Cars

The Maxus G50 Ups the Excitement Level for MPVs

This isn’t your mom’s minivan.
IMAGE PJ Cana
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Most guys dream of owning a snazzy sports car to take on the ultimate getaway or a beastly SUV that can conquer rough roads. But priorities change when reality kicks in. Suddenly, you need space for the kids or the grandparents, or for grocery shopping on the weekends. You need a people-carrier to take the family out of the city, or haul boxes of stuff home. 

That’s where MPVs come in. They’re not exactly sexy, but they get the job done—and that job is to carry passengers as comfortably as possible.

Photo by PJ Cana.

There’s no shortage of models in this segment in the country, knowing Filipinos’ penchant for practicality, but one of the newest to enter the market is worth a second look. The G50 is Maxus’s entry in the MPV fight and it’s out to prove it’s got what it takes to not just keep up but actually overtake the competition.

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As minivans go, the G50 is a more stylish version of one. The grille upfront is its most striking feature and the smooth lines on the side imbue it with finesse. From the back the vehicle looks massive, with a tailgate that opens up to reveal a quite spacious cargo hold, even with the last row of seats up. Of course, taking the row down will give you even more space, as in enough for a couple of large suitcases, balikbayan boxes and the odd pasalubong or three.

Photo by PJ Cana.

And space is exactly what G50 offers. After I picked up a friend from her house and she climbed aboard the second row, the first thing she said was, “Ang luwag! (It’s so spacious!)” Granted she’s a tiny woman, but even a six-footer would have no problems fitting into the G50, and that includes even the third row. Clearly this is a vehicle built for the demands of a large group (up to eight pax), when you need to transport people regularly and as comfortably as possible.

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The 12-inch infotainment system is a cinch to use, although, sadly, it does not yet have Android Auto or Apple Carplay built in. What does get our approval are the leather seats and 360-degree view camera that comes in handy when you’re maneuvering for a parking spot. Other surprising and welcome features that made the drive extra special include a reverse camera (another useful tool for parking), keyless entry (enough of sliding a key in), push-start button (see previous), and Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold (so you're sure your vehicle won't unexpectedly roll away). 

Photo by PJ Cana.

But the drive itself is the biggest surprise. MPVs tend to generally focus more on comfort than power, so it was a treat to discover the G50 doesn’t scrimp on both. Thanks to a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine, the vehicle accelerates smoothly and quickly—there’s hardly any lag typical of other models in its class. When you need to overtake on the highway, it gives you solid power and speed that’s quite unexpected for an MPV.

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That display of brawn was evident on more than a few occasions when I drove it to Laguna for a quick weekend getaway. It doesn’t handle quite as smoothly as a regular car, but it’s also not as conservative or old-fashioned as typical minivans either. One would associate these types of vehicles with so-called “soccer moms” or the official carrier of suburbia, but the G50 proves an MPV need not be boring or predictable.

Photo by PJ Cana.

The Maxus G50 comes in three variants: 1.5 Turbo DCT Pro (P1.088 Million); the 1.5 Turbo DCT Elite (P1.168 Million), and the 1.5 Turbo DCT Premium (P1.288 Million).

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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