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MG is making major inroads in the Australian market, particularly with its budget-focused MG3 light hatch and ZS small SUV. But with a top-10 sales position in its sights, there are more segments for the reborn carmaker to come after.
That’s according to the brand’s Australian CEO, Peter Ciao, who told CarsGuide at the launch of the ZS EV that the brand is planning to expand its range to include a “Tiguan-sized five- and seven-seat full-size SUV” to take the fight to cars like the Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail, and Mitsubishi Outlander. Mr Ciao also specifically named Mazda's CX-8 as a potential competitor.
Further details like timing or exact size of this mystery incoming car were not given, but we expect it will sit above the HS mid-sizer, which the brand currently offers. What we do know is that MG has ruled out an Australian introduction for its Gloster seven-seater which has recently become available to the Indian market. The Gloster is a badge-engineered LDV D90 large SUV.
LDV (known as Maxus in its Chinese home market) falls under the same parent company as MG, SAIC Motor. Previous comments made to CarsGuide by MG’s marketing director, Danny Lenartic, suggest Australia can potentially draw from the company’s international catalogue, which gives us an idea of what could be coming our way.
For now, we can rule out the MG Gloster and its luxury Chinese market spin-off, the Roewe RX8. MG Australia said it is not interested in badge-engineered vehicles also offered in Australia by LDV, and the D90-based SUVs are much larger than a Tiguan or CX-8 anyway.
That leaves us to look at some China-only models, particularly the Roewe RX5 Max which is dimensionally much closer to a Tiguan Allspace, measuring in at 4647mm long, 1891mm wide, and 1725mm tall. For now, the RX5 is only offered as a five-seater, but with its length and extended wheelbase over something like the MG HS, we wouldn’t be surprised if a seven-seat configuration was possible.
The RX5 Max has a totally different interior design, bearing the signatures of SAIC’s luxury Roewe brand, with items like a giant portrait multimedia screen and full interior ambient lighting not yet a feature of the MG brand in Australia.
The RX5 makes use of either a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine (127kW/275Nm) or a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine (170kW/370Nm) with either a six-speed manual, six-speed torque converter automatic, or six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The top-spec car in the Chinese market also has all-wheel drive, and there is even a plug-in hybrid variant which will suit the brand’s electrification push.
Stay tuned as we find out more about MG’s plans to challenge more market segments in the near future.