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MG defends likely three-star MG5 safety score

Sub-par safety rating expected for MG5 as car-maker prioritises sub-$25K price in Aus

15 Aug 2023

MG MOTOR Australia CEO Peter Ciao has defended the expected three-star (or less) ANCAP safety rating for the brand’s just-launched MG5 small five-door ‘fastback’ sedan, stating that the company prioritised a sub-$25,000 entry price over adding any additional active safety features offered on the car in other markets.


Speaking to GoAuto at the recent MG4 launch in Sydney, Mr Ciao said that excluding the safety electronics required to achieve a five-star ANCAP rating was a business strategy that had a degree of “risk’, but that he believes the MG5 sedan has enough active safety equipment to satisfy budget-conscious Australian families who might chose a new MG5 over an older second-hand car.


“When we develop each model, we decide (to offer) big choice, and (for) how much … we can provide any model with (a) five-star (safety rating) but that means more money,” he explained.


“Many, many (low-income) families, they don’t want to go (on) public transport … and their budget is to buy a larger car. So (we) just try our best to provide a good car.


“(We) need to give people choice if their budget is just under 25 grand.” said Mr Ciao.


MG Motor Australia product manager Kevin Kou also defended the MG5’s standard safety equipment, pointing out the fitment of autonomous emergency braking and six airbags.


“The high trim comes with a 360-degree camera, the lower trim comes with reverse camera (and) it is a well-constructed car,” he emphasised.


“However, there are limitations on how much ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) we can put into a car because it all costs money. And as Peter has illustrated, we need to provide affordability for Australians.


“This is the deciding factor, the business (decision) that we’ve made,” said Mr Kou.


In order to be eligible for a five-star ANCAP rating, the MG5 would need to offer the lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert available on MG5s in other markets, and potentially features such as traffic-sign recognition and driver attention warning that are commonplace in other Australian-market small cars.


As detailed by GoAuto back in June, the Honda Civic-sized MG5 five-door fastback sedan is available in two variants – the entry-level MG5 Vibe for $24,990 drive-away and the more powerful MG5 Essence for $28,990 drive-away.


The Vibe features an 85kW/150Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine tied to a CVT transmission while the Essence scores a turbocharged 1.5-litre with 119kW/250Nm tied to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both variants are front-wheel drive.


By comparison, a base Hyundai i30 Active sedan – which has no ANCAP rating – is $28,000 (before on-road costs) with a 117kW/191Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, while a base Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport sedan is $29,270 (before on-road costs) with a 126kW/203Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT).


In terms of standard equipment, the MG5 Vibe offers 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlamps with LED running lights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry/start, tyre-pressure monitoring, three-mode electric power steering, leatherette seat trim and steering wheel, digital instrument display, a 10.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and rear-seat air vents.


The turbocharged Essence adds 17-inch alloys, a sunroof, electrically folding exterior mirrors, paddle shifters, a six-way electric driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, 360-degree camera, six-speaker audio with 3D sound effect, rear seatbelt warning indicators, and a Sport setting for its electronic stability control.


Deliveries of the MG5 sedan started this month. 

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