Friday 20 September 2019

RX5 from Morris Garages impressive

MANAMA, May 20, 2019

By Abdulaziz Khattak
The RX5 by Morris Garages Motor (MG), an original British marque that started off as a sports car manufacturer, can seriously impress upon first drive.
MG has seen a major turnaround ever since its takeover by the Chinese. And after changing hands several times, the company seems to finally be at peace with its current Chinese owner, the state owned SAIC Motor Corporation that has owned it for over a decade now.
And in the recent years, MG has been noted for its models winning numerous awards helping the company spike sales.
The RX5 has already been named the Middle East’s Best Small SUV by ArabWheels, fending off strong competition from models such as the Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Rush and Mazda CX-5.
With an amazing price tag (starting from $14,540; BD5,400, depending on the market),  the car woos especially young drivers, who will find it tick every box on their list. And the British label is probably worth flaunting, writes Abdulaziz Khattak for
The RX5 in the GCC is offered in three trims; the entry level 2WD 1.5T STD, midrange 1.5T and 2.0T COM, and the top of the range 2.0T LUX all-wheel drive.
We were able to check out most of the car’s features over two days of test driving – on and off road.
Exteriors: From the looks, the RX5 is trendy. The stretched out grille, long LED headlamps, equally big fog lamps, and good ground clearance are instantly recognisable. A sporty five-spoke, two-tone 18-inch rims on COM and LUX models combine with a sharp waistline that rises from front to rear to enhance the dynamic look. At the rear, a chrome plate stretches out to the dual tail lights, visually extending the vehicle width.
Interiors: Inside, the RX5 has everything a modern day traveller requires. Careful attention has been paid to the cabin with high quality finish, and the use of high grade material, chrome edging and soft-touch material.
For the driver, the seat has 6-way power adjustments in the luxury trim, and a steering wheel embellished with tonnes of controls so that you don’t have to reach out to the respective devices while driving, including a Siri button connected to Apply Car Play.
The cruise control stalk is on the left of the steering wheel
The wide 8-inch LED screen panel is quite responsive and opens into many features like revers parking view, sound position adjustment, radio, GPS navigation, Apple Carplay, video and Bluetooth options.
Other extras include an adjustable hand rest with a parking button nearby and two cup holders, pockets on the front doors, two speakers on either sides, not to mention 3D sound system, USB points and a 12 v socket to charge your smart devices, auto anti-dazzle on rear mirror, etc.
The dashboard is very wide and allows for a good frontal view.
The RX5 is considerably spacious and has generous legroom and head space at the back. Also in the rear, you have multiple storage spaces throughout the cabin for bottles, mobiles and cups – pretty useful when children riding.
A powerful air-conditioning system and countless AC vents ensure a cool drive. You will find two vents on the sides, four near the windscreen (also acting as defrosters), two in the centre, two near the feet in the front, two on the sides, two on the centre console for back passengers, and two near the feet in the rear.
The RX5 has a panoramic sunroof that floods the interior with light.
The car comes with a large boot (595 litres), which can be extended nearly three times to 1639 litres by folding the back seats.
Technology offered as standard on most models includes remote, one-touch opening of the rear hatch, keyless entry, a start button and an AutoHold function.
Engine & Safety: A push start button gives you access to turbocharged engines that push out 169 hp of net power on the 1.5T petrol engine with a 7-speed automatic gearbox on the STD or COM models. The more powerful 2.0T powerplant oozes 217 hp mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The fuel economy is noted at 6.8 litres per 100 km by the manufacturer.
The RX5 hasn’t compromised on safety. Six airbags, including full-length curtain airbags, ensure utmost protection and safety. The car comes with a 5-star rating in the C-NCAP crash tests.
The maker claims that an efficient braking system reduces stopping distances by 2 m in comparison to key rivals, while standard ESP with traction control, a curving braking control system and motor-control slide retainer all contribute to a safer journey.
The hill hold control system assists drivers in starting the vehicle on uphill, while preventing it from slipping during start-off.
Add to this the cool hill descent control (HDC) option and the RX5 gives a full off-roading enjoyment. The HDC system has been specially designed for driving on acute downhill surface. What it does is reduce speed by applying the brake force as we experienced for ourselves, allowing the car to haltingly descend – a nonetheless essential safety feature for novice drivers off road.
Last but not least, you can connect and access your RX5 via an exclusive smartphone MG iLink app to know about your car’s specifications, mileage, next service, battery life, even find out driving efficiency, in addition to exploring past routes. The app can come in handy to track your car especially when you lend your car to others.
The MG iLink also acts like a remote control through which you can start and stop the engine, unlock doors, open boot, switch on the lights and locate your car.
Furthermore, the Valet mode allows you to have a total control of your car even when someone else is driving it. You can use this feature to set limits on speed and driving radius.
A cool feature on the app is the punch sensor notification. Any scratch or dent and you will know immediately, even with the engine off.
So, what did we make of the car after a two-day spin?
Well, in all honesty, the RX5 has done a pretty neat job on all fronts. The SUV does very well when compared to some of the Japanese, European and American brands in its category. We definitely think the RX5 is worth a try.
Zayani Motors is the exclusive dealer in Bahrain for MG. -TradeArabia News Service


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