What we’ve got here is the first, all-electric estate car to arrive in the UK – months, even years ahead of the competition. It’s decently made, wears a British badge and comes with a seven-year warranty. And with prices starting at £24,995 (after the Government grant), it’s not only cheaper than MG’s excellent ZS EV, but it’s also one of the cheapest electric family cars on sale at the moment. It undercuts a Nissan Leaf by around £5,000.
The styling is rather forgettable and certainly shuns the type of sporty styling MG has traditionally been known for, but get over that and the MG5’s design is rather clever. The MG5 is essentially a Chinese market Roewe iE5 with an MG badge stuck on it - Roewe is made up of the remnants of Rover and the Chinese firm has shifted over 63,000 iE5s since 2018. One of the reasons why it's been successful there is the fact it’s a practical, no nonsense electric estate car which is enormously popular with business users and even taxi drivers.
Most electric cars which are now being launched here are SUVs and that’s for two reasons. Firstly, people want them as they’re supposedly fashionable and secondly electric car batteries are large and it’s easier to stick them in a big car. It’s a bit harder to make them work in a family estate car that’s lower to the ground, but MG has used some clever packaging tricks to make it work.
It means there are similar levels of space inside to a conventional estate of this size. At 578 litres with the back seats up and 1,456 litres with them down, it’s a little way off something like a Ford Focus Estate (608 and 1,650 litres) but considerably larger and more practical than other electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Kia e-Niro.
With the batteries lower down in the car, the MG5 is more stable through corners too, although this is not designed to be a sports car. But steering is well weighted, the ride strikes a nice balance between being comfortable and feeling planted on the road, and an assortment of driving modes even allows for more efficient driving by using regenerative braking to conserve power, especially around town.
The MG5 is powered by a 52.2kWh battery pack with a 115kW (154bhp) electric motor. And while it’s not eye-popping fast with 0-60mph taking under eight seconds, you do get a very reasonable range of around 214 miles on the WLTP cycle, or 276 miles if you just drive it in town.
The MG5 supports a CCS charge so a zero to 80% top-up takes 50 minutes, or 8.5 hours on a home wallbox, and of course there’s zero tax to pay and zero BiK for company car drivers. In fact, with its decent list of standard equipment, big boot and easy to drive nature, it’s a great car for business drivers.
It certainly isn’t sexy, but the MG5 could tempt a lot of people to turn electric simply because it’s just so normal. And if you need an electric estate car it’s currently unique in the UK market.