The whims will say that the first electric van sold in France was the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, in the spring of 2021. But the German does not intend to make the engines, and its minimum price of 99,557 € the reservation for the privileged. The new MG5 aims to be more pragmatic, which is shown, without the bonuses, from € 32,490 with a useful battery of 50.3 kWh and € 35,490 here, with a battery of 61.1 kWh. That’s not much for a 4.60m long van, when a 4.21m Hyundai Kona already costs € 36,400 with a small 39 kWh battery. And the MG breaks to add a 7-year warranty (5 years at Hyundai) or 150,000km, battery included, as well as extensive standard equipment: heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, and more.
Assets that sound and stumble to convince professionals (60% of buyers of compact vans in 2021) to switch to electricity. Especially because this Chinese has a trunk that is not cluttered with the battery. Besides, the latter offers a lifting floor, varying the capacity under the shelf from 350 dm³ in low position to 320 dm³ when elevated. Volumes that are not at all exceptional in absolute terms, although a rechargeable hybrid Renaut Mégane Estate E-Tech does not offer better (350 dm³). In the Chinese rest, the capacity is restricted by the short length of load, limited to 87 cm, far from the 104 cm offered by the Mégane (penalized, this, by the available height). In addition, the trunk of the Chinese break imposes a high load threshold, 76 cm, compared to 60 cm for the French. Finally, this dam offers, as a development, only a few backrests of the simple folding rear seats.
A lively and balanced rest
The van of the Middle Kingdom is more convincing for its road qualities. Typically, when a model offers two battery capacities, the larger one is associated with a more robust engine, this makes sense because the battery offers more power and this, by the way, helps justify the price difference. Here is the opposite. The 50.3 kWh MG5 offers a 177 hp block, when our 61.1 kWh variant is made up of 156 hp. A difference of 21 hp to put in perspective when we know that both versions offer 280 Nm of torque and announce the same benefits. Thanks to a reasonable weight for an electric (1,584 kg), this family car shows the vivacity of a GTI in the green light and revives strongly, going from 80 to 120 km / h in just five seconds. And the chassis takes that heat pretty well. The traction of this front-wheel drive proves to be quite adequate when the road is dry, well aided by the Michelin tires that are delivered as standard. This MG is reassuring for its balance, although the most demanding regret a certain imbalance in the direction.
Satisfying itself with the 17-inch (16-inch entry-level) wheels, the MG5 also has the good taste to properly filter the roughness of the road. Speed reducers pay off more abruptly when driving alone on board. But nothing unbearable and this is the batch of many breaks designed to withstand the load. On the other hand, if the 5 offers well-designed seats – although the rear seat is a bit short – the soundproofing seems more normal. The 70 dBA recorded at 130 km / h testifies to an acceptable noise level. On the other hand, the degraded coatings disturb the tranquility of the occupants and the noise of the air is present from the 110 km / h. In any event, the MG5 is not good for long journeys, its battery runs out after only 220 km on the highway. It is much better on the road (304 km) and in the city (352 km). And the reasonable appetite of 19.3 kWh for every 100 km on average allows you to drive at a lower cost. – especially when recharged during off-peak hours.
Otherwise, the MG van does not show a great personality on board. Two screens, a 10.25-inch touch screen in the center complemented by a 7-inch 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, either to manage the air conditioning or the radio. The unresponsive center screen and the mediocre image quality of the reversing camera also demonstrate the limitations of low-cost cars. The finish confirms this, this MG5 is not entitled to the materials of the big brother Marvel R. Here, you have to settle for basic plastics and often rough seams, although fabric inserts on the board and storm doors warm up 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 outlets and maintenance.