The MG5 occupies a very select area in the electric car market as the only battery-powered estate car on sale today. Coupled with its attractive starting price, the MG5 has already proved to be quite the hit for MG, which has firmly put itself on the electric car map by producing a series of EVs. In fact, these models have contributed to a real change of fortunes for the firm - it sold more cars in the first six months of 2021 than it did in the whole of 2019, for example.
The MG5 and the ZS EV crossover now account for a third of MG’s sales, so you can see how fine-tuning the former can only serve to improve things. So it has released a revised version, bringing a longer range alongside a selection of other updates. But has this helped things along or only watered down what was already quite an attractive package? We’ve been finding out.
The bulk of the changes surrounding this updated MG5 concern its powertrain. We’ve got a larger battery, for starters, which swells in size from 52.5kWh to 61.4kWh. In the process, that takes the MG5’s already respectable 214 miles up to a very competitive 250 miles on a full charge. The rest of the powertrain, however, remains much the same as it was before. An electric motor drives the front wheels, sending 154bhp and 260Nm of torque their way, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 115mph.
When it comes to charging, the MG5 does well too. It’s able to charge at speeds of up to 100kW, which results in a zero to 80 per cent charge taking 40 minutes. Hook it up to a conventional 7kW wallbox and you’re looking at a full charge in nine and a half hours - so perfect for overnight stops.
Ride and handling
It’s hard not to be won over by the acceleration you get from the MG5. Sure, in the world of EVs it’s certainly not the quickest, but there’s still a real sense of urgency to the way that it pushes forward when you press the accelerator. You’ve got the option of switching between ‘Eco’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes too, but even in the former there’s more than enough pace on offer for most occasions - it’ll even spin the front wheels if you’re a little to abrupt with the throttle.
The MG5 also offers up a comfortable ride that is only occasionally unsettled by large potholes. There are also three settings to the regenerative braking, allowing you to switch the car from a more ‘normal’ mode to one where the braking is at its strongest. Doing so allows you to leave the brake pedal largely alone; lift off the throttle and the car will bring itself to an effective halt. There has also been no dent in the MG5’s performance through the fitment of the new, larger battery - it only adds 15kg to the car’s weight, according to MG.
Interior and equipment
MG has always offered excellent value-for-money and the MG5 is no exception. Standard equipment includes high-end features such as keyless entry, a leather steering wheel and rear parking sensors meaning that even entry-level cars feel well equipped. Inside, there’s an eight-inch touchscreen - it too is fitted as standard - though it’s a little slower than rival offerings. That said, it’s easy enough to operate and get used to.
There is also a set of digital dials which are both great to look at and easy to read thanks to large, clear graphics.
You’ve also got a decent amount of space on offer, with the rear seats offering a good amount of legroom. The 464-litre boot, while not gigantic, is more than large enough for most occasions and can be bumped up to 1,456 litres by folding the rear seats down.
The price of the MG5 has risen - but it’s certainly not reached sky-high levels. In fact, the starting price has only grown to £26,495 from £25,095, which seems reasonable given the considerable increase in range. That price includes the Government’s plug-in car grant, too, and helps to cement the MG5’s place as one of the most budget-friendly EVs on the market while also undercutting noticeable smaller rivals such as the Renault Zoe and Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Even top-spec Exclusive models fly under the £30,000 barrier, sitting at £28,995 after the grant is applied. Opt for one of these versions and you’ll find features such as leather-style upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated seats as well as satellite navigation fitted as standard.
As was the case with the previous model, this latest MG5 doesn’t bring any particular flair in terms of styling, but as a down-to-earth, no-nonsense EV it really does make a solid case for itself.
Combining practicality and that impressive 250-mile range means that the MG5 punches well above its weight and ensures that many people who may have not been tempted into an EV - either because of price or range anxiety - might well see the MG5 as a credible alternative to a usual petrol or diesel car.
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