The Car.co.uk verdict:3.9
The estate car is fighting a losing battle against the tide of SUVs, but it has always been a very popular choice in the UK and across Europe for its style and practicality. When it comes to going electric, there has only been one option, the MG 5, unless you want to splash the cash and go for a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. There are more electric estates coming this year though, including offerings from BMW, Peugeot and Vauxhall, but for now it’s all about the MG 5 which has undergone a facelift with improved styling, better interior materials and more tech.
Written by Mark Smyth
Facelift provides sharper looks
The facelift has given the MG 5 a much sharper look all round. It’s all new front and rear, with new LED headlights and taillights and there are new 17-inch alloy wheels. It all looks more executive than before and our only real styling issue is with the charging flap in the middle of the front that could have been integrated a little better. Generally it's not going to win any design awards, but the overall look works really well.
Boot-loads of practicality
Estate cars are all about practicality and the MG 5 offers up to 1,367 litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded, 578 with them in place. The seats don’t fold completely flat but they’ll do for most people and there’s a dual-height boot floor.
The materials all seem as though they will be fairly hard wearing and resistant to everything the kids can throw at them. There’s a mixture of cloth and leather on the seats and piano black trim pieces which you’ll be wiping finger marks off of regularly. There's a nice centre armrest with cupholders for the kids in the back, plenty of space for them back there too. It’s all very practical.
Premium looks and technology
The interior is mostly carried over from the pre-facelift model, but there are upgrades to some of the materials and tech, such as the new 10.5-inch infotainment system. The system can take a while to wake up in cold weather and you often have to stab at it a few times to get it to respond but it is packed with features and apart from a few counter-intuitive menus, is fairly easy to get used to. It also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
The instrument cluster houses a seven-inch digital display with easy to scroll through menus and you have straightforward controls on the steering wheel. There’s a well-designed floating centre console, beneath which is a storage area and USB sockets. There are plenty of other storage spaces dotted around waiting for all your family stuff to be thrown in. The rotary gear selector looks premium and so to do the metal-look trim pieces across the dashboard.
The seats are comfortable with decent support and it all feels like a significant enough step up from the earlier model.
Equipment and options
Packed with standard features
You've got pretty much everything here from tech like the MG Pilot driver assistance package, including lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control, to that touchscreen infotainment system. The iSmart app allows you to schedule charging or remotely set the interior climate control and it has Vehicle-to-Load which means you can use the car to charge other things like an e-bike. Basically, you name it, the MG 5 has it.
Engine and power
Power to suit the daily drive
The MG 5 Long Range Trophy uses a 61.1kWh (57.4kWh usable) battery, providing power to a 156hp electric motor. Top speed is around 115 mph and it'll get to 62 mph in about 7.7 seconds. The average consumption figure we achieved was 2.5mi/kWh after 400 miles of mixed driving, under the claimed 3.5mi/kWh.
MG is claiming a 235 mile combined range which is probably a bit optimistic. It will take 21 hours to charge on a regular three-pin socket, 10 hours on a 7kW wallbox and go from 10 to 80% on a 150kW DC rapid charger in about 35 minutes, although the maximum charge rate the battery will actually take is 87kW.
In our experience over a week with the car using only public chargers we found it rarely exceeded 50kW charging speed. We relied on public chargers during our time with it and with costs up to 80p/kWh, things did become a little expensive when you consider that 25 quid on some chargers only gets you 100 miles. Even that range depleted quicker than usual because we tested the car just after launch in a winter cold snap that impacted range significantly. It was most obvious when we used the iSmart app to switch on the very useful remote defrosting of the windscreen and we could actually see five miles disappear off of the range immediately. It was still worth it to make sure the car was perfectly set when we got in though.
Plugging in at home will alleviate most of those issues and ensure you should have plenty of range to suit most daily needs.
Composed personality makes for easy driving
The front wheel drive MG 5 hauls itself around really nicely with plenty of torque. It even has what my kids call a good “whoosh” factor, or what the rest of us would call instant, silent acceleration. Dynamically it’s not exactly the most exciting thing, certainly not as much fun as the MG 4 hatchback, but it’s still pretty good.
There’s great visibility, a good reversing camera making it easy to park and nice direct steering. It has an Eco mode to help improve driving range and if you do want to have a bit of fun there is a sport mode, although again, this is no sports car and it doesn't pretend to be. We did some local and long distance driving and it was very pleasant on the motorway with very little impact on the driving range, which is is good news for an electric car.
It's a comfortable tourer that manages bumps and undulations in the road well, something that is especially welcome on rural roads and will be an effortless commuter. It even coped admirably with rather snowy conditions. Really it does everything you expect it to and it does it well.
Technology designed to keep you and your family safe
The MG 5 hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but the MG 4 scored a full five stars and so we’d expect a decent rating. It is packed with safety tech, including the MG Pilot driver assistance systems such as blind spot assist and lane keeping assist and of course it has loads of airbags, Isofix child seat points and more to tick the box as a family estate.
Reliability 4 out of 5
Clean up the tech issues and reliability should be good
Reliability has proved fairly good on the MG 5 and it has a seven-year/80,000 mile transferable warranty. After saying the safety tech is good, we did have some issues with the radar and cameras not working when they got dirt on them which shut off the forward collision assist and other systems. A highly technical solution was found in a cloth. Hopefully self-cleaning lenses are not too far away.
Estate packed with value
The range starts at £30,995 with the Trophy we tested priced at £33,495. That’s good value when you consider the amount of car you are getting compared to similarly priced hatchbacks. It does seem a bit pricey compared to the cooler MG 4 but you are getting a much bigger car with more practicality.
Practicality and style at a good price
You'd buy it because you're a fan of estate cars and you want to go electric. The MG 5 EV is a stylish, practical, nice to drive vehicle. Its driving range is good enough for most needs and if you’re looking for a stylish electric estate at a good price then it’s everything you need.