why this Chinese can explode the electric car market!

Over 5.7 million cars were made last year! Even if one has to add to these impressive quantities the production in China and for the Chinese market of Volkswagen and other Audis, the SAIC Group is already a giant of the automotive planet, ranked 7th in the world. And through the English brand MG, which he bought in 2005, this giant does not want to stop and bite raw in Europe. Initially modest with models like the ZS-SUV or the 100% electric Marvel R, which have already won over a few thousand French, the attack with this MG4 is now frontal.

inaugurate a whole new modular platform which, thanks to a wheelbase that can be extended from 2.65 to 3.10 m, will be used for a large number of bodies in several sizes, the MG4 was designed for Europe. In fact, this compact has a size close to a Volkswagen ID.3 (4.29 m or 3 cm more) and, like this, an electric motor in the rear. But the first blow comes from the fact that This Chinese, which is at the top of the luxury class in the test (€34,990 without bonus), is not much more expensive than an older and much smaller base Renault Zoe (€33,700)! About the The basic version costs 28,990 euros and is equipped with a 51 kWh battery, it has no equivalent. And as you’ll see, it doesn’t do this by offering low-cost services.

Pleasant

If some will moderately taste the atypical design of this MG4, one catchphrase led to the design of its interior: no waves! Understand that the driving position is not overly original but offers what you would expect from a car from the 2020s: There is a digital meter (7 inches) and a touch-sensitive multimedia panel (10.25”) in the center of the dashboard. If MG had the good idea of ​​leaving real buttons both under the latter and on the steering wheel, the latter also with customizable buttons, the ergonomics require a period of familiarization, but this does not present serious opportunities. This also applies to the manufacturing quality side. The hard materials in the lower part will tickle the retinas of the pickiest, but the whole has nothing essential with flexible materials in the upper part and matching ready-made garments.

The dashboard design of the MG4 is simple.
The dashboard design of the MG4 is simple.©MG

In short, enough to be serious and to please Europeans, especially since the already rich equipment from the basic version is princely for the high-end luxury. Heated steering wheel and front seats, connected apps and mixed leather/cloth upholstery, nothing is missing. The place either thanks a generous wheelbase that allows tall drivers not to feel cramped in the back seat knowing that the trunk has a volume (minimum 350 dm3) again in line with the standards of the category. In short, without being exceptional, this MG4 meets the specifications of a good compact car in Europe. Finally, note that this chinese on the damping side is labeled a sophisticated multi-link rear axle far from being a skateboard and that, except on the freeway where, as is often the case with electric cars, the rush of the air is noticeable, it’s pretty good to live on board.

Not fun to drive

If you’re a loyal reader of L’Automobile Magazine, you know that the Chinese have been far from leaving an indelible memory behind the wheel. But that was before. Like its compatriot CFMotos and its MT800 trail that seduced us, we have to recognize that this MG4 does more on the road than defending itself. Correctly sprung, with an effective compromise between comfort and handling, this drive is more pleasant to drive than a Renault Zoe (especially since we are much better installed there) and is not ridiculous in comparison to a VW ID.3. Can we only blame him? overly assisted steering and perfectable motor skills especially since the traction control always works with a small time delay. But agile, safe and comfortable in everyday life with its turning circle that makes turning maneuvers a joke, this MG4 offers convincing performances worldwide. And if only in this area where she did better than come through…

Compare the real autonomy of the best electric cars according to our standardized measurement cycle. Battery capacity, consumption, autonomy, we tell you everything!

tone and sobriety

With 204 hp, the MG4 performs well, but it is obviously not due to this criterion that it is expected at the turn. With a With a capacity of 64 kWh, the NMC battery (nickel-manganese-cobalt) enables a range of up to 435 km between two charging processes (and even 15 km more with the Comfort equipment). Of course we won’t miss it, knowing in passing that the Luxury version tested here is the only one with a heat pump. During our two-day test in the south-east of France and a demanding road book between mountain roads, motorways and city passages, this MG4 has in the meantime never exceeded 20 kWh/100 km, although there are number category standards. Note that by the way the MG4 with the 64 kWh battery has an output of 135 kW fast charging. It’s a little less (117 kW) for the small battery 51 kWh of the basic version, whereby the latter is also characterized by a different battery chemistry (lithium-iron-phosphate).

The MG4's light signature is somewhat reminiscent of that of a Yaris Cross.
The MG4’s light signature is somewhat reminiscent of that of a Yaris Cross.©MG

Still some flaws

This MG4 is successful. She is not perfect. First complaint and despite four possible settings including an automatic, regenerative braking hardly impresses and there’s no single-pedal driving. At least the brake has no whiff and no awkward response knowing you can adjust the bite to the map too. This is one of the advantages of the By-Wire technology used. And if it proves comfortable or even fun to drive with a rear axle that can slip slightly when driving through, Traction control is probably showing too much letting go for a consumer car. Finally, we had to undergo during our test some bugs in the multimedia system and the system for reading road signs was constantly in trouble. Hopefully these little teenage mistakes won’t affect customers.

The blow of the price

Therefore, to boost the European electric car market, this MG4 has the means with fairly convincing performances. But his best asset is obviously a unbeatable price/performance ratio. Super equipped, our test version costs €28,990 after deducting the eco bonus. who says better None of this reach and size. Finally, be aware that a short tour with the Basic MG4 confirmed to us that this Chinese has some great assets to become a hit in Europe, for on €22,990 after bonus, this version already convinces with performance and largely sufficient autonomy for everyday use thanks to the 51 kWh battery.


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