MG4 EV review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
The MG4 offers exceptional value-for-money, but it's interior does show signs of cost-cutting
The MG4’s cabin is a huge leap forward from the decidedly ordinary interiors of MG’s other EVs in terms of design, technology and spaciousness. Where nothing has changed, however, is in regards to interior quality as the MG4 feels as cheap as… well, an MG4. Key touch points like the steering wheel and indicator stalks feel solid, and the faux leather on the seats gives off a somewhat premium vibe, but the plastics on the dashboard and door cards are rock solid; don’t bash your foot on the door on your way out as you might be in for a trip to A&E!
MG4 EV dashboard
In spite of its dark and dingy colour scheme – you can have the MG4’s cabin in any shade you like, so long as it’s black – the cabin feels pretty airy inside, thanks to the minimalist layout and lack of a proper centre console.
Below the touchscreen – more on that in a moment – lies a row of physical buttons, which are much easier to press than the fiddly haptic ones found in most modern cars. It’s a shame, though, that MG stopped short of fitting proper climate control dials, as they are buried within the screen, making them difficult to operate whilst on the move.
Another oversight is the wireless phone charging pad, which on entry-level SE models is simply just a tray for your device to rest on while you drive. It won’t stay there for long, though, as the dish is not deep enough to keep your phone in place, meaning that when you accelerate with any sort of gusto – something that’s pretty easy to do in an EV like the MG4 – your rear seat passenger will soon be hit with a phone-shaped ballistic missile.
Equipment, options & accessories
There are just three trim levels to choose from with the MG4: SE, Trophy and XPower. SE trim is available in both Standard and Long Range form, and comes with plenty of standard kit including 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch digital driver’s display, LED headlights and rear parking sensors. Plus, there’s lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and driver attention alert. SE Long Range models also get an active grille system to improve aerodynamics.
Trophy-spec MG4s can be specified with either the Long Range or Extended Range powertrains, and add more luxuries like a 360-degree camera, wireless phone charging, heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as some additional safety systems including blind-spot monitoring and lane-change assist. Not to mention a two-tone black roof and split roof spoiler.
The MG4 XPower can also be considered a separate model in and of itself, getting almost all of the luxuries featured in the Trophy trim. However, the hottest MG4 model also gets other upgrades such as uprated suspension, bigger brakes, an electronic differential and a set of Bridgestone Turanza tyres. On top of this, XPower buyers also benefit from sporty Alcantara upholstery with red stitching, as well as several performance-oriented features in the infotainment system such as a lap timer and launch control.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Every version of the MG4 comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, which is certainly a step up from the units in the ZS EV or MG5. The screen itself is crisp and clear, however, it often took two or three taps for it to respond when we drove the car. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard at least, though neither are wireless and only Trophy-spec models get built-in sat-nav, but it's not really worth upgrading from SE trim just for that.
The on-screen climate controls can be accessed via a swipe-down panel, so long as you’re not using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Some of the on-screen toggles for things like drive modes and regenerative brake strength are also pretty small, so it can be hard to adjust key settings like these on the move – especially given how many sub menus you have to navigate to reach them. Thankfully, you can programme the star buttons on the steering wheel to control some functions like the strength of the regenerative braking.
The seven-inch instrument panel behind the wheel gives you pretty much all the information you need, but doesn’t feature a full-screen map display, which is a shame. Once again, the icons on the display for key info are very small, and the only indication that you’ve changed driving modes is a bit of text that can be hidden by the camera for the driver attention system.
The MG4 does at least support MG’s 'iSMART' app which allows you to check the charge state of your car, or pre-condition the cabin, among other functions. The car can also receive over-the-air updates from MG.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe MG4 EV combines range, practicality and loads of kit into a sharp-looking, fun-to-drive package all at an unbeatable price
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe MG4 offers superb range figures for the price - especially the new Extended Range variant
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe MG4 is not only cheap to buy, it should be incredibly inexpensive to run, too
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe MG4 offers sharp handling and a comfortable ride, while the XPower variant is frankly ballistic
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingThe MG4 offers exceptional value-for-money, but it's interior does show signs of cost-cutting
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityWhile it doesn't match the boot capacity of some other electric family cars, the MG4 EV’s cabin is spacious and comfortable
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe MG4 EV boasts a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, and we expect it'll be very reliable, too