With sleek styling, fun-to-drive characteristics and practical efficiency, could the MG 4 be the affordable, all-electric car buyers have been wishing for?
MG is on the rise lately, bringing in a medley of vehicles that satisfy customers’ needs whilst on a tight budget. But, their existing range, while practical, doesn’t accentuate the word ‘fun’.
Well, they’ve heard, went to the drawing board, and out comes this – the MG 4. An EV that’s perfectly pitched to steal customers away from other mainstream EV manufacturers. Bold claims, so how have they gotten on?
Unlike the MG ZS EV, which is based on an internal combustion (ICE) platform, the MG 4 benefits from the manufacturer’s new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP). That allowed the designers to go ham with the design, and so they did.
No doubt, the exterior of the MG 4 will polarise opinion, but its sleek, dramatic lines, angular headlights and twin aero rear spoiler mean it won’t get lost in the mundane commuter car crowd.
The overall facade is reminiscent of a typical hot hatchback, and the closer you look, the more obvious the dynamic creases are to the human eye. Plus, if you really want to make a statement, opt for the Volcano Orange, Dynamic Red or Holborn Blue colour options.
MG has made a solid attempt to create a modern and up-to-date interior with the MG 4. While some materials may reflect the car’s affordable price point, overall impressions remain positive, and the cabin exudes a smart tech-focused vibe.
Budget-friendly vehicles often skimp on the infotainment system, but the MG 4 boldly breaks that trend. A 10.25-inch display sits proudly in the centre, boasting crisp resolution. The main menu features handy widgets that grant easy access to major functions, while on-screen shortcuts for music, phone, navigation, and car settings are permanently on the right-hand side of the display.
Physical shortcut keys along the bottom, including those for the home page and climate controls, provide convenient alternatives. However, adjusting air-con settings on-screen can be a tad fiddly, requiring precision and patience to toggle the tiny icons on-screen.
While the display boasts crisp visuals, it can occasionally be a little truant, missing certain inputs. This does make it frustrating at times while on the move. On the bright side, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, bar wireless connectivity.
Standard features abound in the MG 4 include keyless entry, automatic headlights, electrically-adjustable heated door mirrors, and a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel.
The Trophy designation adds even more, with extras like front seat and steering wheel heating, a six-way electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, an adjustable boot floor, and a wireless smartphone charger.
Decently large to boot
Despite the MG 4’s relatively low roofline, it offers a decent amount of cabin space. Upfront, a cubby with a sliding lid resides just behind two cup holders, while lifting the top of the central armrest reveals a deep bin for larger items. The glove box may not be the most practical in terms of size or shape, but each front door bin offers ample space for bottles and other essentials.
Rear passengers get to enjoy a decent amount of legroom. The knee room is also satisfactory, although the space underneath the front seats for your feet is somewhat limited. Thanks to the EV powertrain, the central hump in the floor is relatively low, allowing for comfortable seating of three passengers in the rear and no awkward leg jousting.
With a capacity of 363 litres, the MG 4’s boot may not be the largest in its class, but it gets the job done. Plus, there’s no load lip to hinder your loading and unloading endeavours. You’ll also find extra storage space under the boot floor, perfect for keeping your charging cables organised. However, it’s worth noting that there’s no “frunk” or storage space under the bonnet.
Should you need to carry more stuff, the MG4’s rear seats do fold flat in a 60:40 split, opening up 1,177 litres of cargo space for you to play with.
Hot on your heels
The MG 4 differs from most single-motor EVs, where instead of a typical front-mounted set-up, it has a rear-mounted electric motor producing 200hp and 250Nm of torque. This setup focuses on practical range rather than sheer speed, keeping efficiency as a top priority. Additionally, features like the active aero grille, which only opens when the electrical systems require cooling, contribute to maximising efficiency.
On shorter journeys, such as school runs and urban commutes, it’s crucial that the driving experience is hassle-free and comfortable. MG has certainly delivered on this front, with the MG 4 offering a relaxed ride, light and accurate steering, and excellent forward visibility. Its nimble manoeuvrability through busy streets is further enhanced by its short overhangs. And if parking isn’t your forte, fear not – the 360-degree camera is your trusty ally.
But the MG 4 isn’t just built for city life. It shines on twisty B-roads, and is a hoon to operate should you wish to take your journeys with a little more enthusiasm. Although a touch nose-heavy, its adjustable chassis and rear-wheel drive setup make it a delight for those who crave a bit of spirited driving.
However, it’s important to note that configuring settings like the regenerative braking and drive modes can be a bit cumbersome, requiring a dive into the touchscreen menus or programming the star buttons on the steering wheel. Plus, these settings reset each time the car is switched off, so each startup configuration feels like a long takeoff procedure.
Efficiency is the name of the game, and the MG 4 does well in this department. Our own testing has revealed consumption figures of about 14.5kWh/100km, translating to a real-world range of approximately 440km – just 10km shy of the car’s official range.
And should you need a quick top-up, the MG 4 boasts a maximum charging speed of 135kW, allowing a 20 to 80 per cent top-up in a little over half an hour.
It brings fun to the table
There are often sacrifices to be made when hunting for the best-value bargain in any market segment, but in the case of the MG 4, you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised.
This is a pretty competent bang-for-your-buck competitor, and as a bonus, it even presents itself as a fun-to-drive roundabout hatchback.
Sure, there are teething troubles that exist, such as the screen UI and start/stop procedure. But, as an overall package, you’ll struggle to beat the MG 4 EV on the dollar.
MG 4 Trophy Sport LR
Engine: Single Asynchronous Motor
Power: 150kw (201bhp)
Gearbox: Single-Speed (A)
0-100km/h: 7.9 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 160km/h
Battery Capacity: 64 kWh
Drive Range: 450 km
Energy Consumption: 6.25 km/kWh (claimed)
Price: S$82,888 without COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: MG Singapore