By Breda Corrigan
Almost two decades after the Chinese automotive giant SAIC acquired the naming rights of the iconic MG brand, battery-powered MG’s are among the most sought-after affordable electric cars on the market. The MG brand has gone from being a rank outsider in the motor industry to being one of the hottest properties. The new MG4 EV is proof of just how far the brand has come in a relatively-short period of time.
Bespoke MSP Platform.
The MG4 EV is built on a bespoke Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) that was designed for an electrified powertrain from the start, and it will eventually spawn further all-electric MG models into the future. The MG4 was cleverly designed to stand out from the crowd, and its sharp, crisp styling makes it the most distinctive MG yet, while the dynamic shape of the car places it firmly in the family hatchback class. With balanced styling and an aerodynamic front end that frames angular LED headlights, the MG4 EV projects confidence from every angle. With a wheelbase of just over 2.7-metres, cabin space within the car is surprisingly good, while the 363-litre boot space can be expanded to 1,177-litres when the rear seats are folded. It is possible to store the charging cables beneath the boot floor so you don’t have to eat into the cargo space.
Advanced MG Pilot Safety Tech.
The MG Pilot suite of high-tech driver assistance technology provides drivers with added confidence on the road. Standard features include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist & Traffic Sign Recognition, Active Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent High Beam Assist, and Lane Keep Assist.
Highly-Specified Trim Options.
The MG4 EV Excite is the entry-level trim version, and it comes with LED headlights, LED rear lights, a 7-inch digital driver display and 10.25-inch colour touchscreen, rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels, MG Pilot, MG iSMART App, Vehicle to Load (V2L) technology, alarm, immobiliser, tinted glass and electrically adjustable & heated black door mirrors with power-folding functionality, along with many more comfort, convenience, safety and infotainment features as standard. Additional standard equipment in range-topping Exclusive trim includes a twin-aero rear spoiler, 360-degree camera, two-tone roof, rear privacy glass, heated steering wheel and front seats, height-adjustable loading floor, integrated wireless charging tray, iSMART app with live services, and leather-style upholstery with cloth inserts, along with additional MG Pilot features: Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Door Open Warning (DOW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
Two Battery Options.
The MG4 EV brings with it a new level of technology in the form of a powerful lithium-ion battery. With two battery options available to suit individual requirements, these efficient powerplants are water-cooled to optimise charging and range in all weathers. The MG4 EV Excite model offers a driving range of up to 350km on a single charge and is available with a Long Range option which extends that range up to 450km. The MG4 EV Exclusive model has a Long Range battery as standard and will provide up to 435km when fully charged. The 51kWh battery in the MG4 EV Excite can be charged from 10-80% in 39 minutes, with the 64kWh battery in the Excite Long Range and Exclusive models taking just 35 minutes to complete the same task using a 150kW rapid charger.
Innovative iSMART App.
MG’s innovative iSMART system is designed to elevate the driving experience, delivering more ease and convenience to the car’s drivability. The iSMART system integrates car, internet and user communication, allowing occupants the power to operate many functions with hands-free voice control. The dedicated MG smartphone app helps you find your parked car, plan your next journey, and pick out nearby charging points en route. Additionally, you can pre-start the climate control system to cool or heat the car before you step inside, while you can also check your battery status and schedule your charging process.
My test car was an MG4 EV Exclusive which was finished in Urban Grey metallic paint with standard 17-inch alloy wheels with low wind-resistance aero covers. The car’s electric motor is located on the rear axle and is powered by a 64kWh battery with a usable capacity of 61.7kWh. With 203PS and 250Nm of torque on offer, the car can complete a 0-100km/h sprint in just 7.9-seconds, with the power being sent to the rear wheels in a well-controlled manner. With a turning circle of just 10.6-metres, the car is easy to manoeuvre around city streets, and parking it into a tight space is a simple task too. Thanks to Dual Pinion EPS precision steering, the car remains smooth and agile on the road at all times, as it adjusts to a driver’s speed and driving style for excellent control in all conditions. The car is surprisingly nimble through tight corners, while motorway driving is a pleasurable experience too, as the car pulls away quickly and smoothly, getting you up to cruising speed with ease. There are multiple steering and drive mode settings in the menus, so selecting the right one is never an issue. Overall driving dynamics are truly impressive, and the good ride/handling balance adds greatly to the overall driving pleasure.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.
The first fully-electric family hatchback from MG is packed full of phenomenal driving features, and it comes with all the latest smart-technology and advanced safety systems that are usually reserved for the class above. With prices starting at just €29,495 the MG4 EV is a highly-commendable and genuinely-impressive electric car that is sure to shake up the EV market like never before. The MG4 EV offers the reassurance of a full 7 year/150,000km warranty which is fully transferable to future owners, and an 8 year battery warranty is also standard.