Now Chinese-owned, MG is making a name for itself with its range of cars at the affordable end of the market.
The MG ZS EV crossover and MG5 EV estate are good cars offering great value, but the striking new MG4 EV adds serious style.
Not everyone wants a high-riding SUV, so MG’s hatchback newcomer is a refreshing change. Currently, its most obvious rivals include the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID.3 and its cousin the Cupra Born, plus the ORA Funky Cat.
Competitively priced from just £26,995, range will depend on the battery size chosen – so it’s up to 218 miles with the 51kWh, or a theoretical 281 miles if you opt for the 64kWh battery.
Both battery units power a rear-mounted electric motor, producing 168bhp with the smaller battery or 200bhp with the larger one. As with most EVs, a single-speed automatic gearbox is utilised, while drive is via the rear wheels.
The 51kW Standard Range battery accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, while the 64kWh Long Range unit is a tad slower, taking 7.9 seconds to reach 62mph. So, whichever you choose, the MG4 is no slouch. The top speed of both cars is limited to 100mph.
It’s also worth noting that there are two trims levels (SE and Trophy), with the latter exclusive to the bigger battery.
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 digital driver’s display. Climate control air-con, rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloys are standard, too.
It’s good to see that there are shortcuts below the touchscreen, but the infotainment system isn’t cutting edge and it’s a tad slow to power up.
Other goodies include keyless entry, automatic headlights, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel.
If you can find a rapid 150kW connection, a 10-80% charge time is as low as 35 minutes and, naturally, it will also charge overnight at home.
It’s a relatively wide car with a long wheelbase, so there’s plenty of space for passengers, front and rear. In fact, despite the sleek roofline, there’s ample head and legroom in the back.
There’s also a decent luggage capacity of 363 litres (with no load lip), rising to 1,177-litres with the rear seats flipped down.
Once you’ve unlocked the car with the remote and you’re settled inside, there’s no Start/Stop button, it’s simply a case of putting your foot on the brake, selecting D for Drive via the rotary gear selector in the centre console, release the parking brake and you’re away.
If you’re used to SUVs, the driving position will initially feel low, but you’ll soon get used to it and it really does feel more engaging and sportier.
On the road, the MG4 offers a comfortable, relaxed ride, as well as light, accurate steering and good forward visibility.
The slim tailgate window makes backing into spaces slightly trickier, but there is a good reversing camera and the top-of-the-range Trophy version we tested is blessed with a 360-degree camera.
The MG4 does a good job of insulating you from lumps and bumps in the road. As with all whisper-quiet EVs, road and wind noise is more noticeable, but it’s in no way excessive.
The big surprise is that the MG4 offers a genuinely dynamic drive. It stays flat and planted when it’s hustled through more challenging corners, helped by a low centre of gravity from the batteries mounted far down in the chassis and 50:50 weight distribution.
It feels agile and lively, and there’s even fun to be had with the rear-wheel drive set-up.
The MG4 features three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) plus four different levels of brake regeneration (Low, Medium, Strong and Adaptive). Normal/Medium seemed to work best for us in everyday driving, though Sport/Low were entertaining for the odd blast.
Frankly, we have few gripes – the MG4 is a cracking car. Sure, the infotainment touchscreen and steering wheel controls are a tad fiddly, rear visibility isn’t the best and the boot could be bigger, but overall it’s hard to fault for the money.