MG is backed by SAIC which just happens to be the biggest car manufacturer in China. This gives MG access to some very deep pockets, and given that China is the World’s biggest EV market, some serious real world experience of making electric cars at an affordable price.
There is a fair chance that you won’t have seen an MG 5 in the metal so we will start with the basics. It is 4.54 metres long, 1.82 metres wide and 1.51 metres high, or if you prefer 89 mm shorter and 23 mm wider than a VW Golf estate.
Of course the other key statistics for an estate car are boot space and with 464 litres up to the load cover the MG is a bit on the snug side. The rear seats offer a 60:40 split folding configuration which liberates 1,456 litres but this again is less than similar sized estate cars. By comparison the Golf will swallow 611 litres in the boot and 1,642 litres with the seats folded.
The remaining key stats all relate to the MG’s electric drivetrain and here there is better news. Despite the modest dimensions, the ‘5’ swallows a 52.5 kWh battery pack and you get to use 48.8 kWh. That’s enough for an official range of 214 miles which is respectable, and feeds a 154 bhp motor which allows the MG to dispatch the 0-62 mph test in under 8 seconds. In large part this is thanks to an admirably low (for an EV) kerb weight of just over 1,500 kg.
You get three drive modes to play with; Eco, Normal and Sport and there are also three regenerative braking modes, so the MG comes with all of the key functions that we have come to expect from established manufacturers.
One area where the ‘5’ is slightly behind the curve is Rapid charging. Whereas a 50 kWh battery pack is increasingly being pared with 100 kW+ charging capability, the MG makes do with 50 kW. That means that 0-80% charge at a Rapid charger takes around 50 mins which is OK but not great. However it is good to see that you get the European standard CCS socket allowing access to the widest range of Rapid chargers.
The MG 5 is lighter than many EV’s, has good performance, a sensible range and offers a practical estate body. It is also well priced and comes with an excellent 7 year warranty. It is slightly off the pace when it comes to rapid charging and offers a 7 year 80,000 mile battery warranty (70% remaining) when the standard is 8 years 100,000 miles. It also looks a little dated and can’t match the material quality of mainstream rivals so it is clear where the money has been saved.
The big question is whether you really need an estate, in which case the MG is your only electric option! If not whilst it is cheaper than Small Family hatchbacks it is close enough in price that it might be worth stretching, given that there are several excellent electric hatchbacks available if you can find a bit more cash.
Estimated real world range: 140 – 214 miles
Official range: 214 miles
Official electricity consumption: 175 Wh/km
Battery pack: 52.5 kWh (gross) 48.8 kWh (useable) lithium ion; 7 year / 80,000 mile warranty (70% of battery capacity remaining)
Recharge time: 7 kW charge approx 8 hours 30 minutes; Rapid CCS 50 kW 50 mins (0 – 80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.