New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
The latest full EV from MG will start at £25,995 with three specifications with a range of up to 281 miles.
- Three trim levels at launch
- Up to 281 miles of range
- On sale September 2022
Prices for the new MG4 electric family hatchback have been confirmed along with the three trim levels that will be available from launch. Entry level SE Standard Range models will start from £25,995, making the MG4 £10,000 cheaper than the Volkswagen ID.3 and £8,500 cheaper than the Cupra Born V1.
The MG4 is similar in size to the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra meaning it will compete in the busy family hatchback market, although its all-electric powertrain will make it stand out from rivals. A solely petrol powered Vauxhall Astra starts at just £1,700 less than the electric MG4, a cost difference that should be quickly made up by most drivers in fuel savings alone. As we’ve said, pure electric rivals like the ID.3 and Nissan Leaf are significantly more expensive.
MG, the classic British marque currently under Chinese ownership, has been on a bit of a roll recently. The brand is seeing increasing success with its sales figures in the UK, and recently teased a new MG Cyberster roadster model, which it claims will be in the spirit of the MG B and MG TF.
Trim Levels at launch
Three versions of the MG4 will be available from launch with all accompanied by a seven-year warranty. The ‘Volcano Orange’ paintwork seen in many of the images MG has released will be available at launch, but for those wanting something more subtle there will be five other choices, white, grey, black, blue, and red.
SE Standard Range
The cheapest of the three MG4 models, the SE Standard Range, will be priced from £25,995 and have a range of 218 miles using a 51kWh battery. A 10.25-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features, along with MG Pilot, the company’s advanced driver assist system, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, LED front and rear lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels are all included as standard.
SE Long Range
The SE Long Range model takes the specification of the SE Standard Range but adds a 64kWh battery for a range of 281 miles. Prices start at £28,495, but the additional £2,500 doesn't just upgrade the range. Active aerodynamics are added in the shape of a grille that opens and shuts to optimise efficiency.
Trophy Long Range
The highest MG4 trim level at launch will be the Trophy Long Range, with the same 64kWh battery as the SE Long Range but a slightly shorter range of 270 miles. Priced at £31,495 the top trim adds blind spot and lane keeping assist, as well as navigation, a 360-degree camera and wireless phone charging. It also gets a two-tone roof, rear privacy glass, front heated leather seats and a heated steering wheel. Finally, the media system is upgraded to MG’s ismart system with live updates and the car’s key functions via bluetooth.
2022 MG 4: design and exterior
MG’s designers have played it safe over the last few years, with the British-Chinese brand’s cars often flying under the radar. This won’t be the case for the MG 4, however, as the new car has a much more aggressive and angular design than other models in the range. The 4’s front end is relatively low to aid aerodynamics, while the sleek headlights converge inwards towards the MG badge in the centre.
Along the side, the MG 4 gets SUV-inspired plastic body cladding and a contrasting black roof. This is finished by a split-design spoiler at the rear, which sits above an LED light bar that spans the majority of the 4’s bootlid.
Measuring at just under 4.3m long, around 1.8m wide and 1.5m tall, the MG 4 is about bang-on for what we expect for a family hatchback. Nonetheless, the lack of a transmission tunnel due to the car’s electric powertrain should make the rear seat footwell a bit roomier than petrol and diesel-powered rivals.
Interior and technology
The MG 4’s interior is suitably modern and minimalist, with a floating dashboard design. Mounted on top of this are two displays: a central touchscreen and a small digital instrument cluster. From what we can see from MG’s images, the former looks to be running an all-new operating system, which should hopefully be more intuitive than the one found on the MG ZS EV.
Elsewhere, we can see that MG has retained the rotary dial gear selector as seen on the larger MG 5 estate. Some images of the MG 4 also show a two-tone interior – something that would be a welcome change to the relatively drab MG cabins of old.
Powertrain and range
The MG 4 is the first model to sit on the brand’s new MSP architecture, which is set to underpin the majority of the brand’s electric models going forward – likely including the MG Cyberster electric sports car. When it goes on sale, there will be two battery options to choose from: an entry-level 51kWh and a larger 64kWh unit. The former will have 218 miles of range, while MG claims the latter will get around 281 miles on a single charge. MG has said the 64kWh battery will be capable of charging at up to 135kW, which will mean 35 minutes to top up from 10% to 80% using a 150kW DC rapid charger.
Cars specified with the 51kWh battery will use a single, rear-mounted electric motor with 167bhp. This figure is increased to 201bhp with the larger 64kWh battery, enabling a 0-62mph time of under eight seconds. The MG 4’s top speed will be limited to 99mph.
Historically, MG has been famous for its small, affordable sports cars; in recent years, the brand has strayed further and further from this heritage, with the main focus being on comfortable family cars and SUVs. The MG 4, at face value, does not appear like a return to form – it’s a medium-sized electric hatchback to rival the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3.
However, a handful of decisions may have turned an otherwise unassuming EV into what could be one of the brand’s most compelling models in years. We’ve got behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype to see whether MG’s latest foray into the EV market represents a step in the right direction for the brand and if it can keep up with more premium rivals.
Let’s start with the 4’s overall design; MG’s design philosophy of late can be described as ‘inoffensive’ at best. Cars like the MG5 EV were obviously designed to a strict budget and to appeal to the mass market. However, a recent mid-life update for the estate car radically overhauled the design with a much more angular look. The MG 4 also shares this design language; the overall look of the budget electric hatchback is more akin to the sportier Cupra Born than the VW ID.3.
On the inside, the MG 4 follows the same minimalist trend as several other electric cars, with very few buttons to clutter up the overall design. There is a small instrument cluster mounted behind the steering wheel and, while most of the interior was covered up during our test drive, official images show the 4’s cabin to be much more modern than the rest of the MG range.
Yet, what distinguishes the MG 4 most from its siblings is the way it drives. Unlike the MG ZS EV, which is more suited to comfortable cruising, the MG 4 feels much more dialled-in and sporty behind the wheel. A perfect 50:50 weight distribution over each axle means the 4 handles with almost as much agility as MG sports cars of old, and this is further enhanced by the car’s direct steering and rear-wheel-drive setup.
At launch, the MG 4 will be offered with two battery configurations: 51kWh and 64kWh. Our car was the 280-mile 64kWh model; this uses a 201bhp electric motor and should provide sufficient punch for most people. While we haven’t driven the 167bhp 51kWh model yet, we expect the higher-powered car suits the MG 4’s driving characteristics better.
Nevertheless, while the MG 4 is impressive both aesthetically and dynamically, what will inevitably dictate its success is price. MG remains tight-lipped when it comes to this subject, but even with rising manufacturing costs, we expect the 4 to start from under £30,000. While this may sound like a lot for a mainstream family hatchback, it's worth bearing in mind that the 4’s main rival, the ID.3, starts from around £36,000, whereas the much smaller Fiat 500 starts from over £29,000.
For the time being, we can only wait to see how the MG 4 performs when it goes on sale in September 2022. What is clear, however, is that 4 is perhaps the best MG to drive since the MG TF and MG ZR which were both discontinued when the brand went into administration in 2005. With the hotly anticipated MG Cyberster sports car also on the horizon, we are keen to see what’s in store for a manufacturer that holds such an important place in many British petrolheads’ hearts.
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