MG 4 EV review: it shouldnt be this good | CAR Magazine
► the mg 4 ev hatchback rivals the vw id.3► but cuts it massively in price► 201bhp, up to 281 miles range, two versions
MG’s two previous electric cars, the ZS EV and 5 EV, have everything to offer except good looks. They make great pragmatic buys, with long-range batteries and plenty of room for the whole family, but tacky interiors, dull driving dynamics, and all the charisma of a UPVC window all worked against them. you certainly would never have thought of any of them as a serious rival to the volkswagen id.3.
Reading: Mg electric car review
but the new mg 4? It is more than capable of taking the fight directly to VW, and many other EVs in the deal. It’s by far the most compelling MG product yet, and the way the brand pulled it off for the price it asks is actually a bit amazing.
read our full 4mg review to find out why.
don’t think of mg as a budget player anymore – so far this year it has sold more cars in the uk than skoda or land rover. a long warranty, small, friendly dealers and significantly less outage than some of its rivals has proven a winning recipe so far.
Now, you have a great car to further accelerate your growth. if British car buyers can continue to get over their brand issues, we may see plenty of these on the road once deliveries begin in late September 2022.
what exactly is mg 4 ev?
Thinking of it as a Chinese id.3 isn’t too far off. Size wise there’s very little to it (the ID.3 is a bit taller) giving it Family 4 hatchback dimensions. It rides on an all new scalable electric platform with a slim skateboard style battery underneath from the floor. Currently RWD, a performance AWD model will join the range next year, promising a staggering 443bhp.
Two battery options are available at launch: the standard range has a net capacity of 51 kWh, while the long range has 64 kWh, giving ranges of 218 and 281 miles respectively. Opt for a Trophy model and the range drops to a respectable 270 miles. an extended range car with 77kwh will be out next year, with a target of 329 miles of range.
on top of that sits an angular insectoid body. It doesn’t look too bad in the flesh, somewhat wheeled with only 17-inch tires compared to the ID.3’s 19- or 20-inch affairs, but modern and smart nonetheless. there’s a distinctive rear light bar and clever dual spoiler, plus nice launch shades: the orange you see in the photos here along with an electric blue and fancier metallic red.
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it’s a modern mg so it’s going to suck to drive right?
surprisingly, no. The Trophy model we tested has 150kw (201bhp) and 184lb-ft of the usual continuous electric torque. But being rear-wheel drive, the tires are much less likely to ignite at the slightest hint of acceleration than the 5 or ZS EV are, allowing you to get around with minimal drama.
and you’ll be more than happy to get on with the way the 4ev drives and handles. Those little wheels round bumps admirably well, and body control is excellent. MG’s new platform offers a 50:50 weight distribution and a low CG and it pays off here – it’s not just a good budget EV, it’s a good EV to drive, period. more comfortable than an id.3 or a cupra born, and better resolved than a renault zoe or a kia niro ev.
it even offers a bit of entertainment if you treat it like a blunt instrument, though traction control kicks in before anything gets too messy.
Drive modes include the usual normal/sport/eco, altering throttle response, braking effort and steering weight, while you can also select from four levels of regenerative braking, including an adaptive mode. It’s a shame there isn’t a single pedal, but the top level of regen will get you down 80 percent of the way.
that interior looks very minimalistic
it’s not just in dimensions that the 4 mimics the id.3. The interiors are also very similar, although the VW’s brighter, more rounded aesthetic contrasts with the very sober and uptight MG.
There is no home button. climb in, sit down and hit the brakes and the car comes to life, with two stunning high-definition screens staring back at you over a sea of faux fur.
do some exploring and you’ll find where mg has saved a little money. There are no grab bars or lighting on the visor mirrors, and the plastics on the tops of the doors and on the bottom of the dash have a distinctly hollow sound, while the floor mats are amusingly abrasive. but the steering wheel and both armrests are very well padded, does it really matter?
Physical controls are minimal, amounting to a row of buttons below the infotainment screen, plus the drive selector and parking brake. this is where the first real annoyance arises: if mg was going to take inspiration from the id.3, why did it have to be to route everything through the touchscreen?
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It’s fine for media consumption, but changing the climate control with a series of on-screen diddy buttons is frustrating. It’s also frustrating that driving modes, regeneration, and even turning cruise on and off are all done through a hidden submenu. oh, and don’t bother using the wireless charging pad – it’s so slippery your phone will slide around the first roundabout.
The steering wheel controls are unmarked and multi-functional, though we suspect owners would memorize them after a few days with no major issues.
Passenger space is acceptable: four six-footers fit with average legroom but good headroom, and unlike some EV rivals, the floor in the rear isn’t ridiculously tall. The trunk is also a good size and shape, with space under the floor to store charging cables.
so how cheap is mg 4?
That’s the really exceptional part. MG wants just £25,995 for an entry-level SE car with the standard-range battery. add £2,500 for the long-range car, and a further £3,000 for the trophy finish which brings plenty of tempting gear.
That’s already impressive enough (an ID.3 starts from £36,195 at time of writing; a much smaller Vauxhall Corsa-E £29,305) but even the finance packages are very profitable. cap predicts that the best mg 4 will retain a staggering 64.6% of its value after three years (residuals on par with porsche, tesla and land rover) and even the top spec will retain 61.7%.
That means mg can offer the standard range se model, on a three year pcp with a £4000 deposit, for around £300 a month. a zoe on similar terms is £417. a corsa-e, £430. do you want the id.3? it will be £564 please…
That kind of monthly payment makes the mg 4 great value for money. it’s incredibly affordable for a modern electric car, good to drive, and long-range.
so should you buy one? for perhaps the first time since saic took over mg, the answer is a resounding yes.
MG managed to make a desirable car that somehow beats its main rival by over £10,000. It’s packed with gear, genuinely road-savvy, and backed by a solid mix of seven-year warranty and friendly local dealers. definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2022, and a car we hope to spend more time in…
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