- Family hatch
- Great-value electric vehicle with a decent range
- A sporty-to-drive five-door hatchback
- Striking styling and interior
- Infotainment can be fiddly
- Rear seat isn’t the most accommodating
- Interior isn't as swish as pricier rivals
With great-value prices and a future-proofed pure electric drivetrain, the MG4 EV shows drivers of regular petrol-powered family cars that they really can afford to switch to electric. That's why it's one of our favourite cheap electric cars. Find out everything you need to know in our MG4 review.
Rumour has it that MG benchmarked the Volkswagen ID.3 when developing the MG4 EV. It's significantly cheaper than the VW, though, with a starting price that puts it in the realm of much smaller electric city cars like the Renault Zoe. It's not quite as spacious as a Cupra Born or Renault Megane E-Tech, but it's versatile enough to appeal to growing families (the less charismatic MG 5 EV is offered as an estate alternative if you need more space).
The MG4 EV is offered with three battery sizes - a 77kW battery arrived in 2023 to broaden the range. Even the most affordable 51kWh version has a 218-mile range. Spend more on the 64kWh battery, and up to 281 miles is achievable in Long Range SE guise, while the Trophy Extended Range 77kW version can cover up to 323 miles. There is also the hot hatch MG4 XPower with its 435PS motor for 0-62mph in jus 3.8 seconds that can also offer a driving range of up to 239 miles.
All MG4 EVs have a generous standard spec, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus an additional 7.0-inch driver display. Climate control air-con, rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloys are standard, too.
A surprising thing about the MG4 EV, considering its value focus, is how enjoyable it is to drive. Much like the Cupra Born (and very much unlike the Ora Funky Cat that is now known as the Ora 03), the MG4 EV will appeal to those looking for an affordable electric hot hatch. That's largely because the motor drives the rear wheels, while eager steering adds to the sense of agility.
Performance is pretty good, too, like most electric cars - instant acceleration helps here, although it doesn't make for effortless overtaking in the same way a Tesla Model 3 does. You could buy two MG4 EVs for the price of the fastest Tesla Model 3, though.
Is the MG4 EV a car you should explore more closely? Well, its combination of affordable pure electric appeal, generous equipment and those striking looks, both outside and in, means it certainly makes a strong case for itself. The MG brand might not be fully on your radar, but the MG4 EV merits a closer look regardless. You might be surprised at just how appealing it is.
Is the MG4 EV right for you?
Even putting the MG4 EV's incredible value to one side for a moment, there's lots to like about this electric hatch. Its looks are sure to turn heads (at least until there are a few more on the roads), while it's also great fun to drive and absolutely packed with standard equipment (especially top-spec Trophy models).
It's not without its niggles: you might be better looking at the MG 5 or MG ZS EV if interior space is a priority, while the fit and finish of the interior isn't quite up to the standard of mainstream alternatives. But if you can live with these niggles, there's more in the MG 4 EV's favour than against it.
What's the best MG4 EV model/engine to choose?
The MG4 EV has a well-judged line-up of models to choose from, making it easy to decide on the best one for you. The key decision is which battery to go for: the 51kWh Standard Range, 64kWh Long Range, or 77kW Extended Range. MG expects most will go for the mid-sized battery, although value-seekers will still be drawn by the £26,995 opening price tag of the SE Standard Range.
All MG4 EVs are rear-wheel drive. The Standard Range has a 125kW motor (that’s 170PS) while the Long Range offers 150kW (204PS) – and is available in two grades: SE or Trophy. The 245PS Extended Range model only comes in high spec Trophy trim.
MG actually says the Trophy Long Range will be the best-seller overall. It brings smart projector LED headlights, a two-tone roof, rear privacy glass and the striking ‘twin rear aero’ spoiler. This adds rear downforce for better high-speed stability, although it does result in the range falling from 281 miles to 270 miles.
What other cars are similar to the MG4 EV?
MG bosses readily admit the MG4 EV’s key rival is the Volkswagen ID.3. Although the VW is marginally larger (and, at the moment, appreciably more expensive), buyers are expected to group the two cars together, and MG certainly isn’t discouraging the comparison. If you want a sportier take on the same theme, take a look at the Cupra Born.
The Citroen e-C4 is a similarly-sized rival, while there's also a Vauxhall Astra Electric on its way. But there aren’t currently many cars similar to the MG4 EV hatch – at the moment, most electric cars of this size are small SUVs, such as the Peugeot e-2008, Vauxhall Mokka-e and, indeed, the MG ZS EV.
The MG4 EV’s interior has a modern, open-plan feel, with the standard wide-format touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard. The rotary gearshifter is also high up on a centre console shelf, which is cut away underneath, opening up a good amount of stowage space. It’s just a shame the smartphone cubby next to the gear lever is so shallow – your phone will keep on falling out as you drive.
The MG4 EV’s front seats feel a bit flat at first, but they are actually quite supportive after an hour or so behind the wheel. Even so, a bit more under-thigh support wouldn’t go amiss. There’s a decent amount of adjustment and the steering wheel is well-placed, so it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. The MG4 XPower comes with six-way electric seat adjustment included.
The clean appearance does come at the expense of ergonomic usability though – because there are no physical climate controls on the centre console, other than a front and rear window demist button, plus an on/off button for the system. Instead, you have to adjust the temperature via a menu within the infotainment screen, which isn’t always that easy to jab on the move. Luckily, climate control air-con is standard, so you can at least ‘set it and forget it’.
Quality and finish
Fit and finish generally seems good, with a solid feel to the interior. The top of the dashboard is covered in a soft-touch material, which adds a welcome touch of quality - there are quite a few hard or flimsy plastics lower down in the cabin. That's not necessarily a bad thing as we get the impression that this is a car that's built to last - but you'd be better looking at a Renault Megane E-Tech if you're after a plush cabin.
It is well finished on the outside, too. The paint seems deep and even, and the panels fit precisely. The only thing we noticed were some car wash-style scratches on the rear lights – this could be the fact these cars are early models that have been well-used, but it might be something worth keeping an eye on, particularly as the lights are an integral part of the rear-end styling.
Infotainment: Touchscreen, USB, nav and stereo in the MG4 EV
All MG4 EVs have a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen that is mounted floating-style in the centre of the dashboard. It ticks all the right boxes right away, as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard. All cars also come with MG iSmart connected car tech, which means you can communicate with your car via your smartphone.
Sat-nav is standard on the MG4 EV Trophy and XPower models, along with a 360-degree parking camera (and live services for the MG iSmart system). Surprisingly, the standard stereo only gets four speakers – the MG4 EV Trophy does get an upgraded 3D sound system, but even this only has six speakers.
While large-format and good to look at, the MG4 EV’s infotainment technology isn’t the easiest to use. Some of the icons are too small and it can be confusing to flick between the different tiles. The system lacks the familiarity of the tech we’ve become used to from brands such as Volkswagen, and it may take time for owners to get used to the MG4 EV’s intricacies (unless they simply default to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, of course).
The 7.0-inch digital display in front of the driver is easier to understand. It has a comprehensive array of icons, but they’re all grouped logically and appear at the right time. The central speedo is clear and it’s easy to see how much charge you have remaining, along with the essential details of your trip.
Space and practicality: MG4 EV boot space
The MG4 EV is a similar size to its key rivals such as the Volkswagen ID.3. It measures 4287mm long, 1836mm wide and 1504mm tall. It has an impressively tight turning circle of 10.6 metres, which will prove useful in town.
This doesn’t feel like the roomiest car from behind the wheel, but it should have enough space for most people. Because it’s an EV, it sits a little higher off the ground, helping improve the driver’s view forwards.
Rear-seat space feels a little tight for adults, but they’ll still be able to fit in. Children will be fine (and there are standard ISOFIX mountings for child car seats). The trickiest part may be getting in and out, as the sills are rather thick, so those with big feet will have to weave their legs in carefully.
The MG4 EV has a 363-litre boot. This is a bit smaller than a Volkswagen Golf, and also trails the larger 385-litre cargo area of the Volkswagen ID.3. While the space is square, and the floor flat and easy to load, it’s a bit on the short side, which restricts its ability to carry bulky loads.
With the seats folded flat (a 60:40-split rear seat is standard), there is 1177 litres of space available. Again, this is shy of the 1,267 litres you get in a Volkswagen ID.3 with the seats down. Trophy models have a slightly smaller boot at 1165 litres.
There’s an unexpected sophistication to how the MG4 EV drives. The ride quality isn’t the softest around, but the suspension is very well controlled, with quiet absorption of bumps in town. As speeds rise, the MG4 EV remains stable through corners, helped by a low centre of gravity from the batteries mounted far down in the chassis, which MG calls Modular Scalable Platform, or MSP. It’s a very high-end architecture.
The MG4 EV boasts 50:50 weight distribution, which is something you normally associate with BMWs and sports cars. It gives it a natural feel through corners, without the sense of one end of the car pushing on. Those behind the wheel will quickly start to feel confident, as the MG4 EV is a car that flows beautifully across winding switchback roads. There’s no apprehension in turning up the wick and pressing on. In the XPower hot hatch, it's the same but just quicker and slightly firmer.
Even the steering is decent, with a linear feel and none of the over-sharp nervousness you get in something like a Tesla. It’s easy to relax behind the wheel and still feel like you have a sense of what’s going on beneath, helped by the rear-wheel-drive platform’s lack of front-wheel corruption under acceleration. With just a bit more tactility, it would be perfect for a sporty family hatchback.
What motors and batteries are available in the MG4 EV?
The MG4 EV offers a choice of three motors. They’re labelled 125kW, 150kW, and 180kW; power outputs that equate to 170PS, 204PS, and 245PS respectively. The XPower hot hatch as a more substantial 435PS on tap. All drive the rear wheels except the XPower that has two motors - one for each axle, but all MG4s use a single-speed automatic gearbox.
The 125kW motor is paired with the 51kW Standard Range battery. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, which is swift for a family car like this. The beefier 150kW motor is paired with the larger 64kWh battery – however, as the battery is heavier, it actually accelerates a little more slowly, taking 7.9 seconds to reach 62mph. The top speed of both cars is limited to 100mph. The Trophy Extended Range uses a 77kW battery to offer 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed raised to 112mph.
MG equips the XPower with its more powerful twin-motor set-up. Remarkably, this high-performance version has 435PS and it takes just 3.8 seconds to deal with 0-62mph. Top speed is only 124mph, but that's not what matters here as the acceleration is vivid. This MG4 is also astonishing value for money given its performance.
Maximum electric range in the MG4 EV
The MG4 EV Standard Range has a range of 218 miles on the official WLTP test cycle. In Long Range SE guise, this grows to an impressive 281 miles. The Long Range Trophy has a slightly smaller 270-mile range, due to its aerodynamic rear spoiler that cuts lift at higher speeds.
Take the Trophy Extended Range over the others and its has a claimed driving range that stretches to 323 miles on WLTP test data. The XPower pays for its performance with a 239-mile range on a full charge.
Refinement and noise levels
As soon as you pull away, you realise just how refined the MG4 EV is at lower speeds. It’s pretty much silent at walking pace. Luckily, there’s an external speaker to emit a warning hum for pedestrians who rely on their ears, rather than their eyes.
Noise levels do rise at speed. You’ll notice some wind noise from the windows, and there’s a bit of tyre roar, but this is probably only noticeable because the rest of the car is so quiet. Certainly, there’s almost no whine from the electric motor, located far away from the driver in between the rear wheels.
Safety equipment: How safe is the MG4 EV?
The MG4 EV has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, achieving a five-star rating - making it one of the safest electric cars you can buy.
The MG Pilot package of safety equipment is included as standard in all cars. This features active emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, plus intelligent speed limit assist with traffic sign recognition. There’s also lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, driver attention alert and intelligent high-beam assist.
On the MG4 EV Trophy Long Range, the safety kit is boosted further, with blind spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross traffic alert (this is really handy in supermarket car parks) and a door open warning chime.
The 64kWh Long Range battery is capable of charging at up to 135kW. This means that if you find a 150kW DC rapid charger, it can top up from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 35 minutes. Even the 51kWh Standard Range has rapid charging capability of 117kW though, meaning a similar rapid charge will take 39 minutes (albeit with less range when completed).
All MG4 EVs have a 7kW onboard charger as standard. If you have a similarly powerful wall box at home, the 51kWh Standard Range will take just under eight hours to charge from 10% to 100%, while the 64kWh Long Range will take nine hours.
How reliable is the MG4 EV?
The MG4 EV is likely to prove very reliable indeed. Electric cars have an inherent advantage here, as there are relatively few moving parts to wear out – certainly compared to a combustion car.
The MG brand itself is also building itself an excellent reputation amongst owners. They report high levels of satisfaction with the brand in major surveys, with few problems and an excellent level of customer service from its dealers. MG's transferable seven-year warranty helps here, too.
Insurance groups and costs
The MG4 EV range opens with a group 27D insurance rating for the Standard Range SE. This is a couple of groups higher than the comparable Volkswagen ID.3. The Long Range SE is group 28D and the Long Range Trophy falls into group 29D for car insurance. There are 50 groups in total.
The ’D’ refers to the security features fitted as standard to the vehicle; the MG4 EV doesn’t meet the requirements for its insurance group, and has therefore been given a higher rating. MG may review this in coming years, so we could see the MG4 EV drop to a rating closer to the Volkswagen ID.3.
For the MG4 XPower hot hatch, you shouldn't be surprised to read that it sits in Group 40 given its amazing performance.
VED car tax: What is the annual road tax on a MG4?
As a pure electric car, the MG4 EV currently enjoys free road tax. This is a real benefit of EV ownership and will save owners at least £180 per year. That's set to change in April 2025, though, when electric cars will be charged the same annual rate as a petrol or diesel car. This will apply to EVs already on the road, so it's something to bear in mind when calculating the running costs of an MG4.
The good news, though, is that you can't spend more than £40,000 on an MG4 (or close to it even if you choose the XPower), so you won't get stung by the government's premium car tax. There are big tax savings for company car drivers as well, making the MG4 EV a very tax-efficient car indeed.
A brand new MG4 EV SE could be yours for just £27,000, while the SE Long Range starts from less than £29,500. If you want all the bells and whistles, the range tops out with the MG 4 EV Trophy Long Range at a smidgen under £32,500, while the quick XPower model tops the bill at £36,495.
The MG4 EV is a popular car in Britain, so there is a growing selection of used models coming to market. A 2022 SE model can be yours from £18,500 with just 7500 miles on the clock, which is a substantial saving over a new example.
Trim levels and standard equipment
The MG4 EV has a pleasingly straightforward model line-up. There are just two grades, SE and Trophy, plus the battery options – and the only model in which you need to make a decision about battery size is the SE grade. The XPower hot hatch is a standalone model.
The MG4 EV SE features aero-style 17-inch wheels, projector LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights and a rear spoiler. Climate control air-con is standard, alongside the 10.25-inch touchscreen central display (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and 7.0-inch driver display. It has fabric upholstery, a leather steering wheel, front and rear electric windows, rear parking sensors and electric door mirrors, plus the MG Pilot suite of active safety technology. There’s also an alarm and immobiliser.
Move up to the Trophy and standard equipment is enhanced with a more assertive design of headlight, LED daytime running lights integrated into the front bumper indicators, a two-tone roof, rear centre light bar, twin aero rear spoiler and power-fold black door mirrors. It has black leather-style upholstery with cloth inserts, and the front seats are heated, as is the steering wheel. MG includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, six-speaker stereo with 3D sound, sat-nav and a 360-degree rear parking camera. There’s also a wireless smartphone charger and enhanced MG Pilot with blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
With the XPower, you get all of the Trophy's kit plus unique 18-inch alloy wheels, black Alcantara upholstery, and metal pedals for a sportier appearance.
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