MG 5 long-term test: report 7

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 one to find out...

Mini Electric vs MG 5

The car MG 5 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 8295 List price £31,995 Target Price £31,679 Price as tested £30,495 Test range 167 miles Official range 250 miles

25 September – Need for Speed: MG 5

What’s the best electric car you can buy for £30,000? It’s a good question, and one we plan to answer in a feature you’ll shortly be able to read in our magazine, and watch on our YouTube channel.

I'm not going to reveal any spoilers now, but I can tell you that the MG 5 was one of the contenders in this megatest.

As part of it, the 10 cars we assembled took part in a drag race. Sure, that might not be hugely relevant for people spending this sort of money on an electric car – but it was interesting.

MG 5 drag race

And how did the MG 5 get on? Well, as I’ve said, no spoilers, but I can reveal a few details, including the performance data we got on the day.

Unfortunately I was behind the camera, so it was left to a colleague to enjoy pedalling the MG 5.

The first problem encountered was that of traction – or rather the shortage of it. We were on a low-grip, pretty poorly surfaced runway, so flooring the accelerator to send the MG 5's full 152bhp and 192lb ft of torque to the front wheels led to the traction control system cutting in to tame the wheelspin. As a result, the car rather bogged down off the start line.

The remedy to this, we found, was turning the traction control off; do not try this at home.

MG 5 wheelspin

For the first sprint with traction control turned off I was filming on the start line of our drag race right next to the MG 5, and it was quite a spectacle to behold.

As the metaphorical lights went green, the front tyres absolutely lit up, spinning wildly, throwing up grit from the surface in all directions, and squealing like the front row of a One Direction concert. The wheelspin was the kind you’d see on a car stuck in the mud moving absolutely nowhere. But the MG 5 wasn’t stuck; it was still able to move forwards at quite a pace with front tyres that looked like Catherine Wheels. Eventually farther down the runway the tyres found some traction and propelled the MG over the quarter-mile finish line.

We repeated this test a number of different times using a number of different settings for the MG 5, but we found the quickest way was indeed showing no mercy to the accelerator pedal and actually allowing the wheels to spin.

MG 5 drag race launch

Now, the numbers. MG reckons this electric estate can cover 0-60mph in 7.3sec. On our runway it managed 0-60mph in 7.0sec. And remember this was not on pristine Grand Prix-spec asphalt.

To be honest, it is a little concerning how easy it is to dramatically spin up the front wheels of the MG 5. But on the public road, leaving the traction control safely on will mean you don’t encounter this problem, and it will still feel quite nippy in the acceleration it offers.

The bad news from the day was that all this fun spinning the wheels didn’t do much for the tyre tread. In my next update I’ll tell you exactly how bad things got and what we had to do about it.

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