MG, the former British brand now owned by the Chinese car group SAIC, has unveiled its latest offering in the form of a new compact car with an electric drive. This five-door hatchback model, named the MG 4 Electric, is aimed at competitors like the VW ID.3. Initially introduced in China as the Mulan, it will be known as the MG 4 Electric in export markets. This launch is part of MG’s product offensive, which aims to expand its European model range from the current four electric and plug-in hybrid cars to ten series by 2025.
New Variable Platform: MSP
The MG 4 Electric is the first vehicle built on SAIC Group’s new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP). This platform offers flexibility in terms of wheelbase length (ranging from 2,650 to 3,100 millimeters), battery sizes (ranging from 40 to 150 kWh), and body styles for different market segments, all on the same platform. This allows for the production of various models, including hatchbacks, notchbacks, SUVs, and vans. The platform utilizes a battery system called “One Pack,” ensuring uniformity across all batteries on the platform, facilitating easy battery upgrades or replacements as per customer requirements.
Furthermore, the MSP platform is currently designed for 400 volts but can be easily upgraded to 800 volts, enabling faster charging times. It also supports future battery replacement systems and allows for over-the-air software updates.
MG 4 Electric: Two Drive Options
The MG 4 Electric utilizes the MSP platform and features rear-wheel drive and lithium-ion battery packs integrated into the vehicle floor, measuring only 110 millimeters in height. The electric motor, positioned on the rear axle, delivers either 125 or 150 kW of power, depending on the selected battery option. More powerful variants and all-wheel drive versions will be introduced later. MG claims that the MG 4 Electric, with a weight of up to 1,651 kilograms, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under eight seconds, with a top speed limited to 160 km/h.
Customers have the choice between two battery options for the MG 4 Electric, with capacities of either 51 or 64 kWh. The estimated ranges, according to the WLTP standard, are between 350 and 450 kilometers. When charging using a fast charger, the small battery option can achieve a maximum charging power of 117 kW. Charging the car at a wall box or public charging station with alternating current is slower, with a power output of only 6.6 kW. The larger 64 kWh battery, with a usable capacity of 61.7 kWh, can achieve at least 11 kW with alternating current and 135 kW with direct current via the CCS connection. In this case, the battery’s state of charge can increase from 10 to 80 percent in approximately 35 minutes.
The MSP platform offers scalability in various aspects.
Sporty Design of the MG 4 Electric
The MG 4 Electric boasts a sporty appearance, featuring a tapered front end with sharp LED headlights and large cooling air ducts integrated with LED daytime running lights. The lower part of the front fascia incorporates a two-part radiator mouth that terminates in a spoiler lip. The side view of the MG 4 Electric is characterized by strong indentations above the sills and striking sheet metal folds extending from the headlights and taillights toward the center of the vehicle.
The C-pillar is concealed beneath a glass surface, while the panoramic roof seamlessly stretches from the windshield to the rear window. A two-piece roof edge spoiler adds a touch of boldness, and the rear view is distinguished by a prominent diffuser and a continuous light band connecting the rear lights. Exterior mirror housings and cooling air duct surrounds are painted black, complemented by red-painted brake calipers and airy light alloy rims.
Cockpit and Interior Features
Inside the MG 4 Electric, the cockpit area features two tablet-like displays. The first is a seven-inch screen positioned behind the steering wheel, providing driving-relevant information. The second display, larger at 10.25 inches, is located in the middle of the dashboard’s top section and includes direct selection buttons below it.
The two-spoke steering wheel incorporates control buttons and has a flattened top and bottom section. Controls for the direction of travel and parking brake are positioned on an island-like structure that extends halfway up the dashboard.
Initial Impressions of the MG 4 Electric
First impressions of the MG 4 Electric suggest a comfortable and familiar experience for drivers familiar with vehicles like the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born. The sense of space and arrangement of displays correspond to its competitors. The driving-relevant information displayed behind the steering wheel is clear and legible.
The infotainment display on the center console offers increased brightness, though further testing is needed to determine its readability in direct sunlight. The touchscreen menu navigation is logically structured, albeit with a slight delay in response to fingertip commands. Some control panels, such as those for seat and steering wheel heating, are relatively small in size.
The MG 4 Electric is MG’s latest entry into the compact electric car segment, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to expanding its electric vehicle offerings. Built on the new MSP platform, the MG 4 Electric combines sporty design elements, flexible battery options, and a promising driving range. With its competitive specifications and anticipated growth in MG’s European model range, the MG 4 Electric aims to establish itself as a strong contender in the electric vehicle market.
In order to increase the thermal comfort on the buttocks, back, and hands, you first have to go to the climate menu and then activate the corresponding functions. Direct selection keys would be the better alternative.
After all, you could program calling up the climate menu to the favorites button on the multifunction steering wheel. The lack of a center console makes for a generous feeling of space. The smartphone can be charged inductively in front of the gear wheel. USB and USB-C ports, also for using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, are located in the basement compartment of the center console.
Thanks to a wheelbase of 2,705 millimeters, the MG 4 Electric offers plenty of legroom in the rear. Practical details such as small storage pockets for smartphones, handkerchiefs, and the like on the backs of the front seat backrests are also pleasing. This should also be familiar to VW customers. Likewise, the angled legs of tall passengers in the second row.
Despite the fact that the battery pack is only eleven centimeters high, the MG engineers cannot do magic here either, especially since the MG 4 Electric is almost seven centimeters flatter than the VW ID.3 A low rear seat bench is always the best compromise for more headroom. Here, the Chinese can score, also with a clever opening in the headliner. The 1.92-meter-tall author can easily sit in the back with his head held high. Incidentally, but worth mentioning: The rear side windows can be opened completely.
The MG 4 Electric is a compact five-door electric car that marks the beginning of MG’s product offensive. It utilizes a new, versatile platform designed specifically for electric vehicles. This model boasts a spacious interior and impressive equipment, making it a competitive option even among well-established brands.
Trunk Capacity and Versatility
The trunk of the MG 4 Electric’s five-door configuration offers a capacity ranging from 350 to 363 liters, depending on the chosen equipment version. However, by folding down the split rear seat backrest, the trunk space can be expanded to an impressive 1,165 or 1,177 liters. This flexibility allows for convenient storage of larger items when needed. Furthermore, a trailer hitch is available, although the trailer load capacity is limited to a manageable 500 kilograms. Additionally, a support load of 50 kilograms allows for the transportation of two bicycles on a bicycle carrier, provided they are not overly heavy.
Pricing and Reservation Details
The MG 4 Electric is priced from 31,990 euros, before deducting any applicable environmental bonuses. Customers have the option to pre-order the vehicle, and the first 1,000 pre-orders can convert their previously non-binding reservation into an actual purchase. These customers will have the opportunity to receive their electric car before the end of 2022, which is important for qualifying for the current funding program that includes an innovation premium.
Model Variants and Standard Equipment
The MG 4 Electric lineup offers three main variants with varying equipment levels. The standard model, starting at 31,990 euros, features a 51 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery. The MG 4 Electric Comfort, available from 35,990 euros, includes a slightly improved equipment package and is equipped with a larger 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. Both of these variants come with standard features such as an adaptive cruise control system with a traffic jam function, lane departure warning system, and rear parking sensors.
The top-tier model is the MG 4 Electric Luxury, priced at 37,990 euros, which also comes with a 64 kWh battery. In addition to the features found in the previous variants, the Luxury model includes 17-inch wheels, a navigation system, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree all-around camera view.
Warranty and Maintenance
Irrespective of the battery, engine, and equipment variant chosen, every MG 4 Electric comes with a seven-year warranty, provided the mileage does not exceed 150,000 kilometers. However, to maintain the warranty coverage, the vehicle must undergo an annual inspection with an interval of 24,000 kilometers.
The MG 4 Electric signifies MG’s entry into the compact electric car market with a strong product offering. With its spacious interior, versatile trunk space, and impressive standard equipment, the MG 4 Electric has the potential to compete with well-established brands. Although priced at 31,990 euros, the MG 4 Electric offers good value for money due to its comprehensive features. The ultimate judgment of this electric vehicle will be determined by its performance on the road, and further assessments will provide a clearer picture of its capabilities.