2023 MG4 EV Review : Blurred lines
Singapore - MG’s first C-Segment EV hatchback here shows quite a bit of promise, which is important to the brand, this comes especially in a time where dealerships are beginning to have a size-equivalent electric car on-offer. In the MG4’s case, there are cars possibly waiting in the wings like the Volkswagen ID.3, Cupra Born and Renault Megane E-Tech, which will add to the current offerings already on our soil; which are the KIA with its EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5.
The MG4 is the 4th vehicle from the octagon badged brand, and the third EV after the MG ZS and MG5. This is their first car which is built upon their new Modular Scalable Platform, and at first glance, the electric hatchback seems like a mixed bag of interesting bits. It gives crossover vibes, due to its raised posture (mostly because it needs a place for its battery), it also has a somewhat Volkswagen Golf-like stance, also at the rear, it ties up its visual play with a bold dual-wing spoiler. I do appreciate the use of minimalist surfaces, although the front-end styling of the hatchback can be polarising.
This minimalist approach is also brought to the interior, where the top of the dashboard is largely flat, and without clutter. At the middle of this, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen “hovers” slightly above the dash. I like how MG has kept a few physical menu buttons available for some ease of usage, and the system accepts both Apple and Android devices. However, the touchscreen suffers from small (and sometimes out-of-sync) touchpoints, while the firmware itself is too sluggish for my liking. New users may also find themselves hunting for certain functions. The interior, while decently designed, lacks that modern touch of ambient lighting, and the silver accented-on-black theme comes across as rather drab.
Like in the Polestar 2, the MG4 does not have a start button, but rather the driver’s in-seat sensor functions as one. So you simply get into the car, put it in drive, while having your foot on the brake, and you’re ready to go.
The MG hatchback delivers its 201hp and 250Nm through a single motor driving its rear wheels. This is logical, as the weight of the car transfers to the rear under acceleration, giving those rear wheels more bite. It also reduces the chance of understeering around a bend.
Immediately, I can tell that MG engineers have done a surprisingly good job in sorting the car’s ride quality, though at times, the suspension shows its firmer side. I am unsure if MG took the Golf as inspiration for their hatch’s road holding qualities. But you must know that the compact EV reveals some parallels once you commit the car into a corner.
Beyond this confidence-inspiring handling, there is also very little in the way of wind noise, as the aero bits do their job of reducing the amount of buffeting. That fancy multi-layered rear-end is not intended only for looks, but it is there to reduce the turbulence and drag, which traditionally plague hatchbacks. In a sense, its rear-end has some similar aero qualities to that of a sedan, hence there is no need for a rear wiper.
Energy storage is in the form of a 64kWh lithium-ion battery, which provides a lab tested range of 400km which seems spot-on. On a regular 7kW charge, the electric hatch takes 9 hours to fill up, while on a 150kW DC fast charge, it reaches 80 percent from 10, in around 35 minutes.
Rated at 150kW, the MG4 is a Category B COE car, which might not spell good news, as it is targeted at a price-sensitive audience. In other parts of the world, there is a Category A-friendly 125kW version (but with a smaller battery), which might work better in a time where COEs have become a painful pill to swallow.
TEXT & PHOTOS Clifford Chow
2023 MG4 EV
Electric Motor 201hp/250Nm
Electric Range up to 400km
Top Speed 160km/h