Morris Garage, founded in 1924, will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. But after the bankruptcy of the Rover Group in 2004, The British brand switched to the Chinese flag when it was acquired by the SAIC group in 2007. MG then returned to Europe in 2020 with three electrified products: the ZS, EHS and Marvel R. The fourth, dubbed the MG 5 without much logical name, puts its wheels here in the spring of 2022, albeit not completely. unknown. Indeed, this is a large re-powder of Roewe Ei5 or E5 sold in the Chinese market since 2017.
The MG 5 is relatively compact but quite tall. It belongs to the same category as Renault Mégane Estate and Peugeot 308 SW, with almost identical dimensions: 4.60 m long, 1.82 m wide and 1.54 m high. Some will find a certain imbalance in proportions, particularly because high ground clearance (11.5 cm) for a non-adventure station wagon. But this is due to the location of the batteries, under the floor, which requires raising the body to protect the elements from shock.
First electric compact wagon
Because in fact, the MG 5 is only available with an electric drive. Aside from the very exclusive Taycan Sport Turismo and Taycan Cross Turismo recently added to the Porsche catalog, no one-stop manufacturer has entered the electric station wagon market at the moment. The MG 5 is thus the first all-electric compact propulsion system available: offered from 32,450 euros excluding bonuses. That’s almost the price of a Renault Zoé (€32,800 before bonuses) with much less family benefits. With a bonus that brings its price down to €26,450 until July 2022, the MG 5 even manages to be cheaper than the entry-level Renault Mégane Estate (from €29,800 with a 140hp petrol engine) or plug-in hybrid (from 39,750 euros excluding bonus).
From the outside, the MG 5 station wagon has a very European, classic and even anonymous look. It has slim LED headlights and a full grille where the charging access hatch is located. In profile, a small drop on the window energizes everything, in addition to certain lines connecting the optics or imposing a relief at the bottom of the doors. At the rear, two relatively thick lights are connected by a thinner chrome element. The screens are easy to handle, with two false triangular buckets in which reflectors are integrated. Two wheel sizes are available: 16-inch for the entry-level Comfort model, or 17-inch two-tone for our Luxury trim test model.
Well made cabin
On board, the MG 5 offers a modern instrument panel with screens and a floating center console, reminiscent of the world of Volvo. The shift lever has been replaced with a Jaguar Land Rover style round gear selection wheel. Behind the wheel is a 7-inch meter digital panel, customizable and very readable. We find the speed on the left, the percentage of engine power used on the right, and a lot of driving information in the center (mileage, driving aids on, gear engaged, etc.).
The second panel, this time tactile and measuring 10.25 inches, is used to control the multimedia system and many of the car’s functions: air conditioning, navigation, radio control, or even displaying CarPlay or Android Auto. The labels are located below the screen, but we regret that MG did not leave a wheel to adjust the temperature of the air conditioner, which you should look for in the menu.
Habitability: very good and less good
The passenger compartment is well thought out and well finished, with black lacquered, aluminium-look or even light-coloured textile inserts on the door trims and front passenger trim. Of course, there are even less attractive hard plastics, but in general everything is very correct and visually pleasing. Blue inserts on the air vent grilles and door trim decorate the interior, which can be upholstered in black fabric at the entry level or leather upholstery (black standard, light gray optional) at the top level.
Habitability is also one of the strengths of the Chinese Break, thanks to the 2.66m wheelbase allowed by the electric drive. Thus, rear passengers get more space than in the ZS EV electric SUV of the same brand. The rear knee space is reserved by the brand for 859 mm. The passenger in the middle has plenty of room thanks to the lack of a service tunnel. On the other hand, boot volume is reduced compared to thermal competitors: 479 liters in 5-seat configuration and up to 1367 liters in 2-seat configuration. In comparison, the Peugeot 308 SW offers 608 to 1634 liters of internal combustion, while the Renault Mégane Estate offers 563 to 1543 liters. However, the boxy trunk seems family-friendly.
Well-settled on board thanks to the reinforced seats, we silently take off from the Avignon station towards the Luberon. The evolution is smooth, with three driving modes available: Eco, Comfort and Sport. The “Comfort” mode, which is equivalent to the normal mode, is suitable for gentle city driving with sharp accelerations up to 50 km/h. Comfort is good, with a relatively stiff suspension that doesn’t make the car uncomfortable. Soundproofing is good, despite a little wind noise from the mirrors.
The car is well suspended, unlike other electric vehicles such as the very peppy Ford Mustang Mach-E. The same goes for the brake pedal, which is usually difficult to dose due to regenerative braking. Feeling natural here and “KERS” is controlled by a button on the center console in three modes. They range from 1 to 3, from the weakest to the strongest. Thus, an electric station wagon can practically come to a stop without touching the brake pedal, depending on the selected mode. On the other hand, there is no full freewheeling mode and no option to completely disable regeneration.
Let’s now leave the city to head to the Alpilles and learn more about dynamic behavior. The MG 5 is a fun machine with direct, if somewhat artificial, steering. On the other hand, a good point: we do not feel the usual heaviness of electric vehicles, since the car is relatively light with an empty weight of 1562 kg. This results in very little body roll in corners and decent performance despite only 156bhp. in our “Extended Range” version. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 8.3 seconds and top speed reaches 185 km/h. The Chinese break has even more vivid reminders thanks to the sport mode, useful when overtaking on a service road.
After a little over 225 km in the depths of Vara the verdict is: our consumption is set on a mixed route at the level of 16.3 kWh, without much eco-driving and with little vertical drop in the Alpilles. Which, after a quick calculation, would allow under these conditions to drive 374 km of full battery autonomy. A reasonable value that can still be reduced as we were able to stabilize it around 14 kWh under certain conditions, including when crossing the elevated villages of Gordes and Roussillon.
- Very affordable price for an electric car
- Presentation Quality
- Healthy behavior on the road
- Controlled consumption and autonomy
- Spacious rear…
We love less
- … but the boot volume is slightly less
- No freewheel mode
The MG enters the compact wagon segment with an unparalleled electric offering, all at the price of a Renault Zoé with far fewer family benefits. Something that families will love, as well as taxi and VTC drivers.
- MG 5 Extended Autonomy – Luxurious Finish
- Tested version: €38,640 (no bonus deduction)
- From: €32,450 (no bonus deduction)
- Average consumption by manufacturer / during test (kWh/100 km): 17.9 / 16.3
- Endurance manufacturer / test time (km): 380 / 360
- Charging: 3×9 at 11 kW
- Fast charge: 40 minutes
- CO2 / bonus: 0 / 6000*
- Fiscal power: nc
- Country of manufacture: China.
*: until July 2022
Electric, 156 to 177 hp, €32,490 to €36,990
- Motor: permanent magnet synchronous, AV
Transmission: front-wheel drive, single-speed gearbox + reverse.
- Battery (kWh): NCM (lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt) 61.1 kWh
- Power: 156 hp / 130 kW
- Torque (Nm): 280
- Empty weight: 1562 kg
- Length.x width.x height. (m): 4.60×1.82×1.54
- Wheelbase (m): 2.66
- 0 to 100 km/h (s): 8.3
- Maximum speed (km/h): 185
- Test tires: Michelin Primacy 3ST (215/50 R17)
- 5/2 chest (l): 479/1367
- Metallic paint: €650
- Gray faux leather upholstery (luxury): 1000 euros.
- Renault Mégane Estate: range from €29,800, 160bhp E-Tech plug-in hybrid from 39,750 euros.
- Peugeot 308 SW: €26,700 range, 180bhp plug-in hybrid from 39,050 euros.
- Volkswagen ID.4 Pure (149 hp, 52 kWh): from 41,500 euros
Photos: Clement Choulot.
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