why this Chinese can dynamit the electric car market!

More than 5.7 million cars made last year! Even if it is necessary to count in these impressive volumes the manufacture in and for China of Volkswagen and other Audis, the SAIC automobile group is already a giant of the automobile planet that is in the 7th place in the world. And through the English brand MG that he bought in 2005, this gargantua doesn’t intend to stop there and wants to bite Europe raw. Initially modest with models like the ZS SUV or the 100% electric Marvel R that have already won over a few thousand French people, the attack is now frontal with this MG4. inaugurating a whole new modular platform which will be used for a large number of bodies, all in various sizes thanks to an extendable wheelbase from 2.65 to 3.10 m, the MG4 is designed for Europe. In fact, this compact is close in size to a Volkswagen ID.3 (4.29 m or 3 cm more) and likes an electric motor placed in the rear. But the first blow comes from the fact that this Chinese one is, at the top of the Luxury range here in test (€34,990 without the bonus), not much more expensive than a much smaller, aged base Renault Zoe (€33,700)! Regarding the Basic version billed at €28,990 and equipped with a 51 kWh battery, has no equivalent rival. And as you’ll see, it’s not offering low-cost services.

pleasant

If some will moderately taste the atypical design of this MG4, one watchword led to the design of its interior: no waves! understand that the driving position of this chinese is not brimming with originality but it offers what you can expect from a car of the 2020s. There is therefore a digital counter (7 inches) and in the center of the dashboard a touch-sensitive multimedia panel (10.25”). If MG had the good idea to keep real buttons below the latter, as well as on the steering wheel, the latter also with customizable keys, ergonomics requires a period of familiarization, but doesn’t seriously compromise probabilities. This is also the case on the manufacturing quality side. If the hard materials at the bottom tickle the retinas of the most demanding, the whole is not lacking in anything. with flexible materials at the top and suitable mounts.

The MG4’s dashboard design is basic.© MG

In short, enough to be serious and please Europeans, especially since the already rich equipment of the basic version is princely for high-end luxury. Heated steering wheel and front seats, connected apps and mixed leather/fabric upholstery, nothing is missing. The square wants thanks to a Generous wheelbase that allows tall riders not to feel cramped in the back seat knowing that the trunk has volume (minimum 350 dm3) again within the category standards. In short, without being exceptional, this MG4 meets the specifications of a good compact in Europe. Finally, be aware that on the damping side, this Chinese with a Sophisticated multilink rear axle it is far from being a skateboard and that except on the road where, as is often the case with electric cars, the noise of the air manifests itself, it is very good to live on board.

It’s not fun to drive

No need to beat around the bush. If you are a faithful reader of Automobile Magazine, you know that until now the Chinese have been far from leaving an indelible memory behind the wheel. But that was before. Like his fellow countryman CFMotos and his trail MT800 that seduced us, we must recognize that this MG4 does better than defending on the road. Properly suspended with an effective compromise between comfort and handling, this drive is more pleasant to drive than a Renault Zoe. (especially since we’re much better installed there) and it’s not ridiculous compared to a VW ID.3. we can only blame him excessively assisted driving and perfectible motor skills especially since traction control always works with a small delay. But agile, safe and pleasant on a day-to-day basis, with its turning maneuvers becoming a joke, this MG4 delivers globally convincing performances. What if there was only this area where she does better than survive…

Compare the real range of the best electric cars according to our standardized measurement cycle. Battery capacity, consumption, autonomy, we’ll tell you everything!

tone and sobriety

With 204 hp, the MG4 delivers a good performance, but obviously that’s not what you expect in the corner. Common capacity of 64 kWh, the NMC battery (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) allows, according to MG, to travel up to 435 km between two charges (and even 15 km more with the Comfort finish). Obviously, we will not fail to check, knowing in passing that the Luxury version here under test is the only one to have a heat pump. However, during our two-day test in the south east of France and a demanding road-book that alternates between mountain roads, motorways and city passes, this MG4 never exceeded 20 kWh/100 km, whether there is also a value by category standards. , which we will not fail to verify. By the way, note that the MG4 with the 64 kWh battery accepts a power of 135 kW fast charging. It’s a little less (117 kW) for small battery 51 kWh from the basic version, the latter is also distinguished by a different battery chemistry (Lithium Iron Phosphate).

The MG4's light signature is somewhat reminiscent of a Yaris Cross.
The MG4’s light signature is somewhat reminiscent of a Yaris Cross.© MG

still some flaws

Successful, this MG4 is. Perfect, she isn’t. First claim and despite four possible settings, including an automatic one, theregenerative braking hardly impresses and there is no driving a pedal. At least the brake one doesn’t have a touch and an unpleasant response to know that there is also one to regulate the level of bite with the card. This is one of the advantages of the by-wire technology used. Also, if it is pleasant or even fun to ride with a rear axle that can slip slightly on the turn, the traction control is probably showing too much detachment for a consumer car. Finally, during our test, we had to go through some bugs in the multimedia system and the traffic sign reading system was constantly having problems. I hope these youthful little glitches don’t affect customers.

the price coup

Boosting the European electric car market, this MG4 therefore possesses the means with benefits that are far from poor. But your best asset is obviously a unbeatable price/performance ratio. Super equipped, our trial version costs 28,990 euros after deducting the ecological bonus. Who says better? No one at this level of reach and size. Finally, be aware that a short walk with the Basic MG4 confirmed us in the fact that this Chinese has great assets to be a success in Europe because in 22,990 euros after bonus, this version already offers convincing performance and enough autonomy for daily use thanks to its 51 kWh battery.

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