- Outstanding value for money
- Blistering acceleration out the starting gates.
- Impressive driving range between charges
- Touchscreen was sluggish and non-responsive at times
- Standard MG4 is more fun to drive
- Boot capacity is not great
Since arriving on UK shores, the MG4 has been scooping award after award and it’s little wonder really. That’s because MG has developed a beautifully styled electric vehicle that delivers on the performance front, boasts a very decent EV range and it doesn’t break the bank either.
Despite a history that is steeped in British heritage, MG is Chinese-owned these days, and the company is certainly making an impact with excellent sales figures across Europe.
The MG4 has been built from the ground up to be a fully electrified vehicle and there is a choice of Standard, Long Range and Extended Range versions that offer from 218 to 323 miles of range depending on the model.
Trim grades are called SE and Trophy, but MG recently added to the mix with the mighty MG4 XPower which slashes sprint times and is billed as the ‘most powerful production MG ever’. And it was that car that we tested out.
The MG4 XPower is a dynamically-styled five-door hatchback boasting sleek streamlining, sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights with an additional light bar, a two-tone black roof, privacy glass, a rear spoiler, plus 18-inch Cyclone alloys with distinctive bright orange brake calipers.
The interior is neatly designed with black Alcantara upholstered seats that are powered and can be heated. The flat-bottom steering wheel can also be warmed against the winter chill.
The main focal point is a 10.25-inch floating colour touchscreen which acts as the nerve centre and is the access point to most of the on-board technology, including the six-speaker 3D sound audio system with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, sat nav, a 360-degree parking camera and lots more besides.
The screen looks nice enough but proved really sluggish and even non-responsive at times. This means you keep pressing the tiny icons and, when it catches up, you eventually end up with a function that wasn’t what you intended at all or a route has been plotted to Southern France!
There are plenty of USB ports to keep devices connected on the move and all the vital driving data can be viewed on a seven-inch digital driver display. In addition, lap times and G-Force details can also be recorded for track driving.
There are a few hard-plastic surfaces within the cabin, but before getting too picky about this, it’s worth looking at the starting price. This really is a whole lot of car for the outlay, apart from the temperamental touchscreen.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
The MG4 XPower features a 64kWh battery with motors on the front and rear axles for all-wheel drive performance. With 435PS and a whopping 600Nm of torque, this car can complete the 0-62mph sprint in a blisteringly quick 3.8 seconds and tops out at 124mph.
The straight-line performance is outstanding and MG has revised the damping and springs tuning to help the vehicle take on tight bends with confidence. The grip is excellent and there is no sign of any body sway, but as the XPower is heavier than its MG4 siblings, weighing in at 1.8 tonnes, it’s not quite so engaging to drive as slower-paced models we have tested.
But it’s still a lot of fun and there are drive modes called Snow, Eco, Normal, Sport and Custom to personalise the handling, along with a Launch Control function that pins you to the seat back and adds an edge to the acceleration.
The suspension set-up is firm, so expect to feel some shudders through the car if you hit an unexpected bump in the road. But otherwise the comfort levels are good enough for this type of sporty hatchback.
There are four regenerative braking levels, along with a setting for One Pedal Driving, which is highly beneficial in busy city centres with lots of stop, start traffic.
The steering is nicely weighted too with enough driver feedback and, with the impressive driving range between charges of 239 miles (combined) or 328 miles in the city, there should never be any range anxiety concerns.
Space & Practicality
The MG4 XPower is built on a Modular Scalable Platform that is capable of supporting rear-wheel or all-wheel drive designs along with multiple battery options.
The vehicle stretches 4,287mm in length, is 2,060mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,516mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,705mm and a turning circle of 10.6 metres.
These dimensions result in plenty of cabin space and help the MG4 XPower live up to its billing as a genuine five-seater. Two adults can sit comfortably in the back and a third would be fine over shorter journeys, albeit a tad cramped. It is perfect for three youngsters though and there are Isofix child seat anchors to the outer rear seats.
The boot is accessed via a manual tailgate and it can accommodate 363 litres of luggage, a limit that increases to 1,165 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. In addition there is underfloor storage to tuck away the charging cables for added convenience.
Throughout the cabin there are plenty of storage options and these include a glovebox, a wireless charging pad, narrow door bins, some non-slip trays, a sunglasses holder, front cup holders, central cubby and rear seat back pockets with four smaller sections to keep smartphones safely stored (if you ever prize them out of a teenager’s hand, of course!).
Charging the MG4 XPower’s 64kWh battery from zero to 80 per cent takes 35 minutes via a 150kW charger, 52 minutes via a 50kW charger or 5.1 hours from 0-100 per cent if plugged into a 7kW wallbox.
Like all vehicles in the MG line-up, the MG4 models are extremely competitively priced with the SE Standard Range costing £26,995, the SE Long Range £29,495, the Trophy Long Range is £32,495 and the MG4 Trophy Extended range is £36,495. Our MG4 XPower cost £36,495.
Another plus point that is kind on the pocket is there are no unexpected optional extras or packs to bump up the asking price, although owners can request a high-end paint upgrade for a slight fee.
Thanks to its zero tailpipe emissions, the day-to-day running costs of the MG4 XPower will be financially rewarding due to a number of incentives. For example, the car will be exempt from any road tax, Congestion Charge or Ultra Low Emission Zone fees. And for the company car driver, there are impressive tax savings too as the MG4 XPower has a Benefit in Kind rating of two per cent.
If owners have the option to charge at home, this can save the pennies too especially if they are signed up with an energy supplier that offers lower tariffs overnight.
It’s also worth noting that, for added peace of mind, the vehicle comes with a seven-year, 80,000-mile warranty which is fully transferable if the vehicle is sold on.
While the MG4 XPower is the performance model in the line-up we actually preferred the MG4 Trophy when we tested it a few months back. Yes, the XPower has that blistering pace out the traps, but the rear-wheel drive car was more engaging to drive with better handling, especially on twisting country lanes.
But with the tempting asking price, any potential buyers should certainly test out both the rear and all-wheel drive cars before signing on the dotted line.