A well-appointed MPV
Text and Photos by Neil Pagulayan
The MPV is a people mover, purpose-built to move about seven people from point A to B, in a profile smaller than a van, at less cost than a seven seat mid sized SUV and with more power and more comfort than an AUV. Lots of brands offer their version of the MPV, with pretty much the same core values and amenities but differing in cost.
Maxus Philippines launched their G50 Compact MPV last year, and despite the COVID 19 pandemic, managed to attract attention and set itself apart from the rest of the pack. If the Roland Purple hasn’t gotten your attention already, read on.
You’ll notice that it’s shorter in length than the Innova, but it will seat eight people. There’s quite a bit of chrome up front, but the designers at Maxus managed to keep it from looking tacky. Admittedly, its lines look quite good for a people mover.
Head on, it’s got a grille with a large, prominent airdam underneath and faux scoops on the lower bumper edges giving it a little more aggression on the front end. The LED headlights with integrated DRLs have character too. Broadside, it’s not just plain sheet metal panels, but they’ve gone to some trouble with sculpted character lines. You’ve also got a floating roof look with the tinted windows and blacked out B, C and D pillars. Around back you’ve got LED taillights and a power tailgate. It rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Giti Comfort 215/55 tires and is also equipped with roof rails.
Here’s where it gets quite good. You get in with keyless entry, and it has engine push start. You’ll notice black and red accents and stitching around the cabin with a recurring trapezoidal theme on the dashboard and instrument cluster.
You get three rows of leather seats which are firm, but comfortable even if they are flat. Seating is 2+3+3 with tray tables behind the front seats. Look up and there’s a panoramic sunroof.
The six-speaker Android infotainment has a 12.3-inch touchscreen with USB and Bluetooth connectivity but sadly no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Coming in handy is the wireless charging pad for your compatible smart phone. The leather wrapped steering wheel also has controls for the infotainment, cruise control and an MID between the gauges in the instrument cluster.
Under the hood is a Euro-6 compliant, turbocharged 1.5 liter four-cylinder. Thi intercooled, direct-injection gas engine puts out 169-Ps at 5,500 rpm with 250-Nm of torque between 1,700-4,300 rpm, mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).
All seats are equipped with three-point seatbelts. Driver and front passenger airbags are standard. This 1.5T Premium variant also has front side airbags. It has an Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold, ISOFIX anchor points, ABS with EBD, Electronic Stabilization Program, and Electronic Brake Assist. There are also front and rear parking sensors, a 360 degree cam, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and immobilizer.
The G50 is easy to drive. We give it plus points for the 360 cam that makes parking and negotiating around tight spaces easier. Its seven-speed DCT is smooth in the city. Dual clutches tend to be jerky in stop-and-go traffic, but this feels like your conventional auto transmission.
Like most people movers, its ride is composed, and its suspension is set up to smoothen out the bumps and give a comfortable ride. So don’t expect it to stay flat through corners, there will be body roll. That said, it’s supposed to be a comfortable people mover.
Maxus took the MPV to the next level, giving it luxurious appointments, an upscale feel and a look you’ll be proud to step out of. There’s adequate power on tap for driving around the city and for out of town jaunts, and it can seat eight. So it gets you and seven family members or friends to where you need to go, in style. If it had sliding doors instead of regular doors, it would have been a luxury mini van.
The variant we drove is the 1.5T Premium in the cool “Roland Purple,” priced at P1,288,000. This is somewhere in the top-of-the-line price range of smaller SUV’s and compact sedans of other brands. The more we looked at it, the more it made sense.
If you want, you can take one for a spin, MaxusPH will bring it to your house for you to test drive. It’s as easy as going to maxus.com.ph and they’ll take care of the rest.