MG 5 long-term test: report 1

The MG 5 is one of the cheapest electric cars on sale, and the only electric estate, but is it any good? We're living with it to find out...

MG 5

The car 2022 MG 5 SW EV Exclusive Long Range Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here To see whether an electric estate car can support the practicality needs of What Car?’s videographer while getting him around the country with relative ease

Needs to be Spacious, have enough range to travel to far-flung film shoots, and be comfortable to drive

Mileage 5955 Price £28,195 Target price £29,182 Price as tested £30,495 Test range 167 miles Official range 250 miles Options None

20 May 2022 – Joining the electric revolution

The age of the electric car has come, and that means more of us are choosing greener power for our cars. And as we get closer to 2030 – when the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK – the rate at which we make the switch is only going to increase.

MG5 charging

With that in mind, I'm diving in by choosing an electric car for myself. I'm a high-mileage, top-floor-flat-living videographer for What Car?, so you might be wondering why I've potentially chosen to shoot myself in the foot by adding charging times and route planning to my early morning departures for video shoots.

Put simply, I want to do my bit, both for the environment and, hopefully, for my wallet. What's more, others on the What Car? team have shown that it's possible to live with an electric car even if you can't charge at home. You just have to do a bit of extra planning.

In my case, the test is even trickier because, as a roving videographer for What Car?, I cover a lot of miles every week. That means my car not only has to be electric, but also spacious enough to carry me and all my kit in comfort. And I didn't want an SUV (having had so many in the past, I felt it was time for a change).

MG 5 charging

Enter the MG 5 – a model we named Best Electric Estate Car at our 2022 Car of the Year Awards ceremony in January. According to official range figures, it's capable of travelling up to 250 miles on a full battery charge. That figure fell to 167 miles in our Winter Range Test but I reckon that's still enough to get me where I'm going most of the time.

I'm mainly running this car in the warmer summer months, so I'm hoping I can push that real-world range figure closer to 200 miles between charges. That will generally be enough for video shoots within the M25 over a couple of days. More far-flung shoots – in Wales or the North of England, for example – will demand at least one charge while I'm on the road. In other words, this will be a test of the charging infrastructure, as well as the MG 5.

My MG 5 is in Exclusive Long Range trim, which is the pricier option of the two trim levels and has a 61kWh battery (the other one is Excite, and it gets the same battery). With Exclusive, MG adds an adjustable boot floor, keyless entry, electric heated windows and roof rails. It costs £2300 more than the £28,740 entry-level car, and both trims qualify for the Government's (ever-decreasing) £1500 electric car grant – a big bonus point.

MG 5 air conditioning

Once you've picked your trim level, the only option to choose is one of five paint colours (none of which costs extra), so there isn’t much room for customisation. Fortunately, with heated seats, automatic air conditioning, a part-digital driver display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard, this MG 5 has pretty much all the equipment you would want to add anyway.

Another appealing aspect of the MG 5 is the fact that it's an estate car. For a start, I prefer the lower driving position of an estate over the SUVs I've had recently. I also like having all the practicality of a larger car without the bulkier styling of a faux-off-roader.

The MG 5’s boot has a decent storage capacity of 464 litres, which is a useful step up from the 400 litres in the Seat Arona long-term test car I had before. I’m confident it will offer everything I need in terms of practicality.

MG 5 charger

I’m also interested to see how much it really costs to charge up the MG 5 – and whether I’ll notice it being much cheaper than fuelling the petrol cars I've had. I can't say whether or not it's time for everyone to go electric, but I am excited to see if it's the right time for me.

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