The Tesla Model Y is now available to order in Ireland

Tesla Model Y Goes On Sale In Ireland

The Tesla Model Y is now available to order in Ireland
The Tesla Model Y is now available to order in Ireland

The Tesla Model Y has gone on sale in Ireland and is available to configure now via the Model Y Design Studio.

Pricing for Tesla's new electric mid-size SUV starts from €69,800 and first deliveries will start in early 2022.

The Design Studio includes two options for Model Y - Long Range AWD and Performance.

The first models to arrive in Ireland will be Model Y Long Range AWD with a range of 507 km (WLTP) range.

Model Y Performance starts at €79,478 and is expected from mid-2022.

Built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the Model Y's aerodynamic design and battery technology make it highly efficient in terms of energy usage.

Model Y is also compatible with the current Tesla Supercharger network of more than 6,000 Superchargers across Europe, as well as new V3 Superchargers, which can charge at rates up to 1,600 km per hour. As with all Teslas, there will be frequent over-the-air software updates to improve the car.

Inside, there is a panoramic glass roof and high seating for an expansive view from every seat in the vehicle. The front trunk and split-folding second-row seats provide more than 2,100 litres of storage space.

Like Model 3, Model Y requires no keys, but instead connects to your smartphone for seamless entry and exit, with a single 15-inch touchscreen interface inside for all of the car’s controls.

Model Y also connects with the Tesla mobile app for unique, easy-to-access features like remote unlock, Summon, remote pre-conditioning, location tracking, Speed Limit Mode, and much more.

 


Toyota EV concept vehicle

Toyota Continues Development In Electrification

Toyota EV concept vehicle
Toyota EV concept vehicle

Toyota Motor Corporation has announced it is investing more than €11.6bn in research and development (R&D) of batteries, electric motors and power control units for electrified vehicles between now and 2030.

Toyota say that given that renewable energy is not yet widely available for the masses in many countries, hybrids still have a pivotal role to play in immediate CO2 reduction. The brand claims that without an abundant supply of renewable energy, BEVs cannot effectively capitalise on their promise to deliver zero emissions in a mass market scenario.

For hybrids Toyota's focus is on continuing to drive improvements in instantaneous power, and for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) it is focusing on battery capacity and endurance. Toyota believes its multi-billion investment will make for safer, longer lasting, and more reliable high-performance batteries at a lower cost, paving the way for more affordable zero-emission BEVs.

Toyota said it will achieve battery cost reductions of more than 50% by 2030, while also achieving improved power consumption of 30%. Furthermore, its newly developed batteries will have a significantly higher capacity retention rate after 10 years compared to what has gone before, and for the forthcoming Toyota bZ4X BEV, Toyota has set a target of 90% endurance performance after 10 years of use, which is one of the highest in the world.

In regions where there is an abundant supply of renewable energy, Toyota believes the increased use of zero-emissions vehicles such as BEVs and FCEVs is crucial, and it intends to ramp up its development of these through its R&D investment. In terms of next-generation battery technology, Toyota is investing in the development and commercialisation of solid state batteries, which it believes will provide the best opportunity for mass market adoption of affordable BEVs, providing high output, significantly longer cruising range and shorter charging times.

Toyota is already road testing a solid state powered electric car and is continuing to invest in the refinement and improvement of the technology to ensure it delivers upon its three key measures of safety, security and reliability.

Toyota’s ongoing strategy is to increase the selection of affordable electrified vehicles it offers to customers to ensure the right solution is available depending on where a particular region is at on its renewable energy journey. As such, Toyota will continue to develop hybrid HEVs, BEVs, PHEVs as well as zero emission hydrogen fuel call vehicles.

Zoë Bradley, Head of Marketing Communications, Toyota Ireland:

“Through Toyota’s pragmatic and holistic approach to providing a mass market solution to zero emissions we aim to continue to lead the market to carbon neutrality by 2050. With the rapid expansion of electrified vehicles, Toyota is working to build a flexible system that can stably supply  the required volume of batteries at the right time while meeting the needs of various customers in different regions around the world.”


New car sales plummet again in May

Motor Industry Reacts To Budget 2022

New car sales plummet again in May
Budget 2022 has some implications for motorists

Budget 2022 contains a number of measures specific to motoring:

Vehicle Registration Tax

  • From January 2022 a revised vehicle registration tax table is being introduced. The 20 band table will remain with an uplift in rates beginning with a 1% increase for vehicles that fall between bands 9-12; 2% for bands 13-15; and then a 4% increase for bands 16-20.
  • The €5,000 relief for Battery Electric Vehicles is being extended to the end of 2023.

Extension of BIK exemption for EVs

  • The BIK exemption for battery electric vehicles will be extended out to 2025 with a tapering effect on the vehicle value. This measure will take effect from 2023. For BIK purposes, the original market value of an electric vehicle will be reduced by €35,000 for 2023; €20,000 for 2024; and €10,000 for 2025.

Hydrogen

  • The Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme is also being extended and amended to include hydrogen fuel vehicles and Refuelling Equipment.

Fuel

The cost of petrol and diesel at the pump will rise by approximately 2.1c and 2.5c per litre. It means that the average price of a full 60-litre tank of diesel will increase by €1.48, while the price of a full 60-litre tank of petrol will rise by €1.28.

Commenting on Budget 2022, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke:

“Budget 2022 is a mixed bag for the Motor Industry and the motorist. The increases in VRT on the back of COVID, Brexit, increased fuel taxes and the dramatic VRT changes in last year’s Budget are hugely disappointing. These increases only add to the already heavy tax burden on new cars, and will serve to slow down the renewal of the fleet, acting as a barrier to reducing emissions.

The SIMI welcomes the continuation of VRT relief for Electric Vehicles out to 2023. This brings a degree of certainty to both consumers and the Industry on the vital Electric Vehicle Project and will help increase EV sales over the next two years. The 0% Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) has proved a real success in encouraging EV sales, and while its extension is positive, the tapering of this relief is too early, and should not commence until after 2025.”

Volkswagen Group Ireland welcomes the Government’s decision to extend Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief on electric vehicles to the end of 2023.

Carla Wentzel, Group Managing Director, said:

“Registrations of new electric vehicles are up 115% year-to-date. The Irish car buying public has shown its eagerness to transition away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable modes of transport. As a Group, we believe incentivising electric vehicle uptake stimulates replenishment of the fleet and is the best route towards a cleaner, greener environment.”

John Donegan, Brand Director, ŠKODA Ireland, has “mixed” views of this year’s Budget. He said:

“The continuation of incentives and supports for electric vehicles is welcome. However, the increase of VRT is counterproductive. The Volkswagen Group has a clear plan that shows its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Meeting the targets of the Climate Action Plan involves replenishing the current and older fossil-fuelled vehicle fleet with newer and cleaner petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The introduction of further increases to the VRT on petrol and diesel engines is premature and counterproductive to fleet renewal. Until electric vehicles can be supplied in greater volumes, the focus should be on reducing overall emissions rather than penalising Irish motorists.”  


Tesla has opened a new location in Cork

New Tesla Location Opens In Cork

Tesla has opened a new location in Cork
Tesla has opened a new location in Cork

A new Tesla location has opened in Cork offering test drives, service appointments, vehicle health checks and charging.

The new location is adjacent to the four V3 Superchargers already installed outside Mahon Point Shopping Centre.

This new pop-up location allows visitors to book test drives and talk with Tesla Advisors. Alongside this, Service Express will perform health checks on vehicles while customers charge.

In addition to Service Express, Mobile Service will still be available for all Tesla customers.

Service Express will offer up to eight additional service appointments a day, increasing the availability of Mobile Service Technicians.

Tesla service experience starts with the Tesla app where owners can schedule a service appointment and upload photos and information about the issue. The brand says where possible, cars will be fixed with a software update.

If that isn’t possible, owners can book an appointment at the Service Express location in Cork or organise a mobile service tech on your driveway or work location at a suitable time.

When a service centre appointment is needed, for example if a lift is required, a touchless drop off of the car can be arranged at a Tesla service centre.

 


The Nissan Qashqai on test for Changing Lanes!

Nissan Qashqai Review (2021)

The Nissan Qashqai on test for Changing Lanes!
The Nissan Qashqai on test for Changing Lanes!

The Nissan Qashqai is back in 2021 with an all-new generation model. The Qashqai started the trend for crossovers and quickly rose to fame here, for a time Ireland's bestselling car and a former Irish Car of the Year.

What's new for the 2021 Nissan Qashqai?

Now in its third generation, the Nissan Qashqai has grown up. More visually imposing than the previous generation of the car, it has the kerb appeal of a top SUV. Following on from the 2020 launch of the all-new Nissan Juke, the new Qashqai translates Nissan's new design language and technology to the family SUV segment with great success.

Pricing kicks off from €30,500 for the range in Ireland, with all models powered from launch by a 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine with mild hybrid technology.

The Qashqai fits the brief for a family car better than ever with a new platform yielding a more spacious cabin as well as a number of practical features.

Driving dynamics have also been significantly improved. Qashqai matures for a new era of electrification in the motor industry and will debut more hybrid options in 2022.

The Qashqai is maturing beautifully
The Qashqai is maturing beautifully

Inside the latest Nissan Qashqai

Inside the Qashqai benefits from a new interior that feels a lot more modern than the previous generation of the car. The quality of the materials has also moved up another gear, with a solid fit and finish that will weather family life for many years to come.

Qashqai gets a suitable digital upgrade too with a digital instrument panel for the driver and a slick looking infotainment screen that's smartphone ready. The interior could perhaps do with a more distinctive character with more Nissan brand defining features, but the premium feeling cannot be denied.

Standard equipment levels are very good with the list including LED headlights, auto headlights with high beam assist, rear parking sensors, 8" infotainment screen and wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Safety features include blind spot intervention, traffic sign recognition, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, and Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking.

The SV Premium model on test (from €37,395) includes a wireless phone charger, 9” touchscreen, 18" alloys, panoramic glass roof, rear view camera and rear privacy glass.

The interior of the 2021 Nissan Qashqai
The interior of the 2021 Nissan Qashqai

Is it practical?

The Qashqai has grown in stature, which benefits passenger space too. The new car is a bit wider and has a longer wheelbase than the car it replaces, so you will find good sized footwells in the rear as a result. It feels more spacious inside than the previous Qashqai.

There's also 50 more litres of boot space and the boot has a number of clever features to boost practicality - a false floor that can be used to separate items or give a flat loading sill. A powered hands-free tailgate is also available.

The most impressive feature is refinements to the ergonomic design of the door openings - the rear doors now open to 90 degrees, making it easier to step in and out of the vehicle or manoeuvre child seats into position. Small things but it helps Qashqai function better as a family car than ever before.

Driving the Nissan Qashqai

The 2021 Nissan Qashqai sits on a new platform. My test car was powered by the 1.3-litre mild hybrid petrol engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The overall impression is of agility and comfort on the road. Despite the overall increase in stiffness, the new Qashqai is over 60 kg lighter than the car it replaces.

Front wheel drive Qashqais uses a torsion beam rear suspension layout, upgraded from the outgoing Qashqai to reduce vibration and ensure better bump absorption and a smoother ride, as well as providing better roll control.

Boot space in the 2021 Nissan Qashqai
Boot space in the 2021 Nissan Qashqai

The steering is faster, more defined and responsive thanks to the power assistance motor now moved to directly adjacent to the steering rack. This has reduced the feeling of friction through the steering wheel, but gives a more natural increase in steering effort as more steering lock is applied.

For a large SUV it's surprisingly agile and easy to drive with the manual gearbox, though a CVT automatic is also available (from €36,700). It's very comfortable, even on large wheels. The engine is refined and there is plenty of power from the 156 hp unit. It is very pleasant to drive. Nissan says the manual gearbox has been enhanced for a quicker, more direct and sportier shift feeling, and I can say it certainly felt good from behind the wheel.

This is the only engine option for now. Some buyers might lament the demise of the diesel Qashqai. Certainly my average fuel consumption over a week of driving of 6.8 litres per 100 km cannot rival diesel for efficiency over long distances at least. But the arrival of a new Qashqai 'e-POWER' hybrid in early 2022 will be one to watch, using the petrol engine to generate electricity, while the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor.

The Qashqai is a stylish and practical family car
The Qashqai is a stylish and practical family car

Did you like it?

The Qashqai has been an amazing success in Ireland since it launched here, with over 50,000 already on the road and a further 20,000-30,000 estimated to have been imported here in the car’s 14 year history.

Nissan has sold over 3 million units of the car in Europe since its launch 13 years ago. It's an incredibly important car for Nissan.

The new generation model has seriously grown up with the presence of a larger SUV on the road. At launch the engine range does look very narrow but the 1.3-litre petrol is fun to drive and refined, though the upcoming hybrid should be cheaper to run.

Space matters and the Qashqai has grown in all the right directions. This car is a stylish buy with a well-finished cabin to see it into the next few years. Nissan has upped the quality of this car considerably.

Competition is stiff in this segment but the Qashqai has serious reputation and recognition in the Irish market - it remains a solid and reliable buy in 2021.

The new Nissan Qashqai is available from €30,500
The new Nissan Qashqai is available from €30,500

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan Qashqai SV Premium
Price: 
€37,395
Engine:
1.3-litre turbo petrol
Power:  156 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
Top speed:  206 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.5 seconds
CO2 emissions:
145 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€270 per year


The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2021) Arrives In Ireland!

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz Ireland has confirmed that the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has arrived in Ireland, with pricing starting from €53,350.

Traditionally the point of introduction to the Mercedes-Benz executive offering, its enhanced specifications now sees C-Class rub shoulders with S-Class and E-Class. Its enhanced level of specifications has the effect of raising C-Class to a new position of prominence within the Mercedes-Benz range, one from which their sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen says: “it will be poised to attract an even wider cross section of owners.”

Coming on the market at €53,350 for the C180 petrol version, the range at launch includes five petrol and three diesel models, in saloon and estate models, all with four-cylinder, turbo charged engines and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission.

Petrol models are: C 180 (1496cc/Nm 250 torque), C 200 and C 200 4MATIC (1496cc /Nm 300), C 300 and C 300 4MATIC (1999cc/Nm 400). Diesel models are: C 200 d (1951cc/Nm 380) C 220 d (1992cc/Nm 440) and C 300 d (1992cc/Nm 550). Plug-in hybrid versions with an electric range of around 100 kilometres will join the range later.

Inside the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Inside the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Longer and wider, saloon and estate models are considerably larger than before. A 25 mm longer wheelbase increases passenger comfort. Despite its larger dimensions, the drag coefficient of its predecessor is retained. Beneath the retractable cover in estate versions, height and length of the load compartment have increased to boost capacity by 30 litres to 1510 litres – aided by 40:20:40 split folding rear backrests with push button operation. Electronic tailgate operation is standard on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.

In front, all models feature a central star with louvers whose design varies slightly from base model to the AMG Line version with its diamond pattern grille. Three new colours have been added – Spectral Blue, High-Tech Silver and Opalite White. In estate models, its roofline combines with an inclined rear window to give it an added sporty appeal, seen also in its wide track and flush 17”–19” wheels.

Inside, focal points include a leather-covered dashboard with nappa-look beltlines and new brown and black toned veneers. Front and rear space is increased with greater elbow, rear head and knee room. Other highlights include latest generation MBUX infotainment and ‘Hey Mercedes’ multimedia systems with voice-activation and touch screen functions, alongside a 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, 11.9 inch central media display and ambient lighting.

Driver comfort and safety features include distance assist, steering assist, lane keeping assist, improved surround sensors, emergency braking functions, and a feature that can detect and raise the body height in anticipation of an impending collision. High Performance LED headlamps are standard while optional items include a host of passenger comfort, safety and wellness features already familiar in the S-Class and other Mercedes-Benz models.

Three decades since its introduction – as successor to the original 190 model – the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has proven its success with just under 11 million units sold worldwide.

Over 11 million units of the C-Class have been sold since it first launched
Over 11 million units of the C-Class have been sold since it first launched

The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022

CUPRA Born For Ireland In 2022

The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022
The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022

The CUPRA Born is the first all-electric vehicle from CUPRA and is set to arrive in Ireland in March 2022, with pricing starting from under €38,000.

Designed and developed at CUPRA’s headquarters in Martorell, Barcelona, the CUPRA Born is produced at the Zwickau plant in Germany and features an electric range quoted in excess of 500 km.

The CUPRA Born’s electric powertrain is available in a choice of 150PS (110kW), 204PS (150kW) and a 231PS (170kW) e-Boost pack - this one car accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds and comes with larger front brakes and 19” wheels as standard.

Three battery options - 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh - deliver ranges of 350km, 424km and 540km. When charged on a 170 kW network, the Born can go from 5% charge to 80% charge in 35 minutes. It can also get 100 km of range in as little as seven minutes.

CUPRA say that despite its environmental credentials, the Born remains a driver’s car first and foremost. Power is delivered to the rear wheels, producing a sportier feel and a more engaging driving experience.

It combines a MacPherson strut suspension at the front with an advanced five multi-link design at the rear. When equipped with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), it rides 15 mm lower in the front and 10 mm lower in the rear.

The electric motor is located above the rear axle while the battery sits low between the front and rear axles, delivering a low-slung centre of gravity and what is said to be almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Five driving modes - Range, Comfort, Performance, Individual and CUPRA (e-Boost only) - adapt to the driver’s needs.

Inside the new CUPRA Born
Inside the new CUPRA Born

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MEB platform, the Born measures 4,322mm long, 1,809mm wide and 1,540mm high. It has a wheelbase of 2,767mm and a 385-litre boot capacity.

Assistance systems include Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control, Travel Assist, Side and Exit Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Emergency Assist and Pre-Crash Assist, delivered via an augmented reality head-up display that projects key information onto the windscreen.

Six colour choices are available - Vapor Grey, Glacial White, Geyser Silver, Rayleigh Red, Quasar Grey and the exclusive Aurora Blue. Alloy wheel designs (from 18” to 20”) include aerodynamic inserts and copper accents. Contrasting C-Pillars have a floating design while puddle lights beam the CUPRA logo on to the ground from door mirrors.

Inside there is a driver-focused cockpit and 12” infotainment system. Users can access online services, downloadable apps and service features as well as remote access and charging via the My CUPRA app or charge their mobile devices using the standard wireless QI charger.

The CUPRA Born marks a new era of electrification for the brand, joining plug-in hybrid variants of the CUPRA Leon, CUPRA Leon Sportstourer and the CUPRA Formentor in the electrified portfolio, already on sale here.

Expected to hit Irish showrooms in early 2022, the Born will be followed by the all-electric Tavascan in 2024 and an urban electric car in 2025.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director for SEAT & CUPRA in Ireland, said:

“We look forward to the arrival of our first fully electric CUPRA, the Born in March of next year. The new model is proof that electric cars can set pulses racing, with an impressive all-electric range of more than 500km it is a real game-changing car for the CUPRA brand. It’s environmentally conscious but at the same time dynamic and exciting.”

CUPRA Born pricing is yet to be finalised but will start from under €39,000, excluding grants and delivery charges.

Some versions of the new CUPRA Born have a range in excess of 500 km
Some versions of the new CUPRA Born have a range in excess of 500 km

The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs

Mazda To Launch New SUVs, CX-60 And CX-80

The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs
The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced plans to expand its SUV line-up from 2022 onwards. Two new models from the company’s Large Product group, the Mazda CX-60 and Mazda CX-80, will be introduced throughout Europe during the next two years.

To meet the growing needs of the segment, Mazda will offer European customers a wider choice of SUVs. The new Mazda CX-60 will feature two-row seating, while the CX-80 will be three-row.

Mazda say that the CX-60 and CX-80 will spearhead the European introduction of plug-in hybrid models to the range for the first time, with both SUVs using a straight four cylinder petrol engine combined with an electric motor.

The new generation straight-six Skyactiv-X petrol engine and Skyactiv-D diesel engine will also be introduced in combination with a 48V mild hybrid system.

The brand has also announced that during the first half of 2022, a new version of the Mazda MX-30 electric SUV will be introduced that incorporates multiple electrification technologies using Mazda’s unique rotary engine as a generator.

From around 2025, the company will introduce a number of new products on a new EV-dedicated platform. With the introduction of these models, Mazda is on track to complete the electrification of its complete range by 2030.

Alongside these new models, the Mazda CX-5 has recently been updated and the brand says it remains one of the core models driving Mazda’s business globally, along with the compact CX-30.


More charging options for MINI and BMW drivers

BMW Charging/MINI Charging In Ireland

More charging options for MINI and BMW drivers
More charging options for MINI and BMW drivers

With the launch of BMW Charging and MINI Charging, customers in Ireland now have access to one of the world’s largest public charging networks, using just one RFID card or App.

Using their single BMW Charging or MINI Charging card, or the new BMW or MINI Charging App, customers can charge at more than 1,085 charging points from different operators in Ireland, as well as 173,000 charge points across Europe.

BMW and MINI drivers benefit from access to charge points from a range of operators, with the current network including ESB Group eCars, EVBox, Chargepoint Ireland and others.

High-power DC charging stations via IONITY are also part of the BMW Charging network.

Combined, this gives drivers access to over 832 AC and 253 DC charging points in Ireland, plus a further 162,000 AC and 11,000 DC charging points across Europe.

BMW or MINI Charging customers can register for a pay-as-you-go ‘Flex tariff’, which provides the driver with access to all included network operators using a single charge card, without the need for a monthly membership or subscription to each individual operator. Customers choosing this tariff simply pay each month for the charging they have used. Pricing is based on the individual Charge Point Operators pay-as-you-go rates.

For drivers who use public charging more frequently, BMW and MINI Charging additionally offers the ‘Active tariff’, which for a base fee of €4.99 per month provides customers attractive standardised pricing per/kWh across the included networks (excludes IONITY). Customers using up to 43kW AC pay just €0.23 per kWh, up to 150kW DC is €0.27 per kWh.

Access to the IONITY charging network with up to 350kW DC Charging capability is available to both ‘Flex tariff’ and ‘Active tariff’ customers at their standard rate of €0.73 per/kWh. However, for drivers who use the IONITY charging network regularly, the optionally available ‘IONITY Plus’ package (€13.00 per month base fee) provides access to a preferential rate of just €0.27 per kWh, saving drivers €0.46 per kWh compared to the standard rate.

Customers who purchase a new fully-electric or plug-in hybrid BMW or MINI via a BMW or MINI Centre are offered the ‘Active tariff’ for 12 months without base fee. BMW customers who purchase a new BMW iX3, BMW iX or BMW i4 vehicle via a BMW Centre are also eligible for the ‘IONITY Plus’ package for 12 months, without base fee.

Drivers can see a breakdown of their charging history and fees using the App or at the new BMW or MINI charging website, with the cost of completed charging sessions and any optional package subscriptions invoiced monthly.

To locate nearby charge points, customers can use the My BMW App, MINI Connected App, new BMW/MINI Charging App or BMW/MINI Charging websites. The BMW and MINI Navigation system also shows nearby charge points, and all charging points within the network.

For more information on BMW and MINI Charging, visit www.bmw-charging.com or www.mini-charging.com


The new MG 5 on test for Changing Lanes!

MG5 Estate Review (2021)

The new MG 5 on test for Changing Lanes!
The new MG 5 on test for Changing Lanes!

MG returned to Ireland at the end of 2020 with a new suite of electrified vehicles. Under a new distributor, the brand has launched three new models here - the MG ZS electric SUV previously reviewed for Changing Lanes, the MG HS plug-in hybrid SUV, and now this, the MG5, an all-electric estate car for the Irish market.

An estate car! We don't hear much about them these days as the market is obsessed with SUVs and crossovers. Yet estate cars were always the default choice for buyers seeking a lifestyle vehicle that can fit the dog and some gear, while giving a more 'active' image than a saloon or hatchback.

But SUVs these days seem to capture most of that market - though it's debatable how well they fit the brief for space and practicality.

What's so special about the MG5?

The new MG5 is discreet to look at but underneath there's an electric powertrain that is good for up to 345 km. There are no other electric estate cars on the market at the moment making the MG5 a unique proposition right now.

The MG5 sits quite low for an electric car, with the water-cooled battery pack integrated into the car’s chassis. There are dynamic benefits here too, with the low centre of gravity influencing how the car feels on the road.

With pricing starting from €27,645 for the Excite model and from €30,895 for the Exclusive model with more equipment on board, the MG5 remains affordable in today's EV market, with affordability and value being key drivers of the MG brand relaunch in Ireland.

The MG5 is on sale in Ireland now priced from €27,645
The MG5 is on sale in Ireland now priced from €27,645

What's it like to drive?

The MG5 on test used a 52.5 kWh battery with up to 345 km (WLTP) of range available, and a 115 kW motor, equivalent to 156 hp. The performance figures are good and the MG5 feels swift and responsive on the road. It is agile and simple to drive with a very conventional layout to the controls used to operate the vehicle and monitor its progress. The low centre of gravity means it feels planted at all times, behaving in a natural way in response to driver inputs.

The car is comfortable in driving on its 16" wheels and will cruise happily on the motorway. In that way it can't be faulted. The MG5 is predictable in charging and there are no massive drops in range when you get it out onto the motorway.

Ownership of the electric MG5 of course will mean acquainting yourself very quickly with charging. With a 7 kW wallbox installed at home for example, a full charge can be got in about 8.5 hours or overnight. The MG5 is also equipped with a CCS charging port so can avail of fast charging, gaining 80% in 50 minutes from a public fast charge point, charging at 50 kW. Charge points are easily accessed from the front of the car behind the MG badge.

The interior of the MG5
The interior of the MG5

What's it like inside?

Inside the MG5 there is a traditional dashboard layout with all the controls logically laid out. The cabin is nicely appointed for the price point of the vehicle. The layout and design is more traditional than avant garde, but we do like the neat rotary gear selector on the centre console.

Standard equipment includes the 8" colour touchscreen and Android Auto/Apple Car Play. Our MG 5 Exclusive had plenty of nice features like heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, leather covered steering wheel, rear parking camera and leather style upholstery.

There's a natural sense of practicality to the MG5 because it's an estate car. Rear legroom is good for the C segment also, and there's plenty of headroom from that tall roof line. Buyers will be pleased to note that there's 464 litres of space available up to the luggage cover, or 578 litres up to the roof. Other advantages include a wide loading area. There is a bit of a lip between the boot opening and the boot floor - a flat loading area would have been an even greater advantage and more practical for an estate car. The rear seats also split fold 60:40 for even more space.

Practicality is a key feature of the MG5 estate
Practicality is a key feature of the MG5 estate

Did you like it?

At the time of writing, MG has updated the MG5 range with a model with a larger capacity battery - 61.1 kWh giving an estimated range of 403 km (WLTP). This model goes on sale priced from €29,645. It features fast charging capability with the ability to reach an 80% battery charge in just 40 minutes via a 100kW CCS rapid charge point.

MG is already making impact with six dealers appointed around Ireland and over 300 cars sold in their fledgling year in this market. Affordability is a key driver, but the cars are getting out there.

While the MG ZS follows the trend for SUVs and crossovers, the MG5 seeks to offer buyers an alternative with a well-kitted out estate car.

It's fair to say the MG5 lacks some contemporary style, but it is a practical car that works very well as intended as a cheap to run electric car with a surprisingly enjoyable cabin and driving experience that should help it find good homes!

The MG5 is a new electric estate car from the MG brand
The MG5 is a new electric estate car from the MG brand

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: MG 5 EV Exclusive
Price: 
€31,595
Battery:
52.5 kWh
Power: 156 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
Top speed: 185 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.7 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year