The Essai MG5 is a 100% electric station wagon at a cannon price. In the segment of electric station wagons, its only enemies are called Porsche Taycan Cross and Sport Turismo, which sold much more expensive! But do the benefits of the MG5 follow? Answer in our full essay.
MG is one of those Chinese car manufacturers who are betting on the advent of the electric car to establish themselves on the Old Continent. And you just have to be a little careful on our roads to realize that the bet is about to be won, especially with models like the MG ZS EV, which ranks among the best-selling electric models in France. A recent addition to the range and a new asset for the former English firm now owned by SAIC Motor is a station wagon, the MG5 Electric, “the world’s first electric station wagon.” Even if it is not totally true, we were able to try it.
|Model||MG MG5 Electric|
|Power (kW)||130 kW|
|0 to 100 km/h||8.3 secondes|
|Level of autonomy||2|
|Max speed||185 km/h|
|Main screen size||10.25 inches|
|Car side sockets||Type 2 Combo (CCS)|
Essai MG5 DESIGN
To be completely accurate, MG should have written on its site that it is the “first electric station wagon in the C segment” or else the “first affordable electric station wagon” rather than generalizing the whole break. Because technically, the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is also a station wagon. And it arrived before the Essai MG5. However, it is much more expensive. That’s it for the focus.
If the Marvel R, which is at the very top of the Essai MG5 range, is rather aesthetically successful, especially with this very modern front end and this luminous line that runs between the headlights, the MG5 is not really likely to turn heads. Neither ugly nor elegant, one could qualify it as quite ordinary. “Essential,” as other manufacturers would say as if to say that it has everything you need where you need it, but without frills.
4.60 meters long, it is just three centimeters shorter than a Peugeot 308 SW. On the other hand, it is almost 10 cm higher than the latter, which gives it a fairly high-legged appearance. There are a few chrome here and 6there and an LED lighting signature at the front and at the rear, giving it a touch of modernity6. We are not very seduced by this charging hatch in the middle of the grille. We will see that in use, it is not the most practical… nor the cleanest!
The standard 16-inch rims in the entry-level Comfort finish are also less, have you seen me, than the 17-inch wheels of our test version in the Luxury finish. After tastes and colors, it’s up for discussion!
Once inside this Essai MG5 break, the presentation is quite pleasant and modern at first glance, which would almost contrast with the exterior. If we go into the details, there are quite a few that bother us. Like what appears in blue in the cabin: in the photos, it looked like chrome. It’s more like tinted plastic. The stitching of the seats is also not very qualitative.
Once seated in the driver’s seat, we have the impression of a cockpit that is not unpleasant, with a large separation from the passenger. But the largest templates may not be comfortable; the seat is a little cramped. And oddly, the floor is very high as well, which requires having your legs very bent, even passing on either side of the steering wheel.
The feeling is the same in the back, which reserves enough space for adults, but who will also have their legs bent there because of the low seat in relation to the ground. The latter is even flat, which allows the central place to be reserved for short trips, to have room for the feet.
We move on to the trunk, which offers a cargo capacity that ranges from 479 liters when the rear row is in place up to 1,367 liters when it is folded down. Moreover, surprising for a break that really presents itself as such not to have a flat floor since the rear seat does not tilt. And so the files, folding 2/3-1/3, arise on top. Incomprehensible. If the trunk floor can be positioned on several levels, on the other hand, there are no loading tips in this Essai MG5 , such as the ski hatch for the longest objects.
Upon entering the Essai MG5, you are greeted by two screens: the first is that of the instrumentation behind the steering wheel. It measures 7 inches, and it fits between the rounded digital speedometers on the left and the percentage of power used on the right. These are also original because the traditional hands are replaced by colored petals.
As for the instrumentation, it is rather basic; we find the essential information, except for the navigation map. Shame.
The central infotainment screen measures 10.25 inches, in tablet format, horizontally. Relatively narrow, it is easy to use, in particular, thanks to its shortcut keys placed just below. The responsiveness of touch could be better, and navigation in the menus and submenus is intuitive. In terms of comments, note that the air conditioning is adjusted via the screen, which is not ideal, as the image quality of the reversing camera is poor. It is not possible to split the screen in two to display two different menus at the same time. And we are talking about the menus, which half of the time have a capital letter? It’s not very serious…
From the first trim level, the Essai MG5 offers four USB ports (three USB-A and one USB-C), Bluetooth, DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Finally, an application called smart can be loaded on your phone to stay connected to your car to monitor or program the car’s charge, locate the vehicle, activate the air conditioning remotely, or lock/unlock it remote
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Let’s not forget a function that we particularly like in this Essai MG5, the V2L, which allows you to recharge a computer as well as an electric bicycle, or even another electric vehicle if necessary, by plugging directly into the port of front loading. The power delivered is 2.5 kW. However, you need an adapter which is optional.
Oh yes, and since we come to the chapter on autonomy and recharging, also know that there is no trip planner in the navigation, which would suggest where to stop to recharge. In the event of a long journey, you must therefore plan your route in advance with mobile applications such as A Better Route Planner or Chargemap.
The MG5 station wagon comes in two versions: the first is called Standard Autonomy, which has a 50.3 kWh battery (nominal capacity), 177 horsepower, and offers up to 320 kilometers of autonomy. The Extended Autonomy version has a larger battery, 61 kWh, less power of 156 horsepower, and an announced autonomy of 400 kilometers.
The difference between the two versions is mainly on the autonomy, with a differential of 80 kilometres, all the same, because the torque (280 Nm), the maximum speed (185 km/h), and the 0 to 100 km/h ( 8.3 seconds), are strictly identical. Our test model is the Essai MG5 Luxury Extended Range, with a range of 380 km thanks to the 17-inch wheels.
From the first laps in Ile-de-France traffic, the Essai MG5 is quite lively. Despite its modest power, it feels relatively light, perfect for fitting easily into the uninterrupted flow of cars. Light is also light in its direction, which helps it, in particular, on urban routes, especially since its dimensions are apprehended very quickly.
On the other hand, as soon as you leave the city for small, winding country roads, you are less at ease in the station wagon. Its typical comfort suspension is a little soft, and the high position forces it to roll when the road winds. Better to drive quietly.
In addition, the driving position is really not ideal, with the legs going up high and a lack of lumbar support from the seats, which are comfortable, though. On long journeys, breaks to stretch your legs (and recharge!) are welcome.
In terms of regenerative braking, it is possible to choose three different modes. However, the car does not come to a standstill on its own (no I-pedal or e-pedal functionality), so you will have to use the brake for the last few meters.
read more: Polestar 3: electric SUV with a long-range relies on comfort
The good news is that the Essai MG5 can count on a number of standard driving aids: adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assistant, parking aid in the lane, lane change warning, recognition of traffic signs… Enough to offer level 2 autonomous driving. Very practical, especially for long journeys on the motorway.
AUTONOMY, BATTERY, AND CHARGING
With our MG5, which offers 380 km of autonomy (61 kWh battery), we made a trip of nearly 1,000 kilometers, most of which was on the highway. With an average speed displayed on the dashboard of 79 km/h, the car consumed 20.1 kWh per 100 kilometers. This data brings it closer to a real autonomy of 300 kilometers, even if obviously it will consume much less in urban use.
MG5 recharge times (from 10 to 80%) are 18.6 hours on a 2.3 kW household outlet, 5.8 hours on a single phase at 7.4 kW, 3.9 hours on a three-phase at 11 kW, and 35 minutes for DC fast charging. The maximum charging speed is 87 kW. During our highway trip, we will even experience going up to 90 kW on an Ionity terminal, against the 87 kW announced, rather a good surprise.
The worst is the predictive range displayed on the dashboard, which melts like snow in the sun: at 130 km/h, we lose 22 km of range on the dashboard every 10 km. Which is all the less reassuring since, as said before, the car does not offer a trip planner that adapts to your trip and advises you where to stop depending on your remaining range and your final destination. Only a map with your range, like at Audi, will help you see how far you can go.
Last remark: the charging hatch being located at the front, between the headlights, is particularly exposed. Both mosquitoes and dirt from the road which does not make opening it very pleasant when recharging. But also to other vehicles, and we have experienced this: a large pick-up with a tow ballparked in front of us obviously backed up a little too much when leaving. Results? A sunken hatch, which no longer opened by pressing on it. The return trip will be done by opening the hatch “as you can” to recharge!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The advantage of the MG5 break is its price: it starts at 32,990 euros for the Standard Autonomy version and is 320 kilometers in the Comfort finish. Count 34,490 euros for the Luxury finish which adds leatherette, the electrically adjustable driver’s seat, the 360° camera, the 17-inch alloy wheels, or the automatic air conditioning. Among others.
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By opting for the Essai MG5 in Extended Range (400 km), the price increases to 35,990 euros and 37,490 euros in the Comfort and Luxury finishes.
A price, therefore, contained on the electric market, and above all which offers a very big advantage to the MG5 station wagon: that of benefiting from the maximum ecological bonus of 6000 euros on all versions and finishes! Or prices that start at 29,990 euros after the bonus.
read more: Nissan Leaf: Make Money With Your Electric Car
Being the only electric station wagon on the market, apart from the Porsche Taycan Cross and Sport Turismo, which are worth three times its price (minimum!), this Essai MG5 has no real competition. Unless you look at compact SUVs, like the Hyundai Kona or a Kia E-Niro. But here, too, the Essai MG5 does much better with regard to the starting price, set at more than 36,000 euros for the first and 44,000 euros for the second. Finally, we can mention the classic Skoda Enyaq (uncut), which is a crossover but which is close to a station wagon. Again, the price is much higher than on the Essai MG5 , from 43,840 euros.