo, which produces some of the world’s safest cars. Driving the Azkarra makes us feel like we’re driving a Volvo without the European price tag. Its P1.808 Million price tag also makes the Azkarra more relatable to us Filipinos who are now used to compact and midsized SUVs with prices ranging from P1.75 Million to P2.5 Million.
Socializing with Socializers
While not a sports car, the Azkarra’s 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine, combined with the 48V EMS, and mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT) that delivers power to all four wheels with its real-time AWD will appeal to the Socializer’s need for sporty performance. Similarly, the nicely-proportioned exterior, ergonomic and spacious interior, large “Starry Sky” panoramic sunroof, and 42-color ambient interior accent lighting will get any Socializer’s nod.
With a factory-claimed 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of less than 10 seconds, we were initially disappointed the very first time we drove it because we expected 300 Newton-meters of torque to be instantly delivered when we mashed the electronic throttle. But we appreciate the fact that the Geely engineers mapped the engine management system to deliver power progressively with safety and drivability in mind, avoiding excessive turbo lag and ensuring longevity. After all, the Azkarra is not a race car. However, as Socializers ourselves, we enjoyed the looks we get with our black Azkarra and its 18-inch 20-spoke alloy wheels shod in meaty 225/60R18 tires.
Directed Towards Directors
Ah, yes… That glossy black paintjob and two-tone alloy wheels of our Azkarra makes it look elegant and expensive, especially when the exterior contrasts with the tan/brown Nappa leather that covers the ergonomic seats inside. As business owners, we are also Directors, and we find it a privilege to drive the top-of-the-line Geely model available in the country. That it spoils us with its refined ride, engineered sophistication, European quality, and – ahem – affordable price, makes the Azkarra more appealing to fellow Directors, especially young executives who have a very active lifestyle.
We found the smooth ride and fine handling afforded by front McPherson struts and rear multi-link suspension combined with the comfort of a 2.7-meter wheelbase; the reliable and sure braking provided by all-wheel disc brakes; the confidence of having a high ground clearance of more than half a foot; the lightness of a 3-mode electric power steering (EPS); and the convenience of a smart electric tailgate, all point to the Azkarra’s design as directed to appeal to the Directors who want a vehicle that has the look and feel of authority.
To sum it all up, we feel that the 2023 Geely Azkarra 4WD will appeal to a large portion of people, regardless of their behavior. For us – jaded veteran motoring scribes who have driven all sorts of SUVs over 20 years, we feel that the Azkarra is the compact SUV that Volvo should have included in their lineup. Now, that’s saying a lot!
Model: 2023 Geely Azkarra 4WD
Classification: 4WD 5-door SUV
Engine type: DOHC turbocharged inline 3-cylinder with 48V EMS
Displacement: 1,477 cc
Maximum power: 190 hp (110kW) @ 5500 rpm
Maximum torque: 300 Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch (DCT) automatic
Steering: 3-mode electric power steering
Suspension: Front McPherson Strut, rear multi-link
Brakes: Front ventilated discs, rear solid discs
Wheels: 18x7J 20-spoke 5-lug alloy
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Overall length: 4544 mm
Width: 1831 mm
Height: 1713 mm
Ground clearance: 163 mm
Fuel tank capacity: 58 liters
Rear cargo storage: 377.8 liters
Curb weight: 1705 kg