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Feature: MG 5 Core Plus CVT

Feature: MG 5 Core Plus CVT

Feature: MG 5 Core Plus CVT

By: Zeke Pelaez, for Automart.PH

The all new MG 5 sets a higher standard for subcompact sedans: as MG says, “big in comfort; big in features.” This test unit we have been lent is the Core Plus CVT variant (priced at P738,888), which seems like a bargain considering it is the longest and widest vehicle in its class, but does it have what it takes to be above the rest? Here’s an in-depth look at the MG 5 Core Plus CVT.

Exterior


While looks may be subjective, the MG 5 is one of the better looking vehicles of this price range. Our test unit came in Moon White, which at first glance looks basic, but in detail, it contrasts quite well with the chrome trim pieces.

As this is one of the lower variants, it gets 15 inch steel wheels, thankfully with covers. It also has halogen projector headlamps (compared to the LEDs fitted in the higher trims) with a manually adjustable leveling system and LED taillights.

Interior

A quick scan of the interior and you would think it’s pretty bare, but there are features fitted to the car which make it tolerable for the daily city drive. It comes standard with fabric seats with manual adjustability, manually operated air conditioning with a pollen filter, and soft touch materials on the dash and door panels. It comes with a 10 inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and bluetooth connectivity. The USB port for connecting Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to your phone, however, is located in the glovebox, which gives it a sense of being an afterthought.

A reverse camera is also fitted, however, its resolution is very poor and is not the most accurate.

The rear seats on the MG 5 are quite impressive. The legroom is spacious enough to almost rival mid-sized sedans. The rear seats are soft but supportive, and can be folded down flat to access the trunk and fit large cargo.

Although the steering wheel has an absence of buttons, the MG 5 is fitted with a trip computer displayed in the middle of the analog gauge cluster which shows your average fuel consumption, fuel level, and mileage, but it doesn’t show the fuel range which may give most drivers range anxiety.

Performance and Economy

The MG 5 is given a 1.5L, 16 valve, 4 cylinder DOHC engine with 114 PS and 150 Nm of torque. This test unit is fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with ECO and manual mode. It may be slightly underpowered for its size, but its mid range torque is excellent especially for overtaking on the highway.

The Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) claims to have achieved 20.2 Km/L combined, but our test gave a result of 9.5 Km/L in the city (with speeds of 20-40 Km/h) and 16.8 Km/L on the highway (with speeds of 80-100 Km/h).

Driving

For its price point, the MG 5 is a good car to take on trips. Driving over small bumps and dips on the road were not too bad due to its MacPherson struts in the front and torsion beams in the rear. Compared to its rivals, its increased wheelbase adds more comfort. Even after a long drive, we did not have aching backs.

Despite its price, it is fitted with cruise control and a speed limiter. The cruise control switch is slightly counterintuitive, but easy to use after a few tries.

The driving feel however felt a tad dull. The throttle pedal has a significant amount of delay especially during uphill starts, shifting from neutral into reverse or drive was also delayed and took about 3 seconds to engage. Although the steering was light enough to easily maneuver around tight spots, it felt numb on twisty roads. The brakes on the other hand were impressive and provide more than adequate stopping power. It also gets the added benefit of having Anti Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD). The MG 5 may not have been built for driving enjoyment, but it could do with a few improvements aimed for the drivers.

Verdict

So, is the MG 5 Core Plus CVT the perfect car to drive on a daily basis? Both yes and no. It is comfortable enough to drive along EDSA without getting tired too easily, but it lacks features most other vehicles in its class have. The higher variants such as the CVT Style (priced at P848,888) and the CVT Alpha (priced at P938,888) would be more fitting as a daily car as it is fitted with multiple other safety features and creature comforts fit for the modern driver.

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