Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 | Last Update : 01:10 AM IST
MG Motor has already hinted that its first product for India would be an SUV.
MG Motor has already hinted that its first product for India would be an SUV. They have even suggested that the upcoming SUV could be their answer to the Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass. Currently, there are three SUVs that bit the bill. But what could be the one that finally comes to India - the Baojun 530, MG ZS or the RX5? Let’s find out.
The answer lies in the fact that MG has also confirmed a second SUV for the Indian market that will be all-electric. Rajeev Chaba, President and MD, MG Motor India confirmed that the brand was seriously considering introducing the electric version of the ZS, as a follow up to their first product in the country. The second clue here, is that the brand has already confirmed that their debut vehicle in India “will not be an existing MG UK product”. That, effectively rules out the introduction of the ZS crossover next year.
That leaves us with two options, the RX5 and the Baojun 530. Sources close to the manufacturer say that both vehicles are under consideration for launch next year. Now, this might seem a bit puzzling. Surely, a manufacturer will have a concrete plan for a product launch a year in advance. So, which one, then? We’ve got enough reasons to believe it will be the RX5. Here’s why.
MG Motor vaguely confirmed the fact that the brand is looking to introduce a vehicle that’s slightly bigger than the Creta, while being priced on par, or undercutting it.
The RX5 measures 4545mm x 1855mm x 1719mm (l x w x h) - that’s a size bigger than the Creta that measures 4270mm x 1780mm x 1630mm. It’s almost the size of the Mahindra XUV500 (4585mm x 1890mm x 1785mm).
The Baojun 530, is bigger still (4655mm x 1835mm x 1760mm) and is better suited at sitting above the RX5 in MG’s India lineup, and take on SUVs such as the CR-V and the Tucson.
The RX5 is already sold as an MG in the UAE. There’s practically no redesigning involved on MG Motor India’s part.
We believe the RX5 has a design that’s more palatable for Indian audiences. The Eurocar-like design inside out looks likeable, compared to the ballad of creases and curves that the 530 has.
Also, the 530 is a product that’s a result of a collaboration between SAIC, GM and Wuling. Previous products from this association (read: Sail, Enjoy, Sail U-Va) haven’t done all that well in the Indian market, in spite of being badged as Chevrolets.
Finally, there’s an electric version of the RX5 already on sale in the Chinese market. And MG would want to keep their options open, with a platform that’s already been tested with electrification.
We also know MG will be relying on Jeep power for their latest SUV. The 2.0-litre Multijet diesel that powers the Compass will be made available to MG Motor India. This motor, with 173PS and 350Nm, seems just right for the RX5, too.
Not just that, the global-spec RX5 gets optional AWD - something that’s good to have (* cough * bragging rights * cough * ) in India. Again, this is something that MG might consider as a positive in favour of the RX5.
We’re expecting MG’s first SUV to be priced around the Rs 14 lakh mark, and take on the higher variants of the Hyundai Creta, and slightly bigger SUVs such as the Jeep Compass and the Mahindra XUV500.