Interested in a MG4 ESSENCE LONG RANGE 77?
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    Pros
    • Engaging RWD dynamics
    • Plenty of standard equipment
    • Lots of range
    Cons
    • Buggy infotainment
    • Interior quality doesn't reflect the price point
    • Violent active safety assists
    Specs
    0.0L
    180kW
    5 Star

    The MG 4 is currently one of Australia’s cheapest electric vehicles (EVs). It’s available in a number of different flavours ranging from entry-level bang-for-your-buck, to genuinely crazy high-performance.

    On test here is the now second from top-spec 2024 MG 4 Long Range 77, which is claimed to offer the most driving range of any MG 4 variant to date thanks to its larger 77kWh battery pack.

    The MG 4 is as an appealing package given the fact it’s built on a new all-electric platform and in non-performance guise is rear-wheel drive. It’s also not alone – with more rivals popping up every few months.

    All the ingredients are there, but is the MG 4 Long Range 77 an electric car you should actually buy? Read along to find out.

    How does the MG4 fare vs its competitors?
    View a detailed breakdown of the MG4 against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the MG 4 cost?

    The 2024 MG 4 range currently starts at $38,990 before on-roads for the Excite 51. This is one of the most affordable electric vehicles (EVs) currently on sale in Australia and rivals the BYD Dolphin and GWM Ora.

    The variant on test here however, is the once top-spec Long Range 77 which is priced from $55,990 before on-roads. It was recently dethroned from its top-spec status by the high-performance XPower which is priced from $59,990 before on-roads.

    Our tester was finished in the vibrant Brixton Blue metallic exterior paint which costs an additional $700. This brings the total to $56,690 before on-road costs, or $59,803 drive-away for Victorian buyers (each state has slightly different taxes).

    Similarly priced electric hatchbacks for the MG 4 Long Range 77 in Australia include the Cupra Born ($59,990), Fiat 500e La Prima ($52,500), Mini Electric Hatch ($49,990 D/A), and Nissan Leaf e+ ($61,490). It’s also just a hop, skip and jump away from the larger EVs like the Tesla Model 3 RWD ($61,900) and the BYD Seal Premium ($58,798).

    2024 MG 4 pricing:

    • MG 4 Excite 51: $38,990
    • MG 4 Excite 64: $44,990
    • MG 4 Essence 64: $47,990
    • MG 4 Long Range 77: $55,990
    • MG 4 XPower: $59,990

    All prices are before on-road costs

    What is the MG 4 like on the inside?

    Hopping into the MG 4 is easier than getting into an equivalently sized internal combustion-powered passenger car as the battery pack lifts up where the driver’s seat is set. It’s not quite as easy to get into as a crossover, however.

    Once you’re in the MG 4 Long Range 77, there are a set of fancy-looking synthetic leather and fabric seats that have an inoffensive design.

    The driver’s seat has six ways of electric adjustment; although, it lacks thigh adjustment and lumbar support. I found the lack of thigh adjustment to be a little frustrating as it felt like I was going to slide off the seat at times.

    Despite this gripe, the seat itself is squishy and comfortable, with enough side bolstering to secure me in place.

    Ahead of the driver is an interesting-looking steering wheel that’s hexagonal-shaped and only has two spokes. Although this steering wheel looks cool and sporty, it’s quite large, which makes trying to reach the stubby indicator and wiper stalks a bit of a challenge.

    The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and heated, which is a handy feature in the fickle Melbourne weather. There are also a number of buttons and knobs on the steering wheel which don’t make immediate sense.

    A notable example I found out late in my loan of the car was a configurable button that allows one of the directional knobs to be used for adjusting the climate control. Up until this point I was digging through the touchscreen to adjust my set temperature and fan speed.

    Another steering wheel button function that didn’t make immediate sense was the button to activate cruise control – it has a steering wheel symbol on it. This type of button would typically correspond to a lane-centring function in any another vehicle.

    Behind the steering wheel is a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster that errs on the small side but still displays a wealth of information.

    At first it’s unclear how to adjust the information displayed on this screen, but there’s yet another button on the steering wheel that needs to be clicked before you can cycle through the content.

    The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system certainly isn’t the MG 4’s best feature. Sure, the display has adequate resolution, but it has poor processing power. This means it’s very laggy to respond and doesn’t turn on quickly upon startup.

    An example of this is when trying to enter the climate control menu on the touchscreen. It can sometimes take a few seconds before anything actually happens.

    The menus in the touchscreen are a little convoluted as well, and some functions are unclear in their operation. An example is the one-pedal driving function, which is tucked deep in a vehicle settings menu.

    Throughout my loan of the MG 4 there was more time spent without Apple CarPlay functioning than with. That’s even with me using a genuine Apple USB cable with my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

    Yes, you read that correctly. The MG 4 only has wired smartphone mirroring, and it’s also an extremely buggy version at that.

    There were times where I’d plug my phone in and have Apple CarPlay work flawlessly for the entire trip, but plenty of others where it would outright refuse to acknowledge my phone was connected. This was despite my phone actually charging via the USB cable.

    In order to remedy the infotainment system not registering that my phone was connected, I tried unplugging and reconnecting my phone into the USB cable countless times. When I did this the Apple CarPlay icon on the touchscreen would flash briefly, indicating it was ready to go, but then it would grey out again.

    Other times CarPlay would actually activate for a few seconds and then deactivate. Interestingly, there was one time when CarPlay connected for a brief moment but appeared to be in the left-hand drive configuration. This was very strange.

    Moving on, the MG 4 comes standard with satellite navigation, though it’s quite clunky to use. Trying to type in a point of interest is virtually impossible as the keyboard that pops up is close to unusable.

    Looking around the cabin, there are a vast array of hard plastics, which isn’t good enough in a car that costs almost as much as a Tesla Model 3. There are a select few portions of the cabin that have softer plastics; however, including high-traffic touch points like the armrests.

    There’s also a generous use of glossy piano black where the rotary gear selector and electric park brake are. Our tester had fewer than 1000km on the clock and it was already really scratched. It also got really grimy and dusty over the time we had the car.

    Given the MG 4 is an electric car on an all-electric architecture, this means there’s no need for a transmission tunnel and more storage space can be afforded. There’s a large uncovered section that can be used for a handbag, for example, as well as two cup holders mounted down low near the USB ports.

    There’s also a centre console which has a decent amount of storage space, though its lid is quite high. When I was steering my elbow would sometimes hit this lid, which was a little frustrating.

    Moving to the second row, there’s no noticeable step down in terms of quality; however, the space itself is a bit drab.

    There’s enough leg-, head-, shoulder- and toe-room; although, I did have to splay my legs on either side of the seat in front in order to sit comfortably.

    In terms of second-row amenities, there are barely any. The only notable thing you get is a single USB port. There are no rear air vents, nor a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders.

    The MG 4 has an adequately sized boot, with a claimed 350 litres of space. This is technically down on the Excite variants, though the Essence 64 and Long Range 77 gain a dual-tier boot floor.

    There’s also a netted section off to the side of the boot that can be used to keep items from sliding around.

    Just like every EV on sale at the moment, the MG 4 doesn’t come with a spare tyre of any variety due to packaging constraints. This can be a real hassle if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and have a flat tyre.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    The majority of the MG 4 range is powered by a single, rear-mounted electric motor, with its output determined by which battery pack it’s mated with.

    The MG 4 Long Range 77 has a single electric motor which produces 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque. MG claims this model can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.5 seconds and flat out you’ll be doing 180km/h.

    This single electric motor is fed by a sizeable 77kWh (74.4 usable) battery pack. It’s the largest battery pack available across the entire local MG 4 range and it’s only available on this one trim level. Not even the XPower (which uses the smaller 64kWh unit offered elsewhere in the line-up) has this big a battery.

    MG claims the MG 4 Long Range 77 has a range of up to 530km, according to WLTP testing standards. It also has a claimed driving efficiency of 14kWh per 100km.

    During our time with our tester we experienced an average energy consumption of around 17kWh per 100km, which included a mix of urban, metropolitan and highway driving. Expect to see over 20kWh per 100km if you spend the majority of your time on the highway.

    In terms of charging, the MG 4 Long Range 77 has a decent AC charging rate of up to 11kW. Fully charging the battery at this rate is claimed to take approximately seven hours.

    It also has a DC fast-charging rate of 144kW, which when plugged into a 150kW fast-charger, is claimed to charge the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 38 minutes.

    How does the MG 4 drive?

    Just like the Tesla Model 3, the MG 4 doesn’t have an actual starter button. This is both a blessing and a curse.

    If you want to start up the MG 4, all you need to do is sit on the driver’s seat and press the brake pedal. After this the car is on, you can shift into the intended gear, and then you’re on your way.

    This sequence of events to start up the car is seamless and mirrors what you need to do in the Tesla Model 3 to get moving. Switching off the MG 4, on the other hand, is where things start to get a little painful.

    The MG 4 stays turned on when you’ve finished driving and only properly switches off when the car is locked. As we found out at our recent CarExpert event in Melbourne, this was a pain as the car stayed on for the hours it was sitting on display.

    Like a number of EVs, the MG 4’s acceleration is more than adequate. This is because the full 350Nm of torque is available from a standstill.

    You’ll easily be keeping up with traffic, and if you push the accelerator you’ll pull ahead with no problems whatsoever. The MG 4’s single electric motor pumps out a considerable amount of power, making it competitive with many hot hatches.

    Despite having plenty of power, the MG 4’s brake pedal feels really hard and lacks feeling. In the car’s default driving mode you need to use the brake to come to a stop.

    There is a one-pedal driving mode available in the MG 4, but this is hidden in a settings menu and has to be activated every single time you drive the car. The most annoying part is when this feature is on, you still need to press the brake to come to a complete stop as it will creep forward at low speeds.

    There are a range of driving modes that you can cycle through, with Normal mode feeling the most natural way to experience the MG 4 Long Range 77. Eco mode really dulled the driving experience, while Sport mode felt a little too frenetic for everyday driving.

    If you want a properly sporty MG 4; however, you can step up to the high-performance XPower for $4000 more.

    What the MG 4 Long Range 77 has over the XPower variant though is extra range thanks to its larger 77kWh battery pack. Around 500km of range is really generous in an EV. The only other similarly priced EVs with a comparable amount of range are the BYD Seal, Cupra Born and Tesla Model 3.

    The MG 4 is incredibly manoeuvrable at low speeds as it has super light steering. This also makes it easy to park.

    Speaking of parking though, the MG 4 Long Range 77 only comes with rear parking sensors. There’s also a surround-view camera but its image quality is very poor.

    Around town and in the city the MG 4’s ride errs on the firmer side but it’s never uncomfortable. It also handles speed bumps without a fuss, which I can’t say the same about for a bunch of other Chinese-made vehicles.

    Building up speed in the MG 4 Long Range 77 comes extremely easily. The car never feels out of puff and is always ready to accommodate an easy overtake.

    Out on the open road and on the highway the MG 4 feels comfortable and compliant. It doesn’t feel out of its depth like a number of other EVs do at higher speeds.

    Something I did notice on this particular MG 4 test vehicle is that on the highway travelling at around 100km/h there was a low-frequency rumble or buffeting emanating from what seemed to be the front of the car. I’m uncertain if this was limited to this particular car, or if it’s something experienced across all MG 4s.

    On the safety front, the MG 4 Long Range 77 is fully loaded. Some of the systems; however, are a little clunky to operate.

    The entire MG 4 range comes with an adaptive cruise control system, though as I mentioned in the interior section, the button to switch this on is strangely a steering wheel icon.

    The adaptive cruise control system itself is fine in how it reacts to other cars on the road, though when you first switch it on it always defaults to the furthest distance, which isn’t uncommon, but a little frustrating.

    Like in Subarus, the MG 4’s set cruise control speed adjusts in 5km/h increments if you single press the leftmost directional knob either up or down. You need to press and hold it to make the set speed go up in single km/h increments, but it’s hard to get it to actually land on the speed you want.

    To get around this frustration, I found I would cancel the cruise control, either accelerate or decelerate to my intended speed, and then set the cruise control again.

    The MG 4 also has a range of lane-keeping functions, including a traffic jam assist in conjunction with the adaptive cruise control system. This system in particular is rather violent as it would jerk at the steering wheel to get you back in the centre of the lane. It also got particularly confused on wet roads, or roads with poor lane markings.

    The last thing I’ll mention in this section is although the LED headlights are fantastic in low-beam, they are poorly aligned so when the high-beams switch on there’s a gap without any illumination. This is particularly dangerous on country roads without any illumination.

    What do you get?

    MG 4 Excite 51 highlights:

    • 17-inch alloy wheels with aero covers
    • Tyre repair kit
    • Automatic LED headlights
    • LED daytime running lights
    • LED tail lights
    • Rear fog light
    • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
    • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • Four-speaker sound system
    • Keyless entry
    • Electric park brake
    • Climate control
    • Driver’s window one-touch function
    • PU leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Fabric upholstery
    • Six-way manual driver seat
    • Four-way manual front passenger seat
    • iSmart Lite connectivity

    MG 4 Excite 64 adds:

    • Active intake grille shutter

    MG 4 Essence 64 adds:

    • 18-inch alloy wheels with aero covers
    • Two-tone roof
    • ‘Twin-aero’ rear spoiler
    • Privacy glass
    • Electric folding mirrors
    • Wireless phone charger
    • Satellite navigation
    • EV trip planning
    • Six-speaker sound system
    • All window one-touch function
    • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
    • Two-level adjustable boot floor
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Heated steering wheel
    • PU leather and fabric upholstery
    • Heated front seats
    • Six-way electric driver seat
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Safe exit warning
    • Emergency lane-keep assist
    • Lane change assist
    • Surround-view camera
    • iSmart connectivity

    The MG 4 Long Range 77 only adds the larger 77kWh battery pack and more powerful 180kW electric motor.

    Is the MG 4 safe?

    The MG 4 earned a five-star ANCAP safety rating earlier this year based on Euro NCAP testing conducted under the outgoing 2020-22 rating criteria.

    Thus far the five-star rating only applies to single-motor rear-wheel drive models, meaning the XPower remains unrated.

    It received an adult occupant protection rating of 83 per cent, a child occupant protection rating of 86 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection rating of 75 per cent, and a safety assist rating of 81 per cent.

    All MG 4 models in Australia come standard with the following:

    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
      • Pedestrian detection
      • Cyclist detection
    • Lane-keep assist
    • Lane departure warning
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Traffic Jam Assist
    • Intelligent speed limit assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Driver attention monitoring
    • Reversing camera
    • Rear parking sensors

    MG 4 Essence adds:

    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Safe exit warning
    • Emergency lane-keep assist
    • Lane change assist
    • Surround-view camera

    How much does the MG4 cost to run?

    All MG 4 models are backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Logbook servicing is required every 24 months or 40,000km, whichever comes first. The first seven services (14 years or 280,000km) cost $296, $907, $296, $907, $296, $907, and $296 respectively, or $3905 in total.

    CarExpert’s Take on the MG 4

    The MG 4 is the type of electric car that I can see really catching on in Australia. At the lower end of the line-up the electric hatchback makes a lot of sense due in part to its competitive price point and engaging rear-wheel drive dynamics.

    As you go further up the range; however, the appeal for the MG 4 starts to dwindle a bit. There are a number of reasons for this but the most notable is the interior quality doesn’t necessarily reflect the asking price.

    The MG 4 Long Range 77 on test here starts at $55,990 before on-road costs, which is eerily close to the likes of the Cupra Born, Tesla Model 3 RWD and BYD Seal Premium. The interiors of all of these cars look and feel a lot more exciting than the one in this MG 4.

    It’s not all bad though, because with up to 530km of claimed range the MG 4 Long Range 77 offers plenty of range for your buck. There are other EVs that offer more range, but you need to spend more for that privilege.

    If you want to maximise your range capabilities, the MG 4 Long Range 77 forms as the pick of the range. If this isn’t absolutely critical however, you’d be better to save your money and opt for the Essence 64. It still receives the full range of standard equipment, including all the available safety features, for $8000 less.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    BUY: MG 4
    MORE: Everything MG 4

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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    7.9
    Overall Rating

    Cost of Ownership7
    Ride Comfort8.3
    Safety8.6
    Fit for Purpose9
    Handling Dynamics8.5
    Interior Practicality and Space7.5
    Fuel Efficiency7.5
    Value for Money7.5
    Performance8.5
    Technology Infotainment7
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