MG4 EV review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
The MG4 EV is exceptional value for money, offering plenty of kit regardless of which trim level you go for, however, its infotainment system is one of the car’s biggest weaknesses
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. It’s very minimalistic, like a lot of new electric cars, but while many have done anyway with physical buttons in lieu of plastic haptic feedback panels, the MG4 bucks the trend. We just wished MG went the whole hog and fitted some dials for the climate control, too, but you can’t win them all.
MG4 EV dashboard
Interior quality in the MG4 is a bit of a mixed bag. Key touch points like the steering wheel and indicator stalks feel nice and solid, and the top of the dashboard is fairly soft. Plus, there's a variety of textures and fake leather dotted around to help break up the black plastics. However, those plastics, especially those used for the lower dash and doors are rock solid; probably to save money. They might be hard-wearing, but don’t feel especially forgiving.
Equipment, options & accessories
There are just two trim levels to choose from with the MG4: SE and Trophy. The former 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 like our test car are only available with the Long Range battery and motor, but 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.
Only the Trophy model is available in Volcano Orange like our test car, but it's £695 extra, as is red paint. Black or grey paint will cost you an extra £545 on all MG4s, while the only standard colours are white or blue.
The base MG4 starts from £25,995, making it one of the cheapest electric cars on sale today, and substantially more affordable than any of its rivals. Upgrading to the SE Long Range only raises the price by £2,500 to £28,495, while the top-of-the-range Trophy model will set you back £31,495.
Alternatively, MG will lend you an entry-level model for £269 a month with a £6,000 deposit and a mileage limit of 8,000 miles a year. The SE Long Range on the same terms costs £309, while a Trophy is £359.
Compare that to the Volkswagen ID.3, which currently starts at £39,425 and offers a range of 264 miles in entry-level guise. The entry-level version of the Nissan Leaf does come close to matching the MG4’s starting price, but it’s not only more expensive, but can only cover 168 miles on a charge – 50 miles less than the base MG4.
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 updating 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. 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 & chargingFor the money, the Long Range MG4 EV’s 281-mile range is hard to beat, while rapid charging speeds are on par with key rivals from VW and Cupra
- 3Running costs & insuranceRunning costs for MG’s electric family hatchback are likely to be much lower than for its petrol-powered alternatives, especially if you’re planning to run one as a company car
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe MG4 EV lives up to its looks with quick steering and plenty of poke that make it fun to drive around town and on a back road; plus there’s a 400bhp hot version still to come
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingThe MG4 EV is exceptional value for money, offering plenty of kit regardless of which trim level you go for, however, its infotainment system is one of the car’s biggest weaknesses
- 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