If established manufacturers fail to offer an electric car at the price of a car with a comparable combustion engine, the Chinese do. SAIC fills this gap in the market with the MG 4, a mid-size compact car that costs €30,000, the price of a basic VW Golf.
For this you get the version equipped with the 51 kWh battery, which theoretically allows you to travel 350 km. The 64 kWh variant, which should ofer a range of 450 km, is a few thousand euros more expensive. A very competitive offer which, in the best of the cases, will encourage well-known European and Asian car manufacturers to also start manufacturing cheaper EVs.
Bodywork and dimensions
Without a front engine, the snout is short and the wheelhouse sits almost above the front axle. MG designers have applied many contemporary tricks to give panache to the quasi monovolume body. Like the black trim on the C-pillar that visually detaches the roof from the rest of the body, the black hardware at the bottom of the doors to hide the generous sheetmetal, and the sharp accent lines here and there.
A striking feature is the slightly rearward-sloping tailgate, adorned with the obligatory LED strip across the width of the car. The orange color stands out, but more muted shades are available. A black-painted roof is available on the top trim, called Luxe.
>> Length: 4287 mm – Width: 1836 mm – Height: 1504 mm
Interior and trunk
Thanks to the long wheelbase and forward windshield, there’s room to move inside. At the rear, on the other hand, one feels more cramped due to the small side windows and the reduced rear window, while at the front one benefits from good all-round visibility.
The interior is very comfortable, however, with room even for a handbag between the front seats. You can put your phone on a tablet intended for this purpose, but the rubber coating could be more effective in keeping it in place a little better.
To cut costs, the number of buttons has been kept to a minimum, including the mandatory buttons for demisting and four turn signals. Almost everything is controlled by the high-mounted 10.2-inch touchscreen, which is sometimes difficult to aim at. A few simple adjustments to the air conditioning or seat heating immediately require a lot of attention. The fact that there is a small translation error here and there in the software does not favor a good overall impression either. The software can be updated remotely though, so who knows, it might get better over time.
That aside, the cabin of this MG 4 is pleasant to live in, with a neat finish and a good seating position. The seats offer good support and the steering wheel is widely adjustable. You can also fold the rear seat in two parts.
Specifications and performance
The MG 4 adopts a new modular electric platform that carries the engine and powertrain at the rear and sits on a battery pack just 11cm high. This new architecture can serve cars from less than 4 meters to nearly 5 meters long, i.e. from segment A to D. A roadster is even planned, to celebrate MG’s centenary in 2024.
The basic version will be equipped with a 51 kWh battery, combined with a 125 kW motor. The most expensive variant will have a 64 kWh battery. The latter also receives a more powerful 150 kW motor. A version with two motors, one in the front and one in the back, and 77 kWh energy storage will follow later.
Autonomy and charging
We recorded a consumption of around 20 kWh/100 km, which is rather high for an EV of this size. however, it should be noted that the test took place in cold weather and with winter tires.
You might do a little better in the summer, but for now we’re calculating a range of 250-300 km for the 51 kWh battery, and 300-400 km for the 64 kWh. That’s quite reasonable for a car of this size, especially since you can fast-charge at 117 and 135kW respectively.
The propulsion architecture and the good distribution of masses, low and central, allow excellent road holding, with a short turning radius, excellent balance and direct and intuitive driving.
For all types of drivers, this is a flexible car, both for a leisurely drive to the supermarket and for those who want to take a corner with a little more panache by playing the accelerator pedal. The new platform is also very strong: it is stiff enough to benefit from dynamic chassis settings and maximize shock absorption.
Belgian MG 4 prices
The MG 4 is marketed from €30,785. The version with the larger battery costs an additional €3500 and the high-end luxury version claims an additional €2000.
The latter includes a semi-automatic driving assistant (MG Pilot), a 360-degree camera, seat and steering wheel heating and a heat pump instead of an energy-guzzling heater.
Most of the active safety systems are also standard on the base version, as is the multimedia system (but without navigation, without Wi-Fi and with four speakers instead of six). Those with the larger battery also get automatic vents in the grille, which close when they can, to reduce drag.
A seven-year warranty is automatically included.
MG 4 – verdict of the Automobile Monitor
The Chinese reincarnation of MG makes better cars than the British original of the last century. The 4 makes electric driving again a little more accessible to a wider audience, with the same price as a base VW Golf, while having lower running costs at current energy tariffs. Value for money is only part of the story though; price aside, it’s simply a great electric ride for singles, couples, and even small families.
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MG 4 64 kWh (2022) test – an affordable electric | Automotive Monitor
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