- A genuinely affordable and practical electric car
- Electric range of up to 250 miles
- Comfortable ride quality
- A bit bland compared to the MG4 EV
- Pre-facelift models have a pretty drab interior
- Hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP
MG is making a name for itself as the manufacturer of extremely competent but surprisingly affordable electric cars. The challenge the MG5 EV faces is it lacks the wow factor of the MG4 hatchback, while a considerable chunk of buyers would prefer an SUV like the MG ZS EV. Instead, the MG5 EV is an electric estate car - a rare thing, although one that's about to be joined in the market by the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric.
We still think there's a place for estate cars (and, indeed, the MG5 EV) in 2023. Not only are estates more practical than a regular hatch, in some ways they're more useable than an SUV. If you're looking to carry heavy items (or even a dog), the relatively low boot opening can make for easier loading than a high-up SUV. Many people prefer how an estate car drives, too, thanks to the lower centre of gravity and bum-on-the-floor seating position.
And then there's the value-for-money factor. Estate cars are usually cheaper than SUVs, although MG has priced the 5 roughly in line with the ZS EV with prices of a new one starting from around £31,000. That's still exceptionally good value for money, though - you can spend the same kind of cash on much smaller electric cars like the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208. It's no more expensive than a mid-spec petrol Skoda Octavia Estate, too, or a hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports.
When the MG5 EV first went on sale in 2021, buyers could choose between two different battery sizes: the regular 51kWh battery pack or a bigger 61kWh version (badged the Long Range). The smaller battery could officially cover a respectable 214 miles between charges, but most buyers splashed the cash on the MG5 EV Long Range with its 250-mile range.
The MG5 EV was given quite a radical refresh in 2022, which saw the smaller battery model dropped from the line-up. Other big changes included a front-end redesign, while the interior was overhauled with a welcome injection of style and technology. A new infotainment display positioned high on the dash is much more user-friendly than the old system.
There are now two trim levels available: SE and Trophy (replacing Excite and Exclusive on pre-facelift cars). Standard equipment on the MG5 EV SE includes the MG Pilot driver-assistance pack (with active emergency braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control), 16-inch alloy wheels, the 10.25-inch navigation system (with Apple CarPay and Android Auto) and a reversing camera. That's quite a comprehensive kit list, but the MG5 EV Trophy is only marginally more expensive and adds things like 17-inch alloy wheels, faux-leather seats (heated in the front), rain-sensing wipers and a 360-degree camera. That's where our money would go - although the Trophy's WLTP range does drop to 235 miles.
The MG5 EV is pleasant enough to drive, with fairly swift performance - although it doesn't shove you back in your seat like some electric cars do. It's unintimidating, though, especially if you haven't driven an EV before. There's enough power to fluster the front wheels if you treat the accelerator like an on/off switch in the wet but, for many drivers, that'll be preferable to the rear-wheel-drive MG4 EV which can quickly get out of shape if you're heavy-handed in winter conditions.
The MG5 feels less agile than the 4, but it places its focus on comfort. The steering is quite light and it'll wallow about in corners, but that's a small price to pay for a car that rides better than some much more expensive alternatives. Noise levels are generally good, especially if you're trading in a petrol or diesel car, but it's not quite as refined as some electric cars - there's a bit of a whine from the electric motor and you will notice some wind noise at higher speeds.
It's not quite as affordable as it used to be, but the MG5 EV could make for a cracking used purchase. We've seen early pre-facelift models available for as little as £20,000. When you consider the MG5's long warranty and exceptionally low running costs, a two-year-old example for the price of a base model Ford Fiesta is a very tempting proposition.
What’s the best MG5 EV model/engine to choose?
Buy the newest, highest-spec MG5 EV that you can afford. Early examples are fine, but we like the revised design and upgraded interior of the most recent post-facelift models. While the now entry-level MG5 EV SE is well equipped, the heated faux-leather seats would tempt us into an MG5 EV Trophy.
What other cars are similar to the MG5 EV?
You haven't got a great deal of choice if you're after an electric estate car. Fresh competition is on its way from the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric, although that's likely to be more expensive and it'll be a while before examples start appearing on the used market.
If you're in the market for an electric family car, the latest Kia Niro EV should be on your shortlist (although, again, it's more expensive). The old Kia e-Niro is a very competent used electric car, too. Competition also comes from the Volkswagen ID.3 and Nissan Leaf, but perhaps the closest competitors are MG's other models - including the MG ZS EV and new MG4 EV.
The MG5 EV was updated in 2022, with the cabin on post-facelift cars looking much less like a budget offering. The interior now feels more than a match for Volkswagen's ID.3, thanks to a refreshed dashboard with plusher materials and a new infotainment screen perched high up on the dash.
It still feels relatively normal for an EV - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, in our view, as not everyone wants to feel like an early adopter (go buy a Tesla if that's what you're after). You will find a rotary drive selector (which, if we're being picky, feels a little flimsy) instead of a traditional gear stick, while there are some toggle switches that let you flick between drive modes or ramp up the regenerative braking (this is labelled 'KERS' – or kinetic energy recovery system).
Early MG5 EV models came with a basic TFT screen behind the steering wheel, flanked by traditional analogue dials. You now get a fancy seven-inch digital display as standard across the range, with clear graphics and an element of customisation (controlled by buttons on the steering wheel).
If you're looking at a pre-facelift MG5 EV, you'll be picking from Excite or Exclusive trim levels. These were renamed SE and Trophy in 2022. In both cases, we'd look for the top-spec model, if you can - the synthetic leather interior and heated front seats with electric adjustment are worth the extra cash alone.
Quality and finish
As we touched on above, the fit and finish of the MG5 EV's interior depends a little on the age of the car you're looking at. You'll have to manage your expectations a bit on earlier models - there are a few clunky buttons and flimsy finishes here and there, although it isn't necessarily any worse than you'd find in a Nissan Leaf.
The latest MG5 EV still doesn't feel posh inside, but it's certainly no more downmarket than, say, a Volkswagen ID.3. We'd say it's a bit plusher than the MG4, helped by some extra chrome detailing and a strip of silver running across the dash and around the centre console.
Infotainment: Touchscreen, USB, nav and stereo in the MG5 EV
Early MG5 EV models feature an eight-inch touchscreen media system which was fitted as standard across the range. Look for an MG5 EV Exclusive for navigation, although we'd recommend using your phone instead - Apple CarPlay and Android Auto provide easy access to apps on your phone.
Don't expect slick graphics or particularly rapid responses, but it works well enough. There are some physical shortcut buttons, too, as well as an actual volume control. Refreshingly, there are buttons for the climate control system, too – none of this 'buried in the infotainment' nonsense.
The touchscreen media system was replaced by a newer version in 2022. It's much better than before, thanks in part to its position high up on the dashboard. That means you can glance at it safely while driving, rather than looking down from the windscreen. It's also better to use, with sharper graphics and relatively swift (although not perfect) responses.
Space and practicality: MG5 EV boot space
The MG5 EV measures 4544mm long, 1818mm wide and 1509mm tall - making it slightly longer (but lower) than cars like the Cupra Born, Nissan Leaf and Kia Niro EV.
The MG5 EV is in a different league in terms of interior space when compared like-for-like with similarly priced electric cars, though. You could easily use it as your main family car, the MG5 EV boot space is enough for weekend camping trips (and you now get roof rails as standard should you need a bit more space). It's not quite as versatile as the hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, while the petrol (or diesel) Skoda Octavia Estate trumps it for overall luggage capacity, but it's impressive nonetheless.
A pair of adults will fit comfortably in the rear seats (there's a reason the MG5 EV is loved by Uber drivers), while a flat floor mean passengers won't be tussling for foot space if you do squeeze three in the back. There's loads of room in the front, making it easy to find a suitable driving position. Big door bins and generous cup holders will make life easier, too.
It'll lollop over broken road surfaces much more gracefully than a Nissan Leaf, helped by the 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels and chunky tyres which are fitted depending on trim level. Sure, you're always going to be aware that it's a heavy electric vehicle, but it's far from crashy.
Chuck it into a bend and the light steering and roly-poly body control won't inspire confidence, but there's a reasonable amount of grip. It's easy to drive, too, helped by decent visibility and standard-fit rear parking sensors.
The MG5 EV differs from the MG4 in that its electric motor powers the front wheels rather than the rear. You won't really notice the difference in day-to-day driving, save perhaps that the MG4 has a slightly tighter turning circle and feels marginally more responsive. Up the speed and the MG4 is a more enjoyable car to drive, although you'll pay for that when you hit a pothole.
What engines and gearboxes are available in the MG5 EV?
All MG5 EV models are powered by the same 115kW electric motor. That equates to around 156PS, which is enough to accelerate the estate car to 62mph in 7.7 seconds. Rapid enough for a family vehicle, but it's not going to beat a Tesla away from the traffic lights.
There's enough power to require the traction control light to flicker if you're heavy footed, though, and it's rapid enough to filter in and out of traffic when driving around town. As usual, power tails off at higher speeds, but it's not going to leave you out for cold on a motorway slip road.
Maximum electric range in the MG5 EV
The MG5 EV was initially available with two different battery sizes: 52kWh or 61kWh. The smaller battery can officially travel up to 214 miles between charges, while the longer-range version is good for up to 250 miles.
Later models are only available with the bigger 61kWh unit (badged the MG5 EV Long Range). Like the pre-facelift car, this provides a range of up to 250 miles. It's worth noting, though, that this official figure drops to 235 miles in top-spec Trophy trim.
Refinement and noise levels
Without a conventional engine, the MG5 EV is generally very refined – whether you're pottering around town or eating up motorway miles. You'll notice a bit of tyre noise and some whine from the electric motor but nothing too disconcerting, while there's less wind noise than the MG ZS EV.
Refreshingly, we didn't notice any creaks or clonks from the MG ZS EV. We've driven much pricier electric cars that have failed in this regard when they haven't had a combustion engine masking any untoward noises.
Safety equipment: How safe is the MG5 EV?
An array of driver-assist technology forms part of the MG Pilot pack. This is standard on the MG5 EV Long Range (now the only option), providing tech such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist.
The MG5 EV hasn't been crash tested by Euro NCAP.
As with petrol, the most convenient public rapid charges are also the most expensive. We've seen companies charging close to 70p per kWh, which means you could pay as much as £30 for a 10-80% charge of an MG5 EV.
Charging at home using a typical 7kW home wallbox is a cheaper and more convenient option. It will take about 8.5 hours for the 52kWh MG5 or 9.5 hours for the 61kWh version - perfect for topping up overnight. Depending on your electricity tariff, a full charge will cost you around £20 which, even with rising energy prices, still works out a lot cheaper than petrol.
How reliable is the MG5 EV?
MG came 18th out of 29 manufacturers in the latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index, which isn't the strongest vote of confidence for buyers considering a relatively niche brand. It did rank ahead of mainstream competitors such as Ford, Nissan and Vauxhall, though, while MG's seven-year/80,000-mile warranty should put your mind at rest. That covers the battery, too.
It's also worth bearing in mind that electric cars are generally more reliable than their petrol or diesel counterparts. There are fewer moving parts to go wrong, while its regenerative braking system means it'll be easier on things like brake pads and discs.
Insurance groups and costs
Oddly, the MG5 EV with the bigger 61kWh battery is in a lower insurance group than the smaller 52kWh version. That means it should be cheaper to insure but, as always, we'd recommend shopping around for insurance quotes before handing over any money. Electric cars are often more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel alternatives – bear this in mind, particularly if you're a young driver. You can also take a look at our guide to the cheapest electric cars to insure.
VED car tax: What is the annual road tax on an MG5 EV?
At the moment, you won't pay a penny in car tax (also known as VED) for the MG5 EV as it's a pure-electric car, so it's exempt. That's set to change in 2025 but at least no MG5 EV will be above the £40,000 threshold for premium car tax.
A brand new MG5 EV isn't quite as cheap as it once was - that's partly down to the removal of the government's electric car grant, as well as the removal of the smaller battery version.
MG5 EV prices now start from around £31,000 - which is still exceedingly good value for money for an EV of this size, especially as the long-range battery is now standard. The top-spec MG5 EV Trophy is an extra £2500.
Trim levels and standard equipment
The MG5 EV is now available in two trim levels: SE and Trophy.
Standard equipment on the MG5 EV SE includes the MG Pilot driver-assist pack, automatic LED headlights, rear parking sensors, 16-inch alloy wheels, fabric upholstery, adjustable lumbar support on the driver's seat, air conditioning, keyless entry and start, a seven-inch driver information display, adaptive cruise control, leather steering wheel (with height and reach adjustment), a reversing camera and a 10.25-inch sat-nav screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The MG5 EV Trophy adds nice-to-have features including electrically folding door mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-style seats, electric driver's seat adjustment, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, electric windows with one-touch operation and a 360-degree parking camera.
Until 2022, the MG5 EV was available in Excite and Exclusive variants. The MG5 EV Excite came with an eight-inch touchscreen media system (with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and DAB radio), a rear parking camera and cruise control. Air conditioning was standard, as well as fabric seats and a leather steering wheel. Electric windows were standard in the front and rear, while there's a 12v power socket and four USB ports.
The top-spec MG5 EV Exclusive added smart keyless entry (with push button engine start), navigation and leather-like seat coverings. Heated front seats were standard, with six-way electric adjustment for the driver (as well as adjustable lumbar support). You'll find rain-sensing wipers as standard, as well as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and silver roof rails.
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