Depending on how deep your pockets are, you have masses of choice when it comes to EVs nowadays – some demand £180,000 (a fully-loaded Mercedes-Benz EQV) and some as little as £3,499 (Citroen C-Zero). For those who are browsing the market for a new EV, however, options include the Mini Electric, the Peugeot e208, the Nissan Leaf Acenta, and of course, the MG5. Matthew Macconnell spent a week with the MG5.
Birds whistled as the MG5 hummed its way through my estate, grass turned greener and on-looking families smiled. It was parked on the drive and the keys were handed over. Right from the beginning it looked like it would tick all the boxes for those after a sensible and efficient car: big boot — 1367 litres with the rear seats folded, a claimed range of 230 miles, rapid charging capability and plenty of rear leg room.
Rather than pottering around town over the next week, I had a better idea — I’d put it through its paces on a 300-mile round trip to Argyll and back to test those numbers. I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the Aston Martin Bulldog barrel down a runway at a formal NATO airbase in Campbeltown as it attempted to crack 200mph — it managed 205.4mph, by the way. The day arrived and we set off for Argyll at 5:30am, which was roughly a four-hour drive. The car was fully charged and read out 235 miles on the 7” driver display. I shoved the little mode switch on the centre console to Eco mode and off we went. The route was about to take us along the A811, through Loch Lomond, up the A82 and then south through Inveraray.
Adjusting to the MG’s interior was easy – the seats were comfortable, although the driving position was slightly high for me being 6ft even with the electric seat dropped as far as it could go, the 10.25” touchscreen was speedy and easy to navigate, and to top things off, the MG5 still had the essential buttons to control the radio, fan, temperature and window demister limiting the amount of faffing required while attempting to drive — excellent.
Everything went great from setting off in Clackmannanshire to Loch Lomond. The drive up the side of Loch Lomond revealed, however, what appeared to be hundreds of rock-fall points. Even in places where there were no rocks to fall, the sat-nav would continue to ping and show a yellow rock falling symbol, which was getting a tad distracting, despite the safety in mind. Passing by Luss, around 45 miles into the journey, the MG showed 176 miles left and 80%. A couple of hours in and we arrived at picturesque Argyll with sub-60 miles (33%) left.
Event over, it was up to the scenic fishing town of Campbeltown to provide us with some lunch and a charge before heading home. Forgetting to use the rapid charge function, which can charge the car from 10 to 80% in 40min, left us instead with just 120 miles left of range (53%) – home was 150 miles away. In the back of beyond, there’s quite an absence of rapid chargers, and with it now being 6pm, tiredness and grumpiness were beginning to set in — we needed a rapid charger and we needed it quickly. We headed for a town with an indicated rapid charger but on arrival it showed “Out of service”. Crawling to one of the next towns 37.3 miles away from Campbeltown meant we had to spend another two hours topping up, leaving us with 36% battery and 74 miles — home being now 114 miles away.
Luckily, our endless research revealed another charger in a further town 37.9 miles away — it was rapidly approaching 8pm. Finally, a rapid charger – a functioning one too. Spending 20 minutes in the town topped up the battery to 60% giving us roughly about 140 miles of range. Lesson learned – if travelling long distances in an EV deep into the Scottish wilds, use the first rapid charger you see (if you can).
It was the next day and time to put the MG5’s performance to the test with the RaceBox. 154bhp and 260Nm were available in its sporty setting; turning that mode on instantly livens up the throttle response. MG claims 0-62 in 7.7sec. On a dry road with no wheelspin, the MG5 managed 0-60mph in 7.1sec and 62mph from rest in 7.6sec. Overtaking from 30-70mph was over in 7.7sec and braking from 60-0 revealed a respectable stopping distance of 43m.
The MG5 covers all bases. As a useable EV, it offers decent performance, masses of room inside, a decent range and an astonishing amount of tech. Prices start from £30,995 for the base SE Long Range guise and £33,495 for the Trophy.
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