A brand belonging to the Chinese state group SAIC, MG aims to be a truly global generalist producer. Following the successful launch of their ZS, Marvel and EHS plug-in hybrid SUVs, it therefore intends to offer the full range of bodies in all categories. Oddly enough, the manufacturer of the compact car first offers a station wagon, the MG5, before the sedan, which comes in the form of a brand new model at the end of the year. But in Asia, MG5 already exists in this form, while the model that worries us appeared in 2018 in a thermal version in China as Roewe Ei5.
In Europe, this station wagon comes to us exclusively with electric motors. To be able to integrate its batteries, which are located in the middle of the chassis, under the seats, he assumes a half-height posture which gives its already slightly dated lines somewhat strange proportions. An impression enhanced by the small size of its wheels and its narrow tracks, a common feature of the ZS. Moreover, if you take the trouble to look under the chassis, you can clearly see the battery housing, which protrudes and is not subject to any hood. This inspires a clear sense of do-it-yourself performance on a platform that was not originally designed for electric motorization.
Price MG5 Extended autonomy
The price remains the main asset for MG productions, and the new MG5 is no exception to the rule. Our top-class luxury model is thus invoiced for € 36,990, i.e. € 31,990 if we deduct the bonus amount of € 5,000 valid from the 1st.uh July 2022. The promise of a compact electric station wagon at the price of thermal is therefore well kept. This is even more true if we consider the price of entry-level Comfort equipped with the small 50 kWh battery, which is charged € 27,490 bonus included. The extra price of the large 61 kWh battery is something to think about because it only offers 11 kWh and 80 km WLTP autonomy more for 3,000 €, which is not cheap. You have to see the price of its chemistry, more expensive than the standard version. Also note that this leads to a power drop of 21 hp.
On the other hand, it would be wrong to deprive oneself of the luxury finish, which for an additional price of € 1,500 offers a 360 ° camera, automatic air conditioning, rain sensor, sequential windows, electric driver’s seat and rims.17 inches. A very complete equipment, which is also part of the brand’s traditional assets.
Autonomy and recharging time for MG5
As we have said, the MG5 is offered in two battery versions: standard 50.3 kWh and extended autonomy of 61.1 kWh, the first announces up to 320 km range in the WLTP cycle, and the second, up to 400 km. The MG5 Extended Autonomy actually seemed to us to be a little less greedy than the ZS, claiming that 16 kWh / 100 km on the highway and 24 kWh / 100 km on the highway at 130 km / h “GPS” were stabilized. We can therefore imagine a real autonomy that fluctuates between 250 and 380 km depending on usage. On the supply side, the MG5 announces 70 kW maximum charging power for the small battery and 87 kW for the large, enough to recover 80% of the charge in 40 minutes on a fast DC terminal.
We tried to connect it to two Ionity terminals to check these numbers, but both times ended in failure, the first failed after the connection and the second refused to communicate with the car. A malfunction that appears to be associated with our test specimen, but it is far from the first time that we have observed significant operational differences on the brand’s models. The Type 2 Mode 3 cable, which comes as standard, makes it possible to recover 80% of the charge in less than 4 hours on an 11 kW public terminal. The one intended for home charging is charged € 268, but on an electrical outlet in the home, a full “full” will require more than 18 hours and 30 minutes.
At the wheel of the MG5 Extended series
On the road, our luxury model with 17-inch rims benefits from excellent Michelin Premacy tires. Enough to give this station wagon an excellent grip despite inefficient damping characterized by poor spring / shock absorber tuning, which causes the car to rebound after each lightly pressed compression. The car also exhibits a fairly pronounced bodywork due to its raised suspension. However, the comfort level remains correct on well-paved roads, but deteriorates quite quickly on uneven surfaces. The steering logically provides a higher level of precision than that offered by the brand’s SUVs, but still suffers from a lack of responsiveness.
Despite the deficit of 21 hp in the extended range version, the MG5 offers very satisfactory performance, with a 0 to 100 km / h announced at 8.3 s. Its recovery capacity seems sufficient in any case, even on the highway. The time when electric cars are losing their funds in this area seems to be over. On the other hand, we noticed very marked air noise that testifies to perfected aerodynamics.
In the luxury finish, the MG5 is equipped as standard with adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving. Systems that lag behind: They certainly do not show the same brutality as on Marvel, but lack in particular degree of responsiveness, for example when a previous car changes lanes. Finally, on the highway, the car plays high-frequency ping-pong with the edges of the tracks, which quickly turns out to be uncomfortable.
In the cockpit of the MG5
When you board the MG5, the first surprise is the height of the floor, which imposes to have the knees going up. This applies to both the rear seat and the front seats, which in the long run can lead to unusual discomfort in the back for those with sensitive backs. In addition, front living space can be a problem for the most corpulent, the center console goes back very high and elbow room is limited.
The finish appears very heterogeneous. The dashboard’s plastic does not arouse criticism, but there are many questionable material choices: here very flashy chrome, there blue plastic decorations that are more of a toy universe than car. The light gray textile decorations with blue stitching can also make you smile, especially since they are located on the door panels in the potentially dirtiest places, while the GPS shortcut keys do not inspire a great sense of quality. In terms of ergonomics, we regret that the air conditioner is controlled by the touch screen, a solution that has never been proven.
As the MG5 is a station wagon, the practical qualities are disappointing. The boot offers only minimal modularity: the backrest of the bench seat cannot be folded down on a flat floor, and although the bench seat is strangely easy to cut off, the electrical wires attached there prevent it from being placed against the front seats to flatten the boot. . On the other hand, the placement of the batteries benefits it as it provides a normal depth that can be used thanks to an adjustable floor. Compared to the first MGs sold in Europe, the multimedia system has progressed well. Despite a rather narrow screen, the GPS provides proper guidance and the general ergonomics of the menus appear relatively intuitive. On the other hand, some inconsistencies remain such as the inability to display the phone menu and navigation at the same time.
MG-5 competition Extended range
As we have said, the MG5 is the first electric station wagon on the market. It therefore has no direct competitor and at present no one has been announced in the near future. So you need to look for your rivals on the side of compact SUVs, starting with those offered by the manufacturer. The recently redesigned ZS Extended Autonomy is offered at € 1,500 more expensive, but it has a larger 70 kWh battery. More compact (29 cm smaller) it has the luxury of offering a nine-liter boot volume. There is even more hesitation when considering the standard autonomy version, which offers the same battery capacity as the station wagon and only charges € 500 more.
Those who prefer more established brands may consider the Peugeot e-2008, but this one is much more expensive: the sparsely equipped base Active model is thus offered at € 33,050 in bonus of € 5,000 minus. It’s hard not to mention the electric Hyundai Kona, which remains a benchmark thanks to the engine’s efficiency. Here too, however, you have to make a significant financial effort, as it is only offered from € 36,200 in the 64 kWh version, always bonus included.
Find the results of the test, the technical schedule and prices, equipment, options for MG5 on the following page.