“cheap” electric station wagon… and smart

The MG5 isn’t the first all-electric wagon on the market, but it’s probably the only one you can afford. Indeed, the only alternative in existence is called the Porsche Cross Turismo and costs about four times the price of our “humble” test car.
MG also specializes in attacking the electric vehicle market with vehicles that are unbeatable value for money. Its ZS EV is a fine example among SUVs, the MG5 only confirming this strategy ahead of the likely MG4 later this year, which promises to be the cheapest electric compact on the market.
Thanks to its unusual format and particularly attractive price (€32,490 excluding environmental bonus), the MG5 certainly deserves attention. Here is his test.

The technical model of ZS refused to break

MG didn’t look far when developing their wagon. This already exists in a thermal version in some markets, he was pleased to integrate a battery/engine block almost identical to that of his ZS EV SUV.
As for the latter, the MG5 is available in two variants: “small” and “large” battery and two motors. Like what has been done for SUVs, the two battery technologies differ in each version.
In the “Standard autonomy” version, the brake includes a 130 kW (177 hp) synchronous motor and a 50.3 kWh LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery. As for the Extended Autonomy version, it offers a 61.1 kWh NMC (Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt) battery, but a slightly less powerful motor (115 kW or 156 hp). It is this latest version in the “luxury” finish, which is likely to be the best-selling in France, that we decided to test.

Design: She won’t win a beauty pageant

There are many reasons why MG manages to offer electric vehicles cheaper than its competitors. The manufacturer, owned by the Chinese company SAIC Motors, benefits, for example, from favorable battery prices and has its own transport vessels.
If, of course, he realizes savings on these two important sources of expenses, then one can suspect him of doing the same on the salaries of his designers. Indeed, without being particularly naughty, the brand’s vehicles struggle to seduce. The MG5 is no exception, and even if it manages to avoid the “hearse syndrome” common to some station wagons, it clearly lacks sex appeal. However, let’s give in to him in one thing: in reality, he is much less sad than in the photo, which will surely surprise future buyers.
In any case, the design is not the main advantage of this electric station wagon. Fortunately, there is no lack of assets when the slight disappointment of lost love at first sight passes.

Impressive hardware for the price

Once slipping into the cabin of the MG5, you most understand what makes a brand a success. The materials and finishes are worthy of cars selling for €10-15,000 more, and the amount of on-board equipment (standard) far exceeds what most competitors offer.
No doubt this is the reason why there are only two trims in the MG catalog, with the most basic (“comfort”) already very well equipped with a 10.25-inch CarPlay and Android Auto compatible center screen, LED headlights and even heated seats. front – a variant usually reserved for the top of the range.

As for our luxury trim, which sells for €1,500 more, it adds a 360-degree camera (of dubious quality), an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, 17-inch rims, and several comfort sensors (air conditioning, rain, etc.).

As for the OS, we again find here the same system as the ZS, which is certainly in the process of development compared to the first cars sold by SAIC, but still weighed down with some rough translations and very unusual names.
Thus, pre-conditioning the battery before charging becomes battery heating while driving in MG. These few slags are all the more forgivable because they can be fixed through an update.

Finally, this is also a small surprise, MG5 integrates V2L technology, in other words, reverse charging. Specifically, this is the mode during which the car, thanks to the adapter, can recharge its electronic equipment. In our case, we took advantage of the V2L MG5 to power our iPad, charge our smartphone, and also connect a compressor to it. Be careful, however, if the V2L is available as standard on the MG5, an adapter is optional at the price of 650 euros. Topping up is expensive.

Autonomy: where the break format hides the SUV

Since the technical platform of the MG5 is the same as the excellent ZS EV, we expected pretty close performance in terms of autonomy.
Admittedly, on paper the station wagon has a definite aerodynamic advantage, but we were far from suspecting a performance gap between the two formats.
Indeed, during our test of the SUV, we noted an average consumption of 20 kWh / 100 km, which is one of the few minor shortcomings of the car. However, with the same battery capacity and identical engine, this consumption falls below 17 kWh/100 km, and that’s without any form of eco-driving.
With a fairly flexible leg and full play on recovery, it seems possible to even go below 15kWh/100km, making the MG5 one of the least power hungry cars out there. Note, however, that during our test we didn’t have the opportunity to drive onto the highway, where consumption is highest. We will definitely add this aspect when updating this test. It is therefore entirely possible to foresee or even exceed the 300 km of autonomy promised by the MG5 in its “Standard Autonomy” version. As for our version of “Extended Autonomy”, it is simply designed for 400 km with a full tank.

On the other hand, a slightly less rosy picture regarding recharging, not in terms of battery capacities, but more in terms of charging methods.
With a maximum charging power of 92kW, the MG5 can be charged from 10% to 80% in 30 minutes. Overall, the performance is decent for a car that isn’t designed for long-distance travel.
More questions about recharging at home, MG still refuses to provide a household recharging outlet by default. The future buyer will have to sign an additional check for 200 euros if he wants to load his car at home, that is, this expense, a priori optional, is almost mandatory.

What does the MG5 look like in driving?

With its rather restrained power, the MG5 is certainly not a thunderer. This does not prevent you from feeling a slight shiver during acceleration – thanks for the 280 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h takes just over 8 seconds, but you will understand that in fact there is no interest in the car.
However, MG is not shy about offering multiple driving modes with a strong character. Indeed, there is a distinct difference in feel between the car’s eco mode and its sport mode, which is much firmer and livelier under acceleration.

We’d love to feel the same difference in the different levels of energy recovery offered by MG with the push of a button. “kers” from the car.
Nothing happened, only level 3 (the highest) is really worthy of interest when you want to regain braking autonomy. Moreover, I wish this system was accompanied by a single-pedal mode, but the braking of the kers does not allow the MG5 to completely stop.

Otherwise, driving an electric wagon is quite pleasant and comfortable enough, even if the steering clearly lacks precision. Some may criticize it for its slight lack of dynamism given its rather restrained weight and sleek looks, but keep in mind that this is an affordable family car.

Judicial verdict

MG5 is a proposal as atypical as it is interesting. The electric station wagon with its almost gaudy design convinces on almost all counts, starting with the price. Not content with teasing the Zoé over its price (being different), being better equipped, more spacious and more versatile, the latest MG even indulges in some fantasies normally reserved for more upmarket vehicles, such as reverse charging.

But above all, on board we must applaud the quality and density of the equipment provided by MG, be it the finishes or the comfort equipment. Like, for its SUV, the SAIC Motors brand beats a car with excellent value for money hard.