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MG5 takes the Trophy with electric triumph

The new MG5 comes with a revamped exterior and a roomy, upgraded interior.

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The MG5 proves that a great electric car doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.

A good range, a big boot and an attractive price tag are three aspects that set it aside from the pack.

Starting at just under £31,000 it’s one of the best value electric cars on the market. A 61kWh battery gives it an official range of around 250 miles. Yes, some electric cars will now get north of 300 miles out of a full charge but for the vast majority of drivers a comfortable 200 mile range will be more than enough.

And it’s an estate car. Unless you count the Porsche Taycan (which is more of a fastback and horrendously expensive) it is currently the only electric estate car available.

That’s set to change, with electric estates from BMW, Audi Peugeot, Vauxhall and others poised to join the market this year or next. For now, however, the MG5 remains the only game in town.

MG recently revamped the MG5, improving its exterior styling and bringing the cabin upmarket. It still doesn’t look like a £60,000 car but it’s much sharper and doesn’t feel like a budget car any more.

The MG5 starts at £30,995 for the SE model. I spent a week driving the higher spec Trophy model, which costs £33,495.

Decent real-world driving distance

The official WLTP range is 250 miles for the SE and 235 miles for the Trophy version, which has bigger tyres that reduce efficiency slightly. In real world driving that translates to around 200 miles.

That’s enough that you don’t need to worry about charging it every day. I pootled around the east cost for a few days, drove to Stanley and back, and later in the week had a journey to Pitlochry.

By the time I got there the battery was low so I plugged in and went for a walk along the Tummel for half an hour, by which time the battery had plenty of range to get me home.

Using a 150kW charger it takes 30 minutes to charge the MG5 from 10-80%. Those are like hen’s teeth in Scotland, however, and on the more common 50kW chargers it takes a little over an hour.

On the road

On the road, the MG5 is a smooth and easy drive. Some electric cars stun you with supercar-like acceleration. The MG5 doesn’t do that, but its 154bhp gets the car from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and it has enough power for swift, safe overtaking.

It’s practical, easy to drive and has a decent range

Ride and refinement are both very good. At 70mph on the A9 the cabin is nice and quiet. While it’s no sports car it also dealt with the twists and turns of Highland Perthshire’s minor country roads much better than a tall SUV would.

You’ve got the option of Eco, Comfort or Sport modes. Eco ekes out a little extra range and is useful on long journeys. Sport maximises power and responsiveness. Comfort is a nice middle ground and is the mode I left the car in most of the time.

The interior of the MG5 is much improved over the previous model. There’s a 10.25in touchscreen along with buttons for the volume, front and rear demister and fan.

It’s not perfect. The touchscreen is slow to respond. And you can’t adjust the temperature using buttons, instead having to find a tiny icon on the screen. It is an update over the previous, dreadful system, though, and a good step in the right direction.

Roomy and well-equipped

The MG5 is a roomy car. There’s space in the back for three adults and at 587 litres the boot is huge. There’s room for all the family’s holiday luggage or a couple of dogs back there. Drop the rear seats and there’s nearly 1,400 litres of space.

My trophy model was well equipped with leather seats, heated front seats and an electric driver’s seat, parking camera, adaptive cruise control and lots more.

Electric cars have few moving parts and tend to be more reliable and need less maintenance than petrol or diesel cars. Even so, MG offers an excellent seven-year, 80,000 mile warranty.

I really enjoyed the MG. It’s not exciting. It isn’t as fancy as some rivals. But it’s practical, easy to drive and has a decent range. It’s around the same price as much smaller cars like the Renault Zoe and Fiat 500.

We need more cars like the MG5.

The Facts

Model: MG5 SE Trophy

Price: £33,495

0-62mph: 7.7 seconds

Top speed: 115g/km

Range: 235 miles

CO2 emissions: 0g/km