MG MOTOR has released its first SUV in Australia with the GS featuring keen
driveaway pricing for its first few weeks on sale, as well as a spacious cabin,
two turbo powertrain choices and a competitive list of standard features.
Initially kicking off from $22,990 driveaway for the base Vivid in manual-only,
front-wheel-drive, five-seater guise, the offer is valid until the end of May,
when it rises to $23,990 plus on-road costs, according to MG Motor Australia
general manager, Zhu Chao.
“It is a special price to help promote the car in Australia,” he told
Australian journalists at the GS launch near Geelong in Victoria this month.
“After that the price will not be driveaway.”
MG Motor will remain an eastern seaboard proposition for the time being, with
only Sydney’s inner west, Brisbane’s inner north and Coffs Harbour scoring a
dealership, although another retail site is planned for Melbourne by the end of
Further up the GS range, the mid-spec Core automatic starts from $25,990 plus
on-roads, adding a dual-clutch transmission as well as a rearview camera,
climate control, an improved audio system, a 6.0-inch touchscreen and 17-inch
However, no AEB Autonomous Emergency Braking is in the pipeline for any variant
in the foreseeable future, while the lack of audible rear seatbelt reminders
means that the GS rates only four out of five stars in the Australasian New Car
Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The four-variant model range also extends to the Soul auto from $27,990 plus
ORCs, which introduces an 8.0-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, leather
trim, driver’s seat lumbar adjustment, front foglights, rain-sensing wipers and
MG Motor parent company SAIC Motor Corporation Limited has high hopes for the
$34,990 Essence X, since its four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine grows from 1.5
to 2.0-litres, and it also gains all-wheel drive, hill descent control and anti
rollover tech, paddle shifters, Xenon headlights and a sunroof.
Despite the AWD, ground clearance remains at 174mm.
Based on an all-new SUV-only architecture known as SAIC Scalable, the GS’
2650mm wheelbase is one of the longest in its segment, exceeding that of the
Toyota C-HR by 10mm, and sitting midway between Mazda’s best-selling CX-3’s
(2570mm) and CX-5’s (2700mm) respectively.
At 4500mm long, it is also a significant 225mm longer than the CX-3 and just
50mm shy of – as well as 15mm wider at 1855mm – than the CX-5.
As a result, MG Motor cites models larger than the CX-3, such as the Honda
HR-V, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson, as the GS’ main
targets, pointing to generous rear-seat packaging – that includes central air
vents from Core upwards as well as reclining backrests – and a 483-litre
The GS is powered by a choice of two new-generation Euro 5 emissions-rated
four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engines, with the smaller one
co-developed with General Motors as part of its Small Gasoline Engine family.
All front-drive models are powered by a 1.5-litre turbo ‘Cube Tec’ engine (also
dubbed Net Blue), pumping out 119kW of power at 5600rpm and 250Nm of 4500rpm.
Mated to the six-speed manual in the 1420kg Vivid, it returns 7.3 litres per
100km on the combined cycle, or 0.1L/100km more with the in-house seven-speed
dual-clutch that pushes the front-drive GS’ weight up another 40kg.
Moving to the Essence X AWD, an SAIC-designed, Opel-tuned 2.0-litre twin-cammer
steps in, delivering 162kW at 5300rpm and a hefty 350Nm at 4500rpm.
Driving the front wheels (until traction requirements call for up to 50 per
cent of torque to travel to the rear axle) via a six-speed dual-clutch, it
averages 9.6L/100km, partly reflecting this variant’s substantial 1642kg kerb
Like the Qashqai, the GS employs a multi-link rear suspension system, joining
the CX-3 AWD’s de Dion and C-HR’s double wishbone back axles in breaking away
from the torsion beam norm of most small SUVs, although the front falls in line
with a pseudo MacPherson strut arrangement.
Steering is via an electric rack and pinion design, while all four wheels
employ discs for brakes.
On the safety front AEB and other semi-autonomous driving tech are not offered,
but all versions feature electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with
electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, emergency brake
assist, six airbags including full-width curtain head protection, LED daytime
driving lights and rear parking sensors.
MG Motor designed and engineered the GS in England, as per the 93 year-old
marque’s spiritual base, but it is manufactured in Shanghai, China. Sometime in
the next couple of years, all right-hand-drive production is expected to switch
to SAIC’s Thai facility.
The GS is the third MG model released in Australia, following the MG3 supermini
and mid-sized MG6 sedan launched last October in NSW and Queensland.