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May 11, 2023

Review: 2023 MG GT Sport

The term, “GT” is one of the most misused automotive terms out there. In the simplest sense, a Grand Tourer, or if you prefer Italian, Gran Turismo, refers to a type of car designed for high speed and long-distance driving. And because they have to combine both performance and luxury attributes, they’re often a coupe derived from a sedan counterpart. A quick glance at the MG GT tells you it’s none of these things. But don’t let that turn you off, because at the end of the day, this compact sedan still has something good to offer.

Priced at P 1,193,888—the MG GT is positioned to replace the MG6 (P 1,188,888) in the brand’s local line-up. However, in other markets, China being the most notable, it’s known as the new MG5. Thus, mechanically, it shares its basic underpinnings with the sub-compact sedan.

Regardless of its humble origins, the MG GT does deliver when it comes to looks. Unlike the MG6 which has a hatch opening like a BMW Gran Coupe, this one’s a traditional sedan. Yet, thanks to its designer bringing his A-game, the stretched-out C-pillar balances the proportions producing this eye-catching exterior. Upfront, it features the new MG family look with the sinewy LED headlights and Digital Flaming Grille. It’s not as elegant as the previous London Eye/Stardust Grille design, but it still makes heads turn, so in a sense, job done there. If anything, the only weak point is at the back where the clean-cut look fails the match the front-end’s theatrics.

Inside, the MG GT looks attractive enough. The fighter jet-inspired dash has the center console, including the 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, canted towards the driver. There’s also a 12.3-inch virtual cluster with a 7-inch LCD screen in front of the driver as well as the same thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel found in other MG models. Overall ergonomics, however, are mixed. The low cowl and thin A-pillars promote excellent forward visibility. This also enables drivers to set their seat down, promoting a sportier driving position. But because the steering column lacks any telescopic adjustment, some compromises are made in terms of seating position. Also, seeing out the back can be challenge due to the small rear window and sharply raked roofline. For some reason, the curvature of the glass causes blinding glare when it rains.

More compromises are found in the MG GT’s choice of interior materials. Those that get in direct contact with the driver—steering wheel, shifter, seats, switches, buttons, and stalks—all feel solid and crisp enough; but give it a good tap anywhere else, and it looks and feels extremely plasticky and hollow. A let down really, because designers did manage to put in a solid effort with nifty detailing such as the full-length aluminum trim and the high-gloss black prismatic finish on the AC cents and dash accent.

The MG GT’s material shortcoming though is more forgivable next to its lowest point: the infotainment system. With the designers all going Euro minimalist, this 10-inch screen serves as the central nervous system of the entire car. It controls everything from climate to entertainment functions to even vehicle settings, down to the most used functions. That would have been alright if the system itself was quick and snappy. Unfortunately, it’s not; there’s always a half-second delay as you go from function to function. Even the hard buttons located underneath the screen do little to compensate. It requires a long, deliberate press just for the system to recognize an input. A big shame because the screen itself is one of the most pixel-dense you’ll find in its class, even if the glossy finish does tend to blind your passenger at times.

Generally, there’s nothing to complain about space-wise. Those in the front are clearly treated better with ample head-, shoulder, and leg room. Those in the back, however, will find the headroom a bit compromised. The average-sized Filipino won’t have nothing to worry about sitting at the outboard positions, but the person in the middle has to be quite short to clear that sloping roofline and high-set center cushion. The trunk space is cavernous, but the lack of a split-folding mechanism (it does fold down as one piece) limits the overall flexibility. Also, be careful of that trunk lid. Its small aperture can, and will, cause you to bonk your head on it from time to time.

Now onto the most anticipated aspect of the MG GT: the drive. Priced below P 1.2-million, this compact sedan packs quite a wallop courtesy of a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. With 161 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque, these outputs are enough to label this car as “sporty”. True enough, squeeze the gas, and it’s quick to oblige. Zero to 100 km/h is dispatched in about 8.5 seconds, but honestly, it feels faster than that. The presence of the Dynamic Driving Management screen probably helps on that account because seeing all those meters light up brings up a sense of wow and excitement. With a strict diet of 95 octane and up, it’s good to know that fuel economy’s among the best in MG’s current line-up: 9.61 km/L at 18 km/h and 14.49 km/L at 30 km/h.

Mated to this engine is a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. An electronic shifter—one of the easiest to use executions of this kind anywhere—is connected to a wet-type, oil-bathed system. As such, it generally removes the bane associated with DCTs such as needless gear hunting and lurching. That is, however, if it’s operating in its optimal window. When the MG GT starts out cold or gets too hot like when sitting in stop-and-go traffic, the gearbox can get rough, sticky, and undecisive. There are times when flooring the throttle results in almost no acceleration. This can be quite dangerous, especially when merging with traffic.

Despite sharing its basic platform as the MG5, the MG GT does manage to serve up a bit more on-road excitement. There’s a bit more precision to its steering, helped perhaps by the lowish profile 17-inch tires. There are changeable steering modes here too, but there’s little need as the differences between Urban, Comfort, and Sport are largely negligible. The chassis, meanwhile, is softly sprung allowing it to absorb Manila’s washboard roads. However, the serenity of that comfort-oriented ride is shattered somewhat by larger potholes and cracks. These can send judders straight into the cabin area. In addition, it’s not the sharpest cornering machine out there. It feels stable and tracks true, but doesn’t offer the same level of involvement as you’d come to expect from a GT or sports sedan.

In terms of safety, the MG GT does come packing. Aside from the usual set of airbags, ABS, and stability control, it comes with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, tire pressure sensors, and even a 360-degree camera. They all work as advertised, but to be honest, the camera display looks low res. This isn’t problematic during the day time, but at night, it’s sometimes hard to make out obstacles from all the visual noise.

After all’s said and done, the MG GT may not be a true “Grand Tourer” but don’t let that sway you. Beyond the mislabeling, it’s still a compact sedan that’s of extremely good value and surprisingly spritely performance. It won’t reach the level of polish—mechanical or design-wise—as Japanese compacts mind you, but it does manage to punch above its P 1.2-million price tag.

2023 MG GT Sport

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Bottom Line
Pros Head-turning looks, affordable price for the performance
Cons Hard plastics in interior, laggy infotainment, temperamental transmission
TL;DR Not a GT, not a sports sedan, but a value-packed compact sedan
Year Introduced 2022
Warranty 5 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Compact Sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders Inline-4
Maximum Output (PS @ rpm) 161 @ 5,600
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm) 250 @ 1,750-4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / ~95
Transmission 7 DCT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 9.61 km/L @ 18 km/h,
14.49 km/L @ 30 km/h
Fuel Tank Size (L) 50
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,675
Width (mm) 1,842
Height (mm) 1,480
Wheelbase (mm) 2,680
Curb Weight (kg) 1,318
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electronic, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Michelin Primacy 3ST
215/50 R 17 W (f & r)
Recommended Tire Pressure (PSI) 32
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360-degree
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Lane Departure Warning
Forward Collision Warning
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear
Light Operation Auto, w/ High Beam Assist
Wiper Operation Variable Intermittent
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather
2nd Row Folding, w/ Center Armrest
3rd Row None
Sunroof Yes
Multi-Information Display Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Auto, w/ Rear Vent
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Very nice review. Hope the GAC Empow will also be reviewed.

  2. clunky transmission too like the MG6, but still I really liked that car, this one too is quite nice. Also the Empow :D

    1. A bit better than the MG6 TBH...but still not the best DCT application out there.

  3. That melting-in-the-sun bloated catfish-with-gaping-mouth look may have been copied from ugly Hondas of the past and the turbine-blade wheel design from the Mu-X, but at least it's more loaded than the usual compact in that price range.

  4. After reading the review, I can say that Chinese cars is still not at par with Japanese cars. Kulang pa sa R&D.

    Iba din strategy ng Chinese manufacturer, they will attract people with flashy exterior and interior but driving dynamics and ergonomics suffer.

    1. You nailed it 100 percent. That's how they are at this point. Of course, lots of buyers will love the flash, the tech, etc that they'd forget the most important thing in buying a car is how well it drives (handling and comfort).

    2. You shouldn't be surprised if it sells well given the popularity of PPVs in the Philippines. They're basically the same formula flash, tech but poor handling and comfort

    3. Also subpar engine and transmission

  5. Thanks for the review, boss Uly. I seriously want one, maybe a few suspension upgrades would help a bit? Totally agree with some bits of it just odd (sat in the alpha) and that non telescopic streering wheel is a weird thing for MG cars.

    1. I was thinking the same thing...perhaps some suspension mods will help. Maybe a set of stiffer springs to start?

    2. Yeah, Hope the modding scene for this would grow

    3. There should be one! If ever, the MG GT Sport needs coil overs and perhaps 18-inch wheels.

  6. Cheap interior materials and unrefined drivetrain Chinese subcompact for 1.2M? Just get yourself a TOTL Mazda 3 which effectively costs 1.4M (or less) because of the free 5 year PMS

    1. TOTL is already P 1.695M, the entry-level is now P 1.495M. But true...if you can afford a TOTL Mazda3, why not?

    2. The 5-year free PMS is valued at around P 160K per Mazda (in case the readers need to know). The MG though gets a free 1-year PMS.

    3. Later, mg will cost you more for repair in maintenance due to its poor build quality vs mazda. Plus headache and stress due to buyers remorse😔😔😔and verý low resale value


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