MG 5 Estate
We used to love estate cars as a nation. Now, the glut of SUVs and crossovers seem to dominate the automotive landscape leaving the poor old station wagon languishing unloved in the design studio or product planning department. And they certainly won’t see the latest developments in the EV market if people continue to shun them.
Thankfully, MG sees things a little differently, feeling that there might be a glimmer of hope for the poor old wagon. And so here it is, the MG 5. A compact, practical family estate with a full EV powertrain.
But should we care?
On paper, the car delivers in terms of value for money, offering a well-equipped specification and decent range (up to 214 miles according to WLTP figures) alongside reasonably peppy performance (0-62mph in 7.7 seconds). And whilst it won’t stir the emotions in terms outright dynamics, it handles as one would expect a car like this to and gives a ride quality that ticks the “acceptable” box. It also checks the bit of the design brief that says “practical” as a nice roomy load bay swallows 464 litres of a family’s clutter with the seats in place, 1456 litres if they are folded down. The only blot on that part of its copybook is the rear seat squab that is fixed, meaning the seat backs have to fold onto it creating an impractical rise and robbing the loadspace of a few more litres.
The car is available in two trim levels, the lead-in ‘Excite’ that includes air-conditioning, satellite navigation, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, rear parking camera and Bluetooth, with the higher-spec ‘Exclusive’ upping the ante with heated front seats, leather-style upholstery, auto-climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and keyless entry. Prices start at £24,495 for the ‘Excite’ rising to £26,995 for the ‘Exclusive’ after the current PICG is taken into account. So, as far as value is concerned, there is little that can touch the MG 5.
Unfortunately, there has to be a trade-off, and in many ways, it’s the styling that lets the side down. The car is essentially MG’s version of the Chinese-only Roewe ei5 and so any design flourishes seem to have been left out. Those of us with memories long enough to recall the MG Maestro and Montego will be longing for a little red pinstripe through the bumpers, or a red-stitched octagon in the seats, but alas, we will be searching in vain. Of course, for some, that won’t matter. What does is the fact that the car brings the only EV estate car to the UK market, and that is commendable enough to warrant the attention it will get.
In summary, there is a decent car here that provides low-cost entry to the EV market for those families that just need practical transport, or perhaps company car drivers, or small-business owners that need to combine load space with low running costs.
It’s just that for us enthusiasts, we will need to look elsewhere.