Maxus G50 Premium – an antithesis of yesteryear’s MPVs

Filipinos are very hospitable. Aside from serving food and drinks to visitors, many of them consider their other relatives in their car purchases. Cousins from abroad, grandparents in the province, nieces and nephews – these are included in the consideration for, literally, a family vehicle. No wonder 7-seaters have carved their own niche in the market.

But what exactly are they looking for in a family vehicle? Who knows. As Steve Jobs said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Maxus must’ve heard that because the G50 Premium will certainly linger in your head once you’ve been in it.

Right out of the gate, the Maxus G50 Premium stands out especially in this Roland Purple finish. Even if you take that away, the G50 is still damn good looking. It’s not macho like the Okavango or Innova but it will still catch your attention with its huge grille, modern LED headlights, nicely distributed application of chrome on the front face, and bold lines on the side especially the one extending from the headlights. It also knows when to back off with its simplistic rear that’s highlighted with the bold Maxus lettering on the tailgate.

Inside is a more progressive design compared to the leading names in its segment. This G50 Premium is the top variant so no wonder Maxus put in all the stops. There’s a 12.3-inch trapezoidal touchscreen, a huge info screen between the hexagonal gauges, wireless charger, panoramic sunroof, electronic parking brake with auto brake hold, and automatic aircon.

All seats are clad in leather with red accents and the front seats are both powered (6 way for the driver, 4-way for the front passenger). What’s unique about the G50 is on paper, it says it’s capable of accommodating 8 people – 2 infront, 3 in the middle, 3 in the third row. If you just look at it, you’ll have your doubts if the third row can really seat 8 but I’ve tried it with a few people and it’s true to some degree. 3 average-sized grown-ups can fit but will have no space between them. For the chubby ones, it’s better off for two. What’s nice is the legroom and headroom for the third-row occupants.

What’s nice about the G50’s interior is the vents on the side of the headliner. The second and third row occupants get two vents each instead of having them in a line behind the front passengers. The controls are behind the center console with a 12v socket under it. Some will not like it since you’re not going to fill all 8 seats every time, but the G50 is about comfort for all occupants and this will come handy come summer time, or any noon and the sun is out here in the Philippines.

I felt at home with the G50 once I’m out on the road. It has a very comfortable ride quality for most road imperfections and doesn’t really feel hollow even when you’re alone. Traversing EDSA and C5 isn’t a bounce fest despite the lack of rear passengers. Speed is not much of an issue since the 1.5-liter engine has a turbo with it, making 167 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. Of course, it will be strained once the G50 is full but on a reasonable load of 5 adults in the car, it’s still pretty nimble.

Space is very generous inside. I’m a 3XL man and even I find the driver’s seat still a tad too big for me. Average sized Filipinos will find the second row so spacious that if they’re of average build, they might even fit 4 people without doing a UV Express seating position.

The only issue I had while driving it is estimating the right side of the car. The merging line of the windshield and the dashboard is more straight than what I’m used to, making the car seem wider than it is. The G50 has a 360-camera system but you can’t really utilize that when you’re on the move. This makes it a challenge bringing the G50 in tight roads, especially when Waze surprises you with single lane side streets. Of course, if you own this, you’ll get used to it compared to me who only had it for a week.

The G50 more than makes up for it by being resilient against traffic. In the city with rush hour included, it returned 8.6 km/l while on the highway it got 15.3 km/l at a cruising speed of 85-90. Take it to the speed limit and that highway figure will be less.

Safety was also addressed in the G50. It has front and front side airbags, auto brake hold that’s very useful in traffic, front and rear parking sensors, 360-camera, and tire pressure monitoring on top of other standard safety features.

If I’m going to nit pick, I’d have to say the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a significant miss especially with its P1,338,000 pricetag. However, the Maxus G50 Premium’s array of features and the very generous space is a trade I won’t pass up on.

The Maxus G50 Premium is the antithesis of the previous generation of MPVs. It’s not macho,  doesn’t have a stiff suspension, doesn’t have a torquey diesel engine, but can still go up to Baguio very comfortably. In a way, it signifies how far the industry has come in both efficiency and comfort.

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