MG5 EV 61.1 kWh Review - For The Practical Thinking Man

Text and Photos by James Wong
4 Dec 2021
 

the MG5 EV... is currently MG’s most affordable electric car (S$142k at press time) and one of Singapore’s most accessible entry points to EV ownership.

The thinking man doesn't necessarily go for the mainstream choices in the market. There are diamonds in the rough that are more satisfying to uncover as they are least expected. 

As we’ve already established with the MG ZS EV and MG HS, MG is building incredibly competitive cars that are worth consideration. 

Especially the MG5 EV, which is currently MG’s most affordable electric car (S$142k for the 'Excite' at press time) and one of Singapore’s most accessible entry points to EV ownership. 

It sports a very European wagon body style, yet in person it sits rather high thanks to its batteries placed beneath its floor. It’s a slightly awkward look, and combined with the fairly generic design language, a little forgettable. It’s inoffensive though and your neighbours certainly would have no clue it is a car that can virtually outrun anything in its price range in the hands of the right driver. 

Inside

MG has drawn inspiration from various European makes and there is a faint familiarity to some of the controls. But aside from the lack of some originality and flair, it all just works. There aren't any jarring ergonomic misses, although one noticeable omission was an interior light for the rear passengers. 

The touch screen is slightly laggy, but at least it is an in-house system and with built-in Apple CarPlay/Android Auto you can bypass the system anyway. Material quality and build quality is what you’d expect for the price, and gives the perception of a ‘continental’ car. 

I did notice that I couldn’t quite get fully comfortable with the seating position, this perhaps due to the highly set floor as I alluded to earlier. It’s not a deal breaker, but one just feels sat a little more elevated than normal. 

Being a wagon, there is plenty of boot space (495 litres) and the rear seats fold 60:40 too. There is no frunk. 

The Drive

The MG5 EV is available with a 50.3 kWh or 61.1 kWh battery, the latter also coming with additional options and well worth the extra $9k outlay. There is an extra 87 km of range to be had in the WLTP cycle, and when I got the car (thus equipped with the larger battery) there was about 360-370 km of range (403 km WLTP) with a full charge. Even with liberal use the estimated range hardly budged after about 150 km of driving, so the readout is pretty accurate. 

Although the MG5 EV 61.1 kWh is rated for only 154 hp (curiously, the 50.3 kWh battery was rated for 161 hp), it has the all-important virtually instantaneous torque of 280 Nm which is plenty for the surprisingly trim 1,565 kg kerb weight. This translates to frankly rapid acceleration after a slight initial lag from the get-go. Getting wheelspin is all too easily achieved and traction has to be managed for a clean and quick getaway. The closest priced EV competitor is the BYD e6 and yes, while it isn’t fair to compare the two different cars the power is literally night and day. 

There’s more good news. The car is actually decent to drive and you could tell it has been set up for European tastes. Noise levels are impressively low (not all EVs are quiet due to ambient noise being let in) and it always feels like a protective cocoon inside. The car is plenty comfortable and despite managing the weight of all those batteries, it always feels at ease. It does a tidy job at handling too, offering neat and predictable dynamics. 

Our Thoughts

While other carmakers are all scrambling to chase Tesla, MG is happy to carve its own niche in the market by being affordable to the masses, yet delivering a true electric car experience that’s not watered down despite being ‘entry level’. Ignore the utilitarian and arguably dated design inside and out, because this is a great EV full stop.  

In Summary

We Like

Superb drivetrain, decent range, premium-like insulation, isn’t ashamed of being a comfortable and family friendly car.á á

We Don't

Design could feel like an old movie you didn’t really want to watch again.á á

Verdict

This one’s for the thinking man - without any need for the validation of others. á

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