June 30, 2020 By C! Magazine Staff Words and Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2020 MG RX5 Alpha

Value on Steroids

My previous experience with the MG RX5 Style was truly a splendid one. Having the ability to drive on unpaved roads while still maintaining a sporty and luxurious feeling made my time with it all the more enjoyable. When I found out that I was going to be testing a newer version of the MG RX5, I assumed it would only be a minor facelift, but boy was I wrong. The new third variant has a superior design upgrade from the precursory model while boasting new hardware. The first thing I noticed was the full-LED headlights which I instantly fell in love with. Other noticeable added pieces of equipment include vanity mirrors along with airbags on both the front drivers and passenger side and a full panoramic roof which tricked me into thinking that the cabin height was much taller than it actually was. Metaphorically and literally, it made sunny days brighter and rainy days better. MG Philippines is offering a P98k all-in low-downpayment promotion as well for a limited time! The dashing test unit in striking Sol Blue with black leather interior, called the Alpha model, costs only P70,000 more than the Style, now that is my definition of value for money. However, the new features don’t stop there!

I cannot stress the fact enough that compact crossover was an absolute joy to have for the amount of time that I did. I took it out every opportunity I could, taking it from simple trips to the supermarket, or to the mall and after running errands, to football training. I even took it on unpaved roads only because I knew the car could handle it, and let me tell you, it really did– easily. It was comfortable, smooth, nimble, and most importantly it was driver-friendly. The sound system was another aspect of the delightful experience, it did not sound like it was lacking any audio aspects that most people look for. The 8-inch color infotainment system which includes Apple Carplay™ was very simple and easy to use and meshed well with the sleek dashboard. Though the car only had six speakers, I could not complain because it sounded wholesome, and personally I did not feel like it lacked any acoustic aspect whatsoever. The rear passenger seats had quite the comfortable, full climate-controlled cabin as well, with dual rear vents and 12-volt sockets for auxiliaries, and adjustable seats! My friends got that end of the bargain as I preferred to drive it!

The front-wheel driven Alpha is powered by an overachieving 166 bhp / 184 lb-ft direct injection turbocharged 1.5-liter dohc 16-valve engine mated to a double-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission with a discreet twin exhaust system. The car easily goes from 0-100 km/h in about 9.2 seconds. The sporty crossover boasts a 196 km/h top speed while still sustaining good fuel economy at 15.1 km/l overall! The RX5 Alpha also has an extensive list of standard active and passive safety equipment such as powerful disc brakes on both ends of the car assisted by ABS, stability control, as well as a rearview parking camera and meets the holistic 5-star (C-NCAP) safety standard protection requirements. The smooth ride orchestrated by the fully independent suspension working in unison with the brawny Michelin Primacy 3ST 235/50R18 97W tires and tall ride height absorbs road imperfections better than similar vehicles that cost significantly more. With the unpredictable roads in the Philippines, a car’s ability to drive smoothly could be the catalyst in making a purchasing decision. Luckily this car has ability, as well as luxury, which makes it a compelling competitor among the other choices of affordable crossovers.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1498 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 166 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 184 lb-ft @ 1700-4400 rpm
Transmission 7-speed DCT

Performance

Top Speed 196 km/h (122 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 9.2 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 14.7 km/L (6.8 L/100 km) Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 1,298,888.00
What's Great Outstanding value, well-appointed, surprising athleticism, comfortable, and good-looking.
What's Not So Lingering modest trim components, still hoping for the 2.0T model.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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