Even as Tesla has studiously avoided anything wagon-shaped, opting for sedans of various degrees of bulbousness even when fielding models in the crossover segment, the battery-electric station wagon remains an entirely unfilled segment in the U.S. We have the popularity of crossovers and SUVs to thank for this, of course, but until recently Europe was also devoid of an electric station wagon despite the popularity of the longroof bodystyle on that side of the pond.
That’s about to change, at least in Europe, as an electric station wagon from an unexpected brand is about to go on sale there. It’ll be made by MG and will offer 214 miles of range in the optimistic WLTP cycle.
Yes, that MG. Does this sound like something the U.S. could use?
For the modern EV’s first decade, the realities of the technology’s evolution had effectively assured that the earliest models would either be very expensive luxury sedans, or still somewhat pricey hatchbacks aimed at commuters. That’s changing as battery electric SUVs arrive on scene and as a small tsunami of pickup trucks progresses to market. However, EV automakers and startups have not fielded a car-based station wagon. And that’s the niche MG aims for.
Owned by China for over a decade, the MG brand is still paired up with Rover, now called Roewe, and the MG 5 station wagon that MG will offer in the U.K. will be based on the Chinese-market Roewe Ei5 seen in these photos, powered by a 52.5-kWh battery and a 156-hp electric motor. The MG 5 will have a length of 179 inches, which is nearly identical to the length of the Mazda CX-5 or the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and will be about 61 inches tall, which is quite close to the Alltrack’s 60-inch height.
The electric MG 5 is expected to start around the equivalent of $30,700 in the U.K., before any incentives.
Does this sound like an attractive mix of bodystyle, range and price?
Before you back out of any existing deposit on a new EV, let us be clear that there is no chance of the MG 5 being sold in the U.S., as MG does not maintain a dealer presence in North America. There would also not be an easy way to import one from the U.K. or China and register it for road use in the U.S., for a very long list of reasons.
Perhaps the closest thing to an electric station wagon that we may see in the U.S. (aside from the current Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, which are not far off when it comes to exterior dimensions) will be another compact crossover like the Volkwagen ID.4 that will be landing here shortly. But we also have to wonder if in the next decade another automaker, especially the one based in Wolfsburg, will see any potential in an electric station wagon in North America.
We generally maintain an outlook that ranges from realism to mild pessimism when it comes to the revival of long-abandoned segments, and coupled with the Crossover/SUV Industrial Complex, it is indeed difficult to picture another automaker with a stateside presence fielding an electric wagon in the next decade. But we do see a greater variety of large electric hatches and pocket crossovers landing here, including the Nissan Ariya, giving the Bolt and Leaf some competition.
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