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.
MG MG 5 Competition
MG MG 5
|Toyota Corolla Sedan
|Hyundai i30 Sedan
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
|DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
|6000 / 4500
|Fuel tank size
|Fuel usage specs
|5.7 / 0
|ANCAP security rating
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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.
Automatic LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps
Keyless entry & start
Digital instrument cluster
Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors
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.
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.
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
Two engines available: 1.5-litre four-cylinder & turbocharged four-cylinder
CVT automatic for base model, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for Essence
5.7 - 5.9L/100km fuel economy figures
400L boot space
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