Review - 2024 MG MG5

By Alexi Falson on 06 May 2024
image for Review - 2024 MG MG5
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Immense value proposition
  • Nimble handling around town
  • Spacious and practical interior layout
  • Long warranty coverage
  • Zero-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Basic safety technology lists
  • Underwhelming base petrol engine
  • Lacks long-term resale and reliability history
MG MG5 Essence Specs
    • 50L
    • 0
    • 5600 / 3000
    • 0 star
    • Automatic
Looking for one of the cheapest sedans on sale in Australia in 2024? Meet the MG MG5.

Designed to tackle the heavyweights of the small car segment, the MG5 enters the ring with an immense value proposition for Aussie buyers to one-up the competition and undercut them on price.

Just how effective has MG’s recipe been with the MG5? Let’s take a closer look to see how it stacks up as a small car option for you and your family.

    MG MG5 Competition

    MG MG5

    Toyota Corolla
    Kia Cerato
    Hyundai i30 Hatch & Sedan
    Subaru Impreza
    Honda Civic
    Volkswagen Golf

    How Much Does It Cost?

    MG offers two trim levels of the MG5 here in Australia, both of which receive extremely accessible drive-away pricing.

    The entry-level MG5 Vibe is priced at $24,990 drive-away while the range-topping MG5 Essence is priced at $28,990 drive-away.

    How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

    Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service in Australia, you could save by using one of our car experts to help you find the best new car for you.

    MG MG5 (ESSENCE) Specifications

    Model Date 2024
    Make MG
    Model MG5
    Series MY23
    Variant ESSENCE
    Body 4D SEDAN
    Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
    Drive FWD
    Engine TDFI
    Engine capacity 1490
    Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
    Engine RPM 5600 / 3000
    Cylinders T4
    Torque 250
    KW 119
    Fuel tank size 50.0
    Fuel usage specs 5.9 / 0
    CO2 0
    ANCAP security rating 0

    What Features & Specs Does the MG MG5 Have?

    MG’s entry-level MG5 Vibe comes riding on a set of 16-inch alloys and receives automatic LED headlights, leatherette upholstery, keyless entry & start, a digital instrument cluster, cruise control, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, an electric parking brake and rear air vents.

    Upgrading to the MG5 Essence adds a set of 17-inch alloys, a more powerful turbocharged engine, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding mirrors, a surround-view monitor, grey styling tweaks and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support.

    Connectivity & Infotainment Features

    Both trim levels of the MG5 receive a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display, which is mighty impressive for this end of the market.

    The entry-level Vibe receives a four-speaker sound system while the Essence receives a more powerful six-speaker sound system.

    Does the MG MG5 Have Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto?

    The MG5’s 10-inch infotainment system comes fitted with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto that requires a wired connection to your smartphone via a USB cord.

    Is the MG5 Comfortable to Drive?

    With such an attractive price tag, you may think that the MG5’s on-road manners might be a bit basic.

    The reality, though, is that MG has done a great job with the MG5 which makes for a great little package that feels very much at home in the urban jungle.

    Under the bonnet, there are two engine options for the MG5, with the base model receiving a very modest 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol that produces 84kW of power and 150Nm of torque which is paired with a CVT automatic.

    Off the line, the base engine takes a while to get up and running, with the familiar elasticity of the CVT automatic that feels like a single, stretched-out gear.

    The pick of the engine bunch, though, is without a doubt the turbocharged unit powering the MG5 Essence, with a much more respectable 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

    Around town, the MG5 feels confident and runs through the urban jungle with a pep in its step, with agile handling from the lightweight package and an easy steering rack to throw around while parking.

    Leave the smooth city streets and hit some country roads, there’s a decent suspension package hiding beneath to soak up moderate-sized bumps that make the MG5 more versatile than you might expect on Aussie roads.

    All up, the driving experience on offer in the MG5 is far more impressive than you might anticipate for the price and performs admirably to close the gap to its major rivals.

    Is it Fuel Efficient?

    The MG5’s small capacity petrol unit lends itself perfectly to the task of fuel-efficient driving, with official economy figures standing at 5.7L/100km for the standard petrol and 5.9L/100km for the turbo petrol.

    How Much Fuel Does the MG5 Use Around Town?

    • MG5 Petrol: 8.9LL/100km

    • MG5 Turbo Petrol: 8.9L/100km

    How Much Fuel Does the MG5 Use on the Highway?

    • MG5 Petrol: 5.3L/100km

    • MG5 Turbo Petrol: 5.0L/100km

    Is it Practical and Spacious?

    Step inside the MG5’s cabin and you’ll be mighty impressed with the design and sheer levels of equipment on offer for such a reasonable asking price.

    The front of the MG5’s cabin is unique, filled with sharp design lines and angular vents across the dash and a lengthy technology list for the money.

    Up front, the MG5 offers more than enough headroom for taller drivers to get comfortable thanks to the fairly low-slung driving position.

    The centre console houses a unique gear lever, a storage tray at the base of the dash, two cup holders and added storage inside the folding armrest.

    There are also some clever storage options on the side of the transmission tunnel accompanied by some massive door bins on either side for loose items and water bottles.

    Move to the rear and things remain pretty spacious, with more than enough legroom for adults, though headroom may prove lacking for tall rear passengers due to the sloping roofline.

    The second row picks up a USB port and an air vent, as well as a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats.

    All up, the MG5 is a genuine performer when it comes to space and practicality, confidently holding its own with some of the best in the small car segment - all while one-upping them on tech.

    How Big is the MG5’s Boot?

    The MG5 has a boot measuring in at 401L in total, with a space-saver spare tyre hiding beneath the boot floor.

    Is it Safe?

    Safety is one area that the MG5 can’t keep up with its rivals.

    As standard, the MG5 receives a small list of safety features, with autonomous emergency braking, cruise control, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, stability control and six airbags headlining the list.

    Upgrading to the MG5 Essence adds a three-dimensional surround-view monitor, though no must-have safety features that its rivals receive like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance or rear-cross traffic alerts.

    Does the MG5 Have an ANCAP Safety Rating?

    The MG5 is one of just three vehicles tested by ANCAP to receive a zero-star safety rating in late 2023; in those tests, the MG5 scored the following marks:

    • Adult Occupant Protection: 37%

    • Child Occupant Protection: 58%

    • Vulnerable Road User Protection: 42%

    • Safety Assist: 13%

    What Warranty Does the MG5 Come With?

    MG offers the MG5 with the company’s outstanding seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, though this warranty coverage is reduced to 160,000km if the MG5 is used for business purposes.

    Buyers also receive seven years of roadside assistance as standard.

    Service intervals for the MG5 range stand at a relatively short 12 months or 10,000km, whichever elapses first.

    Our Verdict: Is the MG MG5 Worth it?

    While it’s far from perfect, there’s a lot to love about the MG5 which, if nothing else, remains a mighty impressive first-generation product that will surely evolve over time, especially in the context of safety equipment.

    The cabin is well equipped and spacious for the small car segment, while the MG5’s impressive on-road manners and nimble handling make it a great city car option and well-worth a spot on your small car shortlist.

    Don’t forget to reach out to one of our car-buying experts who can help take the stress out of the buying process and find you the best price on your next car.

    Five MG5 Specs You Need to Know

    1. Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty

    2. Seven-year/160,000km warranty for commercial buyers

    3. 5.7 - 5.9L/100km fuel economy figures

    4. 401L boot space 

    5. Zero-star ANCAP safety rating


    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.

    Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

    car icon
    close sticky hub button


    Maximum of 3 vehicles