Now Reading
Real driving in MG’s Gran Turismo sport sedan

Real driving in MG’s Gran Turismo sport sedan

Jason K. Ang

MG GT delivers style and a great driving experience at a surprising price

There are phrases that you don’t throw around lightly in the automotive world: Gran Turismo (or Grand Tourer) is one such phrase. Broadly speaking, it means a car suitable for fast, comfortable long-distance driving. Motoring expectations are raised substantially when the term is used. When combined with a storied brand like MG (Morris Garages), which has produced iconic sports cars, such as when MG Philippines launched the MG GT sport sedan, stakes are raised even higher.

The MG GT certainly looks the part. It swoops in with its sporty fascia, replete with a 3D- pattern “digital flaming grille,” and sculpted bumper. The beady headlamps are full LED units with integrated daytime running lights. The theme continues in the sculpted door panels, coupe-like roofline, and bulging fenders. The rear has a sharply-sloping backlight, 3D-effect Led taillights, and integrated ducktail spoiler. Also striking are the 17-inch wheels rendered in a two-tone, Tomahawk design, shod with Michelin rubber.

Backing up the sporty looks are adequate power: 161ps and 250Nm torque, produced by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. To maximize the sporty feel, the engine is matched to a 7-speed twin-clutch transmission.

Popping open the door of the MG GT reveals a classy and sporty cockpit. Driver and front passenger can settle into supportive bucket seats. The driver’s chair features power actuation. In front is a fully-digital gauge cluster, with the speedometer and tachometer taking up the edges of the display. At the center is a driver-selectable screen, which can be toggled to show vehicle status, fuel economy status, and three provocative options: an F1-style that shows engine output and accelerator/brake pressure; a G-force meter; and an acceleration timer.

Putting the MG GT on an acceleration run was a temptation, thanks to the pleasant bark from its turbocharged engine. The engine and transmission mesh smoothly, once you get the hang of being gentle on the throttle from standstill. At speed, the combination is punchy, able to get the sport sedan up to highway speeds in quick order.

Fleetness is only half of the GT equation. The other half, comfort, thankfully received just as much consideration from the engineers at MG. The MG GT behaves well when in traffic, its steering correctly weighted for tight maneuvering while remaining stable at speed. Steering effort can be adjusted via the vehicle settings menu.

See Also

The MG’s center panel is canted towards the driver, reminiscent of European sport sedans. The row of switches under the center display and metallic dashboard trim lend a premium feel to the MG’s interior. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, with the widescreen display panel acting as a bright, responsive control. Sound from the six-speaker audio system was clear and crisp. The rear seat has plenty of kneeroom, and adequate headroom despite the sharply-sloping roofline. There’s an aircon vent and USB port for the rear-seat passengers.

MG says that GT is built with a high-density steel body with modern laser brazing. We can certainly see that the tolerances in the body panels are quite tight, with minimal gaps between body panels. Also aiding safety are the electronic driver assistance features. There’s a 3D, 360-degree camera system that aids in parking or cornering. The car also includes forward collison warning, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert.

The MG GT is an impressive entry, especially given its attainable price point (SRP starts at P1,015,888.) Its power and torque are substantially more than some European cars costing nearly four times its price. It certainly lives up to its iconic names, both MG and GT.