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In-depth reviews

MG4 EV review: performance, motor & drive

The MG4 offers sharp handling and a comfortable ride, while the XPower variant is frankly ballistic

Overall rating

5.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

5.0 out of 5

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

Standard Range

7.7s

100mph

Rear

167bhp

Long Range

7.9s

100mph

Rear

201bhp

Extended Range

6.5s

112mph

Rear

242bhp

XPower

3.8s

124mph

Four

429bhp

The MG4 manages to make up for any shortcomings with the way it drives. Its soft and forgiving ride means it is just as comfortable around town as it is on country roads and motorways. Meanwhile, the quick steering allows the family hatchback to dart through corners, so when face-to-face with a twisty British B-road, the MG4 is supremely fun to drive. There is some noticeable road noise at higher speeds, which are easy to reach – especially in the new hot XPower variant.

MG4 EV 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

MG says Standard and Long Range models will hit 62mph in around eight seconds, while the most expensive Extended Range model will get there in 6.5 seconds – and we have no reason to doubt that. Floor it from a standstill and the MG4 doesn’t feel like it’s jumping to lightspeed, but the instant torque does give the impression of much faster acceleration, with power delivery from the electric motor being linear even up past 60mph.

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Once you’re on the move, it’s just a case of ‘point and squirt’; you’ll be surprised how fast the MG4 gains speed, meaning there’s plenty of poke for getting around town and overtaking on the motorway.

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Those wondering whether the hot hatch market will live on in the new electric age should take a look at the new MG4 XPower. While the lack of noise does mean the sportiest MG4 lacks the soul and character of old-school petrol hot hatches, its 429bhp dual-motor powertrain means it leaves them in the dust; 0-62mph takes just 3.8 seconds, which is on-par with many made-for-purpose sports cars. All of this feels as quick as you’d imagine, with the XPower’s special Bridgestone tyres scrambling for traction whenever you floor the accelerator.

Handling

The MG4 lives up to its looks on the road; it’s fun to drive, but still very comfortable. The steering is quick and nicely weighted in Sport mode, becoming lighter in Normal, and more vague if you switch to Eco for maximum efficiency. But still, because it’s so light and direct it offers a nice sense of agility that’s definitely useful around town and on twister roads, too. And for a car of this size, it’s easy to place on the road. Visibility is also good, and the car’s turning circle is tight, which should help parking and manoeuvring in tight spots.

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The MG4 XPower takes things a step further with larger brakes, uprated suspension and, as mentioned, stickier Bridgestone-branded rubber. So what’s the result of this? Well, the 25% stiffer chassis is marginally noticeable if you drive different MG4 models side-to-side or if you’re really attacking a road. In practice, however, it's the extra power that’s the main differentiator of the XPower model. If power is your priority you can’t go wrong with the XPower – especially for the price – but a Cupra Born, or even the Abarth 500e, will offer greater driver satisfaction on a twisty back road.

Unlike the ID.3 or Cupra Born, the MG4’s regenerative braking system has four levels to choose from: Low, Medium, Strong and Adaptive. While it can be quite fiddly to adjust via the infotainment system (this can be shortcutted to the steering wheel via configurable buttons) the Strong regen mode was by far our favourite as it meant we hardly ever touched the brake pedal.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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