Testing the 2021 Maxus G50: What MPVs should be

I guess we can say that 2020 will be a very memorable year; not only for us Filipinos but for the rest of the world as well. While this year’s prominence can be attributed to the viral infection that disrupted most of our lives, let’s just focus on other things for now – like, let’s say, the emergence of SUV-looking MPVs.

Toyota Rush, Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, Honda BR-V, and Suzuki XL7 – these seven-seaters tell us that having the capability to ferry seven people doesn’t need to look boring and expensive. And two of the said vehicles were launched this year.

Maxus Philippines, however, isn’t keen on following that trend. It brought in an MPV – a true specimen of which – and one that doesn’t fancy itself as an SUV. Meet, the Maxus G50, and we tested one for this in-depth review.


There’s no point to start this segment by not mentioning the G50’s massive grille. I mean, it’s right there, screaming at you, and honestly, it’s part of the appeal – the same way the Alphard appeals to many who has the means to buy one, but I digress. The tester here is the Elite mid-variant, so it has a matte grille with silver accents. The top-spec variant wears it in chrome, though, and comes with LED headlights instead of the projector halogens here. 

But beyond the fascia – and the fact that the tester I got doesn’t come with the eye-catching Roland Purple or Water Blue colors that we saw at launch – I can’t deny the fact the G50 is quite sizeable upon seeing it in the metal. I knew this already based on its spec sheet but seeing it in person just solidified the comparison. Another thing that makes this MPV look bulky is the squared-off C and D pillars, which are things that make this a true MPV – more on this later.

My favorite part of its styling is the set of 16-inch dark gray alloy wheels. The design isn’t boring and the dark hue makes it subtle. It’s a nice touch, really. And despite being smaller than the 17-inchers of the Premium trim, these wheels don’t look awkward with the rest of the body.

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Needless to say, the G50’s huge exterior dimension comes with a cavernous cabin – whether you’re at the front, in the middle, or in the third row. Seats are supportive, too, and since the rear shape is almost van-like, the G50 seats eight adults with a 2+3+3 configuration, though the last row is better populated by slimmer individuals. Cargo space is huge by default, more so by folding the seats flat.

At the front, it’s a mix and match of faux-leather and soft plastics, most of the touchpoints are soft and curiously textured nicely. Although, one qualm would be the bulk of piano black plastics at the center console, which are hard to keep away from scratches, fingerprints, and lint. Storage spaces are aplenty while finding an appropriate driving position isn’t a problem even at first seating.

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As a mid-variant, the G50 Elite doesn’t come with red leather inserts on the seats, which could be a good thing depending on your taste. Visually, the entire cabin might look boring for some, but since it’s an MPV; creature space, practicality, and perceived comfort should be the top priority, and the G50 aced all these criteria.

Technology & Safety

Even in its mid-variant form, Maxus didn’t practice prudence in filling out the G50’s set of features. It doesn’t get the wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, and automatic headlights of the top variant, but it still gets the good stuff like the automatic climate control, brake hold function, and the giant 12.3-inch multimedia screen with 360-degree camera view – though I wish the latter has a better resolution to maximize its usage – then again, still better than most of the MPVs within this price point.

As for safety and security features, the G50 lineup is uniformly equipped with more than the basic. Dual front airbags, immobilizer, rear parking sensors, and stability control. The top-spec Premium and Elite variants have front parking sensors as a bonus.

Driving & Handling

The G50’s enormous windshield up front will give you a commanding view of the road. Partnered with its light steering, it isn’t hard to maneuver despite the size. Best, the steering does tighten at high speeds for composure and stability.

On winding roads, expected understeers are there but manageable, while the soft suspension does allow body roll. Again, expected. But where the G50 excels is by keeping the occupants from taking impacts from road impurities within reason

Lastly, and I was caught blindsided by this one, the G50 delivered power efficiently to the front wheels. The 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine produces 169hp and 250Nm of torque – not as powerful as the similarly-sized Toyota Innova but the lighter body made up for the gap. Overall, the drive was more than adequate within the city, but it needed some refinement in gear-shifting when driving indecisively during highway runs.

Fuel Consumption

With four people aboard, the G50 returned 7.4 km/l in moderate to heavy in-city traffic at an average speed of 10-15 km/h. On the highway, with the cruise control set at 90 km/h, the MPV yielded 16.3 km/l. Not exemplary but not bad as well.


Keeping faith with its purpose as an MPV – that’s where the strength of the Maxus G50 lies and frankly, it works, at least in my eyes. It doesn’t need a disguise. It doesn’t need to present itself as something it isn’t. It’s honest to the bones, and that makes the G50 a great vehicle. It’s what MPVs should be, and I haven’t even mentioned the price at this point.

The entry-level G50 Pro is priced at P1,088,000, while the top-spec G50 Premium with all the bells and the whistles comes with a sticker price of P1,288,000. The mid-variant tester you saw here can be had for P1,168,000, which I believe is the Goldilocks zone for this vehicle.

For those who want a true people-hauler without compromise, the Maxus G50 should be included on your shortlist. While the dangers of spending your money on a relatively new brand in the market are still there, at least you could find peace with the fact that the Ayala Corporation is behind Maxus in the Philippines, so there’s that.

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