THE numbers released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) in July showed that the sales of multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) in Malaysia are on a downward trend.
MAA said the sales of MPV for the first half of the year dropped by 25.3 per cent to 30,694 units sold, compared with 41,091 units taken up during same period last year. The numbers could have been affected by the Goods and Services Tax zero-rated announcement.
Weststar Maxus Sdn Bhd, the official distributor of Maxus vehicles in Malaysia, on the other hand, is the only automaker in the country that offers only MPV in its product range, namely the G10 and V80.
The company introduced the first G10 in 2016, and a year later, Weststar Maxus unveiled the G10 SE, giving buyers goodies at a reasonable price. We took the G10 SE for a test drive and discovered it to be a true people mover.
Powering the large MPV is a 2.0-litre turbocharged GDI engine mated to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. It generates 225hp at 5,500rpm and 345Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.
The G10 SE stands at 5,168mm in length, 1,980mm in width, 1,928mm in height and weighs 1,780kg. The 10-seater has a 75-litre fuel-tank capacity and 2,500 litres of boot space.
It is equipped with black/brown leather upholstery, full body kit (front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts and roof spoiler), automatic sliding doors, 18-inch alloy wheels, HID Xenon headlights with daytime running lights, LED tail lights, front electric sunroof, 15-inch head unit, double moon roof for rear passengers, keyless entry and push-to-start button, multi-function steering wheels, a 360° camera, cruise control, multi-info display in the instrument cluster, ceiling-mounted air-cond vents, six speaker audio system and a 220-volt power supply.
Safety aspects include two airbags, an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, electronic stability programme, traction control, tyre pressure monitoring system and Isofix child-seat mounting points.
The locally-assembled G10 SE is priced at RM151,450, excluding registration and insurance. It is covered with a 5-year, or 120,000km, warranty, two-year, or 40,000km free service, including parts, labour and lubricant.
Weststar Maxus G10 has given grey imported MPVs a run for their money. Most grey imports can only ferry seven people a time, with limited luggage space, but the Weststar Maxus G10 can transport seven occupants with loads of luggage space. The G10 can fetch up to 10 occupants in exchange for less luggage space.
While most grey imports don’t offer a long-duration warranty or free service, Weststar offers G10 owners a five-year, or 120,000km warranty, with two-year, or 40,000km free service, which covers parts, labour and lubricants.
The Maxus G10 offers a high-seating position, therefore, the driver and the front passenger get a clearer view and can see further ahead.
The seats are supportive, soft and keep the driver in place nicely.
The two-tone interior combination interior brightens the interior and gives a sense of elegance. The material used in the G10 is good quality, but some of the hard plastic switches and buttons felt a little flimsy.
Most of the controls are simple and laid out clearly. The large climate knobs, with the well-defined buttons let users choose the settings they want. Along with the large 15-inch screen, it provides a clear and simple view of the MPV’s details.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is powerful and it gets the MPV off the line quickly. Once the MPV gets going, the driver can get over the legal speed limit with minimal throttle input. It can overtake most vehicles on the highway with ease.
Its six-speed transmission switches gears smoothly. It keeps the revs low and engine noise to a minimum under normal driving conditions. When a quick burst of speed is needed, the transmission downshifts quickly.
The handling of the G10 was common. It takes the driver’s directions accordingly. It offers huge amount of grip when taking corners, with minimum body roll.
Its ride quality is smooth and comfortable, even when driving on rough and damaged road conditions. Most potholes and large bumps were tackled with ease, only large and deep potholes were felt.
Most of the wind, road and engine noise was kept out of the cabin at normal driving conditions. However, we noticed the engine noise roars loudly when we drove it flat-out.
We drove the Maxus G10 SE for more than 500km. Cruising on the highway below legal speed limit, it clocked 8.7 to 9.2 litres per 100km (l/100km). After a mixture of city and highway driving, it recorded 9.7 to 10.6 l/100km. An aggressive pedal-to-the-metal driving showed it consumed 13.6 to 15.8 l/100km.
The Weststar Maxus G10 SE is a wonderful and comfortable people mover, but there are some features that are not included. It will give the driver a peace-of-mind during long-distance driving, if it is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane-watch assistance and blind-spot warning system.