New 2022 MG 5 SW EV review
Refreshed looks and updated infotainment promise to further increase the appeal of MG’s sensible electric estate
- More attractive styling
- Should still be excellent value
- Greatly improved infotainment
- Hardly thrilling to drive
- No range or charging upgrades
- Not as spacious as some other estates
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Standard Range||199 miles||TBC||TBC|
|Long Range||249 miles||10hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||40mins (10-80%, 87kW)|
Late 2021 saw MG introduce a revamped version of its 5 SW electric estate to the UK market, sporting a bigger battery for a longer range than before. But there are more updates on the horizon for the Chinese-built model already. While the current incarnation remains on sale for now, a significant facelift for the car, inside and out, is due in showrooms during the last quarter of 2022.
We’ve had a chance to drive it in Germany, where it’s already on sale, before it arrives here. The first thing to know about this update is that the technology under the metal is largely unchanged. Having just increased the size of the 5’s battery a few months ago, MG isn’t about to do so again, so you still get a 61.1kWh unit plus a 154bhp electric motor for an official range of 249 miles and a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds.
As with the brand’s ZS SUV, a Standard Range version, with a smaller 50kWh battery for a 199-mile range, will also be offered. Charging speeds differ between the two, with the Standard Range topping out at 70kW and the Long Range managing up to 87kW. Neither number is particularly impressive by modern standards, but the 40-minute top-up time to 80% capacity for the larger-battery car shouldn’t be too arduous for most.
The carryover of technology means the revamped 5 SW EV doesn’t drive much differently to its predecessor. So it still can’t quite match the refinement of more upmarket electric cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Audi Q4 e-tron, but it’s a comfortable and settled cruiser nonetheless. It’s also not very sporty, but the fairly sharp steering and stable cornering inspire confidence on a twisty road. MG’s regenerative braking system also impresses, largely allowing for one-pedal driving most of the time.
On the practicality front, the redesign means there’s a smidgen more boot space in this incarnation of the MG 5 SW than in the outgoing car: 479 versus 464 litres. That’s still some way off the 575 litres a typical estate like the Ford Focus can manage, however. What’s more, total luggage space with the rear seats lowered has actually reduced, from 1,456 to 1,367 litres. Legroom and headroom are still pretty generous in both the front and back – although long-legged passengers may not appreciate the quite low-set back seats.
Apart from the obvious exterior styling update, sitting in the driver’s seat is where the changes to the latest MG 5 SW are most evident. Gone is the old, small infotainment display mounted low in the dashboard below the air vents, replaced by a big 10.25-inch screen that rises out of the dash just to the side of your eyeline, complete with a row of shortcut keys along its lower edge. This runs MG’s latest ‘iSmart Lite’ infotainment operating system, incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as before. There’s also been a significant step up in material quality inside, which is welcome.
As before, two trim levels are likely for the UK, named Comfort and Luxury. Even the entry-level is expected to get kit like LED lights, the new infotainment setup, a rear-view camera, a three-pin socket to power other equipment, air-conditioning and adaptive cruise with autonomous emergency braking – all for just under £30,000. Taken together, this boosts what was already a very solid and good-value electric-car offering and resolves two of the outgoing MG 5’s shortcomings – its bland looks and below-par cabin – quite satisfactorily.