When you think about it, crossovers have an unenviable task, balancing sedan levels of handling and comfort with SUV-like interior space and capability. One of the toughest acts for them to pull off is the looks, and as family carriers by default, crossovers tend to have a rather safe aesthetic.
Never, ever say that crossovers are dull to the PIlot's face
SAIC MG wants to change that impression, taking the covers off the brand-new 2021 Pilot crossover (or Linghang for the Chinese market). Teased last month, the model finally entered the public eye at the ongoing Auto China exhibition, and it continues to showcase the carmaker’s new corporate design language first seen on the 2021 MG 5 and MG 6 sedans.
The dynamic-looking design is worlds away from its HS and RX 5 stablemates
Mechanically, the Pilot is related to the MG RX5 by way of the HS, and is being groomed by MG as its performance flagship in the compact crossover arena. Looking at the radical exterior, one would be understandably challenged to find the Pilot’s similarities with its older siblings, especially with the emblems removed.
The Stardust grille has given way to a wider and more aggressive mouth that MG calls “digital flame”, now surrounded by bi-beam LED headlamps and topped off by a sexy, sculpted hood.
If you squint a little, you might see hints of the old VW Golf GTi
>>> Related: MG teases new model, previews latest design language
The fascia has a way of influencing how the rest of the vehicle is seen, and both the RX5 and HS don’t hold a candle to the Pilot’s more dynamic-looking silhouette. Rear claw-shaped LED tail lamps flank the tailgate, while sporty red accents on the front lip, lower profile, and brake calipers complement the 19-inch Tomahawk alloys.
If the exterior were visual adrenaline, the cabin is the sedative
In stark contrast to the energetic exterior, the Pilot’s interior looks like a welcoming oasis. Round climate control vents continue to be a trademark on the dashboard’s corners, and the generously bolstered leather seats can cradle up to five occupants in comfort. The predominantly blue-and-white color palette is easy on the eyes, more so with the blue ambient interior lighting.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster rests just below the driver’s line of sight, while a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is patched to a Bose 8-speaker sound system, an MG first.
The Pilot is the first MG to come with a Bose speaker system
Motivating the MG Pilot are two inline-4 engine choices, both gasoline and turbocharged. The standard Megatech 1.5L version is good for 173 hp and 275 Nm of torque, while the higher-spec 2.0L mill kicks up 231 hp and 370 Nm of torque. Power is channeled down to the ground via a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, while an advanced all-wheel-drive system is capable of splitting the torque between the front and rear axles by as much as 50 percent.
A digital instrument cluster lies beyond the leather flat-bottomed steering wheel
The Pilot name applies not only to the vehicle, but to its advanced suite of driver-assist systems. MG Pilot 2.0 utilizes a jaw-dropping 11 radars and 5 cameras scattered throughout the crossover’s exterior, powering active safety tech such as full-speed adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.
A total of 11 radars and 5 cameras could make the PIlot one of the safest in its class
The MG Pilot is priced between 150,000 and 215,000 Chinese Yuan (Php 1,066.732 to Php 1528983), and is slated to hit Chinese showrooms before the year ends. MG fans, cross your fingers that the Pilot makes its way to our market sooner rather than later.
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<p>MG Philippines has more than 20 dealerships nationwide where you can view their sought after sedans, sports utility vehicle (SUV), and innovative crossover segments. Be amazed at the MG RX5, a stylish SUV boasting the latest innovations, the classy yet sporty MG6, and the MG ZS garnished with top of the line features. To conveniently view MG cars online, you may visit Philkotse.com. Stay updated with the latest prices, news, and car reviews. You may also avail of promos in every transaction.</p>
Joseph Paolo Estabillo