MG is on a mission to bring affordable electric cars to the masses. And so far it’s succeeding. The ZS EV arrived in 2019 as its first battery-powered model – offering an attractive price and roomy interior to buyers – and now it’s introducing its second electric option – the MG5.
It’s a particularly interesting one as it’s the UK’s first electric estate car, yet with a similar price to what you’d pay for a small hatchback it looks to impress. The MG5 is also unlike other models from the firm, as it’s actually a reworked version of the Roewe Ei5 underneath – a model sold in China by MG’s owners SAIC Motor.
That said, this European-specific model gets more power and a longer range to appeal to buyers over here, but does it impress? Let’s get behind the wheel and find out.
Though MG had a readily available powertrain from its ZS EV, the one found in the ‘5’ is different – combining a larger 52.5kWh battery with a bigger electric motor producing 154bhp and 260Nm of torque.
That enables a claimed electric range of 214 miles, which is one of the longest of any sub-£30,000 electric car, while it’s equipped with 50kW DC rapid charging capability that means its battery can be topped up in 50 minutes with a quicker charger. Plugged in at home with a 7kW wallbox, expect it to take around 8.5 hours.
As for performance, it can go from 0-60mph in a surprisingly nippy 7.5 seconds and flat out it would reach a top speed of 115mph.
Ride and handling
Though sportiness isn’t the MG5’s aim, its punchy electric motor makes it really quite nippy. With instant torque available, it means you can rush away from the lights or overtake with ease. It’s also equipped with one of the better regenerative braking systems, which enables you to switch between settings to vary the harshness – in the most extreme mode it enables useful ‘one-pedal’ driving.
Along with its credible electric range, the MG5 would also be an easy car to live with thanks to a largely comfortable and compliant ride – helped by the small alloy wheels with thick tyre walls. Though it doesn’t set the standard for the way it drives, it really isn’t bad at all considering its low price.
Interior and equipment
Inside, the MG5 is a model that’s all about practicality, with plenty of space in the back seats for adults to sit comfortably and a 464-litre boot that’s comfortably larger than any other EV available at this price. Though it’s quite compact by estate car standards, it remains an appealing family car nonetheless.
Though clear dials and an upmarket-feeling rotary ‘gear’ selector help the MG5’s cabin inside, the main eight-inch touchscreen isn’t as slick as those found in rivals, while the quality falls short in places, too.
When it comes to equipment, MG offers the option of two grades – Excite and Exclusive.
Even entry-level cars get a good amount of kit, including a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, keyless start and a reversing camera. Though if your budget will stretch, it’s worth upgrading to the Exclusive. This brings keyless entry, leather-style electric and heated seats and more visually-appealing silver roof rails.
One of the key draws to the MG5 is its low price, which starts from £25,095 including the government’s electric car grant. You couldn’t even get a Corse-e or electric Mini for that price, which are both substantially smaller cars.
Though prices rise to £27,595 for the top-spec Exclusive model, it’s still terrific value, with MG also offering some particularly attractive finance rates, too – at the time of writing you could get behind the wheel from £326 per month with a deposit of the same amount.
With models like the ‘5’, it’s not hard to see why MG is proving to be one of the quickest growing car firms at the moment. At a time when high prices are preventing many from making the switch to a new EV, the MG5’s more affordable price and roomy interior make it a credible option for many.
It might not be the most exciting of electric cars on sale today, but it’s a very appealing no-nonsense EV that deserves to do well.Enquire on a new MG5