Range, MG Pilot system, value for money
New Car Review | MG5
Good Stuff 👍
Bad Stuff 👎
User Interface, slippy under heavy acceleration
What is the MG5?
All-electric estate offering exceptional value for money
The MG5 is an all-electric estate with good space in the boot and up to 405km range. Last year, AA Ireland awarded it Best Value EV at The AA Car Awards.
MG have really made a mark on the Irish market since the brand went under a bit of a transformation in recent years. The British brand was famous for making fun little sports cars such as the Midget. These days, the brand is owned by Chinese powerhouse SAIC Motor. In Ireland, they produce a range of electric vehicles offering good value for money.
We have had the MG5 in Ireland for a couple of years now. It is based on a vehicle made under the Roewe brand in China, which is built on a dual-use platform that houses both electric and combustion powertrains. Although great value for money, the MG5 fell a little short in some categories. That is, until this refreshed version has been released. We had it for a week and put it through its paces.
How about the looks of the MG5?
Much improved, classic estate looks
The older MG5 wasn’t the most beautiful piece of automotive design. Critics said that it looked a bit like a VW Passat of two decades past. At the front it was a little frumpy, and probably a bit too busy for its own good.
The updated version is so much sharper at the nose. The lines are a little cleaner, more aggressive, and much more modern. The lights are narrower, and form part of a feature that runs across the nose, separating the bonnet from the closed-off grille. Around the side and at the rear, things are largely the same. There is nothing remarkable here, but at this price tag, we’re not expecting it to measure up to its only other estate competition; the much more costly Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.
The MG5 comes with 16” aero wheels if you opt for the Excite spec. Spend the extra little bit of money for the Exclusive spec and you get upgraded to the 17” alloys, which fill out the arches a lot better and look quite nice indeed.
Blake Boland AA Road Tester
“The updated version is so much sharper at the nose. The lines are a little cleaner, more aggressive, and much more modern. ”
What is the inside of the MG5 like?
Surprisingly roomy and well appointed
The price of most cars has risen rapidly over the last couple of years. So, spending this amount of money, on an electric car at least, might lead you to believe you’re getting something cheap and nasty. This is absolutely not the case. The older MG5 was perfectly adequate, but the newer one has taken a real jump in quality and aesthetics.
The leather-effect seats have nice cross stitching, which is echoed on other parts of the car such as the dash and indicator stalks. A polished aluminium effect shapes around the gear selector and other controls of the centre console. Gloss black buttons look very well and bely the price of the vehicle.
The updated screen settles in the dash a lot better than its predecessor. It is still a little greyscale, and the buttons are sometimes too small. The steering wheel is pretty much unchanged and feels like the most dated part of the interior, with basic symbols and some scratchy plastic materials. Although, there is a certain charm in its no-nonsense simplicity and bigger old-fashioned buttons.
The quality follows through to the rear, where leather seats, electric windows and some nice fabrics will make passengers content. Now, don’t get us wrong, it falls well short of the quality of its more premium competition. This is not an Audi A4 estate or BMW 3 Series. The cabin quality probably looks a little better than it actually is. But you have to remind yourself of the price, and on that front it is exceptional value for money.
Space is really good inside. We set the driver’s seat in a comfortable position. At 6ft 2”, we were still able to sit comfortably in the back. A flat floor at the back means that central passenger will be a bit more comfortable. Head height is good also. In the boot you have an impressive capacity of 479 litres. Fold the seats down and that expands out to 1,367 litres.
What is the MG5 like to drive?
Good acceleration and range, if a little unrefined at times. Superb Cruise Control
We had the more expensive ‘Exclusive’ model which has a few extra creature comforts such as the leather seats. This latest version had more foam padding, making the seats quite comfortable indeed. They are heated to keep you nice and toasty on a cold winter’s day. They are also electrically adjustable, with adaptable lumbar support.
The MG Pilot system features range of safety assists, and the cruise control system is superb. It really is astounding what you get for the money you spend here. In the same week we reviewed a BMW that cost €100,000 more than the MG5, but didn’t have the same standard of cruise control. Go figure! The MG Pilot system has adaptive cruise control, meaning that you simply set the desired speed, and the car will adapt its speed to follow the car in front of you. Then, if you want to overtake, simply pull out and the car will take itself back up to speed. But it will also largely steer for you on the motorway. We found ourselves sitting on the M1 for tens of kilometres without having any input whatsoever! It makes for such a relaxing drive. It doesn’t quite stand up to what we experienced in the Tesla Model 3 and Y, or the Ford Mustang Mach-e, but it beats the socks off so many other cars that cost a multiple of what this does.
Acceleration is good, with a 115kW front wheeled drive getting you moving. This is good for about 155hp, and will get you from 0-100km/h in an impressive 7.7 seconds. Anybody coming from a comparable Petrol or Diesel will find this much faster and peppier. The throttle mapping and traction control is a little unrefined however. Plant your foot in wet conditions and you will feel the grip going a little before the traction control kicks in. But let’s be honest, you’re not buying a car like this to bring on track days. It is a lot of fun at the lights though, and you will surprise a lot of people there.
Range is very good thanks to the beefy 57.4kWh battery that is tucked under the car. It is good for up to 405km WLTP range. Although we were on course for that in easy city driving, it is still a little optimistic. Something like 320km to 350km is a more dependable real world figure. Of course, a fast motorway spin in winter will see that go down to the mid-200km range, but that’s still enough to do Cork-Dublin without stopping.
Charging the MG5 is quite decent. On AC, it goes up to 11kW, which is impressive. Although your home charger will probably be limited to 7.4kW, you will still get a full 0-100% charge in about 8 hours. On DC, the figure is just ok. It will peak at 87kW, which seems a little dated with many modern cars pulling upwards of 100kW. However, most DC chargers in Ireland are still only 50kW, which the MG can easily mop up all the way to a very high state of charge.
Which MG5 should I buy?
Worth going for the Exclusive.
There are two options when it comes to buying the MG5; the Excite and the Exclusive spec. Both have the same 57.4kWh battery. The difference is in the level of comfort, where you are paying more for features such as leather seats.
It is worth noting that the Exclusive gives you the nice 17” alloys. However, they reduce efficiency and you will find yourself with about 20km less range than the cheaper version that has the 16” aero wheels.
For us, the extra €3,000 or so is worth the stretch for the few extra features. It is the one that people will opt for the most, and you’ll likely make back a lot of that in a few years when it comes time to sell on.
Is the MG5 safe?
Not yet tested by EURO NCAP
The MG5 has not yet been tested under the EURO NCAP tests yet. However, it has many of the safety features equipped in the MG4, which scored an impressive 5 out of 5 stars in the rigorous tests. It is reasonable to assume that the MG5 will score at least 4 stars in the testing. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.
A superb buy.
What we’re really talking about with the MG5 is value for money. A Tesla Model 3 will have better range, a Skoda Enyaq will have better space, a BMW i4 will have a much more premium interior. But all of these cars are so much more expensive than the MG5. And when you consider what you get as an overall package, the MG5 is truly remarkable. We do consider the MG4 a fundamentally better EV, but it doesn’t offer the same space inside and that will sway some people.
The level of spec that you get for under €40,000 is remarkable. The MG Pilot system being perhaps the most impressive feature there. With good space, a decent interior, good range and much improved aesthetics, the MG5 beats any of the competition in this price range.
Spec Check ⚙️
Škoda Enyaq Coupé iV 80
Up to 400kms WLTP, 320-350km real world estimate
AC - 11kW, DC – 87 kW peak
0g/km at the tailpipe
479 litres, 1,367 seats down
From €34,645 €37,895 as tested.