Review - 2023 MG MG5

By Alexi Falson on 13 Dec 2023
image for Review - 2023 MG MG5
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Soft, compliant suspension package
  • Outstanding warranty coverage
  • Undeniable value for money
  • Decent interior space and practicality
  • No ANCAP safety rating, yet
  • Notable lack of active safety features, even for range-topper
  • Underwhelming entry-level four-cylinder makes turbo engine a must-have
MG MG5 Vibe Specs
    • 50L
    • 0
    • 6000 / 4500
    • Unrated
    • Automatic
With buyers continuing to move away from sedans, MG has introduced a brand-new sedan to the Australian market, in the form of the MG 5.

Taking on the likes of the Hyundai i30 sedan and the Toyota Corolla sedan, the MG 5 takes the fight to its rivals with its extremely generous packaging and accessible pricing, giving buyers some serious food for thought.

Just how good is the MG MG 5 then, and how does it stack up as a comfortable, practical family sedan on Australian roads? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

MG MG 5 Competition


Toyota Corolla Sedan
Hyundai i30 Sedan
Mazda 3
Kia Cerato
Subaru Impreza

Starting Price: $24,990 (drive-away)

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How Much Does It Cost?

The MG MG 5 is offered in two variants here in Australia, with the entry-level $24,990 MG 5 Vibe priced at $24,990 drive-away, while the MG 5 Essence is priced at $28,990 drive-away.

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MG MG 5 (VIBE) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make MG
Model MG5
Series MY23
Variant VIBE
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 1498
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 4500
Cylinders 4
Torque 150
KW 84
Fuel tank size 50.0
Fuel usage specs 5.7 / 0
CO2 0
ANCAP security rating Unrated

What Features Does the MG MG 5 Have?

MG’s entry-level MG 5 Vibe comes riding on a set of 16-inch alloys and picks up automatic LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps, cruise control, a digital instrument cluster, keyless entry & start, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, leatherette upholstery, adjustable driving modes, an electric parking brake and a 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the MG 5 Essence adds 17-inch alloys, a surround-view camera, a panoramic sunroof, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, power-folding mirrors, a leatherette steering wheel, grey exterior highlights and an upgraded six-speaker sound system.

2023 mg mg5 rear

Range Features:

  • 16-inch alloys 

  • Automatic LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps 

  • Cruise control 

  • Keyless entry & start 

  • Digital instrument cluster 

  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors 

  • Leatherette upholstery 

  • 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • 17-inch alloys (Essence) 

  • Surround-view camera (Essence) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (Essence)

  •  Power-adjustable driver’s seat (Essence) 

  • Six-speaker sound system (Essence)

Is the MG MG 5 Comfortable to Drive?

The driving experience on offer in the MG 5 range varies quite dramatically, depending on which variant you’re opting for.

That’s because the base model picks up a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 84kW of power and 150Nm of torque, while upgrading to the MG 5 Essence adds a turbocharger into the mix that brings outputs up to 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

On the road, the added power on offer in the MG 5 Essence makes a world of difference when it comes to even the most mundane of driving situations, giving you enough push, and as a result, confidence to navigate traffic.

Having said that, the base engine is fine - nothing more, nothing less - for the majority of buyers, though we’re confident if you drive the pair back to back, you’ll be hard-pressed to give up that extra power.

The one trade-off while opting for the more powerful MG 5 Essence is the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that can hesitate while moving off the line or when a quick injection of pace is necessary to weave through traffic.

Moving onto a daily driving routine, the MG 5 handles the city car test with ease, offering a super user-friendly platform that is easy to turn and park while remaining fairly agile on its feet thanks to its lightweight platform.

Around town, the MG 5 is impressively smooth and refined for such a price-accessible package, with the suspension hardware ironing out small and moderate bumps on the road with confidence, offering a truly soft ride quality.

2023 mg mg5

Leave the city confines and head out on country roads and you’ll find the MG 5 can handle a fair bit of punishment on rougher surfaces which, on Australian roads, is quite the accomplishment.

As a complete package, then, the MG 5 handles its own, and while it lacks the overall driving refinement of its main rivals, for a first-generation vehicle, it performs admirably.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

With two engines on offer, fuel efficiency depends on whether you’re grabbing the naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder or the more powerful turbocharged unit.

The base MG 5 returns combined cycle figures of 5.7L/100km while its more powerful turbocharged sibling is rated at 5.9L/100km on a combined cycle.

This makes the base model more fuel-efficient, though both are pretty frugal for the segment.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

If you’re thinking that things are going to get cheap and nasty inside the MG 5, you’d be mistaken.

Of course, it contains the usual hard and scratchy plastics, though the layout itself is quite a mature cabin that looks far more refined than its price tag might suggest.

Up front, the driver and front passenger pick up a decent amount of headroom and visibility, while the centre console rises to offer a pair of cup holders, storage at the base of the dash and inside the arm rest, small door bins and some added space inside the glove box.

There’s an interesting mix of shapes and textures inside the MG 5’s cabin, though things remain pretty straight-forward and ergonomic, with a number of the key controls taken care of by a physical button at the base of the display that brings you to a sub-menu to change things like the climate settings.

2023 mg mg5 seats

Move to the rear of the cabin and the MG 5 offers a decent amount of space in the second row, with enough space to accommodate adult rear passengers for short hops around town thanks to a comfortable bench seat.

Taller rear passengers pick up a very healthy amount of legroom in the rear of the MG 5’s cabin, though there are some restrictions when it comes to headroom from the sloping roofline design that eats up into its potential.

The second row of the MG 5 offers a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts to help accommodate forward and rear-facing child seats, while the boot offers a decent 401L of storage.

Is it Safe?

Safety is one of the major downfalls for the MG 5 range which, in addition to its lack of a five-star ANCAP or European-equivalent EuroNCAP safety rating, doesn’t pick up the same active safety gear you’ll find in many of its rivals.

As standard, the entry-level MG 5 picks up autonomous emergency braking, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, curtain airbags and that is, unfortunately, the entire safety equipment suite, for now.

Step up to the MG 5 Essence and you’ll pick up a surround-view camera, though the absence of safety features like rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep alerts means that it struggles to compete against its main rivals when it comes to safety tech.

Our Verdict: Is the MG MG 5 Worth it?

The MG 5 took us by surprise when it came to the overall driving experience, offering a soft driving package and user-friendly nature around town that makes it a great city car option for budget-conscious buyers.

While the MG MG5 has fast become one of the mightiest propositions in its segment, the notable absence of any active safety equipment on the spec sheet means that its ultra-competitive pricing does come with some sacrifices.

Having said that, it confidently ticks a number of key boxes that buyers on a budget are looking for in their next car, and as a result, we encourage it to add to your shortlist of affordable sedans here in Australia.

On that note, if you’re looking for a new car, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying experts who can help find you the best possible price on your next car.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Two engines available: 1.5-litre four-cylinder & turbocharged four-cylinder 

  2. CVT automatic for base model, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for Essence 

  3. Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  4. 5.7 - 5.9L/100km fuel economy figures 

  5. 400L boot space 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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