MG has carved a niche in the EV market with its ZS EV. At launch you could pick one up for £21,495 and they're still one of the cheapest genuinely family-friendly EVs out there. We went to the launch and subsequently had the ZS EV in for a proper shake-down, using it every day and understanding its good and bad points. Overall, despite plenty of niggles, we liked it.
Now, MG's Sales and Marketing boss, Daniel Gregorious, has confirmed that the brand will be adding another EV to its UK range. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, he confirmed that the MG 5 estate will be available in showrooms as soon as they reopen after the lockdown is lifted. He anticipates that the first customer deliveries will take place in the final quarter of this year.
Like the rest of MG's range, the MG 5 is a car from the Chinese market which has been updated and homogenised for sale here in the UK and throughout Europe. In this case, the car it's based on is the SAIC Roewe Ei5 which will be re-badged, almost certainly get a similar spec infotainment system to the ZS EV, and most likely some subtle styling updates.
Size-wise, the Roewe Ei5 is 4.54 metres long and 1.82 metres wide. This makes it just a couple of centimetres shorter than a VW Golf estate but with a longer wheelbase by five centimetres which should have a positive (if small) impact on interior space.
Under the skin the Roewe Ei5, which has been available in China since 2018, is powered by a 114bhp motor which draws power from a 52.5kWh lithium-ion battery. On the old NEDC test, the car is good for 261 miles, so expect this to come down somewhat in the WLTP test – probably somewhere just south of 250 miles. Charging using a regular type 3, domestic supply takes 8.5 hours and using DC fast charging, 80 per cent is added in just 40 minutes.
Performance isn't startling, but like its MG ZS stablemate it's most definitely good enough for most people, most of time. Top speed is 93mph and 31mph comes up in less than five seconds. Given the ZS EV hits 62mph in 8.5 seconds we can expect the MG 5 to slip just under this. Whatever the actual case when it goes through the relevant tests and homogenisation over here, the range and performance will be more than enough to compete with cars that cost significantly more.
Speaking of price, Autocar reckons that the MG 5 will go for a similar amount to the £25,495 of the ZS EV. That being the case, whilst the MG 5 should pip the ZS on range, it's going to be very much as case of which car suits buyers' personal circumstances best.
Joining the pure electric MG ZS EV and MG 5 will be the brand's first PHEV; the MG eHS. Like the 5, the eHS is destined for these shores later this year with customer deliveries starting in early 2021, however it's a very different proposition but still at a reasonable price.
From what we know so far (which you can read here), the eHS will pack over 300bhp from its PHEV powertrain and, thanks to a 16.6kWh battery, will be capable of over 40 miles before the petrol motor needs to step in. Whist the price for the eHS hasn't been confirmed yet, our estimate is... you guessed it – around £25,000!
As a result, by the end of 2020 MG should have three distinct, zero emissions-capable, and highly compelling options for a very similar amount of money. We look forward to driving them and bringing you our thoughts!