MG GS Test Drive Review : Crossover creating buzz
Write a Review
There aren’t a lot of people who recognize MG and the few who do, know that it was predominantly a manufacturer of sports coupes that originated in Britain. Today however, buyer preferences and needs are changing. The GS is MG’s first attempt at creating a compact SUV/Crossover, which seems to be an intelligent decision considering the booming nature of the crossover market. We got behind the wheel of the GS’s top of the line AWD LUX spec to see if it has the potential to be successful.
The design of the GS has been dubbed as “Diamond-cut Flow”. It’s quite a fancy name, but it isn’t without merit. A combination of sharp and round corners, angular roofline, slightly flared wheel arches and a high raised rear end make it look like a handsome crossover that tries to set itself apart from its rivals. Certain exterior highlights include LED daytime lights, Xenon headlamps with washers, sliver black roof rails with matching treadplates, power folding mirrors and 18-inch “Diamond cut” alloy wheels. What’s missing is a power tailgate, which would have proven useful given its heavy weight. Also, the opening of the tailgate is narrow, which may be a hindrance to carrying large objects in the GS.
The LUX spec GS comes with leather upholstery, and even the steering wheel is covered in leather. There are also other features such as a 6.1-inch touchscreen, which is responsive and easy to get used to. Plus, Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music has decent clarity. The 6-speaker system with a subwoofer is surprisingly punchy, there is little to no speaker jarring. The controls on the center console are simple and ergonomic. Every button is easily reachable for the driver. More comforts include automatic air conditioning, audio/telephone controls on the steering wheel, cruise control and a sunroof.
There’s plenty of room in the back seats for three passengers thanks to the flat floor, and those with the gift of a tall stature can comfortably sit on all seats as well. Storage space is a positive point too. Large glove box, door bins, and cup holders in the front and back make it easy to carry more than what’s usually needed on any journey. Now for the all-important boot space; with the back seats upright, the GS has a 483-liter capacity and with seats folded, it has 1,363 liters.
Our only gripe with the interior is the use of hard plastic on the dashboard and door panels. It disrupts its supposed luxury aura and could have been masked with the use of soft touch plastic.
The GS LUX has a lot to offer in this respect. Features comprise of ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control, side and curtain airbags, a total of 6 including the driver’s and passengers. It also has reverse-parking sensors paired with a camera. Extra amenities include an electric parking brake and automatic brake hold.
Driving Experience and Performance
All GS models are equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 220hp, which is connected to a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy stands at 13.4km per liter and the fuel tank has a capacity of 55 liters, along with an engine start/stop fuel saving system. So what’s it like to drive? The driving position for starters is great; you sit high on the seat, which is conducive to increased visibility and better driving judgement. Its large side mirrors further enhance the benefits of its driving position.
Despite having 220hp, the engine doesn’t seem to fully utilize its power. Step on the throttle and there’s a sliver of acceleration, after which the powerband flatlines. The ride quality is noticeably harsh too. On the bright side, Its 0-100kph time of 8.9 seconds is quicker than most of its rivals and while cornering, you experience minimal body roll.
Being the first of its kind from MG, the GS still has a significant distance to cover in terms of refinement. Its competitors have been in the game for a long time, but this by no means condemns the GS. For all the tech and creature comforts it offers, along with a 6 year/200,000KM warranty, the asking price is just AED 72,000. No other crossover represents the phrase ‘value for money’ better than the GS.