MG 4: the electric compact sedan that shook the competition.

Until now, the manufacturer MG has offered us cars that have been seen in China, a bit dated like the ZS SUV, but offering an attractive price/performance ratio. With the reinforcement this year of the Marvel R and MG 5, a network that now consists of 120 points of sale, the brand has established itself in the French automotive landscape. Now, the MG 4 comes with an unprecedented MSP platform, advanced battery technology, a stunning design and a price sheet that starts at €28,990. We discovered it on the tracks of the Groupama Stadium in Lyon.

A solid design

First surprise, the MG4 doesn’t try to imitate SUVs. Its appearance is dynamic, its hood falls, and its profile is a compact five-door sedan. The front face is marked by air inlets on each side of the shield and imposes LED optics. The profile seems compact despite a height of 4.28 meters, two centimeters longer than a Volkswagen ID.3, designated as its target MG 4. Proof of its dynamic profile, the Chinese content with the height- on 1, 50 meters, seven centimeters shorter than ID.3.

Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.
Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.

The rear of the car is very neat with LED lights here too, but also, on the top Luxury version, a light strip that crosses the entire width of the car, and puts the MG logo in its center. But it is the expansion of the pavilion that is surprising. The spoiler cut in two parts further confirms the uniqueness of this compact electric. Our orange version has black mirrors, a contrasting roof and a comma-shaped rocker panel.

A more modern cabin

Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.

Let’s just say, the passenger compartment of the MG4 presents a leap forward compared to other models in the range, which are older in design. The set is modern though very classic and very dark. There is an option with light gray upholstery. From the Standard version, the driver benefits from a 7” digital counter, but also from a central 10.25” touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The upper part of the dashboard inherits a soft touch coating while the assemblies are in clear progress.

Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.
Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.

In the back, despite being a relatively low car, the roominess is good. The headroom fits even the tallest, while the bench seat is particularly comfortable for two passengers. The trunk volume offers 350 to 363 liters in the 5-seater configuration and 1,165 to 1,177 liters with the bench folded.

The joy of driving to the rendezvous?

The first MG model in the compact segment, the MG 4 benefits from the new MSP platform for “Modular Scalable Platform”. A modular base that will allow its manufacturer to develop other two and four wheel drive models of different sizes, we will return to this later. Good news for sports driving enthusiasts, this MG 4 is rear-wheel drive, “with good weight distribution” according to the Chinese manufacturer. To drive the point home, MG insists on its battery design. Developed by parent company SAIC Motor in collaboration with manufacturer CATL, this battery is the thinnest in the category, with a height of only 110 mm. What else lowers the center of gravity in this dynamic compact. But what capacities are available?

The distance is 450 kilometers

This new generation battery is initially available in two versions, 51 kWh and 64 kWh which allow respectively a range of 350 and 450 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. In terms of power, the small 51 kWh version already generates 170 hp at the rear axle. The big-battery version has 204 hp to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds. The top speed is limited to 160 km/h. These batteries, called “One Pack” by MG, promise a longer life thanks to a new cooling system. Interestingly, users can first buy a small battery, then replace it with a large one, if necessary. A scalable design that also includes the ability to upgrade from 400V to 800V in the future, for faster charging.

A pricey disease

Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.

This MG 4 has serious advantages but it is the price that may win the decision. In the Standard version, with 350 km range and 170 hp, the MG 4 starts at €28,990! Once the ecological bonus is deducted, we fall to €22,990. Compared to an entry-level Renault Megane E-Tech, the difference amounts to €6,210. A Renault that shows 40 hp less and gives the MG about fifty kilometers of autonomy. With the same equipment, the gap widens with the competition.

In details:

  • MG 4 Electric Standard – 51 kWh 125 kW / 170 hp 2WD: €28,990 (ecological bonus of €6,000 not deducted).
  • MG 4 Electric Comfort – 64 kWh 150 kW / 204 hp 2WD: €32,990 (ecological bonus of €6,000 not deducted)
  • MG 4 Electric Luxury – 64 kWh 150 kW / 204 hp 2WD: €34,990 (ecological bonus of €6,000 not deducted.)

Very fully equipped

In the basic finish, the MG 4 already offers all the driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning, drowsiness, respect for speed or even automatic emergency braking. Automatic climate control is standard, as is Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity. The intermediate Comfort trim adds active shutters, 17-inch rims, or tinted windows. In the Luxury finish, it is byzantium with leather, voice commands, 360-degree camera, WiFi and infotainment and iSMART connectivity.

Assessment, a sacred challenger

Presentation - MG 4: the compact electric sedan that shook the competition.

Modern in design, good looks, good finish and use of materials that do not envy the competition, the MG 4 can also count on a convincing technical sheet. With 170 hp and 350 km in the basic version, the MG 4 can meet most needs, when its 204 hp and 450 km version solves the higher version of the competition. A competition precisely likely to suffer from the unbeatable price of this MG 4, available for 22,990 € when the bonus has been removed with a warranty of 7 years. This MG 4 is already shaping up to be the brand’s best seller in Europe. A more powerful four-wheel-drive version is planned for 2023, as a sporty version of around 450 hp. Finally, the ZS SUV will be replaced by an SUV based on its MG4 platform. The competition may be shaking, MG is going on the offensive.

Some technical information

Max speed : 160 km/h

Accelerations : 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds. (204 hp version), 7.9 seconds (170 hp version)

Electrical autonomy : Standard finish 51 kWh: 350 km; Comfortable finish 64 kWh: 450 km; Luxury finish 64 kWh: 435 km

Dimensions and weight : length (mm) 4287; width (mm) 1836; length (mm) 1504; wheelbase (mm): 2,705

The number of trees : 350 to 363 liters in 5-seater configuration. 1,165 to 1,177 liters with bench seat folded.

Unladen weight of the vehicle (kg): 1,655 to 1,685

Time to charge : 51 kWh version: maximum power of the on-board charger (kW): 6.6 Direct current charging time (10 to 80 %): 40 min Maximum direct current charging power ( kW) 117

64 kWh version: maximum power of the on-board charger (kW): 11 DC charging time (10 to 80%): 35 minutes Maximum DC charging power (kW): 135

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