If you’re after a practical, well-equipped electric car that offers great value for money, then look no further than the MG5 EV
The MG5 is a no-nonsense family estate that offers decent practicality with the efficiency benefits of all-electric drive. It won’t suit buyers looking for any sparkle and shine on their driveway, as the MG5 lacks any pretension or showy, extravagant character.
Instead, it delivers on what matters most: plenty of space, good levels of standard equipment, a usable range and low running costs. The MG5 isn’t going to set your pulse racing, but if you can get past the humdrum image you’ll find a car that just gets the job done – at a price that makes it hard to resist.
About the MG5 EV
Electric cars are often criticized for being too expensive to buy. With stylish city runabouts such as the Fiat 500 priced at well over £20,000, and superminis like the MINI Electric and Honda e nudging £30,000 and above, buyers with an eye on practicality and value for money might be put off making the switch to a new EV
Enter the all-electric MG5. With its functional estate bodystyle, impressive kit list and £25k starting price (after the PiCG government grant), it brings a no-frills approach to challenge the latest models in the burgeoning electric car market.
Evergreen electric rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe can’t compete on price, and don’t come close on interior space, while the MG5’s significantly lower running costs could persuade buyers away from the more typical options of the Ford Focus estate and Volkswagen Golf estate. In fact, the 5 even undercuts its ZS EV sibling on price, while also offering a better overall range.
The MG5 has a 52.5kWh battery which gives a claimed range of 214 miles, while a single 154bhp motor drives the front wheels. With 50kW on-board charging capability, it’ll take just 50 minutes to charge the battery from 0-80 per cent, while topping up (to 100%) from a 7kW home charger requires around 8.5 hours.
There are just two trim specifications available for the MG5: Excite and Exclusive. The former includes enough kit for most, with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, while the latter adds luxuries such as heated seats, leather upholstery, keyless go and extra USB ports.
MG has already announced a facelifted version of the 5 EV for other European markets, due later in 2021. It includes an increase in power, range and 100kW on-board charging, along with slight cosmetic changes, although it’s not been confirmed for the UK as yet.
Engines, performance and drive
The MG5 is more than quick enough for a family estate, but the ride isn’t perfect.
As with most electric cars that have a single motor, the MG5 uses a single-speed fixed gear to send drive to the front wheels. The car’s soft suspension set-up doesn’t translate into a flawlessly smooth ride however, with the typical pockmarked roads around town too easily felt through the cabin. Things improve when on the motorway, although the doughy steering could be better, with inputs not feeling particularly precise.
The MG5 probably won’t suit keener drivers as, despite a decent turn of straight line speed, the estate’s dynamic deficiencies are again highlighted with lots of body roll through corners. There are three levels of brake recuperation on offer, but none are effective enough to allow ‘one pedal’ driving – a function which helps easier driving in stop/start town traffic.
Three individual drive modes are also available: Eco prioritises range, still allowing for a decent turn of speed, but taking a little longer to get up to motorway pace. In Normal you benefit from full power, while Sport mode adjusts the throttle response to unlock a slightly unexpected level of performance – although the trade-off is you’ll drain battery power more quickly.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
With 154bhp and 260Nm of torque, the front-wheel-drive MG5 is able to dispatch the 0-62mph benchmark in 7.7 seconds, but probably more relevant to buyers in terms of real-world driving will be the sprightly 0-30mph time of 3.2 seconds. In comparison, the 181bhp MINI Electric posts a time of 3.9 seconds from 0-37mph, so the MG5 can definitely hold its own if you need to get off the line quickly.
Range, charging and running costs
Decent range and charging ability will appeal, although the MG5 is more expensive to insure than you might think.
The MG5 will be attractive to business users due to its claimed 214-mile maximum range, and zero CO2 emissions attracting the lowest possible Benefit-in-Kind rate: 1 per cent for 2021/22, and 2 per cent for 2022/23. Competitive list prices, starting from £25,000, will appeal to private buyers, while some determined haggling should secure a decent discount.
Both MG5 versions sit in group 32 for insurance, so premiums will be a little more expensive than a typical combustion-engined estate. For example, the Ford Focus range is rated from group 10 to 23, with only the standalone 276bhp ST version in a higher group 34. The MINI Electric ranges from group 22-23, while the Honda e is in group 25-29.
Data suggests that, after a typical three-year/36,000-mile ownership period, the MG5 will hold onto around 44 per cent of its original list price, which isn’t quite as good as its ZS EV sibling at nearer 51 per cent, and lags even more behind the MINI Electric with 54% of its value retained over the same period.
Read more: Auto Express