BUYER’S GUIDE: 2019 MG RX5
As car prices go up every year, it’s getting harder and harder to find a respectable SUV that’s more or less around the PHP1 million range. Long-time favorites such as the Isuzu-mu-X, Toyota Fortuner, and Mitsubishi Montero Sport have all gone up the price ladder, leaving very few choices for families looking for a decent five-seater with all the creature comforts that one might expect. Fortunately, the MG RX5 looks ready to step up the plate. Starting from PHP 1,058,888, the 2019 MG RX5 is ready to provide value that’s fast becoming a rarity in its price range.
MG brought two RX5 trims into the country: the RX5 Core, and the RX5 Style. Both units house a 1.5-liter, 16-valve turbocharged intercooled direct injection engine under the hood. The Core makes do with a six-speed manual, while the Style sports a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with Manual Tiptronic Function. Both powertrains deliver 166 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Euro V-compatible, the RX5 is best fueled with RON 95 gasoline and above. The RX5 is a front-wheel drive vehicle using a MacPherson strut suspension up front and an independent multi-link at the back.
As a crossover, the RX5 belongs to a highly competitive segment. While it’s already a winner with its price, it’s also no pushover in terms of size, boasting a longer wheelbase (2700mm) than the likes of the Honda CR-V (2660mm) and Hyundai Tucson (2670mm). Halogen projector headlamps guide the RX5 on the road, while LEDs ensure the visibility of the side mirror signal lamps, taillamps, and high-mount stop lamp. The RX5 is available in six irresistible colors: Chocolate Brown, Ruby Red, Sol Blue, Elegant White, Knight Silver and Pearl Black.
MG takes inspiration from its more luxurious rivals with its cabin design, with even the base model Core coming well-appointed with upscale features such as automatic air conditioning, power windows/side mirrors, and driver assist systems such as cruise control, hill descent, and tire pressure monitoring system. Infotainment comes by way of an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay, CD/MP3 player, and Bluetooth/USB/multimedia connectivity. A built-in navigation system and panoramic sunroof tops off the RX5’s persuasive additions.
The long wheelbase certainly benefits the RX5’s cabin space, offering better legroom than its more established counterparts mentioned above. But as is common with five-seater crossovers, boot space is somewhat tight. Fortunately, flat-folding rear seats allow for the transport of larger cargo.
As far as safety, MG managed to score a five-star rating in the China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP). The RX5 Style trim features keyless entry, push start/stop, cruise control, an electronic parking brake with Autohold, steering wheel return reminder, auto-roll protection, hill hold and hill descent control, and cornering brake control. Standard safety features for both trims include immobilizer, reversing camera, rear parking sensor, and alarm system.
For all its nifty features, it’s amazing how the MG RX5 can cost so low. Though it is a bit of an underdog in its segment, that doesn’t mean it offers less value for the money. As long as you’re willing to take a risk on a lesser known brand, you get to own a reliable vehicle that delivers on its promises.