Since its return to the automotive scene in 2020, MG has continued to surprise and find some success (3,181 MGs delivered since the start of 2022). The range already includes three 100% electric models: the Marvel R, the MG5 and the MG ZS EV II.
As if that weren’t enough, MG now offers the MG4, an electric compact that caused quite a stir when it was announced thanks to a pretty aggressive price tag (from €28,990; or €22,990 minus a bonus) and relatively complete equipment. . Inevitably, there is something to intrigue.
The MG4 is available in three versions (Standard, Comfort and Luxury). The first costs €28,990 with a 125 kW/170 hp engine powered by a 51 kWh battery. The Comfort version (€32,990) has a more generous battery (64 kWh) that allows it to travel 450 km. More powerful (150 kW/204 hp), it also benefits from additional equipment such as an 11 kW on-board charger and 17-inch wheels. Finally, the Luxury version that we were able to try uses the same technical characteristics, but further enriches its equipment with additional elements of comfort.
In terms of design, the MG4 does not go unnoticed. The front is sporty, with its ribbed and deep hood, an active grille that closes the flaps to improve aerodynamics (from the Comfort version), its carbon fiber effect lower strip, its very bright LED lights. LED turn signals that are compensated.
The sides also feature carbon-effect side sills, and the MG4 is equipped with 17-inch rims that are coated with two-tone hubcaps that reduce air resistance by 20%.
Finally, the rear of the car may not be unanimous. Very sporty, it has a diffuser with vertical blades and two spoilers, including an upper division in two parts. The lower spoiler incorporates a light strip that runs along the entire tailgate and joins the imposing lights.
Inside the MG4, the presentation is modern, with an elegant style that emphasizes the two screens. These are offered as standard, regardless of the finish chosen. MG has taken care of its copy, as evidenced by the panel’s foamed finish and the reduced fit tolerance to less than 0.3mm. Like its competitors Renault Megane E-Tech and Volkswagen ID.3 to name a few, however, hard plastics are legion. That said, it’s hard to be picky given the price, especially since the perceived quality is there, as is the space.
The MG4 benefits from a new MSP platform dedicated to electricity. With dimensions of 4,287 m long, 1,836 m wide and 1,504 m high, the car has a wheelbase of 2,705 m. Enough to offer space on board, especially in the rear seats that can comfortably accommodate passengers up to 1.90 m. The latter will benefit in particular from the protection of the roof, or even the easier access by doors that open almost 90°.
The imitation leather seats in our Luxury version benefit from generous padding and a backrest that is not too vertical. On the other hand, if the central seat makes the most of the absence of a transmission tunnel, the seat is very firm and appears to be raised, giving the impression of being seated on a stool.
Another more embarrassing complaint, the trunk volume is limited to 363 liters, and there is no weird under the front cover. The 60/40 rear seat, however, can be folded down to obtain up to 1177 liters with height-adjustable floor, so as to offer a practically flat storage area.
The front seats are not far behind, with the same very comfortable seats, which also provide good lateral support. The electrical settings of the MG4 in the Luxury version make it possible to find the most suitable driving position, especially since, unlike the MG ZS EV, the steering wheel with two planes and two spokes is adjustable in height and depth.
The electrical instrumentation benefits from a 7-inch diagonal (800 x 480 pixels) with a color screen and good brightness; that won’t be much in the face of significant reflections in the absence of a matte panel. Some of the information is customizable.
Contextual steering wheel control, however, takes a little time to get used to. It allows you to control music playback and volume level in turn. But by pressing one of the three buttons to the right of the steering wheel branch, we control the display of the instrumentation screen. A little confused.
Infotainment is provided by a large 10.25-inch touchscreen with a generous resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The gloss of its coating is partially offset by its high luminosity which favors legibility… when not overloaded by fingerprints.
The interface is identical to the MG ZS EV. The fluidity and ergonomics are correct, but we could notice some bugs. The GPS, for example, tended to lock up when we just manipulated the air conditioning controls, which are strictly digital. These also work a little strangely, with a display that automatically switches to the previous app after a few seconds. Frustrating, but a simple update should fix the problem.
No planner is offered in the GPS, which only displays the vehicle’s range. On the other hand, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are well supported, only in the wired version. The manufacturer offers a cable entry that allows you to hide them. Three USB ports are available in total.
Adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist is standard from the entry-level standard trim. And unlike the MG ZS EV, there is no longer a dedicated switch. Instead, the system is simply activated using one of the buttons on the steering wheel. It remains then to adjust the speed and safety distance using the control joystick located on the left side of the branch. Level 2 autonomous driving is effective, even if course corrections are sometimes abrupt; as the manufacturer’s electric compact SUV.
Like the rest of the range, the MG4 benefits from the MG iSmart companion app. Available on Android and iOS, it allows you to unlock the vehicle remotely – but not use your smartphone as a key –, manage the air conditioning, check the charge level and remaining range or even locate the vehicle. The interface presents a modern presentation and good ergonomics.
Handling and performance
The permanent magnet synchronous motor of our Luxury version provides 150 kW/204 hp and is linked to a 64 kWh NMC battery (LFP in the standard version). The advertised maximum torque is 250 Nm and the MG4 can reach 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds (7.7 seconds for the Standard 170 hp version with small battery).
To start the car, MG is inspired by the Tesla system. Don’t look for a Start button, there is none. Just open the door, enter and turn the control knob to activate D-mode and move on. Likewise – and this can be confusing at first – once you get there, you go to position P and get out of the car, which automatically switches off. Practice!
While the buttons dedicated to driving mode selection and the KERS regenerative braking level are gone, these features remain on the infotainment screen. An automatic fourth level of energy recovery appears and adjusts according to road conditions and the distance from the vehicle ahead. In all cases, even in the most powerful mode, braking remains light when lifting the foot. There is no One-Pedal mode.
As for the driving modes, they work in the classic way. Sometimes limiting power and switching comfort systems to low consumption mode, thus optimizing autonomy, sometimes delivering full power with Sport mode. A custom mode is also available.
Good point, the MG4 doesn’t just sport a sporty look. This electric compact has incredible dynamic handling, well helped by its light steering, low center of gravity and excellent chassis. You can disable ESP to have fun with its typical propulsion behavior. Eco mode is already more than enough for everyday use, but it’s hard to resist the appeal of Sport mode. Especially since when exiting a corner, the MG4 maintains good traction, even if this behavior has to be confirmed in the wet with the low-consumption Continental Premium Contact tires. Although a little firm, the suspensions are still comfortable. Rolling noise is well contained, but wind noise can be heard from 110 km/h.
Unfortunately consumption is relatively high. We recorded an average of about 19 kWh/100 km on the road. And up to 21.3 kWh/100 km after 150 km on the motorway, between 110 and 130 km/h depending on limitations. Values far from those of homologation that leave doubts about the announced range (435 km WLTP for our Luxury version; against 350 km for the Standard).
Also, if we haven’t had the opportunity to test the charging yet, know that the MG4 is equipped with an 11 kW on-board charger (6.6 kW for the Standard version). The manufacturer advertises 6 h 30 min to go from 10 to 100% capacity. In direct current fast charging stations, the MG4 could accept a power of up to 135 kW (117 kW for the standard), with a 10 to 80% recharge advertised in 35 minutes. V2L charging is also available.
Evaluation of this first grip
Once again, MG takes a step forward by offering an electric car with an unbeatable price/performance ratio for the moment. The equipment and finish are not at a discount, and icing on the cake, the road behavior in dynamics is fun. Only real regret, its high consumption clearly limits its autonomy. We’ll delve into all of this in a test with measured readings, but the competition can have some issues.