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MG Australia's growth ambitions to be spearheaded by MG5 sedan, and more, in the coming years

The MG5 sedan won’t arrive until early 2023, but will give MG a model to compete against the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.

MG Australia might have rocketed up the sales charts and landed itself into the top 10 for volume this year, but it has no plans to let its popularity – or its positioning – slide backwards.

With only four models in its current stable – the MG3 light hatchback, ZS and ZST crossovers, and HS mid-size SUV – MG Australia has managed to find 32,014 new homes for its models to the end of October, 2021, making the Chinese brand more popular than Subaru (31,499), Honda (14,560) and Mercedes-Benz (24,639).

But MG Australia will need to fill out its model line-up – in segments it currently doesn’t play – if it hopes to continue climbing the sales charts and contending with heavier hitters like Nissan (35,049) and Volkswagen (35,227).

Enter the MG5 small sedan, which is likely to enter production for Australia in late 2022 for a market launch in 2023.

Aimed squarely at the small sedan cohort including the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Kia Cerato, the MG5 will be sourced from Thailand, as previously confirmed to CarsGuide by MG Australia boss Peter Ciao, and is expected to retain the brand’s budget-focussed philosophy.

It’s still too far out to confirm or even speculate on pricing and specifications, but much like how the MG3 undercuts competitors like the Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio, the MG5 will likely be similarly positioned below its key rivals.

Though the MG5 is available in all-electric wagon form in the UK, the Australian version will be a sedan-only affair, with power coming from a 1.5-litre engine.

Two versions of this engine are available in left-hand-drive markets – an 88kW/150Nm naturally aspirated version paired with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and a 127kW/275Nm turbocharged version that is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic – but it is still unclear which will be brought to the Australian market.

Aside from the MG5, the facelifted version of the MG ZS EV will also arrive in local showrooms in the first quarter of 2022.

As Australia’s cheapest all-electric model, the ZS EV has played an important part in making tailpipe-emissions technology accessible to a wider audience, but its unclear if the new car will retain its predecessor’s $44,990 drive-away sticker price.

And that’s because the new ZS EV not only ushers in a new front-end design, but also a much larger 72kWh battery pack (up from 44kWh) that boosts driving range from 263km to 440km, as tested on WLTP standards.

A new all-electric model is also expected to land around the same time as the MG5, with the next-gen Marvel R SUV flagged for possible Australian birth.

The current Marvel R available in European markets makes use of a three-motor electric all-wheel-drive set-up, enabling a 212kW/665Nm output and a driving range of 402km, but expect this technology to evolve in the leap to a new generation.

Of note, the Marvel R’s predecessor, the Marvel X, has been spotted in Sydney for exhibition and evaluation purposes, though badged as a Roewe, MG’s sister brand.