When safety is mentioned in car buying, it’s not just all about the safety systems that work, but also whether you will feel safe after you buy and then drive the car for years to come. Maxus Philippines called us out to their dealership in Makati City to go for a drive to Ocean Adventure in Subic bay.
The first part of our journey took us directly to the highways of Metro Manila. Via the Skyway, we headed north to the NLEX. It was rush hour, and other motorists shared the road with us trying to get to their offices as fast as possible, and us trying to get all the way to Subic just in time for a hearty brunch.
Once we cleared the Skyway, it was onto the longest part of our journey. From the Balintawak tollgate all the way to Subic we pressed on—that is with a bunch of restroom breaks in between. Traveling the highway at the speed limit wasn’t a problem for the 1.5-liter turbocharged motor of the Maxus G50. WIth 167 hp and 250 Nm of torque to play with, the motor featured enough passing power and enough grunt to get us up to speed and to help us keep that speed. Cruise control was helpful as well, and it came as a surprise to us that we actually had a base model comfort variant along with us on this drive, which we will talk about more in a little bit.
As for how the G50 behaves on the highway and at speed, it was a well-mannered ride. In fact, we were able to shoot quite a few scenes with Caco doing some goofy stuff in the back seat, and the chief compliment that we kept giving the car as the miles rolled on was “there’s so much space for activities!” Even Jack, our six-foot-tall videographer wasn’t deprived of movement in any way. Our camera was able to get all of the action happening inside the car without the need to get into a compromising position.
When we got to our destination, a course was arranged for us to run. It involved several scenarios that tested out the vehicle’s various safety features and systems. From simpler tasks like parking, all the way to the most arduous of tasks like braking with uneven traction to braking mid-corner, the G50’s systems were totally safe and working all the way.
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) was the first system to test, and it involved us braking on a slippery surface on one side and asphalt on the other. The system kept us braking in a straight line, and in practice, it’s like each wheel had its own ABS module working to keep the car straight and not veer off course.
Right after that exercise, the instructors told us to floor it in the corner, then stomp on the brakes while the chassis was loaded up on one side while turning. This is where the vehicle’s stability control kicked in and kept us braking and tracking the same line mid-corner. No cones were harmed during this exercise, which is thoroughly impressive considering that the top-of-the-line Premium and the lowest-end Comfort variants were used in this testing. In fact, even with the more inferior tires on the lower trims, the Maxus G50 behaved the same way thanks to the safety systems.
Then it was business as usual right after a hearty brunch. Immediately after the event concluded, we headed back as if nothing happened. The cars, regardless of the abuse that they took on the test track, took us in and drove us all the way back to Manila. We didn’t even have to stop over to gas up. It only took one full tank to get all the way there. Naturally, we wanted to see if the three-cylinder turbo motor in the base model stacks up with the other powertrains in the lineup. Instead of two pedals, we were greeted with three, and a lever that went from first gear to sixth plus a reverse gear off to the side. Power delivery was adequate, but just a little less potent compared to the higher trims. To top it all off, the fuel economy wasn’t half bad either, coming in at 12 kilometers per liter with mixed city and highway driving. Considering that we were on the gas for quite some time and stuck in traffic for a good number of minutes, all of the G50s took everything in stride regardless of the engine, with the four cylinders running about the same consumption figures as the three-cylinder variant.
Regardless of what you choose, the G50’s a safe choice. Not once during the drive did we complain about the space, or about the behavior of the car. Then when things get a little hairy, the car proved that it can be as safe as possible with its standard safety systems. To make it easier to park, it’s best that you go up to the Elite and Premium trims to enjoy that 360 Panorama camera for safety and ease of parking.
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