- More luxurious than you’d expect
- Smooth drive
- Great family car
- Lots of road noise
- Navigation and controls not very user friendly
MG has positioned the MG5 EV as a counterpoint to the fact that most budget-friendly EV’s have been compact with minimal range up until now. MG’s all-electric estate bucks that trend by offering huge amounts of space and up to 250 miles of electric range within its highly practical estate body style. Even better, it’s one of the few models still eligible for the government plug-in car grant whether you buy or lease!
Read on to find out what makes this latest EV from MG not only a car of contradictions but one of the most pleasantly surprising vehicles we’ve experienced in quite a while…
MG5 EV exterior
The design of the MG5 follows a current trend of moving away from presenting the car as a futuristic and funky evolution of design *coughHonda-ecough* to one that is more normalised and fits in among the range of vehicles common to the road.
In fact, this approach is almost to the car’s detriment as it brings to mind previous generations of the Volkswagen Passat when looking at the front grille and its general side profile… so far from being current it looks old while paradoxically being completely new!
However it feels like this has been done on purpose to appeal to a broad range of motorists who would traditionally opt for budget-friendly models that can perform rather than wow. On the Exclusive trim we tested it featured roof bars to evidence that insistence on practicality too, while chrome detailing extends from front to rear to provide a subtle touch of class.
MG5 EV interior and tech
Step inside the MG5 and it continues this theme of practical usability. Quality exceeded our expectations when entering the vehicle, with a varying mix of materials including leatherette on the dashboard, carbon-fibre esque detailing on trims, and scratchy plastics on the dash and doorsills.
The infotainment unit is basic but usable, albeit can be slow to respond to prods, but it includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard which is a major bonus. Beneath the infotainment are USB plugs and a nifty slot you can store your phone, while the centre console features buttons and controls that wouldn’t look amiss on a vehicle costing £10k more than the MG5. This includes a gear selector the likes of which you’ll find on the Kia EV6 as well as quick-access climate control buttons for ease. Like we said, it’s a car of contradictions.
Rear passengers are offered plenty of space, with a big, deep seat offering comfort as well as plenty of storage and easy to find ISOFIX points if you’re putting a childseat in. Some have complained about the awkward seating position which comes as a result of the car’s battery being underneath the vehicle, however this shouldn’t be a problem for any child or teenage occupants.
The bootspace is as big as you’d expect from an estate, with 580-litres offered before you’ve even touched the rear seats. When the 60-40-split rear seats are folded down they don’t sit flat, but it does extend the available load space to 1,456-litres.
MG5 EV driving and performance
On the road, the MG5 is one of the most comfortable vehicles we’ve driven. The suspension comes into its own and handles potholes and general rough road surfaces with ease, again putting to shame cars that you’d perhaps pay £10k more for. Braking isn’t compromised to make the most of the regenerative energy capture like you’ll find on EVs currently either, with the motion being smooth and refined. This can be adjusted to varying levels to suit you too.
Moving onto A-road driving, the MG5’s lack of sound insulation makes its presence felt in the large amount of road and wind noise you experience. While that might be less obvious in a conventional car, it becomes distractingly apparent in the near-silent cabin of an electric car. However, with the immediate torque available, it’s highly responsive to get to speed and once again the suspension really soaks up the road conditions leading to a highly pleasant drive.
All versions of the MG5 come with Adaptive Cruise Control which uses radar to keep you a safe distance from the car in front and keep you in the lane. This can be a bug bear for me, in the sense that if you want to turn Lane Keep Assist off you often have to delve into the car settings within the infotainment every time you get in the car. Not in the MG5. No, this control is simply bolted onto the end of one of the wheel storks and one push is all it takes to turn it off or on.
Manoeuvrability is okay too despite its size, with a reverse camera and 11.4-metre turning circle giving you the confidence to tackle parking spaces you might not otherwise entertain in an estate.
If you want a good value, good to drive, practical EV that can not only get you from A to B but undertake longer journeys too, then this car is for you. And while there are concessions to be made, the MG5 surprised us in all the best ways possible during our time in it.
MG5 EV efficiency and range
The driving range of the MG5 EV offers an efficient and official driving range of 334 miles according to MG which works out at 250 miles combined range. Efficiency-wise that equates to 3.6 miles per kWh which is pretty great and above industry standard currently.
When it comes to charging, the MG5 can be charged in over 10 hours using a 7.4kW AC wallbox at a rate of 20 miles per hour of charge. Rapid Charging using a 50kW DC charger takes just over an hour to go from 10-80%.