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The new, all-electric MG4 is a blinder – MG MG4 review

Awright geezers n geezesses, forgive the intro but today I’m leveraging my British roots just  like the brand behind the EV I’m reviewing. MG is as British as fish and chips and the new MG4 is just as tasty.

Originally launched in 1924, MG became a stalwart of the UK car scene, offering affordable sports cars to the road-going public with a touch of flair and a stiff upper lip. Yes it’s now owned by the Chinese, but the ethos remains and in fact comes to the fore in the new all-electric MG4. 

With a tight range of arguably more traditional models already under their belt (the MG3 hatch and ZS SUVs) the MG4 looks, and is, a giant leap forward in terms of design and performance, with head turning looks at a wallet saving price.

MG4 review NZ

There are four variants of MG4 the right now (there is a high performance one on its way), a smaller capacity 51kWh, an extended range 77kWh and a 64kWh model with two trim levels, ‘Excite and Essence’, I got my hands on the latter, in VOLCANO Orange – how dramatic.

As I said, the MG4 presents itself as a whole new step forward in modern MG design, and the first vehicle built on their Modular Scalable Platform. It’s a sporty looking hatch that looks like it’s moving even when parked!

MG4 review NZ

The nose features a U-shaped bonnet, while the lighting system features 28 LEDs in the DRLs and 38 for the indicators. It’s also got an ‘intelligent grille’, it won’t do your taxes but it does cleverly open and close to allow airflow. 

My model’s bright orange paintwork contrasted well against the black roof, sills, privacy glass and mirror caps, while the 17-inch feet have been aerodynamically enhanced, with disc brakes behind them, front and rear. 

MG4 review NZ

The MG4’s silhouette is very sleek, with its garage-friendly 4.3m length and 1.5m height  ensuring it navigates around the town with ease. 

MG4 review NZ

The designers have been very creative at the rear, with a ‘twin aero-spoiler’ at the roofline, a motorsport inspired stop light, a lightbar across the tailgate width (with a funky illuminated light show) and a manual tailgate that opens to 363l of luggage space.

The MG4’s 64kWh battery pack not only hugs the fame but it’s also very slim (115mm), it’s powerful too, offering upto 435km of real world range. This then powers a rear-axle mounted motor (150kW/250Nm) that will get you from 0-100km/h in around 7.2 seconds. It will also power your devices as the MG4 has V2L (Vehicle to Load) capability.

MG4 review NZ

The thin battery and 2.7m long wheelbase means that the MG4 has more than its fair share of room inside. It’s modern and uncluttered in its appearance and feels really well screwed together.

The floating console comes with a dial to select forward and reverse, there’s a wireless charging pad for your phone and plenty of storage areas. Yes there is a fair amount of plastics in terms of fit and finish but I assume it’s probably reclaimed and this is an affordable EV.  

MG4 review NZ

The infotainment screen is a 10.25-inch floating one, with a nice mix of touch and button usability, so you can use apps and menus via the screen or set the cabin temp and things with a traditional button poke. 

The EV menu offers up some geeky information (usage, range, etc) but more importantly, you can set your driving modes and even opt for one pedal driving, a particular fave of mine.

There are 10 active safety systems plus a whole suite of other ADAS options on offer, MG seems to have made a big thing about safety) and for those into audio, there’s a subwoofer and Arkamys 3D sound – so you will be more than happy. 

MG4 review NZ

The instrument cluster is digital too with more than ample information that’s neatly segregated so as not to confuse. It’s easy to work out how much range you have, speed, and regen, so all the essentials, and it’s presented well too – taking on different images should you switch up to Sport (as if).

A twist of the dial has you on the move and in a rather nifty fashion. The steering wheel is well worth pointing out as it’s flat at both the top and bottom, which to me gave the MG4 a more sporty appeal. The buttons for the likes of audio and cruise are easy to use, but the toggles had me double-taking as they look like they’ve come from an old gaming machine, retro and cool?

The tech has been improved, it’s now much quicker to respond, it’s still a bit quirky, but much better and the lane keep assist is keen to keep you in your lane, but thankfully not as aggressively as the ZS EV. 

MG4 review NZ

The seats are sooooo comfortable and in terms of space, the cabin isn’t cramped at all, in fact we had our 6ft 2 backseat stunt dummy sit in the rear, and he claim that he had lots of head and knee room, ‘much more than a regular hatchback’. 

Visibility at the front is really good, with a nice big windscreen, sloping a-pillar and small quarter panels, the door mirrors are good too, however the rear is really compromised due to the the sloping roof line and rear seat headrests – just as well it has a 360-degree camera view. 

MG4 review NZ

There are a number of drive modes and ways to add range, as I said before, I do like the one pedal mode, however, although the brochure claims 435km, I managed around 350km – but I wasn’t being frugal in the way I tested out the MG4. 

MG4 review NZ

While on the matter of driving like a fool, the MG4’s performance is impressive, it hugs the road well and in sport, responds quickly to steering and acceleration inputs (the turning circle is great too). And when ‘cruising’, the road and wind noise is minimal, even on the coarse tarmac. 

MG4 review NZ

The MG4 is a blinder (very good). It has been priced to bridge the gap between ICE and EV, basically taking away the ‘too expensive’ argument, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap in its appearance or performance. It’s a good looking hatch that drives really well and offers more than ample range- top marks.

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