What is it like to drive?
Is the new MG5 fast?
Some basics: the MG5 features a single motor powering the front wheels via a single-speed ‘box. There are, back in the home market of China - ICE versions of this car, so it’s not a bespoke electric, and that’s pretty obvious in places. But that’s not to say this isn’t a good bet. Delivery is the usual electric instant-hit, and there’s plenty of pace for this kind of car, with a 7.3 second 0-62mph time - you won’t be winning any drag races, but that’s plenty in the cut’n’thrust of modern traffic. Be aware though; as usual with electric cars, the instant torque means that if you regularly boot it out of a wet junction, you’ll be flickering the traction control light continuously. Efficiency is pretty average - with around 3.3mi/kWh what we achieved - although you could get a lot more if you were careful.
And does it handle well?
The last-generation MG5 was one of those cars that just did stuff - no fireworks, little excitement - but the ride was fine and it handled like it looked; practical. The new one is no different in that it just gets on with the job with no particular foibles, but no excitement, either. The steering is a little uninterested, the brakes fine, the re-gen - accessed from a rocker in the central console - not quite strong enough to make it a one-pedal car. And on the 17-inch alloys you get with Trophy specification, notably firmer than it was before. We suspect the SE’s 16s might be more pillowy. But on the whole it’s an unassuming companion.
What about the ride quality?
As mentioned, the Trophy’s 17-inch wheels toughen up the ride, but we haven’t had a go in the SE on smaller wheels as yet. And although the Trophy is a bit firm with a wobbly-surfaced minor road, it’s acceptably damped. Which also helps with body control, which is, again, perfectly good. Push too far, too fast, and you just get progressive understeer until you back off the accelerator or hit something. But again, this isn’t that kind of car, so driving it like a GT3 RS will result in nothing more than a sense of vague unease.