The MG MG4 EV is the manufacturer’s third fully-electric vehicle. Building on the success of the ZS EV SUV and the MG5 EV estate, the Chinese automaker is looking to expand into unchartered territory with its latest all-electric offering targeting the C-segment market, taking on hatchbacks such as the VW ID.3, Cupra Born, Nissan Leaf et al.
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MG4 EV price & competition
Despite being the newest addition to MG’s fleet, it’s in fact the cheapest of the bunch, with prices starting from £25,995. The SE Long Range costs £28,495 while the top-spec Trophy Long Range that we have on review comes in at £31,495. This makes the MG4 EV among one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market. A detailed breakdown of the trim levels can be found, below (click to expand):
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When it comes to its rivals, there are a fair few EVs to consider: the BMW i4 from £56,185; the Tesla Model 3 from £48,490; the Polestar 2 from £43,150; Cupra Born from £36,475; the VW ID.3 from £36,990; the Honda e from £36,920; the BMW i3 from £33,805; the Peugeot e-208 from £31,345; the Fiat 500 Electric from £30,645; the Renault Zoe from £29,995; Vauxhall Corsa-e from £29,035; the Mini Electric from £29,000; the Nissan Leaf from £28,995; and the Smart fortwo coupé from £22,225.
Elsewhere, you might want to consider an SUV, in the more affordable segment you’ll find: the MG ZS EV from £29,495; the Citroen e-C4 from £30,995; the Hyundai Kona Electric from £31,325; the Vauxhall Mokka-e from £32,695; the Peugeot e-2008 from £33,700; the Kia Soul EV from £34,995; the Kia Niro EV ‘2 64’ from £36,245; the Volkswagen ID.4 from £37,290; and the Skoda Enyaq iV 60 from £38,380. You’ve also got the MG5 EV, the all-electric estate that starts from £30,995.
Read next: New MG ZS EV review: Still the best budget electric SUV?
MG4 EV exterior review
With the MG4 EV undercutting a lot of its rivals, one might think that the manufacturer would neglect its exterior design. However, in our opinion, it’s one of the most stylish offerings on the market. Indeed, its aggressive front profile reminds us of the Toyota GR Supra, from the side of a Jaguar I-Pace and at the rear, a Kia EV6.
The Trophy Long Range that we have on review, ups the ante with integrated LED daytime running lights, exquisite-looking car-wide taillights with a snazzy pattern, a two-tone colour combination with a black roof, rear privacy glass, and twin aero rear spoilers that add to the overall pizzazz. As for the 17″ alloys that come fitted as standard on all trim levels, they’re hidden by modern-looking plastic aero covers – similar to what Tesla has done with the Model 3.
In terms of your colour options, ‘Arctic White’ and ‘Holborn Blue’ come as standard on all trim levels. ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Camden Grey’ cost £545, while ‘Dynamic Red’ will set you back £695. In the top-spec Trophy Long Range, the attractive ‘Volcano Orange’ is also available for £695; it reminds us of the iconic orange-coloured Lamborghini Gallardo.
Elsewhere, the MG4 EV has a maximum towing weight of 500kg for braked and unbraked trailers, which is a little lower than a few of its rivals. There is also no roof load capacity, thus one cannot attach a roof box for additional storage space.
Read next: Cupra Born review (2022): Better than the VW ID.3?
MG4 EV interior review
Inside, the MG is still pretty stylish. Yet again, it reminds us of a myriad of different vehicles: the steering wheel is hexagonally-shaped like the Peugeot e-208, the centre console has an overhanging design similar to that of the older-generation Kia e-Niro, while the 7″ instrument cluster is positioned behind the steering wheel like the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born.
As for the choice of materials and the upholstery, they’re on-par with the aforementioned vehicles, which means the MG4 EV won’t compete with more premium offerings, such as from the likes of Audi, Polestar/Volvo and BMW. Nonetheless, it’s an accomplished design and one that’s practical too. Physical buttons reside under the 10.25″ infotainment system and on the steering wheel, while the rotary gear dial and electric parking brake sit conveniently on the overarching island.
However, physical climate controls go amiss, which seems to be a nonsensical trend among automakers. While one can quickly access the temperature and fan controls via the programmable button on the right-hand side of the steering wheel, and turn on or off the climate system by pressing a button located underneath the infotainment system, we still would have preferred physical buttons and knobs. Granted, many of its competitors also opt for onscreen controls but unlike the rest, the MG4 EV’s infotainment system is extremely slow to respond.
Indeed, the 10.25″ display often fails to pick up touch input, making for a frustrating experience when on the move. What’s more, the 360-degree cameras that are present in the top-spec Trophy Long Range seem to operate on a one-time basis, only. After having them initiated through the app or by selecting reverse, they’ll be unavailable until the next start. We also experienced a Bluetooth error that prevented Android Auto from running, resulting in us having to perform a factory reset of the entire car to solve the problem. Baffling and extremely odd behaviour on both accounts – we’ve reached out to MG for comment and will update this review once a firmware update has been rolled out.
Annoyances aside, the infotainment system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay over a wired connection. The USB Type-A port found below the overarching centre island is used to connect up to the system, while the Type-C port provides charge, and permits USB audio and video playback.
On the subject of audio, there are four speakers in the SE and SE Long Range, while the Trophy Long Range has six speakers with 3D sound processing done by audio specialists, Arkamys. The latter system is pretty punchy, especially with the addition of the virtual subwoofer. To hear how the six-speaker system sounds, watch our detailed review on YouTube.
As for the 7″ driver’s display, it’s vivid and displays all the key information that one might need. However, it’s not customisable nor does it integrate navigation data from the aforementioned mobile operating systems. Thankfully, the built-in navigation system does feed turn-based information to the instrument cluster. One can also use the MG iSmart app to check the status of the vehicle and even locate it via the built-in tracker. Elsewhere, there’s no Head-Up Display (HUD) available as an option, which is a feature that is present in rival offerings.
Read next: Hyundai Kona Electric review: Kia e-Niro alternative?
MG4 EV storage review
Shifting our attention to storage, the MG4 EV has an ample amount of room at the front of the cabin: the door bins are large enough to accommodate a 500ml bottle and a few valuables, the glove compartment is handy to take a few documents, the centre console area is large and has a retractable cover to hide valuables from prying eyes, a non-slip area by the gear selector can accommodate a large smartphone (it doubles up as a wireless phone charger in the Trophy Long Range), the centre armrest compartment can accommodate a small-sized purse or wallet and the two cupholders, albeit a little awkwardly placed for larger bottles, are useful to have.
However, the same couldn’t be said at the rear of the cabin, where there are no cupholders, a missing pulldown armrest and limited storage towards the centre console and the door bins. Still, there are a few small compartments within the rear segment of the front seats, which can be useful to transport smartphones, books or a power bank.
As for its boot, it’s a little small in comparison to its rivals, but it should suffice for your weekly shops; with the seats up there’s 363 litres and with them folded, there’s 1,177 litres. Here’s how it stacks up to its rivals: BMW i4 (470/1,290 litres); Nissan Leaf (435/1,161 litres); Hyundai Ioniq Electric (357/1,417 litres); Tesla Model 3 (425/1,235 litres); VW ID.3/Cupra Born (385/1,267 litres); Polestar 2 (405/1,095 litres); Renault Zoe (338/1,225 litres); Mini Electric (211/731 litres); Vauxhall Corsa-e (267/1,076 litres); VW e-up! (251/951 litres); Seat Mii Electric (251/923 litres); Mini Electric (211/731); Honda e (171/571 litres); Fiat 500 Electric (185/550 litres) Smart EQ Fortwo (260/360 litres).
There are also a few all-electric SUVs that almost unanimously trump the MG4 EV: Skoda Enyaq iV (585/1,710 litres); VW ID.4 (543/1,575 litres); MG5 EV estate (464/1,456 litres); Kia e-Niro (451/1,405 litres); Peugeot e-2008 (434/1,467 litres); MG ZS EV (448/1,375 litres); Kia Soul EV (315/1,339 litres); Citroen e-C4 (380/1,250 litres); Hyundai Kona Electric (332/1,114 litres); Vauxhall Mokka-e (310/1,060 litres).
In terms of convenience, the tailgate has an excellent opening range, is easy to operate and thanks to its hatchback design, allows 6ft (182cm) individuals to easily frequent the rear of the vehicle. However, it’s manually operated and there’s no electric tailgate available as an option.
As for rear seats, they have a 60:40 rear-split folding design and when folded, the seatbelts don’t have runners to prevent them from dropping with the seats; there’s no through-loading either due to the omission of a ski latch. As for the boot floor, it’s adjustable on the Trophy Long Range, thereby creating a flat loading bay. Better still, it acts as a divider which provides a convenient underfloor compartment that can be used to transport your charging cables.
On the SE and SE Long Range, there’s a step between the boot floor and the rear seats, where there’s no convenient place to store your charging cables. This is due to the MG4 EV omitting a frunk or front storage compartment under the bonnet. A slight oversight from the Chinese automaker.
Read next: Skoda Enyaq iV review: The Volkswagen ID.4 alternative
MG4 EV comfort review
No matter which trim level you opt for, there’s no sunroof or a panoramic glass roof available as an option – a feature that’s available in rival offerings. Onto seat comfort, the SE trims have got 4-way manual controls for the front passenger seat and 6-way manual controls for the driver’s seat. Move up to the Trophy Long Range and the driver’s seat benefits from 6-way electric controls, heated front seats and a steering wheel.
The seats themselves are all comfortable and accommodating. Headroom and legroom at the front are a non-issue, while at the rear, headroom for 6-foot 2-inches (188cm) individuals might be a little tight. As for legroom, it’s limited due to the positioning of the front seats and the raised floor. However, MG has kept the transmission tunnel down to a minimum, allowing rear outer occupants to stretch their legs. Similarly, if there is someone sitting in the middle, they won’t feel uncomfortable on longer journeys.
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But, there’s a very important safety feature to consider; there is no rear middle headrest. An extremely baffling omission by the automaker and one that raises a few questions. We suspect this was done to better rearview visibility for the driver or MG has decided that the seat is rarely occupied by its customers. Nonetheless, it’s the only vehicle we can think of that doesn’t have a rear middle headrest. Similarly, there are no rear cabin lights or grab handles around the vehicle. One can only imagine that these omissions were done to keep costs as low as possible.
On the other hand, we do like the integration of a pressure sensor within the driver’s seat. This makes it easy to power on the vehicle, effectively getting rid of a start/stop button. Better still, once the driver steps out of the vehicle, it won’t automatically power down, instead is only switched off when the vehicle is locked. This is more practical than rival offerings, as it means those left within the cabin can still have the infotainment system and climate controls running; in the Tesla Model 3, VW ID.3, Cupra Born and Polestar 2 these features will automatically switch off the moment the driver steps out of the vehicle.
As for cabin noise, the MG4 EV is pretty well insulated. There is a little wind noise that can be heard deflecting off the A-pillars when driving at higher speed, but it’s minimal. The MG4 EV also doesn’t suffer from any low-end reverberation when traversing uneven terrain, a complaint we had of the MG ZS EV.
Read next: BMW i4 review: Is the i4 eDrive40 better than the i4 M50?
MG4 EV performance review
Another improvement over its all-electric SUV sibling is the suspension system. The MG4 EV’s setup isn’t too stiff to provide an uncomfortable driving experience when pottering around town and yet, is adept on windy country roads as it doesn’t suffer from body roll like the MG5 EV estate. Indeed, the hatckback finds the right balance.
What’s more, the MG4 EV is the first electric vehicle from the manufacturer to have a rear-wheel drive configuration. Similar to that of the entry-level Tesla Model 3, VW ID.3 and Cupra Born it instils more confidence on challenging routes, and provides plenty of excitement when cornering. There’s no wheel spin or torque steer either. Granted, it won’t provide the same driver’s feel as the BMW i4, Polestar 2, Mini Electric or the Honda e but it’s still a vast improvement over MG’s other electric vehicles and its front-wheel drive rivals.
It’s not too shabby when you put your foot down, either. Its rear-mounted synchronous motor dispatches 150 kW (201hp) of power and 250 Nm of torque. We had it tested from 0-60mph using Racelogic’s Vbox Sport, at 7.28 seconds. It’s worth noting that the SE (non-Long Range variant) has 125 kW (168hp) of power and 250 Nm of torque – it should get to 60mph from a standstill a little quicker due to its slightly lighter kerb weight of 1655kg down from 1685kg. Top speed on all trim levels is capped at 100mph.
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What really impresses, however, is its efficiency. The Long Range models have a 64 kWh gross (61.7 kWh net) Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) battery pack. In our mixed driving tests, we netted 220-240 miles which is close to the manufacturer’s 270-mile claim for the Trophy Long Range (281 miles for the SE Long Range). The entry-level SE has a 51 kWh gross (50.8 kWh net) Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery pack that’s claimed to provide 218 miles of range – we presume you’ll be able to attain 170-190 miles of range in mixed driving conditions.
To put this into perspective, the MG ZS EV Long Range has a 72.6 kWh gross (68.3 kWh net) battery pack, which along the same test routes provided 230-250 miles of driving range. Thus, despite having a smaller battery pack, the MG4 EV comes close to beating the ZS EV.
As for its competitors, the single-motor Polestar 2 achieved 250-270 miles, the BMW i4 eDrive40 240-260 miles, the entry-level Tesla Model 3 230-250 miles, the VW ID.3 230 miles, the Cupra Born 210-220 miles, the Nissan Leaf Tekna e+ and Renault Zoe R135 both manage 200 miles, the Fiat 500 Electric 140-160 miles, the Vauxhall Corsa-e 130-140 miles, the Mini Electric 100-110 miles and the Honda e a measly 80-90 miles. As for a few SUVs, the Kia Soul EV, Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric and heat pump-less VW ID.4 all achieved 260 miles.
Now in order to be as efficient as possible, you’ll want to recoup energy back into the battery pack using regenerative braking. This is achieved by depressing the physical brake pedal or enabling one of the regeneration modes through the infotainment system. There are four levels to choose from: Weak (1), Medium (2), Strong (3) and Adaptive (A). In Level 3, the vehicle will decelerate quickly but won’t come to a complete standstill like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model 3, thus there’s no one-pedal drive on the MG.
Equally, it’s a shame that the drive modes aren’t individually linked with the energy recovery levels; for example, if you switch between Normal and Sport mode, you’ll get the same degree of deceleration – this could be addressed via a future firmware update, but at the time of writing, isn’t available. However, one can easily flick between the regenerative braking modes by assigning the left star icon on the steering wheel to cycle through the levels. Alas, this doesn’t solve the aforementioned problem as the drive modes will then need to be selected by navigating through the infotainment system.
To recharge the vehicle rapidly, MG has integrated a 135 kW input via the CCS charging port, which will take you from 10% to 80% in 35 minutes. Find a 50 kW high-speed charger instead and it’ll take 60 minutes. Opt for a 7 kW wallbox and it’ll take 9 hours from 10-100% using the Type 2 port – unfortunately, the MG4 EV is limited to a 7 kW onboard charger and thus can’t benefit from an 11 or 22 kW three-phase charger. A 3-pin plug will take over 26 hours.
Elsewhere, there is support for Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) charging on all trim levels. Via an adapter, which is sold separately, you can discharge the vehicle at a rate of 2.2 kW to power a household appliance. Useful if you go camping, as one can power a light or a kettle.
Read next: Tesla Model 3 review (2021 facelift): Should you buy into the hype?
MG4 EV safety review
In terms of safety, the MG4 EV has yet to be tested by Euro NCAP. As a result, Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) can be permanently disabled through the infotainment system – having it enabled after each start is one of Euro NCAP’s requirements.
On the subject of driver assistance systems, the MG4 EV has a plethora of them included in the SE and SE Long Range: Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist with traffic sign recognition, Intelligent High Beam Assist, and. Driver Attention Alert. The Trophy Long Range adds Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Door Opening Warning (DOW).
From our tests, we found Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) rather jittery, as it would fail to correctly judge the speed and distance of the leading vehicle; the MG constantly accelerated and decelerated, which led to an undesirable experience. Furthermore, the ‘Intelligent Speed Limit Assist with traffic sign recognition’ system often failed to correctly identify speed limits – at times in a 50mph or 70mph zone, it would label 120mph and 80mph.
When it comes to visibility, the front and side of the vehicle are faultless. There’s even a cut-out by the front window triangle to help with cornering. At the rear, however, it’s rather limited, even with the omission of the rear middle headrest – there’s also no rear wiper, though that didn’t cause us any visibility issues. Thankfully, front and rear parking sensors come as standard, while 360-degree cameras are available in the top-spec Trophy Long Range; though, remember we could only get them to work on a one-time basis.
Read next: Polestar 2 review: Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4 beater?
TotallyEV’s verdict on the MG4 EV
Overall, the MG4 EV isn’t quite perfect. The implementation of technology within the cabin could be better, the driver assistance systems refined and the lack of a rear headrest troublesome for those who have larger-sized families.
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However, it still offers phenomenal value for money. MG’s third fully electric vehicle is supremely stylish, practical, fun-to-drive thanks to its rear-wheel drive configuration, goes the distance and more importantly starts from £25,995 and extends up to just £31,495 for the top-spec trim – in the EV space, it’s among one of the cheapest and as a result, receives TotallyEV’s Best Buy award.
Do you think it’s the best-value EV on the market? Let us know in the comments section below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.