Developments in personal mobility have been merging around three innovations for several years: electrified vehicles, near- to fully autonomous driving, and shared mobility. However, when COVID-19 swept the globe—jeopardizing lives, upending businesses, and plunging the global economy into deep contraction in a matter of months—consumer behavior changed dramatically.
Automotive and mobility players are now looking to other developments that will likely influence mobility’s “next normal.” Here in the Philippines, commuters fearful of public transit and families going restless inside their homes during the height of the lockdown restrictions have created a boom in sales of family-oriented vehicles like multipurpose vehicles (MPVs) and crossovers.
The Maxus G50 is just the latest addition to the already extensive choices of MPVs in the country. Officially unveiled in Maxus Philippines’ first virtual launch last August, the G50 is a stunning family mover with three variants to choose from: the Pro A/T at P1.088 million, Elite A/T at P1.168 million and Premium A/T at P1.288 million. All three are powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine (mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission) that generates 167hp and 250Nm of torque.
Apart from being one of the six brand partner under (Ayala Group) AC Industrials’ wing, which includes other world-renowned car brands Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen, Kia and KTM motorcycles, Maxus brand traces its roots to Britain’s Leyland Steam Van more than 100 years ago in 1896, which became Leyland Motors in 1907.
Through this 124-year history, the Maxus brand has become one of Europe’s most influential and recognized commercial vehicle brands. Leyland DAF Vans (LDV), a successor company to Leyland Motors, launched the Maxus brand in 2004, and in 2010, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) of China acquired the assets of the LDV Group and continued the Maxus brand, which has current distributorships in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Africa, among others.
Perhaps, this explains why the Maxus G50, particularly the Premium A/T, is so special compared to the current crop of MPVs available locally. The third row is a revelation since Maxus was able to generate enough space for three thanks to real wheel wells that do not protrude as much into the cabin. Third row passengers also get their own A/C vents in the ceiling plus a USB port for charging.
Moreover, with second row seats that fold 60:40 (reclines and slides with center armrest) plus a third row that folds flat (also 60:40), the G50 offers configurable seats to accommodate cargo of various shapes and dimensions.
Considering that the G50 has a unibody chassis and thus, no frame bolted onto the body underneath, it offers a much lower floor height where children and the elderly can conveniently and safely get in or out of the vehicle.
The dashboard serves as a centerpiece for the G50 as it features a 12-inch infotainment system that rises up from the center stack for visibility. That same touchscreen offers 360-degree view of the vehicle for added safety (it’s also paired to a front and rear parking sensors) when maneuvering at parking lots or any tight spaces. Apart from two USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity, there’s also wireless charging.
Perhaps another deal breaker for the Premium G50 is a panoramic sunroof that maximizes natural light inside the vehicle as it extends beyond the first row of seats.
To add spice to the G50, Maxus Philippines offered several exterior color choices: Polar Ash, Deep Golden, Warm White, Warm Argent, Metal Black, Water Blue, and the luscious Roland Purple, which may be the coolest finish of the bunch.
These color options go well with the G50’s massive grille (flanked by slim headlights), curvy fender lines and character lines. The G50’s van-like rear gets narrow high-mounted taillights with the brand “MAXUS” placed across the tailgate. The tailgate is also motorised in the Premium, so opening it could be done via the push of a button.
Considering that a motor vehicle is still the second most important purchase that an individual or a family makes, next to a home—especially during these pandemic days—Maxus Philippines’ offer of a worry-free ownership backed by a 5-year or 100,000km warranty coverage plus a 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and on-site servicing for corporate fleet accounts gives the G50 a truly attractive value proposition.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.