Sunday World Newsletter
Sign up for the latest news and updates
This top spec MG will give you 400km in what looks like a “baby Lamborghini” but only costs €34k...what’s not to love?
Ah folks…this is unreal. I love it. I loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it and the love affair only grew and grew as my test week continued.
I was so impressed with so many elements of this full-electric rookie that I was completely willing to forgive its flaws. One of my motoring peers commented late last year when he drove this exact car that it is a ‘game changer’ and now I see why.
OK, so it ain’t perfect but sweet Lord, it is impressive. And one of the most astounding things about this is the asking price, which I will get to later.
The paint job might not be to everyone’s taste, but it didn’t put me off one bit. Although I will say I saw a gorgeous black one with complementary black detailing during the week and I think I would opt for that colour scheme.
Two separate people in my circle of trust both independently commented on how the MG4 looks like a baby Lamborghini Urus; and I am not including my six-year-old nephew Ollie who ran over screaming ‘Uncle Daragh has a Lamborghini’.
So, safe to say, this gorgeous design is led, in part, by the Italian supercar. It’s a scientific fact. Ollie is far cleverer than his age would suggest.
MG itself has taken a leap of faith on this as it is completely different to their other brands you see on Irish roads.
There are enough MG taxis operating around Dublin to know that the recently-relaunched and now fully-electric brand has made a huge dent in EV sales here in Ireland. But until now they haven’t been known for producing overly-attractive cars. Let alone actual sexy cars.
But that has now changed, even if ‘Volcano Orange’ isn’t for you.
For starters, this is the company’s first model based on a dedicated EV platform. That sounds awful boring but it means that the space inside is cleverly designed and laid out compared to the other cars that have taken combustion platforms and lobbed a giant battery in it. This makes the MG4 a practical hatchback like its nearest competitors the ID.3 and the Leaf.
But where the MG4 trumps the others is on price. I usually leave the cost to the end of my reviews but I’m too excited to tell you — it starts at a mind-blowing €27,495 and even my fully-loaded top spec test car only costs €34,495. I’ll take two, thank you very much.
There are two powertrain and two trim options to choose from for the moment with the Excite Standard Range, which comes with a 170hp electric motor and 50.8kWh (usable capacity) battery for a range of 350km.
The Excite Long Range is an extra €3,500 and has a larger (61.7kWh) battery as well as a more powerful motor with 203hp at your disposal. This version has a claimed range of 450km, while the top-spec Exclusive (which I drove), costs €34,495, only comes in Long Range guise and has an official range of 434km.
Incredibly, despite being bullied and harangued by motor journalists over the last couple of months the actual range is just under 400km, which is incredible.
The asking price doesn’t mean it is completely devoid of gadgets and tech.
Possible exclusions that are still here include LED lights, rear parking sensors, heated door mirrors, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, a 7-inch digital cluster, three USB ports, tyre pressure monitors, two ISOFIX points in the back, six airbags and an alarm and immobiliser.
Yes, yes, I know a lot of those are supposedly as-standard in a huge majority of cars but this price point usually indicates everything has been stripped out. But not here.
There is a large squared steering wheel and your seating position is higher than you would expect, giving very good visibility. There is a really good quality to the finish on everything inside the cabin including the normally-fragile buttons and controls on the steering wheel.
There is bucket loads of storage, including clever use of a shelf under the centre console.
The rear offers surprisingly good space too and while I didn’t manage to get three adults into the back to test it, I found it roomy and neither of my kids complained at any stage during the week. And MG quotes 363 litres of space in the boot.
It is a gorgeous drive and very responsive. The weight of the battery means you always feel grounded to the tarmac and there is plenty of fire power if you need to overtake.
And now to the flaws. I would have loved a rear windscreen wiper, if I’m telling the truth. MG claims that the rear spoiler design is in place, in part, to prevent rain and water rolling down on the window. Not true.
The radio in my test car repeatedly switched from FM to DAB radio at random times which was annoying but I am willing to accept that this is not a problem for every MG4 owner in the country, otherwise more people would be talking about it.
And the final gripe was that the battery size meant it was slower than other EVs to charge.
But I am clutching at straws here because I truly adored this car. I still can’t believe how cheap it is. I declared to my family at the end of the week that it was a definite contender for our next family car, and it was greeted with huge enthusiasm. The only comment was “maybe not in bright orange.”
I can live with that.