Could this segment-first electric estate be all the real-world EV you need?

The vast majority of car makers will tell you that 2020 has been a terrible year – but MG Motor UK Ltd isn’t one of them.

This was the UK’s fastest-growing car brand in 2019, registering just over 13,000 cars. This year, it surpassed that volume threshold before the end of September. At the end of August, in a wider UK car market down on sales by almost 40% year on year, it had grown by more than 30%.

Many who see an MG 5 on the road may, if they know what it is at all, assume it’s simply a bad car – but that’s just not true. There’s an almost undetectable roundedness about it that can’t have been easy to engineer in.

Betting on very attractively priced electric and hybrid cars has fuelled its growth. We brought you verdicts on the MG ZS EV crossover and MG HS SUV last year. But now along comes an electric family car that’s even cheaper than the ZS, with just as much on-board space and even better usable range: the MG 5 SW EV, which, as MG rather proudly crows, is nothing more or less than the market’s very first all-electric estate car.

The new 5 is, on the face of things, a decidedly ordinary compact estate car in all respects bar one. Interrogate and scrutinise it more deeply, though, and you’ll find it has secrets to reveal. It’s also certainly a stronger operator, in some important respects, than you’d expect one of the cheapest pound-for-pound electric cars on sale could possibly be.

The MG 5 line-up at a glance

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Like other budget brands, MG Motor UK keeps the buying process simple and offers this car in only two equipment specifications: Excite and Exclusive. Standard equipment on Excite includes a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring, a rear-facing parking camera and cruise control.

Exclusive trim adds leather-style upholstery, heated front seats, factory navigation, roof rails and automatic wipers. The only cost options are paint colours.

Price £26,995 after government grant Power 154bhp Torque 192lb ft 0-60mph 8.0sec 30-70mph in fourth na Fuel economy 3.3mpkWh CO2 emissions 0g/km 70-0mph 68.0m

MG Motor 5 EV First drives