Why this latest MG family electric vehicle is a must-have

I think it’s only fair to point out that I haven’t had the best of times with MG electric cars. You may recall that during one fateful test I ran out of battery in his Crossover ZS because the range was dropping inexplicably quickly.

o With an alarm bell ringing in the back of my mind, I set out to test the newcomer, the MG4. I’ll briefly try to put this new car in context.

As you know, the MG brand is Chinese-owned. Only the name of the once powerful British company remains.

Tech and everything else makes this a Chinese car from top to bottom.

This new car approaches the usable interior of a five-door Ford Focus or VW Golf with a touch of station wagon exterior design. This is styling, you may or may not like it. It stands out because it can, as it sits on a new platform (called MSP) that differs from previous models like the crossover I mentioned.

This platform will launch many more new models. A key perceived target in this initial foray is the Volkswagen ID3.

It is rear-wheel drive and has two battery sizes (51kWh, 64kWh). The larger battery can be charged at up to 135kW, which means you can top up from 10 to 80 in 35 minutes.

The claimed range is 350 km to 450 km depending on the model. And there is a seven-year guarantee. There is a trust builder if there ever was one.

Considering its exterior dimensions, there’s plenty of interior space – cabin, small storage areas and trunk – due to a stretched 2,705mm wheelbase and, in the case of the luggage compartment, the thin battery technology (just 110mm deep).

Inside, my top-of-the-range version was a bit dark due to its black leather-look upholstery and grayish surround.

However, the seating was comfortable and in my car the driver’s seat was electrically adjustable. So I ended up driving a small crossover, which gave me great all-round visibility.

I like the flattened steering wheel idea too. However, I initially struggled with the weak display on the 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The graphics/letter sizes were a bit too small for my taste. The seven-inch driver’s display was much better.

But there was no chance I misread what was left in the battery. Solid green proclaimed the number and percentage of remaining energy on both screens. If I ran out of charge, this time it would have been nobody else’s fault but me.

No, that was a whole different kettle of fish, with the battery being stingy in its power distribution. That didn’t mean I tiptoed through my travels. Pretty much was on freeways at decent speeds.

I hope this brings me up to date on most of the core elements of the MG4.

I left three other important considerations for mentioning at this stage of the review as they can be crucial for anyone thinking about buying an electric car. I was very impressed with how the MG4 behaved and handled on the road. It’s not something you necessarily associate with a compact family EV hatch, but in this case it’s worth noting because it brings a brio not found in too many EVs of this stature.

It rode really well on twisty, hilly roads and seemed to relax over bumps and bumps that made a few other cars I’ve driven feel like they’d been blown away.

This is made possible by the 50:50 weight distribution, the rear-wheel drive setup and the low center of gravity.

Finally there is a lot of spec. The attached fact file is illustrative rather than exhaustive. Even the entry-level model comes with impressive safety and comfort features.

When I compared that to the price of the car, I kind of accepted something twice – that’s the level of what I consider real value for money.

The latter is obvious but can often be offset against other diminished attributes like handling and overall quality. There are few signs of cheap and cheerful here.

And that makes the comparison to the likes of the Volkswagen ID3 or Renault Megane E-Tech all the more snappy, given that they’re thousands more expensive. Even smaller EVs like Peugeot’s 208 EV and Renault’s electric Zoe cost more.

I will not delve into arguments that posit like-for-like comparisons.

There’s one simple fact: the MG4 is an electric family hatchback that you ignore at your peril.

My alarm bells were quickly silenced by this ad from newcomer Nous. I suspect they ring the bells at MG4’s rivals’ offices for various reasons.

fact file

MG4 EV 5dr. From €27,495 (entry-level Excite Standard Range), Excite Long Range €30,995, Exclusive Long Range (tested) €35,195. 51kWh to 64kWh battery, Excite standard range 350 km, Long Range Excite 450 km, Exclusive 435 km. Seven year guarantee. 10.25″ infotainment screen, 7″ driver display. Advanced driver assistance system MG Pilot, 17-inch alloys, adaptive cruise control. Long Range Exclusive adds an upgraded MG Pilot system, rear privacy glass, leather-style interior and a 360-degree camera.

https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/why-this-latest-ev-from-mg-is-one-to-watch-for-families-42316606.html Why this latest MG family electric vehicle is a must-have

Fry Electronics Team

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