The MG brand sure doesn’t feel like it’s been around for nearly a hundred years. Understandable here, since MG’s local presence was official only in 2019, when The Covenant Car Company Inc. (TCCCI) rolled out the first MG vehicles in Manila. The British-born automotive badge made its mark as a global auto manufacturing entity during the latter part of the first decade of the 2000s, when China’s largest auto manufacturer and exporter SAIC Motor International (SMIL) acquired the brand.
MG has turned out to be, as what we call in the vernacular, “hiyang” (ripe) for the Pinoy motoring market. Its design, features, amenities, and particularly its pricing, are great matches for the younger, newer generation of drivers.
Among the more popular— and affordable—models has been the MG5 sedan, as its starting price of P658,888 can be considered a practical purchase, given that the model is powered with a 1.5L inline-4 cylinder DOHC 16V DVVT and already loaded with features commonly exclusive in luxury cars.
When I drove around in a Moon White MG5 1.5L AT Core Plus Gas (which retails at P738,888), it certainly didn’t feel like I was in one. Cabin space was generous and comfy, the quietness was remarkable, and the 10inch touchscreen infotainment system (with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity) was easy to use, and in fact, provided the wake-upper entertainment I needed while
driving alone at night. The reverse parking camera was crystal clear as it appeared on the monitor, and not cluttered with the usual confusing “warning” lines. And though, at times the engine response was a bit delayed from the time my foot steps on the gas pedal, to the time the wheels start turning, once it got going, it was a stable, confident drive. On the expressway, my best fuel mileage was 21 km/liter, which I achieved in regular drive mode.
Here’s what actual owners have to say about their MG5:
Gregorio Bartiquin’s MG5 MT Core, which he calls “Maxie”, has been around quite a lot despite it being a 2022 model. It has already logged 19,000 km, which would be unsurprising if you knew that Greg and his wife Shiela love long drives with their two fur-babies on board.
For Greg’s longest one-day trip so far—a Davao to Butuan loop—Maxie performed a thrifty 21.6km/liter.
Being an everyday car, Maxie is also used to being a fuel miser in the city. “When I drive in the cities, I’m on Eco mode,” Greg says.
Maxie has even crossed the sea to go beyond Mindanao. Greg narrates, “My most memorable trip was in Bohol Province. We were fully loaded—five adults, two kids, and three dogs. I couldn’t believe we fit! And still, Maxie was big enough to accommodate all of us and still be fuel efficient.”
A number of times, Greg has also made the Cebu to Davao loop with his MG5—a trip that takes him on a scenic 500-km drive through Cagayan de Oro, Nasipit, Butuan, and even Surigao, with the chance to get some needed rest on the Ro-Ro ferry.
It goes without saying that Greg has no regrets with his ride of choice. “I chose the MG5 for its luxurious look, big space and leg room, the infotainment features, and of course, its price.”
The ‘wow!’ factor
Peter Jayson “PJ” Zuñiga, a 39-year-old marketing operations manager, says he values his individuality. That’s what most likely played a big role in his choice of buying a 2020 MG5 Alpha.
“As an artist, I want to be unique in many ways. What captivated me the most with the MG5 are the safety features, technology, interior and exterior designs,” he shares.
But the “wow!” factor for PJ, who has logged nearly 20,000 km with his car, manifested under the hood, when his MG5 achieved fuel mileage of up to 23 km/liter in the city. The feat was usually achieved between 11 p.m. and midnight, when rush hour traffic was usually over. Still, not many other cars that claim to be fuel efficient can come up with such mileages on stop-and-go city streets.
PJ says his MG5’s suspension is also remarkably comfortable.
Whenever Lheonell Ian M. delos Santos, a 30-year-old production manager, feels the need to go anywhere, he sees red, quite literally.
He goes to his 2021 Red Speed MG5 Core MT, which he aptly names “Red”. This 14-month-old car has 20,800 km of experience in its meter.
“We were looking for a car that could handle our trips between Pasig and Nueva Ecija to visit my children twice or thrice a month. While I was browsing for options, the MG5 Core caught my attention with its interior design, the comfortable space, and the looks,” says Lheonell.
Another deciding factor for Lheonell was Enhinyerong Tsuper’s vlog about the MG5. (Enhinyerong Tsuper—or Tyrone Teves—was also featured in this space last March for his own MG5 ownership experience).
“Tyrone spoke all about the pros and cons of the MG5, and how ‘sulit’ (value-for-money) it was. It was a no-brainer to place the MG5 on top of our list. The monthly amortization, which is well- within our budget, was a big factor, too,” stresses Lheonell.
The total package
Joana Marie T. Dob, a 29-yearold company regional manager, describes her 2020 MG5 Style as the “total package.”
When she was browsing through the various car brands, she considered everything, including “the features and interior of the car, and the price ranges.”
Every time she did so, her attention would always go back to the MG5. “That car really caught my eye and captured my heart,” says Joana.
“MG for the win!” Joana exclaims. “The car is the total package. And I haven’t experienced any problems at all.”
Joana suggests other MG5 owners to use the Eco mode in city drives. “Eco mode makes a difference in city driving, but I don’t suggest it on long drives,” she says.
Her most memorable trip, so far, with her MG5 was when she quite literally drove the MG5 out of its comfort zone. “I went to a remote area in Davao Oriental to search for this beautiful spring. It turned out that the roads were meant for 4x4s and big cars, but my baby MG5 survived without a scratch! I enjoyed the spring, though,” Joana laughs.
All four MG5 owners wish that parts availability for their MG5 would become easier as soon as the global restrictions on auto parts supplies across multiple brands eases.