New Car Review: MG5 EV LR Exclusive
MG5 EV LR Starting Price: €26,645
Price as tested: €33,595
- Simple, great value EV that will suit a variety of buyers, especially useful as a taxi.
- Looks quite dated, the interior layout could be better.
WHAT IS IT?
The MG5 is an electric-only estate car from MG. MG these days are Chinese owned and bear little resemblance to the iconic British sports car brand that was founded in Britain in the 1920s and brought us cars like the MGA and MGB. The brand is now back by SAIC Motor, one of the world’s largest automotive companies, based in China. The MG5 is a decent-sized estate car that bucks the trend for most EVs being SUV-shaped at the moment. The appetite for estate cars in Ireland has been shockingly bad, which is a shame, so this car could face an uphill battle, however, it is immensely practical and would make an ideal taxi.
HOW ABOUT THE LOOKS?
The MG5 sits lower than most EVs and has a unique body style for an EV in Ireland at the moment. The car’s water-cooled battery pack is integrated into the car’s chassis, giving it a lower centre of gravity and decent dynamics as a result. This car is designed to appeal to buyers in a variety of markets, so as such, is very safe. It is reminiscent of some of the Daewoo models from the early 2000s - completely honest and inoffensive. It does prove that car manufacturers don’t have to opt for the SUV-style when producing an EV, even though everyone wants them. There is a choice of five colours, you get white as a standard ‘base’ colour, then there is a choice of Electric Blue (metallic), Cool Silver (metallic), Black Pearl (metallic) and Dynamic Red (tri-coat). The car sits on 16” alloy wheels which are good for both the ride and the range.
WHAT IS THE INSIDE LIKE?
Surprisingly good, actually. There is a good combination of standard buttons and switches and technology - the latter being represented by an eight-inch colour touchscreen with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get a six-speaker 3D audio system, four USB ports, electric windows all around, air conditioning, and an auto-hold electronic handbrake. The MG5 gets a rotary gear selector, push-button start and overall the layout is good. The infotainment system isn’t the best but when you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto none of that really matters and you will use that instead. The large, versatile boot is the car’s real selling point as an EV. It is accessed from a wide tailgate opening. With the rear seats up and load cover in place, there are 464 litres of boot space, or with the load cover retracted that extends up to 578 litres with the rear seats still in place. Drop the 60:40 folding seats back and the load capacity increased to a massive 1,456 litres. Rear seat passengers enjoy ample headroom and plenty of legroom, even when seated behind a tall driver. Upfront the driver’s seat is adjustable six ways and the passenger seat’s is four ways. Our version got heated front seats and driver’s lumbar support.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Yet again, another pleasant surprise. The MG5 is comfortable, practical, has a plaint ride because it only sits on 16” alloy wheels with plenty of sidewall and is incredibly easy to use. This is a simple EV that performs pretty decently. We were driving an older version; newer models get a longer range of over 400km, whereas ours, full, wasn’t managing really to get over 300km, although we were really trying too hard, being honest. Because it is a normal car shape, the centre of gravity is much lower and that means the handing is half-decent. The steering doesn’t give tons of feedback, but nobody buying this car will care too much, we imagine. This is an excellent, good-value, family estate car, which if it had a petrol engine would feel ancient, but because it's an EV feels quite the opposite. It is almost like a resto-mod. Early 2000s styling and 2021 technology combined in a good value package. The MG5 has the ability to be charged from 0-80% charge in 50 minutes using a CCS connection and a full charge at home using Type 2 fast charging can be attained in around eight and a half hours.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
Well, the choice is pretty simple. There is only one powertrain, the 100kW electric motor combined with a 61.1 kW hour battery and it is good for over 400km of range, in theory, as measured by WLTP. Anything north of 300km regularly should suit quite a variety of customers (me included) and that should be very possible from this car without too much trouble. There are two specs, the standard version is called Excite and comes well equipped with items such as 8” colour touchscreen, DAB radio, AppleCar Play, Adaptive Cruise Control, leather steering wheel, 4 USB ports and sat nav. Opt for the Exclusive model we drove and you get Keyless entry, leather style perforated upholstery, heated front seats, auto air conditioning with odour filter, rain-sensing wipers and an electrically operated (6-way) driver’s seat). We would choose this one as it isn’t a massive price walk and you are getting so much for the money
IS IT SAFE?
In terms of safety, the car gets MG Pilot driver assistance, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Intelligent High Beam Assist that automatically dips the headlights when they detect an oncoming driver.
The MG5 could have been a cheap, nasty mess, but it is actually a decent family EV and one that really deserves serious consideration if you want an alternative to the standard SUV shape in EV form. For the price of basic alternatives (just about), you are getting a spacious, fully-loaded EV with a very decent range.
MG5 EV LR Exclusive Metallic
Engine: 115kW Electric Motor with 61.1kW Lithium-Ion battery
Power: 115kW (156PS)
0-100km/h: 9.7 seconds
Fuel Economy: Range of 403km on WLTP (we managed Xkm on a full charge)
Top Speed: 185 km/h
Transmission: Single-Speed Automatic
Annual Motor Tax: A4 €120
Luggage Capacity:578-litres with the seats up, which can extend out to 1,4560-litres with the rear seats folded.
Price as tested: €33,595*
*Price includes €5,000 SEAT grant for electric vehicles and VRT of €5,000. Prices correct as of August 2021.
For more information log-on to www.mg.ie