MG4 EV review

MG4 EV review

We road test the distinctive MG4 hatchback – not only is it a great value electric vehicle, but it delivers a surprisingly engaging drive…

You’ve got to hand it to MG Motor – a car maker that continues to defy the cynics with its blend of award-winning, reasonably-priced models that offer peace of mind thanks to a generous seven-year/80,000-mile warranty as standard.

The result is that the now Chinese-owned company is enjoying record-breaking sales and is the “UK’s fastest-growing mainstream car brand”.

MG4 EV review

Just to put that into perspective, MG’s 51,050 sales in 2022 were up nearly 67% year-on-year and some way ahead of established brands including Renault, Mazda, Honda, Citroen, Suzuki, Dacia and Fiat.

I’m already a fan of the MG ZS EV crossover and MG5 EV estate, but the new MG4 EV is something else, adding serious style and impressive driveability to the mix.

For me, the MG4 is a breath of fresh air in an automotive world dominated by high-riding SUVs. I prefer to sit lower in the cabin. I want to feel more involved and enjoy extra agility.

MG4 EV review

In the EV world, there aren’t many hatchbacks on offer. Currently, the MG4’s most obvious rivals include the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID.3, the Cupra Born and the ORA Funky Cat.

You only have to look at the picture of the car (here in signature Volcano Orange) to see that it’s no ordinary hatchback.

Up front there’s a swooping nose, sculpted bonnet, angular LED headlights and aggressive air intakes. The profile is aerodynamic and crisp, while the rear features a complex two-part roof spoiler, a full-width LED taillight bar topped with unique, inset zig-zag lines.

MG4 rear lights

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 possible 281 miles if you opt for the 64kWh battery.

Both battery units power an electric motor, producing 168bhp with the smaller battery or 200bhp (larger one). As with most EVs, there’s a single-speed automatic gearbox, while drive is via the rear wheels.

The 51kW Standard Range battery version accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, while the 64kWh Long Range unit is slightly slower (7.9 seconds). So, whichever you choose, the MG4 is no slouch.

MG4 EV review

There are two trims levels (SE and Trophy), with the latter exclusive to the bigger battery.

All MG4 EVs are generously equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen (thankfully including physical short-cut buttons below) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus an additional 7.0-inch digital driver’s display as standard, along with climate control, rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloys.

Other goodies include keyless entry, automatic headlights, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel.

MG4 EV review

The MG4 is wider than you think with a long wheelbase, so there’s plenty of space for passengers, front and rear. And, despite the sporty roofline, there’s ample head and legroom in the back.

There’s also a decent luggage capacity of 363 litres, rising to 1,177 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Driving an MG4 couldn’t be easier. Once you’re inside, simply put your foot on the brake, select D for Drive via the rotary gear selector in the centre console, release the parking brake and you’re away.

MG4 EV review

On the road, the MG4 delivers just what you’d expect from an EV – and more. The ride is comfortable and refined. There’s a little road and wind noise, but it’s in no way excessive, while the engineers have done a great job of insulating you from lumps and bumps in the road.

The steering is light and there’s good forward visibility. However,  the slim tailgate window makes backing into spaces slightly trickier, but there is a useful reversing camera and the top-of-the-range Trophy version I tested is blessed comes with a 360-degree camera.

The revelation with the MG4 is that it’s one of the few reasonably priced electric cars to treat owners to a genuinely dynamic drive (the MINI Electric is another example).

MG4 EV review

Hustle it through more challenging corners and it stays flat and planted, 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 it can even get playful in the wet or on looser surfaces, thanks to the rear-wheel drive set-up. Unlike many competitors, the brakes are well judged, inspiring confidence and adding to an overall smoothness.

The MG4 features three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) plus four different levels of brake regeneration (Low, Medium, Strong and Adaptive). Normal/Medium worked best for me in everyday driving, though Sport/Low spice things up for overtaking and the odd blast.

MG4 EV review

If you can find a rapid 150kW connection, a 10-80% charge can take as little as 35 minutes and, if you have a wallbox, it will also charge overnight at home.

All in all, the MG4 is a fantastic EV. Sure, the infotainment touchscreen isn’t state of the art and it’s a tad slow to power up, while the steering wheel controls are fiddly. Additionally, rear visibility isn’t ideal and the boot could be bigger, but overall it’s a fab car at a great price.

Verdict: Affordable, distinctive, well equipped and practical, the MG4 delivers the kind of driving dynamics that’s streets ahead of many EVs twice the price. Add MG’s generous seven-year warranty, and it it’s a no-brainer if you’re ready to switch to 100% electric motoring.

MG Motor

MG4 EV review

MG5 EV review

MG5 EV

We road test the facelifted MG5 – currently the only fully electric estate car on sale in the UK…

Cards on table time – I’m a big fan of the MG5 EV. When I reviewed the original version in 2021, I concluded that it “may not be the sexiest estate car on the market today, but it does offer honest, practical, electric motoring at an affordable price”.

I stand by that, and I’m pleased to say that MG has worked wonders with the new version, so it’s better than ever.

The ‘5’ has been a big success, helping to deliver record-breaking sales for the “UK’s fastest-growing mainstream car brand”. It’s also won several prestigious awards.

MG5 EV

So, what’s new about the 2022 MG5? Well, an extensive exterior makeover has transformed the car from dowdy to attractive.

It now has a sleeker appearance and features an updated interior complete with a new 10.25-inch infotainment system, capable of supporting iSMART connected car functionality through MG’s dedicated smartphone app.

The new MG5 EV can now tow up to 500Kg and is also equipped with Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) capability, meaning it can power other electric devices such as camping equipment using the energy stored in the battery.

MG5 EV

Priced from £30,995, it’s offered in two specs – SE Long Range or Trophy Long Range.

Both are identical mechanically – the latter simply comes with more goodies, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and rear privacy glass.

That’s not to say the that the SE isn’t well equipped – a 10.25-inch centre touchscreen, 7.0-inch digital driver’s display, MG Pilot (an extensive suite of safety and driver assistance features), plus automatic LED headlights and tail-lights, roof rails, rear parking camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are all standard.

MG5 EV

And if safety is a priority, then you’re in for a treat. The MG Pilot suite includes AEB (autonomous emergency braking), adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and automatic headlights.

Featuring a 61.1kWh battery which powers a 154bhp electric motor on the front axle, it has an official range of 250 miles. Top speed is 115mph and it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.7 seconds.

More importantly for some, it’s incredibly practical. There’s plenty of room inside for up to five passengers, with two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points in the back.

MG5 EV

The large boot, accessed via a wide tailgate opening, delivers a maximum 578 litres of capacity (loaded to the roof), rising to 1,367 litres with the 60:40 rear seats folded down.

Compared to the outgoing model, the cabin now feels more modern, and it’s well put together, but there is still a fair amount of hard black plastic up high.

Slip inside and it’s immediately obvious that the MG5 sits much lower than most EVs, which tend to be SUVs or taller hatchbacks.

MG5 EV

It’s also a doddle to drive with an intuitively laid out dashboard and controls. Just select ‘D’ on the dial in the centre console and you’re off.

Light steering and good visibility help in town, while longer journeys are effortless, relaxing and refined.

There’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport, but I found that Eco was just fine for everyday driving. There are also three levels of regenerative braking to choose from, so adding the odd mile when coasting, braking or on downhill stretches is very possible.

Feeling faster than the official acceleration figure suggests, it’s more than capable of surprising other drivers off the line.

MG5 EV

However, it’s no match for a conventionally powered estate like a Ford Focus in the handling department. Thanks to its soft suspension, there’s some body lean in faster corners, and it can become a little unsettled if pushed hard on more challenging roads.

But then, the MG5 isn’t meant to compete with established performance estates – it’s all about value for money and zero emissions.

The MG5 can be fully charged overnight at home or to 80% at a 50kW fast charger in 50 minutes (or in 40 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger).

MG5 EV

As with all EVs, real world range drops by around 20%, so I’d say close on 200 miles is realistic, which is more than enough for most drivers.

And like all MG models, there’s peace of mind too because it comes with a seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.

Verdict: The new, improved MG5 electric estate is better than ever. A stylish, facelifted exterior and new infotainment system inside make it even more appealing than before. Add practicality, comfort, a decent range and a generous warranty, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be on everyone’s affordable family car shortlist.

MG Motor UK 

MG5 EV review

MG5 EV

We test the affordable electric estate that’s proving to be a surprise sales success

MG may not be the iconic British sports car maker that it once was, but it’s thriving as a bargain brand under Chinese ownership.

In September 2021 MG Motor UK achieved its highest ever monthly sales in the UK, passing 5,000 registrations for the first time ever with sales up 61.2% year-on-year.

Much of the success was driven by MG’s pure electric models, the ZS and MG5. And even though it was only launched in late 2020, the MG5 was the seventh best-selling pure EV in the UK in September.

MG5 EV

As an all-electric estate, the MG5 currently occupies a unique niche in the zero emissions market.

It may not be the most handsome load-lugger on the market, but just like its crossover-styled sibling, the ZS, it’s a spacious, seriously affordable family car.

Priced from £25,095 (after the Government’s £2,500 plug-in grant) it’s available with two battery sizes (52.5kWh and 61.1kWh), giving a claimed range of 214 and 250 miles respectively. Both have a 115kW (154bhp) electric motor.

MG5 EV

And while the MG5’s range isn’t nudging the 300-mile range mark, it’s way ahead of many similarly priced cars, some of which are unable to reach 150 miles on a single charge (eg MINI Electric, Honda E and Mazda MX-30).

The MG5 sits much lower than most EVs, with the water-cooled battery pack integrated into the car’s chassis, giving it a surprisingly sleek profile..

Some may find it slightly nondescript from the front, but plenty of buyers have no problem with its styling judging by the amount I’ve seen on the roads in and around London.

MG5 EV

It’s perfectly acceptable inside too, if slightly dated, but there’s no debate over the space on offer. The large boot, accessed via a wide tailgate opening, delivers 464 litres of capacity with the rear seats up and load cover in place, expanding to an impressive 578 litres with the load cover retracted. Fold the 60:40 rear seat and the load capacity increases to a mighty 1,456 litres.

Additionally, there’s also plenty of room inside for up to five passengers, with two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points in the back.

The interior design isn’t flash and there’s no shortage of hard plastic surfaces, but it’s well equipped with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (inc Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) as standard, plus automatic headlights, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and air-conditioning. Move up a grade and you get leather-style upholstery, heated front seats, keyless entry, navigation and electrically folding and heated door mirrors.

MG5 EV

The flagship ‘long range’ version (starting at just £26,495) gets MG Pilot as standard, featuring a selection of safety and driver assistance goodies, including Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent High Beam Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

I tested the entry-level 214-mile range MG5 EV. And with a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds, it’s no slouch, so you’ll surprise many a hot hatch driver on the road.

It can be fully charged overnight at home or to 80% at a 50kW fast charger in 50 minutes, or in 40 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger.

MG5 EV

Needless to say, there’s no engine noise, and the MG5 does a good job of keeping the outside world outside with little tyre, traffic and wind noise penetrating the cabin.

However, it’s no match for a conventionally-powered estate like a Ford Focus in the handling department. Thanks to its soft suspension, it will lean in fast corners and even become a little unsettled if pushed hard on challenging country roads.

But then, it isn’t meant to compete with the Tourings and Avants of this world – the MG5 is all about value for money.

MG5 EV

It’s also easy to drive and comfortable – just select ‘D’ on the dinky dial in the centre console and away you go. The steering is light too, making town driving a doddle, while long journeys are effortless and relaxing.

There’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport, but I found that Eco was just fine. There are also three levels of regenerative braking to choose from, so adding the odd mile when coasting, braking or on downhill stretches is very possible.

I didn’t quite manage the claimed range, but I’d say 180-190 is realistic, which is more than enough for most drivers.

MG5 EV

As with all MG models, there’s peace of mind too because it comes with a generous seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.

Verdict: The MG5 EV may not be the sexiest estate car on the market today, but it does offer honest, practical, electric motoring at an affordable price.

MG Motor UK