MG definitely made waves after it came under the aegis of The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) here in the Philippines. Indeed, the local performance of the British heritage brand was so successful that TCCCI was recognized globally with the Five Star Distributor Award at this year’s MG International Dealerships and Distributors Conference – the only overseas MG distributor ever to receive such a distinction on its first full year of operations.
It’s no secret that the MG earned its stripes here largely on the back of its compelling, attractively priced MG ZS in this ute-loving country. But we would be remiss to think of MG only as a purveyor of value-for-money crossovers.
In fact, MG is capitalizing on its category-busting positioning across its present four-vehicle (two crossovers, two sedans) range. Upon that promise, it predicates the new brand motto, “Expect Extraordinary” which supplants its first “Meet MG” tag.
Effectively the entry level to the portfolio is the MG 5 subcompact sedan, and the company nonetheless wants us to note that it is the “longest and widest subcompact sedan in its class,” stretching 4.6 meters, 1.8m wide, and 1.6m tall.
I got to try out the top-of-the-line Alpha variant, which goes for P938,888. If approaching the one-million-peso mark gives you the goosebumps, note that the MG 5 covers the lower price points as well: 1.5-liter MT Core (P658,888), 1.5-liter CVT Core (P718,888), and 1.5-liter CVT Style (P848,888).
So, what did I like about the MG 5?
1. The electric sunroof. Nothing quite conveys “premium” or at least an aspiration for such than being able to look up and see the limitless sky above. It’s an analogy, too, for what we want in our ride. The Style and Core variants have this feature as well.
2. Trunk space. MG wasn’t kidding when it said that the 5 is larger than its segment rivals. Check out its 512 liters of luggage room. Even occupants within will enjoy legroom more than the typical subcompact’s.
3. Tire pressure monitoring system. This is another segment-busting feature usually reserved for more refined (i.e., expensive) rides.
4. Huge infotainment screen. A 10-inch touchscreen on the center stack again lends a premium vibe. The infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay as standard, and finds expression through six audio speakers. The large screen comes handy, too, because it functions to display the 360-degree vehicle view – perfect for parking or when you’re negotiating constricted, tricky roads.
5. Refined overall performance and package. From its standard PM2.5 cabin filter (a must these days), a start/stop button, two rear USB ports, electronic parking brake, to its ample turbocharged 1.5-liter engine (with but a wee bit of lag), the MG 5 is full of value and delights normally reserved for vehicles with a much higher asking price.
I like the MG 5’s uncomplicated appearance that, again, gives off a more luxurious vibe – from the chrome strip connecting the taillamps, to the hefty inverted trapezoid grille. There are lots of elegant crimping here and there without spoiling a consistent image of polish and poise.
All told, the MG, through the 5, continues to level up on experiential promises while keeping its prices accessible for more.