With so many subcompact and compact sedans available in the country, a newcomer has to do something different to stake its claim in a crowded market. Not just different, but extraordinary.
And MG seems to have discovered the formula.
It’s called the GT.
The MG GT is a compact car in terms of its dimensions and engine output if you consider the turbocharged GT Sport version. However, the naturally aspirated GT Alpha variant and the model’s overall pricing classify this vehicle well within the subcompact category, taking the GT squarely into the heart of the country’s biggest car segment — the small sedan class.
Design-wise, the MG GT’s aggressive styling sets it well apart from the more mainstream rivals. It’s an absolute head-turner even beyond the yellow paint and the massive blacked out grille. The fastback roofline gives the MG GT a sports car-like silhouette, enabling it to stand out in a sea of cookie cutter sedans. (Flip the page for a more detailed styling analysis of the new MG GT.)
On the sides, strikingly designed two-tone alloys are standard on both variants, albeit with smaller 16-inch wheels in the lower GT Alpha trim (17 inches for the GT Sport). All wheels are equipped with disc brakes — no drum brakes in a car designed for Grand Touring. For the rear end, the sporty demeanor continues, looking almost sensuously feminine.
We love the MG GT’s styling from front to back, especially the distinctive ensemble of LED headlights and taillights that are standard across the range. The car is simply a stunner, daytime or night. The GT is that rare car that will always make its owner take that last glance at it before walking away in the parking lot.
Inside, the MG GT is impressively equipped for its price point. The top-spec GT Sport variant comes with a powered driver’s seat with height adjustment, plus other premium appointments such as comfy leather seats, speed-sensitive steering, a sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a 7-inch LCD display, and 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The GT Sport also comes with automatic climate control and power-folding side mirrors.
The low roofline that slopes towards the rear of the car does not hamper overall comfort or space for back seat passengers who are treated to plush seats and rear A/C vents that direct cool air straight to the rear for added comfort.
Going for the GT Sport will get you advanced safety features like Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent High Beam Control, and a 360-degree-view camera system.
The MG GT has two engine options. The GT Sport is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine that makes 159hp and 250Nm of torque coupled to a 7-speed DCT – the best in the subcompact class and competitive in the compact segment. The lower Alpha variant is propelled by the same naturally aspirated mill found in the MG 5, which makes a decent 112hp and 150Nm of torque, mated to a CVT with 7 simulated gears in manual mode.
On the road, the MG GT Sport that we briefly drove around was spritely. It provides immediate power that makes it Grand Touring moniker entirely apt. You’ll also feel the tightness of the speed-sensitive steering, which adds to the sporty feeling when driving the car.
Thankfully, MG chassis engineers dialed in a generous amount of comfort in the suspension. Handling is responsive enough, but a true grand tourer should be rewarding — and not punishing — on a long drive. The MG GT’s Auto Brake Hold works well with the DCT, proving to be a convenient feature to have when taking off on an incline.
Admittedly, the driving experience was a tad short to fully experience the car and give a more in-depth analysis but it’s easy to say that the MG GT is truly promising.
You might be wondering if the MG GT will be replacing the MG 5 in the lineup as its subcompact offering. The answer to that is no as the new model will be sold side by side with the current MG 5 but at a higher, more premium positioning.
Speaking of which, the MG GT’s attainable price point (P1,015,888 for the Alpha CVT variant; P1,193,888 for the turbocharged Sport variant) makes the car attractive to those in the market for a feature-packed sedan with standout looks and performance. If there’s a sedan that will make a crossover or small SUV buyer think twice, it’s the MG GT.
The MG GT is now available at all MG dealerships nationwide. –Jacob Oliva