The fussy will say that the first electric station wagon sold in France was the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, in the spring of 2021. But the German is not really intended to play the movers, and its minimum price of €99,557 reserves it for privileged. The new MG5 is intended to be more pragmatic, it which is displayed, excluding bonuses, from €32,490 with a useful 50.3 kWh battery and €35,490 here, with a 61.1 kWh battery. That’s not much for a 4.60 m long station wagon, when a 4.21 m Hyundai Kona already costs €36,400 with a small 39 kWh battery. And the MG break to add a 7-year warranty (5 years at Hyundai) or 150,000 km, battery included, as well as copious standard equipment: heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, keyless access and start , etc.
Sounding and stumbling assets to convince the pros – 60% of compact station wagon buyers in 2021 – to go electric. Especially since this Chinese has a trunk that is not cluttered with the battery. In addition, the latter offers a lifting floor, varying the capacity under the shelf from 350 dm³ in the low position to 320 dm³ when it is raised. Volumes that are nothing exceptional in absolute terms, even if a Renaut Mégane Estate E-Tech rechargeable hybrid does not offer better (350 dm³). In the Chinese break, the capacity is restricted by the short loading length, limited to 87 cm, far from the 104 cm offered by the Mégane (penalized, it, by the height available). In addition, the trunk of the Chinese break imposes a high loading threshold, at 76 cm, against 60 cm for the French. Finally, this hold offers, by way of development, only simple folding rear seatbacks in two parts.
A lively and balanced break
The station wagon of the Middle Kingdom convinces more by its road qualities. Usually, when a model offers two battery capacities, the larger one is associated with a beefier motor – this makes sense because the battery delivers more power and that, by the way, helps to justify the price difference. Here it is the opposite. The MG5 50.3 kWh offers a block of 177 hp, when our 61.1 kWh variant is content with 156 hp. A difference of 21 hp to put into perspective when we know that the two versions deliver 280 Nm of torque and announce the same performance. Thanks to a reasonable weight for an electric (1,584 kg), this family station wagon displays the vivacity of a GTI at the green light and revives vigorously, going from 80 to 120 km/h in just five seconds all round. And the chassis takes this heat rather well. The traction of this front-wheel drive proves to be quite suitable when the road is dry, well helped by the Michelin tires delivered as standard. This MG reassures by its balance, even if the most demanding will regret a certain imbalance in the direction.
Being content with 17-inch wheels (16-inch at entry level), the MG5 also has the good taste to properly filter the roughness of the road. The speed bumps are more curtly damped when driving alone on board. But nothing unbearable and this is the lot of many breaks designed to support the load. On the other hand, if the 5 offers correctly designed seats – even if the seat of the rear seat is a little short –, the soundproofing seems more ordinary. The 70 dBA recorded at 130 km/h testify to an acceptable noise level. On the other hand, the degraded coatings disturb the peace of mind of the occupants and the noise of the air is present from 110 km/h. In any event, the MG5 is not good for long journeys, its battery running out after only 220 km on the motorway. It is much better off on the road (304 km) and in town (352 km). And the reasonable appetite of 19.3 kWh per 100 km on average allows you to drive at a lower cost – especially when recharging at off-peak hours.
Otherwise, the MG station wagon does not display a great personality on board. Two screens, a 10.25-inch touchscreen in the center supplemented by a 7-inch as a screen-counters, are responsible for displaying as much information as possible. But, wanting to reduce the number of buttons too much, except on the steering wheel, the ergonomics are not the simplest, whether it is to manage the air conditioning or the radio. The unresponsive central screen and the mediocre image quality of the reversing camera also demonstrate the limits of low-cost cars. The finish confirms it, this MG5 not having the right to the materials of the big brother Marvel R. Here, you have to be content with basic plastics and often approximate seams, even if the fabric inserts on the dashboard and the storm doors warm the atmosphere.
But, at this price, indulgence may be in order, while the Sino-English label continues to expand its presence in France, with already 135 points of sale and maintenance.
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