We’ve asked the question multiple times. Is it worth it? When considering a car, you will ask this question repeatedly and on occasion. For more tried and tested nameplates, it’s easier to justify based on the brand’s equity in the market. Reputation is definitely a part of buying a car, but this has led smaller brands to get creative whenever they want to appeal to the masses that are highly familiar with brands that are mainstays in the market.
However, a breakout brand from AC Motors is making waves in the industry, offering numerous vehicles that offer utility and value in a package that looks to be a great deal. In this article, we’ll cover the Maxus G50. On paper, Maxus vehicles look like they’re equipped with premium amenities, but does that on-paper value translate to driving the value of the vehicle up? With that being said, is the 8-seater from the Maxus range worth it?
Looking at the car itself, the G50 is simply a larger than average MPV. The segment is populated by the likes of the Toyota Innova, which is the perennial favorite in the Philippines thanks to its diesel engine and its robust chassis. Though, one can argue that it is perhaps too much of a workhorse for pure passenger-hauling duties.
Most MPVs don’t have large screen infotainments, cruise control, or a reverse camera. As it stands, we see that Maxus is cornering quite a few models in terms of what it can offer like leather seats with contrasting red panels that add a little style into the mix. Also, the space in the G50 is pretty impressive, and we consider it to be a true 8-seater since even wider individuals can fit in the middle row, and up to 3 average-sized Filipinos can sit at the back with some legroom to spare. We even stated that the G50 has the dimensions and shape of a minivan—which it isn’t. It even has a sunroof in case you need extra light in the cabin, and a wireless charger.
Without much pedigree, it’s not going to translate well to the average consumer when talking about reliability. However, without getting too preachy about how cars nowadays are pretty reliable as it is, the Maxus brand has origins in the United Kingdom, and the marque was expanded upon by SAIC Motor after its acquisition. This means that Maxus vehicles are part of a bigger company with many sales and distribution channels—and AC Motors is part of that network.
Just because SAIC makes Maxus vehicles, does not mean that it is a write-off in terms of reliability and brand trust. A properly-backed brand will give reliable service provided the technicians and the other support systems for these cars are properly managed. AC Motors has been in the industry for many years now, and it has many dealerships and service centers under its belt. Paired with the largeness of SAIC and their ability to deliver, and you can be sure that there’s proper training and a good backbone and architecture that can help you with your vehicle should problems arise.
Diesel motors are worth it every time you fill-up. A tank of diesel can last you a long time, and it won’t cost so much money to fill the said tank with fuel. However, day-to-day, you will have to contend with the rattle and rasp of a diesel motor, plus maintenance will be more intensive as diesel engines typically are much filthier than a modern gasoline motor.
On top of that, your car will produce dirtier emissions. There is a reason why in some parts of the world, there are countries that are not in favor of diesel motors because of the damage to the environment. Gasoline motors, on average, are cleaner, smoother, and as a bonus are easier to maintain. In the G50’s case, it comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 167 hp and 250 Nm of torque. That being said, it’s not as fuel-efficient as a diesel, but it makes up for it with smoothness.
Discussing handling in MPVs is a bit of a moot point. You can expect better handling out of a sedan or a smaller crossover, but since the Maxus G50 has a unibody chassis—simply put, a car-like construction, it features good overall comfort. When riding the G50, the suspension will give you a very pliant experience over the bumps and potholes of Metro Manila. It’s comfortable and quiet, plus the engine doesn’t intrude that much. The chassis also does well to feel solid and planted on the road and even while cornering. Body roll is present in extreme situations, don’t get us wrong, but nothing that your average driver will experience on a daily basis.
Price and verdict
Being one of the only turbocharged gasoline MPVs in its segment with up to 8 seats and enough creature comforts to keep you company on a long ride, the Maxus G50 makes a great case, but the price you pay only starts at P948,000 for the base variant. The model, however, can get pretty pricey at P1,338,000. If you are looking for a car in this particular segment, there are similarly equipped and priced variants in the market. The main competitor of the Maxus G50 includes the Innova and the Geely Okavango. On average, the Okavango is more expensive than the G50, and the Innova is just more well-known. The G50 rides better than the Innova, but not as good as the Okavango. The powertrain is also not as complex as the Okavango’s and is quite possibly easier to maintain over a long period of time.
So with those two models in the market, is the G50 really worth it? In our opinion, if you’re actually shopping from a lower price point, looking at something like the Xpander Cross but want a little bit more in terms of features, then the G50 is absolutely worth it. The model is on par with the rest of the competition on paper, but it blows the smaller MPVs out of the water with its enhanced space, comfort, and power. If you’re considering the Toyota Rush, Mitsubishi Xpander, Honda BR-V, then perhaps Maxus could sway you.