29.4.2021MG5 EV review
One of the key complaints for those looking at electric vehicles is there’s a lack of estates available - at any price, let alone mass-market costs. Well MG has the answer, with the MG5 EV. It’s a mid-sized estate with a good driving range and excellent price. We test the affordable electric load lugger to see how it does in real-world driving.
Review by Chris Lilly
MG5 EV: PERFORMANCE
Power comes from a 156 hp (115 kW) electric motor, producing 260 Nm of torque. That’s enough power for a 7.7 seconds 0-62 mph time and a top speed of 115 mph. The MG pulls nicely just about anywhere, and feels comfortable enough at higher, motorway speeds for the driver to confidently travel anywhere without feeling as though the MG5 EV will get out of puff.
That’s true even when seating four adults and with a relatively full boot. For best response, the driver will need to put the MG5 EV into Sport mode, with the three driving modes - Eco, Normal, and Sport - making a fair difference to throttle response. With a decent range, Eco was largely ignored, and Normal used for most driving requirements, holding Sport for those overtaking situations.
The MG5 EV is a practical family car, without a focus on performance, and the handling matches this set-up. The suspension is happier smoothing out bumps in the road than hooking up an apex, and it works very nicely in both urban areas and motorways.
The latter is helped thanks to a relatively long wheelbase, allowing the MG to settle down to a cruise comfortably, whilst the former is a clear priority for MG’s engineers. That said, there’s more feedback through the steering wheel than many other EVs I can think of and, as such, the driver can really tell where the MG5 EV is on the road and what the front wheels are doing. It allows for accurate piloting of the MG, either on a twisty road or in a car park.
Hurrah; a proper estate. The MG5 EV isn’t a huge Volvo-rivalling estate, and instead sits in a middle ground somewhere, remaining a practical proposition nonetheless. Curiously, the MG5 EV has a load area somewhere between that of a Ford Focus hatchback and estate, but that means it's larger and considerably better shaped than the likes of Nissan’s Leaf. If you want maximum load-lugging capability, you will need to get a larger electric SUV. However, if you are looking for a practical way to transport family electrically, the MG5 EV is a great option.
Seating for four adults is easy, and you could squeeze a fifth in there for shorter trips. Put in a couple of child seats, and the MG5 EV has ample space for a family and assorted kit in the boot. It’s all the occupant and load space you might need for daily life, and the MG5 EV will even cope with a fully loaded boot for shorter adventures.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Like the MG ZS EV, the MG5 EV’s cabin is the least impressive element of the car - its biggest weakness. However, with a price point starting at just over £25,000, there have to be compromises made, and MG has decreed it is the interior quality that should take the hit. It’s not a poor interior, but you can feel that the materials used and instruments/infotainment systems are not a match for most other family-sized estates on the market.
However, as MG’s own sales have proven, along with the success of the likes of Dacia in recent years, there’s certainly a market for affordable cars that might not feel like premium models, but still have all the basics and a few bells and whistles. Equipment levels are good, and the MG should hold itself together well considering the lengthy warranty offered. As such, understand the balances required between cost and quality, and you will see that the MG5 EV makes a lot of sense.
MG5 EV: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
The official driving range for the MG5 EV is 214 miles on a charge, which is about par for the course for family EVs currently. You might be able to get a Kia e-Niro with similar space and almost 100 miles of extra range on a charge, but it will also cost approaching £10,000 more. Instead, the MG5 EV has a similar range and price as the likes of Peugeot’s e-208 and Vauxhall's Corsa-e, but considerably more space.
In real-world conditions, the range holds up surprisingly well. An average of 207 miles was calculated from the battery percentage after a mixture of driving routes - urban, rural, and motorway. That’s an excellent figure and much more than the real-world average found from the above Peugeot and Vauxhall. Even on longer, motorway-focused trips, the average only dipped to around 195 miles. That’s on a 160-mile round trip, of which half the distance was covered on motorways, with the rest on A-roads - barring a couple miles at either end of the route. Even when pushing on, I couldn’t calculate a range less than 170 miles, and 180+ miles on a charge should be comfortably achieved.
The MG5 EV is fitted with a CCS inlet for DC charging at up to 50 kW and AC charging at up to 7 kW. Charging times for the 52.5 kWh battery are around 8.5 hours on a 7 kW AC unit and 50 minutes to 80% on DC chargers.
There’s also a variable regen system, with a rocker switch on the centre console to move between 1, 2, and 3. It’s pretty flexible, though perhaps 1 could have more coasting and 3 a stronger level of regen. Despite that, the system is easy to use and efficient. Driving modes see Eco available, but an experienced driver will be able to maximise the range with the use of their right foot and good application of regen settings more than using Eco mode.
MG offers two trim levels for buyers - Excite and Exclusive. The entry level Excite model comes pretty well equipped, with an eight-inch touchscreen system including sat-nav, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, DAB, and Bluetooth connectivity. It also features a rear parking camera, air conditioning, cruise control, leather steering wheel, three driving modes, three regen settings, electric windows, seven-inch driver’s display, 16-inch alloys, and keyless start.
For the Exclusive trim tested, MG adds an auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers, roof rails, leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, and electric folding wing mirrors.
MG5 EV : MODEL SUMMARY
The MG5 EV’s worst feature is the interior, which simply isn’t up to the same standard as much of the mid-sized estate market. That said, buyers certainly don’t lose out on equipment, and the MG5 EV is in a market of one really. It occupies a space that no one else has covered, and provides genuinely practical motoring at genuinely accessible pricing. Factor these elements in and the interior suddenly doesn’t seem as important, especially when you realise it’s not bad, just not as good as others. A good real-word driving range and plenty of space at this price point makes the MG5 EV an attractive proposition.
Model tested: MG5 EV Exclusive
Engine / CO2: 115 kW electric motor / 0 g/km
Trim grades: Excite and Exclusive
On-road price: Range from £25,095. Price as tested: £27,540
Warranty: Seven Years / 80,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 3.5 Stars