Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
All MG 5s get a 52.5kWh battery pack (the useable size is 48.8kWh for those that are interested) that’s good for an official WLTP combined range of 214 miles. That’s significantly more than the MG ZS EV or the entry-level Nissan Leaf and just three miles shy of the Peugeot e-208. If you need more range, take a look at the Hyundai Kona Electric, Renault Zoe or the Volkswagen ID.3.
The Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.3 are both quicker, too, but with 154bhp from its electric motor, the 5 takes a very respectable 7.7sec to blast from 0-62mph; that’s a couple of seconds up on the Peugeot e-2008 and Renault Zoe.
The 5's pace is also instantaneous because the nano-second your foot goes down it picks up and goes. This makes shooting up to motorway speeds or zipping into gaps in the traffic easy, but it can cause the 5 to break traction regularly; it doesn’t take much to set the traction control light flashing away and sometimes you’ll feel the steering wheel pulling slightly in your hands, as the front-wheel-drive 5's tyres fight for purchase.
This is quite a softly sprung car, so it soothes away most things pleasantly – from pimples to pugnacious potholes – around town, and it's really settled on motorways. It's better controlled than a lot of its rivals, actually, including in-house MG ZS EV and the firmer ID.3, and it's not far off matching the best-riding small electric cars, such as the Peugeot e-208.
We certainly wouldn’t recommend the MG 5 for driving thrills, although it handles better than its taller sibling, the MG ZS EV. And it handles well enough as far as the wider class is concerned, thanks to precise steering, sensible grip levels and reasonable suspension control over bumpy roads; but, compared with the lither ID.3, it leans more in corners and is nowhere near as spry.
You’ll notice the electric motor’s whine more than you will in most rivals, especially when you’re pottering around town, but at speed the 5 is pretty mute. There's much less wind noise than there is in the ZS EV and less background road rumble than the ID.3 generates. Only the Citroën e-C4 and e-208 are much better.
Its brakes, often an issue with electric cars, are far less grabby than the e-C4’s or e-208’s, though. The 5's regenerative braking system, which recharges the battery as you slow down, doesn't overtly corrupt the pedal feel, so you can come to a smooth stop easily. You can increase and decrease the effectiveness of the regenerative braking, as you can in a lot of EVs, but it’s never strong enough to allow ‘one pedal’ driving like the Nissan Leaf; in that car you can come to a complete stop just by lifting off the accelerator and without touching the brakes.
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