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In this episode, I find a Chinese vehicle... no wait... a British vehicle... no no... I find an MG that I had never heard of before! MG Motor UK Limited (MG Motor) is a British automotive company headquartered in Longbridge, Birmingham, United Kingdom, and a subsidiary of SAIC Motor UK, which in turn is owned by the Shanghai-based SAIC Motor. MG Motor designs, develops and markets cars sold under the MG marque. The MG GS is a NEW SUV and is based on their SAIC Scalable platform.
When you think of MG, your mind automatically thinks Miguel’s Garage. But then, right after you realize that I don’t make any cars, you think of the next logical thing… Morris Garages…
Morris Garages, or MG as is widely known, has its origins as a British automaker. They were the founders of the 2 seater, lightweight, fun to drive car back in the 1920s. For you youngsters out there, that’s the equivalent of the Mazda Miata in today’s day and age and partly where the Miata got its inspiration from...
MG has a long history of changing ownership starting with Morris merging with Austin in The British Motor Corporation in 1952. Then MG became the MG Division of British Motor Company (or BMC) in 1967. The following year MG got tangled in a merger that created British Leyland Motor Corporation. In 1990, it changed hands again going to Austin Rover group. By the 2000s, MG was then part of MG Rover group…
Regardless of having as many owners as a rental ferrari, MG managed to create some of the finest and most remarkable cars known to mankind, both for the street and the track.
Today, MG is owned by SAIC, a Chinese state-owned manufacturer… so similar to GM then…
The MG GS is the first SUV offered by the company and they have made every effort to keep the spirit of the MG sports car. But is it any good? So, driving the MG GS, is quite interesting. Is a manual 6-spd transmission
This one is equipped with a 1.5L engine Turbo. The driving dynamics are quite interesting. It retains that sporty feel that you would expect from a brand like MG, but at the same time is comfortable on everyday driving. The seating position is good and have a lot of adjustability. The controls are within reach. Visibility is nice as well, you can see outside without any issues. The steering feedback is good and responsive. It’s got that sporty feel. The suspension is well designed. And obviously is more engaging because of the manual transmission. If you want to get the automatic, is probably not going to be as engaging. There’s also an optional 2L engine and also optional 4-wheel drive.
Before we start heading into the Andes, I wanted show you the interior. Let’s start with the keyfob; it's a flip keyfob and as you can see, and is very standard for the time, similar to those made famous by Volkswagen.
Now stepping into the vehicle, the interior as you can see, is very utilitarian as it was intended. There’s no fancy gadgets or gimmicky devices. It has a modern layout; when I look around in here, it reminds me a lot of a Hyundai Santa Fe. You can see the MG badge displayed proudly in the middle of the steering wheel. The dash is very simple and only shows you what you need like the engine RPM and your speed. I find it funny that the dash displays SAIC MOTOR when you turn the ignition instead of showing the MG logo. It's like they’re trying to slowly infiltrate their brand into your head with subliminal messages. The entertainment system in the middle however, does show the MG logo and is nice to see. This system includes a navigation system and audio. Climate controls and the 6 speed shifter. The passenger side is roomy and comfortable for an SUV this size. Rear passengers also get a fair amount of legroom, but don’t expect to fit your basketball team back here.
The location we are headed to is called “El Embalse del Yeso” or roughly translated “The plaster reservoir”. It is a water reserve that gets its water from the Andes mountains. This water is then retained here and sent to the city of Santiago as needed.
Driving the MG GS up to the Andes Mountains has been quite an amazing experience. The views are absolutely staggering and unforgettable. This SUV is also an impressive value proposition! Every major manufacturer in the world has an SUV, except for Aston Martin, Bugatti, Chrysler, Lotus, McLaren, Ram, and Smart. But even some of these brands are already working on developing SUVs! MG didn’t want to be left out and so, they developed this offering, the MG GS! This SUV reminds me a lot of the Hyundai Santa Fe and of the Hyundai brand as a whole. It has that feel of a second generation Hyundai Santa Fe, but with modern looks.
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