- Modernised external design
- Simplified interior with better infotainment
- Same load-lugging practicality as original
- Higher price than previous Long Range
- Some bugs in infotainment system
- Boot not flat and has lip
Range (WLTP): 235-250 miles Top Speed: 115 mph 0 to 62: 7.7 sec Cost/Mile (@34p/kWh): 8.3-8.8p
The original MG5 EV set a benchmark for electric value, and then the Long Range update gave the car a very respectable range for the money. But the MG5 EV still had mediocre exterior looks plus an old-fashioned interior and infotainment. Now MG has launched an updated version of the MG5 with key improvements in these two areas. It’s a little more expensive than the previous version, but remains the only electric estate car currently available, although competition is coming.
Price and Options
The core battery and motor specification of the facelifted MG5 EV are the same as the previous Long Range, with a 115kW / 156PS motor driving the front wheels and 61kWh batteries. The trim levels have been significantly altered. Instead of Excite and Exclusive, there are now SE and Trophy trims, bringing the MG5 in line with the ZS EV Long Range, although there is no Trophy Connect. These are a little bit more expensive than the trims they replace, and of course there is no UK government grant anymore either.
The new SE is £2,500 more than the old Excite was at launch, and the Trophy is £2,000 more than the Exclusive was. However, the equipment level has improved. All vehicles have MG Pilot as before, but Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) has been added, enabling power output to external devices, alongside iSMART app connectivity. The infotainment screen is now 10.25in, and the driver instrumentation is now provided by a 7in LCD rather than analog dials.
The mirrors are electrically adjustable on both trims, but on the Trophy they are also electrically folding. The SE gets fabric seat upholstery and the Trophy “leather-like”. On the Trophy the driver’s seat is electrically adjusted and the front seats are heated. You also get auto air conditioning as well as rain-sensing wipers with the Trophy. Windows are electric all round, but only the front are one-touch on the SE, while the rears are too with the Trophy.
All cars have a rear parking camera, but the Trophy also has a 360-degree view. The SE gets new 16in alloy wheels, while the Trophy gets 17in ones, although this does reduce the range a little. The Trophy also gets rear privacy glass. Colour choices include the default white, plus blue, black, grey and silver metallic for £545 extra. The previous tri-coat red remains an option, costing £695.
There is £2,500 between trim levels, so the SE costs £30,995 and the Trophy £33,495. Overall, while the trims are more expensive, the equipment levels for both are improved, offsetting the increased price somewhat. The MG5 EV still undercuts Hyundai Motor Group options such as the Hyundai Kona Electric or Kia Niro EV. But if you want the summit of value, MG’s own MG4 EV is now the king.
The first obvious difference with the new MG5 is the external appearance. The original version was somewhat jaded, but now the front has been smoothed out, with the removal of the legacy cooling grille. The charging port is no longer beneath the MG logo, which has moved up. Instead, a smooth front panel shields the port.
There are improved LED front headlights and taillights. While the profile remains the same, the overall look is much cleaner and more modern. The roof rails are standard and convey a practicality to the appearance. Overall, although the changes aren’t revolutionary, they are a significant enhancement in the overall look of the car. The appearance isn’t as futuristic as the MG4, but this is at least now a car where you don’t have to tolerate mediocre looks to enjoy the value.
MG has significantly simplified the control buttons and dials of the MG5, but otherwise the interior is not that different from the previous version. The SE comes with cloth seats that are entirely mechanically adjusted and not heated. The Trophy upgrades the seat material to a “leather like” upholstery and adds heating to the front alongside electrical adjustment of the driver’s side. There is a decent amount of space in the front, although headroom is not up with most electric SUVs.
The trim has been modernised, with use of cloth and brushed metal, with a blue line across the middle intersecting the air vents, which have a sleeker appearance. The infotainment screen, which we will discuss later, is larger, higher up and more prominent in the middle of the dashboard. The central console has a couple of cupholders and second tier with enough space for devices. This is also where you can find a couple of USB Type A ports, one of which is aimed at Apple Car Play or Android Auto. There’s also a standard 12V car power adapter socket.
The rear seats are comfortable enough, with more room than a compact hatchback but less than an electric crossover or SUV. They are definitely large enough for adults to be comfortable, although the middle seat won’t be enjoyable for a long journey. Without a middle passenger, the back of the rear middle seat can be pulled down to make an armrest with two integrated cupholders. There is a central pair of USB ports in the rear – one Type A, one Type C – and these are now standard on all trim levels. Above these is a small cubby. There is an air vent, but it’s at feet level, so won’t provide much ventilation for rear passengers. There are also seat-back pockets for rear passengers and ISOfix points on the two outer seats, but not on the front passenger seat.
Storage and Load Carrying
The estate car functionality was one of the unique draws of the MG5 since its inception, as there are still no other EVs in this class currently available. Stellantis has something coming from some of its brands including Vauxhall, but for now the only other choice than the MG5 is to remortgage your house and go for the Porsche Taycan Cross or Sport Turismo.
The basic boot capacity is a decent 479 litres to the cover or 578 litres to the roof. Drop the rear seats down, with the usual 60/40 split, and the space increases to 1,367 litres. This is a little less than a comparable fossil fuel car this size, such as the Toyota Corolla Touring, but it’s more than a hatchback EV such as the Nissan Leaf.
However, criticism of earlier MG5 models remain, with a notable lip on the boot opening and a sizeable ridge and bump between the main boot and the space available with the seats down. So while the capacity is decent, transporting some items will be problematic. It’s not a dealbreaker but prevents the MG5 achieving estate car perfection.
On the plus side, the previous issues regarding cosmetic roof rails are now in the past, and the MG5 can now carry 75kg on its roof no matter which trim level you buy. The MG5 is also now rated for towing, although the weight is only 500kg braked or unbraked and you will need to have the towbar installed by a third party. The maximum ball weight (for example when a bike rack mounted on the towing hook) is 50kg, which will be fine for a couple of bicyces. Despite the caveats, the MG5 ticks most of the boxes for a practical estate car.
Alongside the updated exterior, the other big upgrade is in the controls, dashboard, and infotainment. There’s still a physical button for turning the system on, and a dial for selecting drive, neutral, and reverse sits in the central console, but the other drive controls have been simplified. There are rocker switches for moving between Eco, Normal and Sport power modes. Another rocker selects the regenerative braking level. There are also buttons for auto hold and the electronic parking brake. But the air conditioning controls have been reduced and moved up from the central console to beneath the infotainment screen.
The steering wheel is entirely unchanged, however, with media controls on the left plus general menu controls on the right. There are traditional steering column stalks, with lights on the left and windscreen wipers on the right. There’s a third stalk on the left exclusively for the adaptive cruise control.
The instrumentation has been hugely changed. Gone are the old-fashioned analog dials, replaced by a 7in LCD screen. This provides a digital display of speed on the left, plus a digital power and regen display on the right. The middle is populated with ADAS safety warnings, with further details of car status above and below, but you can place other information in this area. The dials were a major aspect that made the MG5 feel more budget-oriented, and their replacement with a digital display is a big leap forward.
Similarly monumental is the upgrade of the infotainment screen to a 10.25in unit running the same system as the MG4. This is much more responsive and better designed than previous versions. MG has integrated the more advanced air conditioning functionality into this screen, although there are still discrete buttons for key functions like windscreen and rear window demisting. The basic infotainment screen includes key information about navigation, music, charging and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
There’s a competent satnav included, with points of interest for charging and parking locations. The MG5 also supports MG’s iSMART connected features, which you can access via a smartphone. The car settings are well laid out and easy enough to navigate. There are three main tabs for MG Pilot, Convenience and Lighting. We had a few issues with the touch sensitivity of this screen, however, finding we had to press above where we expected to get some functions to operate. Hopefully MG will iron this out in production versions of the car (our review was based on an early launch sample).
Performance and Driving
One area that remains unchanged with the MG5 EV is driving dynamics. While this isn’t exactly a driver’s car, it’s reasonably quick. The 156PS motor enables the MG5 to reach 62mph in just 7.7 seconds (7.3 seconds to 60mph), and 30mph only takes 3.2 seconds. So you are likely to surprise drivers of more premium vehicle brands with just how quickly the MG5 can accelerate when the lights change.
Since it sits relatively high (1,543mm including roof rails), and the suspension is quite soft, there is body roll when you hit a corner at speed. However, the ride quality is decent. You can tackle windy A roads competently and driving about town is smooth. There is plenty of poise at motorway speeds, too. With the reasonable range, the MG5 is a capable car for longer highway journeys.
Overall, as with the rest of the MG5, its driving abilities are workmanlike rather than exciting. The rear-wheel-drive MG4 provides more enjoyable dynamics.
Range and Charging
Since the powertrain is identical, the new MG5 offers the same base 250 miles of WLTP range as the outgoing version. However, the Trophy’s 17in wheels mean its range is 235 miles. Neither is quite up with Hyundai or Kia crossover alternatives with 64kWh batteries, but for the money it’s still decent. Until Stellantis releases cars with more than 50kWh of battery, such as the upgraded 2023 edition of the e-208, its brands will be behind.
The charge port is no longer under the MG logo on the front, which has moved upwards. Instead, there is a flap with a smooth surface you need to open to access the CCS connection. This provides DC charging up to 87kW, which is a little behind the competition, but still enables a 35-minute boost from 10 to 80%. A standard 7kW AC wallbox will take around 10 hours to charge from 10 to 100%. Faster AC than 7kW is not supported. The MG5 now offers Vehicle-to-Load, so you can attach an adapter to the charging port to output power, but we weren’t supplied with this for testing.
The overall efficiency is the same as the original MG5 Long Range, equating to 4.1 miles per kWh for the SE. This would be 8.3p a mile if you have a current standard UK electricity price cap 34p per kWh supply. The Trophy is a little less efficient, delivering 3.8 miles per kWh, which would equate to 8.8p per mile on regular home electricity.
MG’s warranties are generous, on par with Korean cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric. The basic guarantee is for 7 years or 80,000 miles. This includes the battery, although MG doesn't state a percentage capacity. The previous versions of the MG5 EV were in insurance group 27, which is acceptable, but we don’t have the group for the new version. It may be higher due to the increased price.
MG Pilot was the other significant addition to the Long Range compared to the original MG5. This hasn’t changed significantly with the facelift, but it is a decent example of the genre, with most modern ADAS features included. These comprise active emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection, as well as Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist. MG Pilot also incorporates traffic jam assistance, which gives you stop-and-go ability in gridlock. There is also intelligent speed limit and high beam assistance. We didn’t see blind spot detection, however, even though it is meant to be a feature of MG Pilot.
All trim levels of the new MG5 since the Long Range have included Adaptive Cruise Control. The reversing camera is available on all cars, and the Trophy upgrades this to a 360-degree view. Strong ADAS features are essential in modern vehicles that want to receive top safety ratings, so it’s great that MG is now offering this on all its new car releases. The MG5 EV still doesn't have Euro NCAP rating yet, strangely, but the MG ZS EV and MG4 both have five stars with the same safety tech.
|Price:||SE – £30,995; Trophy – £33,495|
|Range (WLTP):||SE – 250 miles; Trophy – 235 miles|
|Charge time (7.4kW):||10 hours|
|Charge time (50kW, 80%):||61 minutes|
|Charge time (100kW, 80%):||35 minutes|
|Battery:||SE – 4.1 miles per kWh; Trophy – 3.8 miles per kWh|
|On Board Charger:||AC: 7kW; DC: 87kW|
|Cost per mile*:||SE Standard Range – 6.8p; SE Long Range – 6.4p; Trophy Long Range – 6.6p|
|Cargo:||363 litres; 1,177 litres with rear seats down; 500kg towing capacity479 litres to luggage cover; 578 litres to roof; 1,367 litres with rear seats down; 75kg on roof rail; 500kg towing (braked or unbraked)|
*based on electricity costs of 29p per kWh