By Bill McCarthy
If there was any lingering doubt that MG is back to making quality cars, the MG4 will put that to bed. The new hatchback joins the MG5 EV saloon and MG ZS EV in its assault on the electric market and is arguably the firm’s best car to date.
It is a classy alternative in its segment and offers extremely competitive pricing with models starting from just under £26k and an attractive seven year warranty.
The only thing that could disturb some older drivers is the shape of the steering wheel, which could produce horrible memories of the Austin Allegro owners with its square, so-called Quartic steering wheels.
It certinly looks good, built on the Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) that will underpin a new generation of MGs.
It features rear-wheel drive, 50-50 weight distribution and thin battery technology, which is a form of solid-state battery combined with the thin-film manufacturing processes. The aim is to produce more power and lower manufacturing costs through cheaper materials.
It certainly catches the eye with its sharp angular design, featuring a twin aero rear spoiler, 17-inch stylish alloy wheels and an all-LED rear light design.
The interior is just as impressive, belying the low price tag. It has a premium feel with soft touch finish together with black fabric upholstery. The thin battery frees up space for decent headroom, and legroom for both front and rear is also good.
Dominant in what is a fairly minimalist layout is the 10.25-inch touchscreen that features Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM as standard. In addition, a configurable seven-inch driver display delivers real-time information. There is a decent sound system
The rotary gear selector sits on a kind of floating central console which also houses a wireless charging pad on the range-topper.
This frees up room underneath and between the seats for extra storage.
Boot space is decent with 363 litres available, increasing to an impressive 1,177 litres with the split rear seats folded down
All are well equipped with the usual electronic aids, but if you want more toys and are prepared to spend a few grand extra, the Trophy long-range model adds a 360° Parking Camera, Satellite Navigation, Heated Front Seats and Steering Wheel, and Mobile Phone Bluetooth Key.
The MG iSMART app allows you to control many functions of your MG4 EV including charging, checking your vehicle status, finding your nearest charging point, as well as pre-starting the climate control system.
It doesn’t just look good, it drives well and the balanced weight distribution and rear-wheel drive means the car delivers good handling feeling safe and secure even on twisting country lanes.
Like all electric cars, acceleration is brisk, this model hitting 60 mph in just under eight seconds. There is a choice of five driving modes, depending on conditions.
Three specifications include the MG4 EV SE Standard Range, the SE Long Range driven here and the Trophy Long Range.
With battery capacities from 51kWh to 64kWh, the MG4 EV Standard Range is capable of 218 miles on the WLTP cycle, with Long Range SE and Trophy models capable of 281 miles and 270 miles respectively.
However I managed closer to 190 miles, admittedly in difficult and power draining rain and dark conditions for the most part.
As ever, charging away from home can be pot luck. If you drop lucky onto a charger then fine, otherwise you could face a long wait. Charging infrastructure, while improving, is still not good enough, so carefully plan any longer journeys.
The 64kWh battery is also capable of recharging at up to 135kW, meaning a charge time of only 35 minutes from 10% – 80% using a 150kW DC rapid charger.
Safety is a key feature and the car has been awarded the full five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings and offers a host of safety features including a range of airbags and stability control, with MG Pilot advanced driver assistance as standard on all models.
Features include active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning System, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent High Beam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Attention Alert.
MG4 EV SE Long Range
Mechanical: 203bhp, 150kW electric motor driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox
Max speed: 100mph
0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
Range: 281 miles
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Warranty: 7yrs/80,000 miles