We road test the facelifted MG5 – currently the only fully electric estate car on sale in the UK…
Cards on table time – I’m a big fan of the MG5 EV. When I reviewed the original version in 2021, I concluded that it “may not be the sexiest estate car on the market today, but it does offer honest, practical, electric motoring at an affordable price”.
I stand by that, and I’m pleased to say that MG has worked wonders with the new version, so it’s better than ever.
The ‘5’ has been a big success, helping to deliver record-breaking sales for the “UK’s fastest-growing mainstream car brand”. It’s also won several prestigious awards.
So, what’s new about the 2022 MG5? Well, an extensive exterior makeover has transformed the car from dowdy to attractive.
It now has a sleeker appearance and features an updated interior complete with a new 10.25-inch infotainment system, capable of supporting iSMART connected car functionality through MG’s dedicated smartphone app.
The new MG5 EV can now tow up to 500Kg and is also equipped with Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) capability, meaning it can power other electric devices such as camping equipment using the energy stored in the battery.
Priced from £30,995, it’s offered in two specs – SE Long Range or Trophy Long Range.
Both are identical mechanically – the latter simply comes with more goodies, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and rear privacy glass.
That’s not to say the that the SE isn’t well equipped – a 10.25-inch centre touchscreen, 7.0-inch digital driver’s display, MG Pilot (an extensive suite of safety and driver assistance features), plus automatic LED headlights and tail-lights, roof rails, rear parking camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are all standard.
And if safety is a priority, then you’re in for a treat. The MG Pilot suite includes AEB (autonomous emergency braking), adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and automatic headlights.
Featuring a 61.1kWh battery which powers a 154bhp electric motor on the front axle, it has an official range of 250 miles. Top speed is 115mph and it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.7 seconds.
More importantly for some, it’s incredibly practical. There’s plenty of room inside for up to five passengers, with two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points in the back.
The large boot, accessed via a wide tailgate opening, delivers a maximum 578 litres of capacity (loaded to the roof), rising to 1,367 litres with the 60:40 rear seats folded down.
Compared to the outgoing model, the cabin now feels more modern, and it’s well put together, but there is still a fair amount of hard black plastic up high.
Slip inside and it’s immediately obvious that the MG5 sits much lower than most EVs, which tend to be SUVs or taller hatchbacks.
It’s also a doddle to drive with an intuitively laid out dashboard and controls. Just select ‘D’ on the dial in the centre console and you’re off.
Light steering and good visibility help in town, while longer journeys are effortless, relaxing and refined.
There’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport, but I found that Eco was just fine for everyday driving. There are also three levels of regenerative braking to choose from, so adding the odd mile when coasting, braking or on downhill stretches is very possible.
Feeling faster than the official acceleration figure suggests, it’s more than capable of surprising other drivers off the line.
However, it’s no match for a conventionally powered estate like a Ford Focus in the handling department. Thanks to its soft suspension, there’s some body lean in faster corners, and it can become a little unsettled if pushed hard on more challenging roads.
But then, the MG5 isn’t meant to compete with established performance estates – it’s all about value for money and zero emissions.
The MG5 can be fully charged overnight at home or to 80% at a 50kW fast charger in 50 minutes (or in 40 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger).
As with all EVs, real world range drops by around 20%, so I’d say close on 200 miles is realistic, which is more than enough for most drivers.
And like all MG models, there’s peace of mind too because it comes with a seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.
Verdict: The new, improved MG5 electric estate is better than ever. A stylish, facelifted exterior and new infotainment system inside make it even more appealing than before. Add practicality, comfort, a decent range and a generous warranty, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be on everyone’s affordable family car shortlist.