The MG4 delivers on features, performance & price - SUV VEHICLE

The MG4 delivers on features, performance & price

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The presence of MGs at classic car meet-ups across the U.S. has piqued the interest of Americans who are new to the brand. As the first electric car MG designed and engineered to meet the tastes of global customers, from the ground up, the 4 is a significant model for the storied brand to scale up its business worldwide. In March 2024, I had the opportunity to check out the MG4 Electric in its performance-oriented XPower trim at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show. Here’s what I think about the pure electric compact hatchback:

Design

The MG4 is a result of joint efforts of London-based SAIC Design Advanced London and Royal College of Art, and the SAIC Motor Design Center in Shanghai. To stay true to the MG legacy, sporty styling is a must-have for every vehicle it makes, and the MG4 is no exception. The car’s design is such that it appeals the Chinese and global customers alike. At the front, the MG4 features a shark-like nose section, petal-shaped, three-eyed headlamps, a muscular bumper with vertical side air intakes, a split lower air intake, and a lip spoiler.

The MG4 Electric has a sporty appearance on the sides with a rising beltline and sharp creases on the door panels and shoulders. The charging port is on the quarter panel above the left wheel arch. At the rear, it features a hunkered-down stance, a large, almost full-width tail light (featuring the SAIC Vision LED Lighting System), a clean bumper, an SUV-style large skid plate, and a split rear spoiler. With the exception of the low ride height, it resembles a crossover in many ways.

I think the MG4 has all the qualities of a European design, and can go head-to-head with popular models in this segment, in any market. I like its low and wide stance and find its silhouette quite sporty. The glossy lower body moldings with silver inserts, 18-inch Cyclone wheels, larger discs, and XPower-branded exclusive brake calipers give it a very dynamic look. My favorite part of the exterior is the split roof spoiler.

Unlike the MG4 Electric widely covered by the global media since its reveal in 2022, the unit I reviewed was made in Thailand, not China. I didn’t notice any misaligned or unusually big panel gaps on the car, or any other signs of poor build quality. The Wild Hunter Green (called Racing Green in other markets) matte color felt silky smooth and went well with the sporty theme of the car.

Interior

The MG4’s doors opened wide, and as a 5’7” person, the ingress and egress were swift for me. I liked the design of the sleek dashboard with the 10.25-inch freestanding touchscreen infotainment system and 7-inch instrument cluster, as well as the floating center console with a rotary gear selector. The flat-bottomed steering wheel had a 6 o’clock mark on it, and that, along with the alloy pedals and red stitching on the upholstery, endow a sporty vibe to the interior.

I noticed that as smart and European as the MG4 Electric’s interior looked, it didn’t quite match the quality level of Volkswagen, not to say I was surprised about that. I still think that it’s a commendable attempt and feel MG has considerably improved its interior game. I also observed that the floor was almost flat. I didn’t find the small hump in the rear of the cabin noticeably discomforting when I sat in the center position of the rear seat, though.

Safety

In its press release on December 7, 2022, the automaker announced that the MG4 Electric has been awarded a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The MG4 Electric scored 83% for Adult Occupant protection and 80% for Child Occupant protection, in the safety tests. Euro NCAP also mentioned this rating is valid for both RHD and LHD versions of the MG4 Electric.

The automaker noted that this was the first test result to involve its new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP), which will underpin several next-generation MG models. We can expect those cars, besides future MG4 Electric variants, to score a similarly satisfactory safety rating as well.

Specifications

Dimensions

MG’s electric model measures 4,287 mm in length, 1,836 mm in width, and 1,504 mm/1,516 mm in height. The compact electric car has a generous 2,705 mm wheelbase. Thus, it competes with the VW ID.3, Cupra Born, Renault Megane E-Tech, and the Nissan Leaf.

Platform

While the ZS EV came off a combustion engine model (ZS), the MG4 Electric is a bespoke EV based on the Nebula platform. That’s what MG is calling its new platform back home. In Europe, the branding used is Modular Scalable Platform or MSP in short. In a report that it published on June 26, 2022, autohome.com.cn called this a “super platform” developed from the ground up exclusively for electric vehicles. ‘E2’ is the internal codename as per the Chinese report, meaning it’s the successor to the MG Marvel‘s E1 platform.

The MSP’s scalable design allows developing EVs with a wheelbase of between 2,650 to 3,100 mm. It’s possible to design EVs with various body styles on the new platform: hatchback, notchback, saloon, SUV, and van. If you ask us, it will have a key role in the growth of MG in Europe.

Euro-spec MG4 Electric drivetrain layout
MG has secured a 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP for the MG4 Electric. Image Source: SAIC

DP-EPS

The MG4 Electric has a 50:50 weight distribution, which greatly helps handling. Plus, it gets a Dual Pinion-Assist Electric Power Steering (DP-EPS) instead of a conventional Rack-Assist Electric Power Steering (REPS). The new technology has come to the auto industry just in time when customers around the world have started increasingly preferring the SUV body style and electric powertrains. Steering loads are higher in EVs compared to ICE vehicles because of the weight of heavy batteries. They require a different steering system to handle the additional weight. In DP-EPS, the primary pinion is optimized for vehicle dynamics and performance and the secondary pinion is optimized for assist.

One Pack battery

MG says it was able to keep the car’s height so low because of its exceptionally flat battery, which belongs to the “One Pack” battery system (called Rubik’s Cube battery system in China). This is the flattest battery that the parent company SAIC has developed.

One Pack battery system, with its recumbent cell arrangement, allows an industry-leading 110 mm minimum battery height. The battery’s length and width are 1,690 mm and 1,300 mm, respectively. SAIC has used the new cell-to-pack or CTP technology, which makes the MG4 Electric one of the brand’s most advanced EVs to date.

Performance & Range

The MG4 Electric sports two motors in the XPower trim, one on each axle. Producing 320 kW and 600 Nm of torque, these motors give the car the capability to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. The MG4 Electric XPower has a 64 kWh (gross) lithium-ion NMC battery pack that gives it a range of 480 km, as per the old and more lenient NEDC (compared to WLTP).

Price

The MG4 Electric’s prices start at THB 869,000 (USD 23,795) for a base ‘D’ trim and go up to THB 969,000 (USD 26,533) for the top-end XPower trim. In the UK, where the electric hatch is gaining traction, prices range between £26,995 and £36,495.

TopElectricSUV says

The MG4 is a commendable effort from the Chinese automaker, be it in terms of style, features, performance, or pricing. However, I think there’s room to improve in the aspects of interior quality, in-cabin electronics software, and charging speed, and it can be a future segment leader if they are addressed. In emerging markets where the VW ID.3 and Renault Megane E-Tech aren’t available, it’s a great choice.

MG4 Electric FAQs

What is the MG4 Electric release date?

The MG4 is on sale globally, including RHD countries like Australia, Thailand & UK.

What is the MG4 Electric price?

In the UK, prices range between £26,995 and £36,495.

Which models are the MG4’s competitors?

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