Why the MG still turns heads

You can tell your age by how you regard MG.

By Steve Teale
Friday, 7th January 2022, 8:37 pm
It might not have the allure of a Midget or an MGB but it is an important and influential model
It might not have the allure of a Midget or an MGB but it is an important and influential model

If you’re a veteran you might recall the Magnette or T-Type. A little younger and it’s the MGBs or Midgets. More recently and it’s MGF.

But if you’re in your motoring peak right now, the MG3 and the MG5 might excite you.

I use the word advisedly for the MG of today is a very different beast from a few generations ago. Not as cool or racy, perhaps, but in its own way still important.

The cabin is easy to live with

For the MG5 tested here is a car which is helping drive the new electric vehicle market. It is cheap – at least compared with rival EV models – and is helping more people make the transfer from petrol and diesel.

This is an estate car called the MG5 EV LR. The EV denotes it is an electric vehicle and the LR tells you it is a long-range model, which is important. One of the sticking points over EVs is range anxiety.

The thought of your spark running out without a filling station – or rather a charge point – deters many from electric vehicles.

But this model allows for 250 miles between charges, which is impressive. It means most commuters could go all week without plugging in, and even longer trips are feasible.

It costs from £26,495 on the road and even the better equipped test model is £28,995. It has the highest range per pound sterling of any EV in the UK.

MG say the MG5 EV is stretching its value for money even further with the introduction of a new longer-range model. It has a 61.1kWh battery and it will go from zero to 80 per cent charge in 61 minutes on a 50kW rapid charger or 40 minutes on a 100kW rapid charger. A 100 per cent overnight fast charge takes 9.5 hours.

The new model joins the thriving MG5 EV model range, which made its debut in October 2020 as Europe’s first EV estate car. The new longer range model will continue to be sold for the time-being alongside the standard car, which has an electric range of 214 miles.

MG5 EV is said to offer the flexibility and practicality of a spacious station wagon with great dynamics and no emissions. The new longer range variant is the perfect addition, alongside MG ZS EV and the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid, which already account for a third of MG’s total sales. The brand is now the fourth most popular EV brand in the UK and its EV model split is over four times the average in today’s car market.

Like all MG models, MG5 EV LR comes with a seven year, 80,000-mile warranty. It zips to 60mph in 7.3 seconds. With its new 61.1kWh lithium-Ion battery pack that can be charged up to 80 per cent in just 40 minutes using a rapid charger, the longer range MG5 EV has a range of 250 miles in normal day-to-day use. This rises to 334 miles on urban driving.

Also new on the long range model is the addition of MG’s MG Pilot Driver Assistance System. MG Pilot is a suite of technologies. MG Pilot offers a selection of warning and alert features to assist the driver, including Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent High Beam Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

With MG5 EV, the company has already proven there is huge demand for a sensibly priced all-electric estate and it has proven hugely popular with fleet and retail customers since its debut in autumn 2020.

With the new longer-range model MG customers are offered even greater value and flexibility form their EVs. With a full charge giving a range of 250 miles and the ability to be rapid charged to 80 per cent in as little as 40 minutes, MG5 EV is claimed to be a car that really can bring electric motoring to the masses.

The large, versatile boot – the car’s true USP – is accessed from a wide tailgate opening. With the rear seats up and load cover in place there are 464 litres of boot space, or with the load cover retracted that extends to 578 litres with the rear seats still in place.

Tracing its history back to 1924, MG is a much-loved British brand, famous for building sporty, exciting and value-for-money cars. MG is the fastest growing car brand in the UK, fielding a six-car range. The cars are designed in Marylebone, London.

In truth, this isn’t the prettiest MG ever but it is technically adept. And if it continues to persuade drivers to switch to electrical, it may be regarded as the most influential MG.

MG5 EV LR

Price: £28,995. Range starts at £26,495 on-the-road (after OZEV grant).

Motor: a 61.1kWh battery. It takes 61 minutes to go from 0 to 80 per cent on a 50kW

rapid charger or 40 minutes on a 100kW rapid charger. A 100 per cent overnight fast charge takes 9.5 hours on a domestic home charger supply.

Range: 250 miles.

Performance: Top speed 115mph and 0 to 60mph in 7.3 seconds.

Warranty: Seven-year, 80,000 miles manufacturer’s warranty which is transferable to the next owner.