- Max Speed
What's new about the MG 5 EV Long Range?
Check the name. It's the longer range version of the existing MG 5 electric vehicle. It now goes a nice round 250 miles WLTP.
And if I'm not very much mistaken it's an estate.
Well observed. Now, we at Top Gear do love an estate. The 5 is actually the only full-electric estate before you get to the Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. That's three times the price for the same range.
Do be sensible.
Sorry. But the point is, if you need more carrying capacity than a hatchback, the world of EVs forces you into crossovers. And Top Gear prefers estates to crossovers. In general, they drive better, look better, and are simply cooler.
Even this one?
Ah yes. When the 'good-looking estate' genes were being distributed, the MG 5 found itself at the back of the queue.
The nose is too long, the wheelbase too short, and the body drapes itself too fulsomely over the sub-sized wheels. It wears its chrome grille like a pantomime moustache.
OK I can see that. Moving on… How much longer range?
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Compared with the new one's 250, the existing one is 214 miles. Also, the new one can accept slightly faster charging – up to about 80kW. That allows you a 10-80 per cent on-the-go charge in 40 minutes. The battery is 61.1kWh net capacity.
How much extra money?
Model-for-model it's only £1,400 more than the 214-miler. That's a reasonably small increment in itself. But there's more. The Long Range also bundles in an active safety/assist suite – auto emergency braking, lane keeping, adaptive cruise, speed-limit sign recognition, among others. That lowers the insurance rating by five groups, so you're saving handsomely there.
So, drumroll… the Long Range begins at £26,495. No other car betters that ratio of range per £.
Insanely cheap. So I can see it looks dated inside and out, but how does it drive?
For a car of meek looks, it has almost startling performance, hauling itself forward with a determined 0-62 dash of 7.3 seconds. Response to the accelerator is progressive and instant.
The brake pedal is less happy than the throttle – it's too sensitive and hard to use accurately.
And the steering's more accurate but the weighting is odd, unpredictable with angle and speed. And it torque steers.
Despite the vim of the performance, this feels like a car you'll be driving relatively gently. Soft suspension quietly eases away most bumps. It's genuinely comfy and soothing. Much more so than crossovers. And the quietness actually adds a sense of intrinsic quality. Just don't tackle a series of corners with much ambition, or you'll be all at sea with the pitch and float.
A practical estate?
The boot is 464 litres under the roller blind, which isn't bad. Back seat space is not so great – the floor is high because of the battery so your knees are bent.
Warranty is a sensible seven years.
The range of course is practical. We got 4 miles per kWh on fairly gentle country roads with little dual-carriageway. That would get you 240 miles, ish.
MG gleefully points out you could, with a light right foot, get from your office in Westminster to an optician in Barnard Castle. Should you need to test your eyesight.
If you find the MG5 a beautiful car, you might need that test.