MG has already shown its worth in the electric car segment, with its ZS EV crossover and MG5 estate car proving popular and helping this manufacturer be the UK’s fastest-growing car firm.
MG is now hoping that continues with the introduction of the new MG4 – its first electric hatchback. Based around a new EV platform, the MG4 also showcases a bolder design direction for the firm, while getting a smart-looking interior and choice of electric powertrains.
But the key talking point with the new MG4 is its price. Starting from £25,995, it undercuts all its rivals by a considerable margin. But is the result one that feels like corners have been cut to save money? Let’s find out.
The MG4 is offered with two powertrains – Standard Range and Long Range. The former uses a 51kWh battery paired to an electric motor producing 168bhp and 250Nm of torque. MG claims a 218-mile range here, with 0-60mph being dispatched in 7.5 seconds, while it would carry on to a 100mph top speed.
If you want to travel further on a charge, it’s worth upgrading to the Long Range model, which gets a larger 62kWh battery that takes the range up to 281 miles. Though it gets a more powerful motor – producing 200bhp – the additional weight of the battery docks the 0-60mph time at 7.7 seconds.
The MG4 can also charge at up to 150kW, which means that, when hooked up to an ultra-rapid EV charger, a 10 to 80 per cent charge can take just 35 minutes. Plugged in at home with a 7kW wallbox, it will take 7.5 hours for the Standard Range car and nine hours for the Long Range.
Ride and handling
Considering the MG4’s starting price, you might expect the driving experience to fall short. But this isn’t the case at all. Drive is delivered to the rear wheels, which means it offers an engaging experience, as when pressing on you can really feel the car pushing you through the corners. While the steering is light, it’s easy to place and feels far more agile than its kerb weight suggests.
The ride is also comfortable, even if it occasionally has a certain bounciness to it, while the zip from the electric motor is impressive – it feels quicker than the performance figures suggest. The only real criticism we have is that there’s quite a lot of road noise at higher speeds, such as when on the motorway.
The MG4 offers a much more modern and smarter interior than we’ve seen from recent MGs. The cabin is very minimalist, with a central iPad-like touchscreen heading up the interior, and joined with a small digital dial display. There are few physical buttons, too, and while this can make some jobs more difficult than it needs to be, you quickly get the knack for it.
The buttons on the steering wheel can also be configured, meaning you can use the toggles on the wheel to control the air conditioning. The interior quality feels a bit cheap in places, and not as upmarket as rivals, but then again this model comes in at a significant saving next to models like the Renault Megane E-Tech.
In terms of spaciousness, there’s room in the rear seats for adults to sit in comfort, and though the 363-litre boot is down on the size of rivals, it still offers enough room for a small family.
There are two trim levels available on the MG4 – SE and Trophy.
Standard equipment is very generous considering the price and includes LED headlights and LED rear lights, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors and a range of driver assistance kit – including adaptive cruise control and high beam assist.
If you upgrade to the Trophy – only available in combination with the larger battery – it brings plenty of extra features. Styling-wise, it gains a two-tone roof, twin roof spoiler and upgraded LED rear lights, but it also adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a 360-degree camera system.
The standout point with the MG4 is its price, and starting from £25,995 for an SE Standard Range, it makes it one of the most affordable new EVs – and is far better value than plenty of smaller models – an electric Fiat 500, for example, costs from more than £30,000.
The SE Long Range would be our top choice – starting from £28,495 – with the top-spec Trophy coming in at £31,495.
MG has quickly become one of the major players in the electric car world, and this new MG4 is set to only grow the brand even further. It’s MG’s best car yet, offering a good driving experience, a practical interior and plenty of technology.
The fact MG4 can offer customers all of this at a significant cost saving next to competitors is remarkable, and it’s only the start of things to come from this firm.