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In-depth reviews

MG5 EV review: sensible all-electric estate car

With a 250-mile range, sizable boot and keen pricing, MG’s all-electric estate car offers great value for money

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£30,995 to £33,495
  • Good levels of standard kit
  • Space
  • Decent range
  • Vague steering feel
  • Dull looking
  • Cabin quality
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The MG5 is a smart and sensible family estate car that offers decent practicality and the low running costs that come with all-electric power. Better still, a recent and extensive exterior makeover has given it a much sleeker look, while the onboard tech was given a little boost. 

Admittedly, the MG5 won’t set your pulse racing, and certainly has its work cut out persuading fashion-conscious buyers to move away from the default SUV choice. But for those who prioritise value, the MG5 delivers, with attractive pricing, a decent amount of boot space, good levels of standard equipment and a usable range.

About the MG5 EV

More electric estate cars are slowly making their way onto the market at the moment, with the most recent additions to this very niche segment being the Peugeot E-308 SW and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric. But before either of those arrived, buyers with an eye on practicality, value for money and who liked the sound of the low running costs that came with an electric car, were best served by the MG5 EV.

With its functional estate bodystyle, impressive kit list and a starting price of around £31,000, the MG5 brings a more pragmatic approach to challenge the latest models in the burgeoning electric car market. The MG5 wasn’t a very attractive car when it first launched in 2020, but substantial styling revisions and improved on-board technology in late 2022 help make it a more attractive proposition.

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The other contenders in the electric estate car market from Vauxhall and Peugeot can’t compete with the MG5's price, as both start around £40,000, although they do offer more luggage capacity. Alternatively, buyers might be considering a traditional petrol or diesel-powered wagon like the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia estates, however the MG5’s significantly lower running costs are undeniably attractive. 

The MG5 used to be available with a 52.5kWh battery, however that was axed when the car was facelifted. Instead, every MG5 is powered by a larger 61.1kWh battery, although it’s still referred to as the MG5 Long Range, despite it being the only option. The updated MG5 will take you up to 250 miles on a single charge, and can be recharged from 0-80 per cent in around 40 minutes if you plug the car into a suitably rapid charger.

MG has also thrown in an extra sweetener in the form of its MG Pilot driver assistance package, which includes Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Jam Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

There are just two trim specifications available for the MG5: SE and Trophy. The former includes enough kit for most, with manual air con, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, while the higher-spec models feature luxuries such as heated seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control and a six-way electrically-adjustable driver's seat.

Electric motor, drive and performance

The MG5 is more than quick enough for a family estate, but the ride isn’t perfect

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but the MG5 is an exemption, because despite its sharp face this front-wheel drive estate car is not exciting to drive. You do benefit from a decent turn of speed, but its chassis doesn't allow for much fun to be had. Admittedly, the light steering is precise enough and there isn't too much body roll through the corners.

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However, the car’s soft suspension set-up doesn't translate into a flawlessly smooth ride, with the typical pockmarked roads around town too easily felt through the cabin. Things improve when on the motorway, though; there's not too much wind noise or whine from the electric motor and everything feels stable and secure.

There are three levels of brake recuperation on offer, but none are effective enough to allow for ‘one pedal’ driving – a function which can be found in EVs from Hyundai and Kia that makes for easier progress in stop/start town traffic as you don’t need to use the traditional brakes as much, if at all. 

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.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

The MG5 relies on a single electric motor to drive its front wheels. With 154bhp and 280Nm of torque on tap, the electric family wagon is able to complete the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in 7.3 seconds. But probably more relevant to buyers in terms of real-world driving will be the sprightly 0-30mph time of 3.2 seconds.

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 250-mile maximum range, and zero CO2 emissions attracting the lowest possible Benefit-in-Kind rate: two per cent for 2023/24. Competitive list prices, starting from around £31,000, will appeal to private buyers, while some determined haggling should secure a decent discount.

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Unlike the MG4, which is offered with various battery sizes and motors, every MG5 is fitted with a 61.1kWh battery, 57.4kWh of which is usable capacity. On a single charge, SE trim models can cover up to 250 miles, while Trophy-spec cars have a 235-mile range due to extra rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag created' by their slightly larger wheels. 

When we tested the MG5 EV in Trophy trim, we drove across a mixture of motorways, towns and country roads and managed to average 3.6 miles per kilowatt-hour. That equates to a real-world range of 206 miles, which is very respectable considering the cooler temperature at the time meant we had the heater on and the heated seats warming our bums nicely. 

The MG5 also seemed to consume energy at a predictable rate, which makes trusting the estimated range figures a lot easier. 

The MG5’s 87kW maximum charging speed is considerably less impressive, as most rivals like the E-308 SW can reach faster speeds, and even its MG4 stablemate can charge at up to 150kW. But it’s still quick enough to replenish the battery from 0 to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. When it comes to charging at home overnight, a typical 7kW home wallbox will fully recharge an MG5 in 10 hours.

Insurance 

Both MG5 versions sit in insurance group 27, 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. However plenty of other electric family cars, such as the new Hyundai Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.4, cost about the same amount to insure as the MG5. 

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You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone…

Depreciation

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 is just behind its MG4 sibling that retains an average of 53 per cent.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

Interior, design and technology

The MG5 EV features a smarter cabin design and an improved infotainment system

MG has been owned by Chinese manufacturer SAIC since 2007, and rather than being an all-new car like the MG4, the MG5 is a rebranded version of the Roewe Ei5 sold in SAIC’s domestic market. Over the past few years, SUVs have been steadily taking sales away from more traditional estate models, but the MG5 represents an affordable, back-to-basics approach to family motoring – made all the more appealing by the adoption of emissions-free, all-electric drive.

The dull interior styling of the pre-facelift MG5 wasn't as desirable as its more modern ZS EV or MG4 stablemates, but the updated model has a fresh new dash design that makes things feel more stylish and up-to-date. Some of the materials in the cabin could still be better, but when you consider its price you can understand where some savings have been made.

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Standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, air-conditioning and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, while upgrading to the Trophy trim adds 17-inch rims, silver roof rails, power folding door mirrors, rear privacy glass, auto wipers, a 360-degree parking camera and heated seats.

Arctic White paint is the standard paint colour, with one of the blue, black or silver metallic finishes costing around £550 extra, while the special tri-coat Dynamic Red paint costs nearly £700.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Given the no-nonsense nature of the MG5, first impressions of the infotainment set-up seem to buck the budget-focused trends of the rest of the car. The facelifted model features a 10.25-inch touchscreen running the same infotainment system as the MG4. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity also come as standard. However, one annoyance is the climate controls all being on the touchscreen, with the small icons for functions like fan direction and heated seats being particularly frustrating. 

Practicality, comfort and boot space

With a decent boot and plenty of passenger space, the MG5 is a practical family estate

The MG5 offers more practicality and flexibility than other similarly-priced EVs, the majority of which are either city cars or superminis. Generous space upfront helps the driver and front passenger get comfortable, while the flat floor provides a bit more room in the rear.

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Its 250-mile maximum range and decent real-world efficiency mean the MG5 is able to take on longer journeys out of town without provoking too much anxiety about where you might be able to stop and top the battery up. Generous standard kit adds to the appeal, with cruise control, sat-nav and a 7-inch digital driver information display making trips a little easier to manage. 

Extra luxuries such as leather upholstery and heated front seats are available with the more expensive Trophy trim, while the driver benefits from six-way electric seat adjustment, an auto dimming rear view mirror and auto wipers.

Size

Measuring 4,544mm long and 1,818mm wide, the MG5 is a touch smaller than a Ford Focus estate, although it stands 1,513mm tall compared to the Focus’ 1,494mm.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

With its five-door estate bodystyle, the MG5 offers plenty of room for rear occupants, although you’ll find even more space to stretch out in the bigger Focus. Headroom is fine and taller passengers should be able to sit comfortably in the rear behind two adults. Families with very young children are also catered for, as there are two ISOFIX mounting points in the back. 

Boot

The MG5’s 464-litre boot should be big enough for most family needs, but there is quite a big load lip to negotiate, so loading/unloading bigger items is more awkward than it should be. The rear seats split in a 60:40 configuration, and when folded provide 1,456 litres of room for your luggage.

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Overall space eclipses pretty much any other EV in this price range, but if you’re after class-leading capacity then you should look towards the Skoda Octavia estate with its 600 litre boot.

Reliability and safety

Good safety kit and a reassuring seven-year warranty just add to the MG5’s appeal

The MG5 has never been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but buyers can be reassured by the full five-star rating achieved by its MG ZS EV sibling. What’s more, every MG5 is fitted with the MG Pilot driver assistance package, which includes lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assistance. They also feature front, side and curtain airbags, Emergency Brake Assist, ARP (Anti Rolling Protection) and Hill Launch Assist, along with a rear parking camera and an electric parking brake with auto-hold function.

It’s still too early to assess the MG5’s reliability, although early signs appear positive and the electric estate car managed to finish in 66th place on our most recent list of the best cars to own, which is based on owners’ feedback from our Driver Power satisfaction survey. Unfortunately, MG as a brand didn’t fare as well, finishing in dead last place in our best car manufacturer rankings.

Warranty

Every MG is covered by a strong seven-year/80,000-mile warranty. This outshines most other manufacturers, with Vauxhall offering just three years/60,000 miles of coverage as standard, and Hyundai providing five years of warranty, although with no mileage limit.

Servicing

The MG5 needs servicing once a year or every 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. MG Service Plans offer flexible options to help manage scheduled maintenance and also allow you to set your own mileage limits.

Frequently Asked Questions
It might not be especially exciting, nor the most practical estate car, but the MG5 is a sensible all-electric car that offers great value for money.

For an alternative review of the MG5 EV, visit our sister site drivingelectric.com...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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