Until recently it felt as if MG was simply treading water with its line-up of SUVs, small hatchbacks and single estate car offering. Delivering great value and loads of kit, these Chinese machines had plenty of showroom appeal, but their budget roots were often cruelly exposed on the road. However, with the new, all-electric MG 4 the brand has served-up a family hatch that deserves serious attention.
With its rakish looks it stands out from the crowd, while some effort has clearly been expended on the dynamics, creating a family hatch that is surprisingly engaging to drive. With a rear-mounted motor the MG4 has a surprisingly biddable rear-wheel drive feel, while the steering is uncorrupted by torque steer unruliness – although it could do with more feel. Yet the highlight is the relatively soft suspension that allows the car to slice down typically pockmarked British roads with poise and fluidity.
There’s a choice of 168bhp or 201bhp motors, with both giving brisk acceleration, while the larger 64kWh battery promises up to 281 miles on a charge. DC rapid charging capability of 150kW means 10-80% charge can be achieved in as little as 35 minutes. Oh, and another eye-catching number is the price, which starts at £26,995 – if you want something similar from a mainstream brand you’ll be paying around £10,000 more.
So, what’s the catch? Well, that price gives you a clue. While the interior is roomy and well-equipped, the fit and finish are a bit bargain basement. The electronic driver aids also feel a step behind in their clumsy operation. Still, there’s fine family car lurking here, and you’ll happily overlook some of the issues when you consider the savings.