22 September 2023

MG5 EV Review: Trish Whelan - Irish Car

An interesting statistic is that the average Chinese man is 8.2cms shorter than the average European guy. That’s a full 3 inches shorter. This fact may not have been considered by Chinese car makers marketing their cars in Europe. Like the MG5, where tall men in my life found it excruciatingly difficult to get in and out of the front passenger seat. 

While MG is a British brand, the marque is now owned by Chinese automotive giant SAIC, the seventh largest car manufacturer in the world. All MG assembly plants and production facilities are based in China, India and Thailand. However, SAIC Motor say they plan to build their first factory in Europe after sales there have rocketed. Maybe they'll adjust designs to cater for taller Europeans. 

Meantime, the 2023 facelifted MG5 includes a redesigned front and rear, enhanced LED headlights, and new 16- and 17-inch wheel designs. An estate, the MG5 Sportwagon looks very attractive from the outside - especially in the Dynamic Red of my car - with long and sleek lines. The upgraded interior is simple and well designed. Five people can travel with good head room for all ... once in. Even with the front seat pushed back as far as it would go, legroom here wasn’t all that good either. 

At my side, the six-way adjustable driver’s seat has lumbar support and an extra layer of foam. Though in truth, I found my seat a bit too stiff. Technology enhancements include a 10.25-inch infotainment system that allows access to satellite navigation, air conditioning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The software supports connected car functionality through MG’s dedicated smartphone app. It allows you stay connected to your car from anywhere. You can even locate it in the car park, check the health status and lock and unlock the car — all from your smartphone. 

Driver information is via a 7-inch digital cluster showing speed and the percentage of power being used as you drive. My car had a good reversing camera, and rear parking sensors, but no blind spot warning. The 360deg camera has three screens, the centre one showing what is in front of the car when parked up, the other two showing overhead views of the vehicle. Changing gears is via a rotary gear selector on the flat of the central console. There are two USB ports front and rear. The cabin has 27 storage spaces including a decent glovebox, good door bins, a deep area below the front armrest. 

Drop the rear seats to increase the boot volume from 578 to a very decent 1367 litres with an adjustable dual-height boot floor. But just a tyre repair kit. No spare. 

Excite Trim Long Range provides a 403km electric range, 61.1kWh battery, with MG Pilot driver assist systems, 16-ins alloys, six airbags, sat-nav, Hill Launch Assist, and silver roof rails. The Exclusive spec adds 17-inch alloys, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, rear privacy glass, leather style seats, auto air con, and the 360deg camera. 

This MG5's 61.1kWh battery and 156hp motor proved the rated range to be fairly accurate in my time with the car. It can improve with more city driving which helps regenerate the battery. Average combined energy consumption settled around 17.5kWh/100km. From 0-100km/h takes 8.3 seconds. The MG Pilot driver assistance technology is equipped with warning and alert features that includes Lane Departure Warning which constantly nudged the steering wheel to a very annoying degree even though I was driving in the middle of my lane. For me, this was not helped by the car’s very light steering. 

Driving modes are Eco, Normal, and Sport. You also get three regenerative braking modes in both trims and a KERS kinetic energy recovery system with levels from 1-3. The charging port is conveniently located just above the front number plate. You can charge from 10pc to 80pc in 61 minutes using a 50kW public rapid charger, or from 10pc to 80pc with a 150kW fast charger in around 35 mins. The MG5 has a 500kg approved towing capacity. 

The car has not yet been tested by Euro NCAP but has many of the safety features that gained its sibling MG4 a maximum 5-star safety rating. It comes with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

MG5 SW is priced from €34,645-€37,895. Prices include SEAI grant for electric vehicles and VRT relief for electric vehicles.


20 September 2023

Volkswagen reveals new Tiguan

Volkswagen has revealed the third generation of its Tiguan SUV, with a much more aerodynamic design, writes Brian Byrne.

The front end is distinguished by very flat LED headlights and a full width lighting strip, while the rear also adds a horizontal LED strip. Matrix lights will be available for the first time in the nameplate. 

The interior is totally new, with a 15-inch infotainment screen and a console rotary multi-control to manage driving profiles, radio volume and background lighting.

A PHEV hybrid powertrain is claimed to have a rated EV-only range of around 100km. 

19 September 2023

PHEV Ford Ranger on the way

Ford is to add a plug-in hybrid powertrain version to the company's Ranger pickup, Europe's best-selling pickup, writes Brian Byrne. But the car won't be available until early 2025.

Adding the electric motor to the powertrain will both offer emissions-free driving on and offroad, and more pulling power.

The combustion engine of the setup will be the 2.3 EcoBoost petrol unit, and the EV range is expected to be rated at 45km.

Ford will also offer Pro Power Onboard with the PHEV Ranger, enabling customers to power their high-draw power tools and appliances on a worksite or remote campsite by plugging them into power outlets embedded in both the cargo bed as well as the cabin.

No pricing is indicated yet. 

15 September 2023

Jeep launches Avenger EV here

The new Jeep Avenger has been launched in Ireland at a starting price of €35,995, writes Brian Byrne.

The car is the first all-electric Jeep and is available in Ireland in three grades.

With a 156hp electric motor and a new generation 54kWh battery, the claimed range is 389-404km, with up to 550km possible in purely city driving.

The Avenger is not an AWD vehicle, but does have an electronic system that help maintain traction in sand, mud and snow. A Hill Descent system is standard on all versions.

All-around cladding is provided to protect bodywork in rough track use.

Jeep is distributed here by Gowan Auto, and head of sales Ian Tolan said the arrival of the Avenger is the start of a regeneration of the iconic brand in Ireland. 

13 September 2023

New Peugeot 3008 on the way

Peugeot has revealed a new version of the company's 3008 SUV, which will launch initially in fully electric form, writes Brian Byrne.

The latest generation of one of their best-seller nameplates has a new fastback rear styling along with the fascia and grilles design that has been brought to the brand's most recent models.

The car is on a brand-new medium platform which will be used by a number of upcoming models. The E-3008 will offer two rated ranges, of 525km and 700km. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions will also be produced.

The new 3008 comes to Ireland in the spring of next year.