MG5 vs MG ZS EV – How do they compare?
In the UK, MG electric cars have been around since 2019. Their whole offering focuses on excellent equipped, practical cars at an affordable price. Afterall, their slogan is “Get More”.
Let’s focus on their larger variants here – the ZS EV and 5 estate. We’ll go through how MG have improved these models with more tech and more range, making them two of the best value EVs on the market right now.
Note: In this blog, we’ll discuss the latest MG ZS EV and the MG5 EV sold between 2020-2022 (the ones we have here at elmo). MG brought out a facelifted version of the MG5 EV recently, which we’ll cover another time (largely because they’re very similar!).
Let’s start with the big one: price.
When you think of a ‘bargain’ brand, you often think cheaper is worse, right? Well in MGs case, that’s not true. Despite being more affordable than rivals, their vehicles are just as practical, cram just as much tech in, can charge just as quickly and go just as far. So, what’s the catch? And is the price enough to sway you away from bigger brands like Volkswagen?
*As of April 2023
**The new facelifted model starts from £30,995 for the SE Long Range version
At a glance based on price, if sheer range and space is your priority, then the MG5 EV is the better option for you.
But, for families wanting that SUV shape and higher driving/riding position, the ZS EV is likely the best for you.
Range and charging
A big factor when choosing your next electric is of course the range of the vehicle and how fast it charges. Thankfully, on both counts, the MGs hold their own. Here’s how they compare:
A cool little extra…
As a little extra, the MG ZS EV*** also has V2L – Vehicle to Load – capability, which means you can plug in household appliances into the ZS EV and run them off the car battery… handy if you and your family are out and about all the time!
***The MG5 facelift also offers this functionality.
Specification and technology
Let’s dive into the specs and tech now. Thankfully, with all of MGs line up, it’s refreshingly simple.
MG ZS EV
SE comes with: MG Pilot driving assistance (including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and more), a 10.1” touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 360 degree parking camera, 5x USB ports (two of which are USB-C), automatic air conditioning, leather steering wheel and access to the MG iSMART app, giving you remote control of your MG. Oh and keyless go for good measure.
Trophy adds: two more speakers (6 instead of 4) with 3D sound, electrically adjustable heated front seats, blind spot detection, leather style upholstery, rain sensing wipers, a panoramic roof and a wireless charger for your mobile phone. Quite the kit list for an affordable family car!
Excite comes with: MG Pilot (as before), an 8” touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and digital instrument cluster for the driver, a 6 speaker audio system with 3D sound, rear parking camera, air conditioning, a leather steering wheel and 4x USB ports.
Exclusive adds: Keyless entry, leather style interior, electrically adjustable heated front seats with lumbar adjustment, automatic air conditioning and rain sensing wipers.
In both the ZS EV and MG5 EVs cases, each trim come with different alloy wheel options – so it’s worth checking to make sure you’re happy.
elmo recommendation: If you’re a big tech fan, the ZS EV Trophy offers the most possible; you’ll be the coolest parents around. Or, if you want the best value when it comes to equipment, the MG5 EV Excite is the one to go for.
Interior and storage
As mentioned, you can have either a fabric or leather style interior on both the ZS EV and MG5 depending on which trim you choose. If we’re honest, other more premium rivals like Peugeot or Audi do much more pleasing interiors – both MGs have quite a lot of hard plastics.
The upshot is, both interiors are functional, practical and comfortable for families on short or longer trips. The MG5 is slightly quieter at speed, with less wind noise thanks to its shape, so that’s the one to go for if you’ll always be on the motorway.
But both are at home around town with enough creature comforts to keep the kids happy. Arguably, the ZS EV is the better option for those with younger children because of the airier cabin on the Trophy variant (thanks to its panoramic roof). If your passengers get nauseous while on the go, that variant should be on your list.
In terms of storage, the boot space on offer in both is plentiful, with both having adjustable boot floors to help maximise space. The ZS EV has a rounder shape but the MG5s length means if you’re always carrying stuff about, that one is your best bet. In terms of upfront storage, it’s much of a muchness really – chances are you’d be happy in both, so it’s more down to driving…
Although standard crossover SUVs and estate cars may not have a reputation of being the fastest or most exciting cars around (and electric versions even less so), you might be surprised to learn that these two MGs actually have a lot to offer here:
Good things to notice here: the Standard Range ZS EV is marginally quicker and more powerful than the Long Range but is ever so slightly slower to 62mph. That’s because of a difference in the operating voltages of the two batteries (one for another blog possibly). The point is, it’s barely noticeable, so you should really focus on whether you need that extra range before splashing the cash.
The MG5 is the clear favourite in terms of power and outright speed. It’s more aerodynamic shape and slightly lower weight contribute to quicker acceleration and a higher top speed (not that you’d be doing 115mph in the UK, anyway…).
At low speeds, both cars perform well but softly sprung, but the ZS EV is a little less composed on a B road than the MG5. That said, the ZS EV has an impressively weighted regenerative braking system (something that more expensive EVs struggle to get right), so a big plus there.
Our verdict – MG5 or MG ZS EV?
If you’re trying to decide between the two, there aren’t a whole lot of distinguishing features, and it might simply come down to what you’re used to and what you want next.
If you’re looking for a spacious family car that can fit baby or booster seats easily, and you’re used to that unrivalled SUV driving experience sitting higher up, the ZS EV would be the better option. It’s also worth it if you’re after that little bit more range, extra V2L functionality and more tech.
But the MG5 remains very practical with that large boot and better at higher speeds/on twisty roads. Plus, of course, it’s a touch quicker (if out and out speed is your thing).
At the end of the day, like the transition to driving electric in general, it’s all about what works best for your situation. We’d say: if you’re dossing about town and want something spacious for school run, go ZS EV. If you like road-tripping with the whole gang onboard or do long motorway miles often, the MG5 is the one for you.