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In-depth reviews

MG4 hatchback - Electric motor, drive & performance

The MG4’s rear-wheel-drive setup makes it fun on a twisty road; the electric motors are punchy, too

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Electric motor, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

The MG brand was built on producing sports cars, but times have changed and recent models have primarily focused on providing affordable and comfortable family transport. 

The MG4 is the brand’s first-ever electric car to be built from the ground-up, rather than be converted from an existing front-wheel-drive petrol model. As a result, it’s been given a rear-wheel-drive layout and low centre of gravity that make the MG4 a much more engaging drive than any of its recent siblings. You could even say it harks back to the sporty MGs of old.

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On the move, even the standard MG4 shows itself in a good light; the electric car’s suspension manages to soak up the majority of bumps littering Britain’s roads, while light steering makes the car manoeuvrable. There is a bit more wind noise than you’d find in a Renault Megane E-Tech, which also comes with an even more supple suspension setup, but the MG is still more comfortable than the overly firm ride of the Nissan Leaf.

We’ve also driven the Extended Range version, and despite the extra weight from its larger 77kWh battery, it drives just as well as the standard and Long Range models.

Speaking of the Leaf, all MG4s (from mid-2023 onwards) now get a similarly-strong one-pedal driving mode. Older cars feature a really intuitive three-stage regenerative braking system, but the newer cars go one step further. We really like this style of driving, and it works brilliantly in the MG.

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If you’re up for a more spirited drive, flick the drive mode selector in the centre console into Sport mode and the car’s steering becomes much heavier. The MG4 doesn’t quite have the urgency or composure of a Cupra Born when driven quickly on a twisty road – although it comes impressively close for a car that costs significantly less.

If you really want to shame some supercar drivers in your five-door family hatchback then the MG4 XPower (above) could be just the ticket. As well as gaining an extra motor on the front axle and a good dose more power, it gets an electronic differential, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and a recalibrated steering system. There’s a set of larger 18-inch wheels and new Bridgestone tyres, too.

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The result is mightily impressive. The car does sometimes struggle for grip if you try to deploy all 429bhp, but it really does feel lightning fast between 30-70mph. The steering is heavier and the ride firmer, resulting in excellent body control – but the XPower isn’t an uncomfortable car. One thing it does lack is any kind of soul – the silent electric motor means it can’t challenge a petrol performance car for drama.

0-62mph and top speed

If you’ve never driven an electric car, you’re probably unfamiliar with how instantly they deliver their power. While neither the Standard Range or Long Range versions of the MG4 offer sports car-rivalling performance, the maker has recently introduced two more powerful models to satisfy those after a little extra spice.

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The fastest of the four models on offer is the all-singing-all-dancing MG4 XPower, which boasts 429bhp from its twin motors. This car can sprint from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds, but it’s from a rolling start where it feels fastest; just put your foot down and the XPower takes off.

We’ve not yet driven the MG4 Extended Range, but with 241bhp, it’s a bit faster than our current Long Range favourite. The Extended Range model does 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, which should feel pretty pokey on the road.

Despite having just 168bhp, the Standard Range car is lighter and therefore faster than the 200bhp Long Range version. The 0-62mph sprint takes 7.5 seconds in the Standard Range, versus 7.7 seconds for the Long Range. Both feel incredibly brisk, however, thanks to the mountain of torque available at just a tap of the accelerator pedal.

ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
MG4 Standard Range168bhp7.5 seconds100mph
MG4 Long Range200bhp7.7 seconds100mph
MG4 Extended Range241bhp6.5 seconds112mph
MG4 XPower429bhp3.8 seconds124mph

Carbuyer notes

“If you’re looking for some of that old-school MG magic, then the MG4 comes very close. While it doesn’t quite feel like a petrol-powered sports car from the 1970s, the 4’s rear-wheel-drive setup and responsive steering make it great to drive.” Richard Ingram, Editor

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    125kW SE EV 51kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £26,995

Most Economical

  • Name
    180kW Trophy EV Extended Range 77kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £36,495

Fastest

  • Name
    320kW EV XPOWER 64kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £36,495

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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