Saturday, June 17, 2023
Reviews
Alex Lowe

MG4 SE Long Range Review, is it as good as they say?

⭐⭐⭐☆☆ 3/5

"Solid effort from MG and impressive price but some areas need improvement."

Intro

I had the MG4 for a week, which is pretty standard for press cars and in this review, we'll go over my experience. Some headline stats about the MG4 - I was given the MG4 SE Long Range which is in the middle of the lineup, with around 280 miles of range and DC fast charging up to 135kW. Charging can be done via Type 2 AC or CCS DC Fast Charging.

On the long range model, the battery size is 64kWh with a usable capacity of 61.7kWh. Power is 150kW (201bhp) and 0-60mph happens in around 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 99mph.

Design

The MG4 looks great, absolutely no doubt about that. MG have done a great job on the front of the car, the rear is a little odd looking but overall the car looks really good. The large MG badge stands out nicely and the clever vents at the front add to the sporty design. Those vents actually help cool down the battery, should that need to happen.

Around the side is a nice plastic design piece, which sticks out past the bodywork of the car, which can cause an issue as you end up bashing your calf on every exit and entry in and out of the car.

© the interface 2023

Around back is a large plastic trim piece that sits below the back window, which has some pretty thin plastic. Knocking on the rear lights reveals a pretty tinny sounding material, but this is probably to be expected. On the MG4 Trophy, there is a large light bar which spans the width of the car. Also on the Trophy is a rear spoiler, something missing from the SE and SE LR.

Driving

One of the main positives about the MG4 is the driving experience. The suspension is pretty soft, which helps absorb a lot of Britain's bad road conditions. Pot holes and speed bumps were dealt with pretty well. The acceleration is no where near the level of a Tesla, but it is pretty rapid at the same time, doing well to overtake cyclists and tractors with no issue. Due to the MG4 being rear wheel drive, the entertainment value was off the charts. Chuck it into a corner and poke the accelerator, you get a bit of rear wheel slip which makes a nice squeal - even with ESP on.

© the interface 2023

Being an EV, the driving experience day to day is very easy. The only thing I would mention is the auto hold feature, which requires you to fully depress the brake pedal in order to stop and take your foot off the brake. Other cars notice you have stopped and engage auto hold automatically.

Range and Charging

Range on this model is around 280 miles, which in our testing we saw an average of 220 miles, but this really depends on driving style, speed and other factors. The weather was mild but not super warm or cold. However, on the day it was delivered it drove just under 80 miles to may house and then I drove it another 130 miles or so before getting to 20% and needing to be charged. So 100% to 20% on 210 miles is pretty good. Throughout the week, I averaged between 3.9 and 4.3kWh per mile.

© the interface 2023

The MG4 comes with two types of charging cables, one for Type 2 AC and then an emergency 3-pin socket, which should only be used in such situations. One usual feature of the MG4 is the vehicle to load function, which can be used to power anything with a 3-pin socket, such as a kettle or even a Starlink dish. All you need to do is get an adapter to convert the Type 2 connector to a mains socket and then change the mode on the infotainment screen.

Interior

Inside the MG4, there is seating for five - but in my testing, the rear bench is a little cramped if you are trying to carry three adults back there. It is better suited for a child in the middle, the outer seats have support for ISOFIX connectors, conveniently under a velcro flap. The rear floor in the MG4 is pretty much flat, with a very small hump in the middle where a transmission tunnel would usually be. This doesn't affect the comfort level in the back, however.

There is plenty of space under the front seats for your feet, with a small flap at the base to hide any cables for the heated seats. Although this model didn't have that, something reserved to the Trophy.

© the interface 2023

For the driver, there is plenty of space up front with a comfortable position for driving. The steering wheel took a little while to get used to, as it is an unusual shape with a squared off design. It does look positively modern, with controls for the media, cruise control and more.

The boot has a large usable space, at 363 litres which is slightly less than the VW ID.3. WIth the seats folded down this extends to 1,177 litres which in our testing was large enough to hold four average sized suitcases with no issues - possibly more if you stacked them. There was a round bag to hold the two charging cables it came with, one for Type 2 AC charging and then a trickle charger, which uses a 3-pin UK socket.

Infotainment

The infotainment on the MG4 was a bit of a sticking point. None of the MG4 models support wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wired only which isn't a huge deal. On the Trophy model the pad next to the drive selector dial can be used for wireless charging. On the SE LR there are two holes to route cables though and then fit the pad back in place. Just below the plinth there are two ports, one USB-A and one USB-C. For most of the infotainment, the type of port can be selected, i.e for watching videos on the screen or loading data. However, for Apple CarPlay only USB-A can be used.

© the interface 2023

A lot of the touch points on the infotainment seem to be off, meaning when you click on an item it selects the item above or below it, this happened a lot with CarPlay. On one occasion the CarPlay completely froze up and because you cannot reboot the car, I had to factory reset the entire car which sorted the issue.

Another point point was the DAB+ radio and the speakers. The MG4 doesn't seem to have an external antenna for the radio, meaning on usual routes where my Volkswagen up! GTI has perfect DAB+ signal, the MG4 struggles a lot. Call me old school, but I do like just sticking on the radio from time to time.

The speaker system itself whether being used for DAB+ or music from CarPlay was pretty lacklustre, a small improvement was made when enabling 'Loudness'. The lack of a subwoofer certainly contributed to this. But overall the sound wasn't really that immersive, which was disappointing.

Conclusion

I'll be honest, I had really high expectations for the MG4. This car has won about eight awards at this point, with 'Overall Car of the Year' from electrifying.com and 'Bargain of the Year' from the Top Gear Awards in 2022 to name a few. Due to this, I was hoping for a lot. Don't get me wrong, the MG4 is fantastic for the price, especially when compared to the Volkswagen ID.3, which is its main rival. However, a combination of some annoying things have made me come to a point where I can't wholeheartedly recommend it.

As mentioned, the plastic sill sticks out past the body work of the car, which sticks into your calf when getting in and out of the car. A number of settings on the infotainment for driving turn themselves back on after getting out of the car, such as the Traffic Sign Recognition. Up until recently, the Lane Assist would remain turned on after finishing a journey, but this has been fixed in a recent software update.

Verdict

Good

  • Stylish exterior design
  • Entertaining to drive
  • Impressive range
  • Cheaper than rivals

Bad

  • Not ideal plastic around boot
  • Infotainment could be better
  • Poorly designed plastic on sill
  • Traffic sign recognition and other settings don't remember setting after each journey

Star Rating

⭐⭐⭐☆☆ 3/5

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