It seems that every week news reaches us of another Chinese company with big plans to conquer Europe quickly, but there has been one that has been paving the way for over ten years, putting in the work to organically build a customer base.
MG has been owned by SAIC since 2005, and after a slow start it has become a big hitter in the UK car market, its products’ undeniable value clearly striking a chord with buyers.
But the MG4 is the start of something new. Built on the all-new, EV-only MSP platform, it is a genuinely class-leading car in several respects, but MG still sells it at price that makes every other rival look expensive.
It was the surprise of 2022 when we first drove it and it proved stylish, roomy, swift and very capable, as well as keenly priced. It didn’t only impress in isolation either, because a few weeks later, it took on the class benchmark, the Volkswagen ID 3, in a twin test and won.
Compared to the VW, the MG had shades of warm hatch with its lower and more adjustable driving position and its appetite for a B-road. We noted that there is something of the Jaguar I-Pace in the MG 4’s poise and the way the passive suspension allows plenty of roll but keeps things orderly. Like that car, it also soaks up bumpy roads with ease.
Earlier this year, we subjected the MG 4 to a full road test, which confirmed it’s a fine driver’s EV that makes the most of its rear-wheel drive lay-out. Our rapid charging test showed that it didn’t just match, but slightly exceed the claimed 135kW.
While its road manners draw special attention to the MG 4, it’s just as competitive in other areas too. It provides impressively spacious and comfortable accommodation for its size, has competitive range and despite some unconventional design decisions, its interior and control layout are more user-friendly than some.
As a single product then, the MG4 has impressed all our judges, but what is more intriguing is that it looks like the MG4 is a harbinger of what is to come from MG. The ‘Modular Scaleable Platform’ it debuts also allows for bigger battery packs, longer wheelbases, dual motors and even 800V systems.
If some of those things come to pass, and MG can finesse some of the 4’s weaknesses such as the infotainment, the driver assistance features and the interior plastics, it won’t be long until the company is producing world-class cars in several segments.
But that’s speculation; for the time being, there is no doubt the MG4 is an electric family hatchback that offers strong space, driver engagement, rapid charging and range for a very keen price.