Competitive price compact – MG4: Great cheap electric car – at first glance

Its look is as aggressive as the price: the MG4 offers superficially similar to a VW ID.3, a Renault Megane E-Tech or a Cupra Born, but at a significantly lower rate. Watch the video to find out whether you get a lot of car for the money here or save money at the wrong end!

32,990 euros for a compact electric car with an armada of assistance systems and a number of other equipment details – you can definitely get weak. Especially since the MG4 also has a lot to offer visually with its design reminiscent of Lamborghini. Compared to the top dog VW ID.3, it is relatively wide (1.84 meters) and relatively flat (1.50 meters high), but with a shorter wheelbase (2. 70 meters) there is nothing wrong with the format.Scalable platformThe MG4 is the first series to be based on the SAIC Group’s electric car platform. It is obvious that the Chinese – who also manufacture Volkswagen models in their home country – took a closer look at the Wolfsburg company. The modular scalable platform allows wheelbases of up to 3.10 meters, so there’s a lot to be expected even in larger classes. Super clean technology, smooth driving The MG4 doesn’t show any weaknesses when it comes to vehicle technology either. Five-link rear axle, disc brakes all round, a 150 kW/204 hp electric motor driving the rear axle, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing when it comes to driving. The performance is okay, the compact, weighing just under 1.7 tons without a driver, manages the sprint from 0 to 100 in 7.9 seconds, at 160 km/h it is governed. The Chinese (MG belongs to the SAIC group) is good, but not uncomfortable, steers well and, with its pleasant steering resistance, conveys incomparably more feeling for the road than, for example, an MG ZS or an MG EHS. Winding country roads are always a pleasure if they are not too bumpy and cause the chassis to rumble. Even through briskly driven corners, the MG pulls with only a slight tendency to understeer. Even real fun drivers can get their money’s worth (at least on wet roads), because the ESP can be switched off. If it is active, it regulates benevolently and does not hold the reins too tight. The drive-by-wire brake from Continental masters the inconspicuous distribution of braking force from recuperation and the disc brake. Unnecessary: ​​The brake feel changes with the driving mode. You have to select recuperation levels via the menu instead of using the steering wheel paddles, which is impractical. There is no sailing mode and one-pedal driving is also not possible. The test did not reveal to what extent the adaptive recuperation mode should be adaptive.Adequate interiorThe interior is more cramped than in the VW ID.3, but more airy than in the Renault Megane, for example. What the MG4 has in common with both is that the MG4 does not have a frunk (= front trunk) despite the electro-specific platform. Depending on the version, 363 to 1177 liters or 350/1165 liters fit into the luggage compartment. The tailgate cannot be opened electrically, even for an extra charge. In the back seat, the MG surprises with good headroom, but there would be more room for the knees. In the driver’s seat, the center console gets in the way of the knee. The impression of the interior is okay given the price. The materials aren’t exactly of the highest quality, but you can definitely find foamed, not just hard, plastic. Everything looks sparse to tidy. A “floating” center console protrudes from the dashboard, beneath which are two cup holders and a concealable storage compartment. The inductive charging pad on this console is useless because the phone slides off at every turn. But since Apple CarPlay/AndroidAuto doesn’t work wirelessly anyway, that’s no big deal. Behind the wheel sits an informative but cluttered seven-inch display, the center screen is a 10.25-inch touchscreen in a somewhat cheap-looking bezel . Big drawback: everything electronic. At first glance, the presentation on the central display is pleasant and razor-sharp. On closer inspection, however, the fonts and buttons are usually too small. In addition, the menu navigation is confused and not very user-friendly, the menu items are sometimes poorly translated. Apparently, no native German speaker was involved in setting it up. The voice control works adequately when the vehicle is stationary, but the system hardly understands anything while driving. And the software overall is far from mature. For example, the navigation system once failed completely. The heating also works very unreliably. For such problems, please watch the video (above).Completely immature assistantsIt sounds good that the “MG Pilot”, which includes the lane departure warning system, radar cruise control, steering assistant, etc., is standard. But not any more. In fact, the functions are partly useless, partly even dangerous. The steering assistant works more poorly than right, whereas the lane departure warning system is even dangerous. He intervenes extremely aggressively and quite often surprisingly throws a hook to the side on a straight stretch. In the test, a collision with a crash barrier or a car driving parallel could be avoided several times. More on this topic in the video. But: MG promises improvement and wants to bring an update, which was not yet available at the time of the test drives. When the time comes, the car has to go to the workshop for the update. You shouldn’t expect much from simple assistants such as the reversing camera either. The image is heavily distorted and not very informative. There is also not much from the all-round cameras. E-car-specific qualities Charging is done with 11 kW AC or 135 kW DC, whereby the charging process can be monitored via an app. Fast charging from 10 to 80 percent officially takes 35 minutes, sometimes even faster. The navigation system displays charging stations and is also able to filter. For example, you can hide all charging points up to and including 50 kW. What remains are really fast charging options. It is not possible to plan a travel route with suitable charging stops. There is also no provision for automatic preconditioning of the battery. However, you can activate the battery heating manually in the menu. The range was fairly moderate in the test at temperatures around freezing point. The test car’s battery has a gross capacity of 64 kWh, which should be enough for a WLTP range of 435 kilometers. In reality it was not even 250 kilometers. How much you are actually consuming is sometimes difficult to determine: the average consumption is only shown on the display up to 29.8 kWh/100 km. The prices The basic model does have a lot of equipment on board, but essential things such as seat heating are only available in the top Luxury equipment (even standard there). Therefore, for most buyers, this will probably be the only option. We are then talking about a purchase price of 38,990 euros. Less promotion. Then there is a maximum of 650 euros for a special paint color (test vehicle: Fizzy Orange), or 1000 euros for a light interior. Otherwise, there are no extras at any of the three trim levels. The Luxury also includes delicacies such as the heat pump, the full assistance package with cross-traffic warning, etc. and even vehicle-to-load cables. The MG4 can, for example, charge an e-bike. The basic model called Standard for 32,990 euros also has a weaker battery and a weaker motor. The battery only has a gross capacity of 51 kWh and also charges more slowly, while the motor has the same torque but only 125 kW, i.e. 170 hp. The MG4 Comfort then already has the strong battery/motor package and more equipment and costs 36,990 euros. Incidentally, the two batteries are the same size. The difference is that the weaker is a lithium iron phosphate battery and the stronger is a nickel cobalt manganese.FahrzitThe MG4 could be a good car but it isn’t. The hardware is fine, ride, handling, all good. The fact that there are neither LED matrix headlights nor two-zone automatic air conditioning is absolutely unbearable in this price range. The unreliable electronics, the confusing operation and the borderline assistance systems prevent everything that goes in the direction of a purchase recommendation. But that can change quickly – if MG makes improvements.Why?Does it work wellRear-wheel drive with switchable ESPInteresting lookWhy not?Undeveloped assistantsUnreliable electronicsOr maybe …… Cupra Born, VW ID.3, Renault Megane E-Tech, Smart #1, Opel Astra Electric
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