In-depth reviews

MG 5 SW EV review

It may not be the most exciting or desirable zero-emissions model on sale, but the MG 5 EV electric estate car makes a lot of sense on many levels

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£27,244 - £29,744
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Practical
  • Great value
  • Lots of standard equipment

Cons

  • Plasticky interior
  • Not the best to drive
  • Lacks appeal of some rivals
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Long Range250 miles10hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)42mins (10-80%, 80kW)

The MG 5 SW was the second electric model launched by the brand in the UK, following on from the ZS EV, the cheapest electric SUV on sale. Both represent excellent value for money: this is a well equipped electric estate car that costs about the same as the smaller and less practical Renault ZOE and Honda e city cars.

The 5 SW is based on the Chinese-market Roewe Ei5 – both brands are part of the huge SAIC group. Apart from the very expensive Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, it's the only pure-electric estate currently on sale in the UK, so SUVs like the Kia e-Niro, Peugeot e-2008 and Hyundai Kona Electric serve as its main rivals.

MG enhanced the 5 SW's appeal further in mid-2021, introducing a new Long Range model with a larger battery for a 250-mile official range. As of early 2022, this has completely superseded the original version and is the only variant of the MG 5 SW that you can order as a new car.

What the 5 lacks in excitement it makes up for in the areas that suit sensible, value-orientated consumers – something not many electric vehicles have done up until now. From the outside, you’d barely be able to identify it as an electric car, and while that’s partly down to it being based on a conventional Chinese family car that also offers petrol power, the subtlety should also appeal to those put off by futuristic designs.

It’s a similar story inside, with a practical cabin, plenty of kit and a larger boot than many cars at the 5’s price point, but its real trump card is running costs. A real-world range of over 200 miles (from the larger-battery model introduced in July 2021) will cover the needs of most buyers, but zero road tax, negligible Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax for company-car drivers and an excellent seven-year warranty will bring down other running costs, too; the warranty cover in particular is better than all but one or two rivals.

Given its combination of low price, good range, strong performance and extensive standard equipment levels, it's hard not to recommend the MG 5. It doesn't offer the last word in polish, desirability or badge appeal – and we've yet to see how it performs in a Euro NCAP crash test – but it's the most accessible route into electric family-car ownership yet. For a more detailed look at the car, read on for the rest of our review...

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