With its practicality and long range capability, the MG5 EV has been a favourite with fleet drivers since it first appeared in 2020. Now, there’s an updated model with a new look and on-board technological innovations. Richard Gooding finds out if these new features affect the core of what made the old model popular
What is it?
Currently the fastest-growing car brand in the UK, MG Motor UK won the 2022 GreenFleet Electric Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year award and is now firmly seen as a value-driven maker of electric and electrified cars. First launched in 2020, and based on the Chinese market Roewe Ei5 Estate – MG is now owned by Chinese car maker SAIC Motor – the MG5 EV is a unique proposition, being the first all-electric estate car to be sold in the UK.
The eighth best-selling EV in the UK in 2022, the MG5 EV was refreshed in summer of that year, with new front and rear styling, a thoroughly updated interior with more on-board technology, and the addition of a V2L charging function. The strong pillars of the old model remain, though; a single charge driving range of up to 250 miles (depending on model), high levels of standard equipment, as well as up to 1,367 litres of luggage space.
What range does it have?
Both models in the MG5 EV family have MG’s 61.1kWh (57.4kWh usable capacity) Long Range battery fitted as standard. In the entry level SE, this translates into an official range of up to 250 miles on the WLTP combined cycle. On the higher specification Trophy, this distance dips slightly to 235 miles.
Over our 321-mile test, we recorded a range high of 250 miles following a 100 per cent overnight charge, dropping to 238 miles the following morning. As for efficiency, we matched MG’s official WLTP combined cycle figure of 3.5mpkWh over a mixture of driving conditions.
How long does it take to charge?
All MG5 EVs are fitted with a 7kW on-board charger. Maximum rapid charging DC capability is pegged at 87kW, which is a little down on more modern EVs. However, this still means that a 10-80 per cent refill only takes around 35 minutes when plugged into a 150kW DC rapid charger. A 50kW DC connection can top up the battery over the same values in around an hour.
Away from the public network, a 7kW wallbox will give a 10-100 per cent charge in 10 hours, while a refill from a 2.2kW AC ‘domestic’ socket is complete in 21 hours over the same charge percentages.
One advantage the new MG5 EV has over its predecessor is V2L (Vehicle-To-Load) technology. This allows you to charge other appliances such as an electric bike or a laptop from the car’s battery itself. Power is delivered through an optional cable and the V2L function is controlled through the MG5 EV’s touchscreen infotainment system.
How does it drive?
In a class of electric family cars dominated by SUVs, the MG5 EV immediately offers something different. And while its looks may be conventional, more traditional even, the sharper front end with its slimmer headlights and restyled bumpers makes the MG estate appear much more modern than before.
Inside, a totally rejuvenated cabin sees a 10.25-inch colour touchscreen take centre stage in the middle of the dashboard, with a seven-inch digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel. Shortcut buttons at the base of the touchscreen – which, incidentally, is the same as the one in the MG4 EV – give you control of the screen’s functions, and save you prodding through menus. The software isn’t as fast-acting as some, though, but it is still a step-up on what was offered before.
Being a value-driven brand, some of the interior plastics lack a more premium feel, but overall, the quality is good, and the MG5 EV feels well made. Metallic blue highlights punctuate the cabin, on the air vents, dashboard and, oddly, on the end of the steering column stalks. The same colour is echoed on the seat stitching and door pulls, and the use of grey fabric material on the doors and dashboard is a nice touch, adding some extra style. The rotary gear selector sits on top of the silver accented centre console stack.
Practicality is paramount for a car of this type, and the 4.6 metre-long MG5 EV scores well here, able to carry up to 479 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place. Load it to the roof and there is 578 litres of room, and if you fold down the rear seats and fill it to the roof, this increases to 1,367 litres.
On the road, the MG5 EV is safe, secure, and quiet. Little wind or road noise gets through into the cabin, and the car grips well, with little body roll. It’s comfortable, too, with well-judged damping, and the steering makes it an easy car to place on the road. Performance from the 115kW motor is more than enough, the 206lb ft of torque carrying the car’s 2,028kg weight well, with instant acceleration shared with all EVs. Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes allow you to tailor the driving experience, and while there are three levels of regenerative braking, the toggle switch control does make them a little fiddly to use. It’s also a shame that the strongest setting doesn’t give you quite the one-pedal driving experience. If you tow regularly, the MG estate has the ability to tow up to 500kg.
What does it cost?
MG’s new generation of cars have always been priced to compete with or undercut more established rivals, therefore offering more value. It’s the same story with the MG5 EV. The SE Long Range starts at £30,995, and includes headline items such as a 10.25-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a seven-inch colour driver information display, LED lights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The £33,495 Trophy Long Range model adds luxuries such as power-adjustable and heated front seats, electrically folding door mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, 360° parking camera, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Both models come with MG’s iSmart smartphone app, which allows you to control specific vehicle functions, including charging and battery status, charging scheduling, the location of the nearest charging point, and pre-conditioning. There is also the provision of a Wi-Fi hotspot and over-the-air software updates.
How much does it cost to tax?
As with all electric cars, the MG5 EV is currently exempt from VED charges in both its first and following years of registration. In line with other zero-emission vehicles, MG’s electric estate has a two per cent Benefit In Kind (BIK) value under 2023-2024 company car tax rates, and this also applies for 2024-2025.
Why does my fleet need one?
With the imminent arrival of the Peugeot e-308 SW and Vauxhall Astra Electric Sports Tourer estate cars, the MG5 EV won’t have the ‘affordable’ end of the electric estate car market all to itself for much longer. However, we’re confident it will still undercut those newer rivals and even as it stands now, MG’s estate remains a good value proposition. A highly usable range, a high level of standard kit, and that all important practicality, make the MG5 EV an efficient and practical EV, with appeal in all areas that matter to fleet drivers. Simple and sensible, it’s also an easy car to recommend.