Understanding MG’s 2021 SUV line up

D​riving the All new RX8, RX5 & HST

5w ago
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From building quirky coupes to top-notch quality budget cars, MG Motor has come a long way. Their efforts have paid off in the last couple of years as the line-up expands with new and improved versions of their sedans and SUVs. Here is my take on the 2021 SUV line-up from the smallest, the MG RX5, to the mid-size MG HS, and finally, the full-size MG RX8.

T​hank you to motormoutharabia.com for this awesome video!

THE BEST COMPACT CROSSOVER, THE MG RX5

There is something for everyone with five trim levels to choose from and two latest-generation turbocharged engines on offer when it comes to the MG RX-5 range.

PERFORMANCE & RIDE QUALITY:

Even in base-spec, the MG RX5 comes with a modern 1.5-liter turbocharged engine developing 169hp and 250Nm of torque, making it more powerful than its rivals. Simultaneously, retaining impressive fuel economy to the tune of 6.8 liters per 100km. If you step up to the 2.0-litre model, The RX5 lives up to the S in SUV, with 221hp and 350Nm of torque enabling a 0-100kph run of 8.2 seconds. Whichever one you go for, the RX5 features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with seamless shifts.

A compact SUV, the RX5 comes with intelligent all-wheel drive and a center differential lock, which is usually associated with bigger and more expensive vehicles. The brakes on the RX5 are powerful, and MG claims that stopping distance is the shortest in the segment.

As for the ride quality, with a 2,700mm long wheelbase, the RX5 is a great cruiser and soaks up the bumps smoothly ironing out the road ahead.

EXTERIOR, INTERIOR & TECH:

You can choose from five trim levels across the RX5 line-up, with the MG RX5 Lux topping the range. There is plenty of chrome around the car, with stylish alloy wheels and details like a scuff plate, LEDs, and MG's big grille upfront.

The interior makes it feel like a larger vehicle than it is, but the best bit is its flexibility - you can fold all the seats flat or drive around comfortably with five people on board. You also have a panoramic sunroof to really open up the cabin's feel, which is another premium feature you usually expect only in pricier cars.

The dashboard is clean and straightforward, and the 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation is the centerpiece. Additionally, there is a powered tailgate and a reverse parking camera for convenience, plus a five-star safety rating thanks in part to the six airbags.

THE BEST MID-SIZE BUDGET SUV, THE MG HS:

Here it is, the Goldilocks car - the MG HS ticks all the right boxes striking the perfect balance of style, comfort, and technology and redefining 'luxury on a budget'.

PERFORMANCE & RIDE QUALITY:

Powering the MG HS trophy edition is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is instant and linear with its power delivery thanks to the effortless six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power output is 231hp and 360Nm of torque, and I have yet to see a budget mid-size SUV with this level of performance and elegant design.

With its intelligent all-wheel-drive system, stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, and independent suspension setup, the HS handles curves at a decent rate with zero body roll. The comfort levels onboard on a long drive are remarkable.

Driving modes in the car include eco, daily, and sport mode, which is pretty generic and does well when selected. What steals the show in the HS are the Supersport and Individual modes, in which you can customize everything from the suspension to throttle response and even steering feel. As the digital speedometer's animation turns red by clicking the big red shiny Supersport button on the steering wheel, the car's persona changes with instant torque engagement and a sharp throttle response.

EXTERIOR, INTERIOR & TECH:

The eye-catching MG HS is a stunner, from the beautiful two-tone headlamps embedded with nine crystals that put on a show every time you unlock the car to the sequential taillight, every little styling element has been taken care of by the MG designers. Last but not least, the HS comes with real exhaust tips, which is a rare sight in modern cars!

Coming to my favorite feature of the HS, the interior… The luxurious-looking seats are six-way adjustable for the driver's side with lumbar support and four-way adjustable for the passenger. They're among the most comfortable I've ever driven. The red leather and steel accents used throughout the cabin, with sports pedals, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and paddle shifters, accentuate this mid-sized SUV's sportiness.

With a massive sunroof, dual-zone climate control, and ambient lighting running all around the car, HS's pleasing interior is the place to be in when stuck in traffic. Also, to keep the air clean, the center console comes with its air purifier, That cleans the air inside the cabin within three minutes.

In terms of safety equipment and technology, the MG HS doesn't fall short. A 12.3-inch virtual cockpit displays speed, revs, and tire pressure with temperature, seat belt warning for all passengers, and a different animation for every driving mode on the car. It's also the largest instrument panel in the segment. There is an easy-to-use 10.1-inch dash display with Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and satellite navigation to keep you entertained and informed.

Along with the rear sensors and a crystal clear camera, the HS houses many sensors for lane change warning, open-door warning, rear blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, which aids a better and safer driving experience.

THE BIGGEST MG YET, THE SEVEN-SEATER MG RX8:

As a dessert, I kept the best and sweetest ride for last… The RX8 is MG's way of saying, yes; we can build a big seven-seater family SUV that looks good, is efficient, and comfortable in every way possible.

PERFORMANCE & RIDE QUALITY:

As I mentioned earlier, MG aims to build budget-friendly and efficient cars in every way possible. The RX8 comes with a small heart for its imposing size: a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that churns out 220hp and 360Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Talking about numbers, it does 0-100kph in a pretty decent 9.1 seconds, but I doubt anyone wants to drag race a seven-seater anyway.

With a ground clearance of 202mm and 800mm of wading depth, the RX8 stands tall with its body on frame chassis. Paired with its 'torque on demand' engine, it ticks all the boxes for off-road durability. The tall stance and clearance come with slight drawbacks on-road considering the soft suspension, and the RX8 doesn't seem as planted through the corners, exhibiting a bit of body roll, which you will get used to eventually.

The RX8 features an all-time four-wheel drive, and it comes with an array of driving aids and modes. I was able to switch driving modes very quickly, be it on-road or off-road. When it comes to daily driving, the RX8 performs efficiently when left in auto mode and is more responsive in the sport mode. You can toggle through snow, sand, or gravel mode for tackling rough terrain, where the RX8 shines. A quick throttle response without any turbo lag helps in the sand, and using 4L if you manage to get stuck in the sand will have you crawling out of trouble. Finally, the MG RX8 comes with the option to switch from four-wheel drive to two-wheel drive instantly. However, I preferred to kick back and drive in auto mode within city limits.

You can kick back further by selecting auto-hold, which allows you to let the foot off the brake when in traffic and continue as you tap the accelerator. Also, like every modern car, the RX8 comes with an auto start-stop button as well.

EXTERIOR, INTERIOR & TECH:

The RX8 looks excellent with its rugged body lines. From the big MG badge in the even bigger chrome grill to the grandeur of the lights around the car, especially the Matrix-style fog lamps, the RX8 knows how to make its presence known.

In Comfort spec, the RX8 comes with filtered dual-zone climate control, heated driver's seat, and enough room to fit a family of five plus all their luggage. Believe it or not, there are 37 storage compartments available and a boot with a loading capacity that extends to a staggering 2,178 liters, making it the largest in its segment. The massive boot also houses the third row of seats that can accommodate two adults comfortably.

When it comes to technology, the MG RX8 Comfort doesn't disappoint. An easy to use 10-inch screen features Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and the audio system comes with six speakers to keep you entertained. Also, the feature of mirroring your smartphone directly onto the screen is not something I have seen in any other car, so kudos to MG for innovating. Smart keyless entry with push-button start and cruise control are also standard in all MG cars, which play an essential role in day-to-day use.

Overall, MG motors have surpassed all my expectations by making luxury and stunning designs readily available for everyone on a budget. From the RX5 and everything in between to the RX8, every SUV has left me short for words.

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Comments (22)

  • MG seems to be like the HUAWEI of cars. Understated for now but crammed with all the latest tech and features that only come in premium cars. The mid-size one looks like the original Mazda CX-5 (at least the front grille) but then with a lot more goodies.

    For the price, I don't think you get anything more value for money today on the roads.

      1 month ago
    • The amount of goodies they can with is insane. Regular car owners want features and size over drive, etc

        1 month ago
    • Yes you could put it that way, their cars is a mixture of everything tbh. A lot of good tech on a budget

        1 month ago
  • I quite fancy the RX8. I like its bigness.

      1 month ago
  • These guys are giving some really good prices and warranty on their cars. Just crazy combos!

      1 month ago
  • Saying MG RX8 or MG RX5 just sounds plain weird and wrong.

      1 month ago
    • On another note, as a Chinese MG hater, I have to applaud these cars. They are really bringing global tech to Indian roads.

        1 month ago
    • Chinese brand bring in features that are options on most other brands. However it’s always a balance over what you want and need.

        1 month ago
  • Very nice work Ronak! This article really helped in understanding what MG motor cars are all about

      23 days ago
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