Find a 2024 MG4

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    • Well priced, subject to incentives
    • Reliable range, great driving dynamics
    • Good interior, infotainment technology
    • Some software bugs to be ironed out
    • Lacking wireless Apple CarPlay
    • Faster AC charging would be nice
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    After spending almost six months and putting 10,000km on an MG 4, we are pretty confident in saying that the 2024 MG 4 is arguably one of the best electric cars you can buy in Australia today.

    Not only is it priced very competitively, it delivers the range it promises, it’s safe and easy to live with. Best of all, it’s actually a fun car to drive with good dynamics, a great ride and a well-packaged interior that makes this an ideal city car or a second car for most.

    Somehow though, it has some basic (but very annoying) software bugs that we would love to see MG fix to improve the ownership experience. These are literally a few lines of code in the car’s computer system that would make a big difference.

    But first, let me tell you a little about my MG 4 experience. Please take it from the perspective that this is indeed the first electric vehicle that I have had for a prolonged period of time.

    Despite having tested pretty much all of the EVs on offer today (from the GWM Ora to the Rolls-Royce Spectre), the MG 4 was the first that I lived with and that brought a whole different outlook to the experience.

    This 2024 MG 4 Essence 64 in Diamond Red Metallic was picked up from Sydney. The first experience was the drive back to Brisbane via the M1 using public charging infrastructure (cue the horror). This was not fun.

    Although it bears no real reflection on the MG 4, the fact that the public charging infrastructure on Australia’s main highway – the M1 – is so bad, will tell you all you need to know about electric vehicle networks in our country.

    It wasn’t so much the coverage as the chargers (most of which are made by the now practically bankrupt Brisbane-based company Tritium) being either out of order, in use, or super slow.

    When you read a car company’s claims that their electric vehicles can charge at crazy kW speeds –140kW in the MG 4’s case – the reality is that almost no charging station will support that in Australia.

    You would be lucky to get 50kW speeds and if you happen to score a working 150kW charger, it will likely cap you to 75kW if someone else is there (and there is always someone else there).

    Or, it’ll come up with some other reason why it won’t charge at max theoretical speed, which in the case of the only 150kW charger we tried in our time of ownership refused to charge past 75kW unless the vehicle architecture was 800V (the MG 4 is 400V).

    Having done the trip from Sydney to Brisbane over 30 times in my life, I know it can be done in just under 10 hours with a few super quick stops. In the case of the MG 4, the lack of working charging infrastructure, having to wait for hours to get a spot or simple super slow charging, stretched that out to over 14 hours.

    Of course, this has nothing to do with the MG 4. If there were enough working and available chargers with high power capacity, the trip would probably take roughly 1.5 hours longer than an ICE car, as the MG 4 can recharge from 10 to 80 per cent in an hour and the trip is about 920km; meaning you set off with a full charge (about 400km), do one fast charge back to about 320km, then another to around 250km and you can get home no problem.

    Once we arrived in Brisbane around 11pm, after what was a pretty arduous experience of going from one broken charger to another, the experience of owning an EV got a lot better.

    For the first few weeks, we decided to see if we can live with the MG 4 by simply going to a local charging station once a week and charging it back up to 80 per cent. Given my wife was also driving the car a bit (she absolutely loved it) we worked out we were actually putting on a tad over 400km a week and required two charges per week.

    There are two local stations within a 10-minute drive that both quoted 75kW rates. Apart from the fact they usually were both in use; even if one was available, it would mean a charging experience of somewhere between 25-50kW at best, so to get back to 80 per cent or higher meant sitting around for an hour at the very least.

    I tried to use the station that was in a shopping centre so I could do some grocery shopping at the same time, but it doesn’t take me an hour to buy basic groceries. It also happens often that you get there, there is a queue, so you have to sit around and wait for your car to be plugged in before you go in, adding anywhere between a few minutes to an hour to your ‘charge’ time.

    Much to my insane frustration, most of the charging stations are taken up by Teslas, which have their own charging infrastructure that they refuse to use so that they can save a few dollars. Non-Tesla EVs can use very limited number of Tesla chargers, none of which were anywhere near me.

    After a few weeks, it became obvious you need home charging if you own an EV – it doesn’t matter which one – and we would absolutely not recommend getting an electric car if you can’t charge it at home. It’s not worth the hassle!

    We debated which charging system to use, and initially we were going to use the MG-supplied one. But it was single phase and could only go up to 7kW for AC charging – although that’s the maximum this particular MG 4 supports (the Long Range can do 11kWh on AC), it made sense to future proof the charger.

    Given we already had three-phase power supplied to the garage when we built the house, we decided to go with the Tesla wall charger (third-generation). It is compatible with any EV I have tried and can charge at up to 22kW. It also has excellent software that you can use to schedule your charging for when electricity is at its cheapest.

    It’s up to you which wall charger you go for, and MG also now supplies three-phase wallboxes that will charge at higher speeds, but after much research and given the cost was only around $700, the Tesla system made the most sense, and so far we’ve had no issue with it.

    Once the wall charger was installed, living with the MG 4 became so much more convenient than having an internal combustion engine vehicle. All this nonsense around having to wait around to charge the car disappeared overnight.

    Simply plug it in when you get home, program your wallbox to start charging around 1am to 6am for cheaper electricity prices, and by morning, you are always back to 100 per cent.

    It got to a point where my wife was annoyed when she had to drive another car that needed fossil fuel. Pointing out how dirty petrol stations were and how inconvenient it is to have to stop somewhere to refill – the irony.

    How does the MG4 compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the MG4 against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the MG 4 cost?

    MY23 stock is still available at some dealers at a lower cost, but for 2024 model years, the prices are below.

    Model Variant$RRP
    2024 MG 4 Excite 51$40,990
    2024 MG 4 Excite 64$45,990
    2024 MG 4 Essence 64$47,990
    2024 MG 4 Long Range 77$53,990
    2024 MG 4 XPower$59,990

    Note the above prices do not include EV incentives offered in some states (e.g. up to $6000 in QLD), nor does it take into account the capacity to lease the vehicle using your pre-tax income and not being impacted by fringe benefit tax.

    The above makes the advertised price of this car somewhat of a moot point, because the weekly lease cost of the car is significantly lower than more expensively priced non-electric vehicles.

    Metallic paint is an extra $700 for all models except XPower.

    What is the MG 4 like on the inside?

    The MG 4 is surprisingly comfortable inside, with excellent outward visibility and good seats both front and rear.

    The small driver’s instrument display is a nice feature but it would be great if MG could take the extra step and actually just line up the two interior displays together for a more seamless experience.

    The heated seats were barely used in QLD, though as it got colder in June we found ourselves turning them on occasionally.

    We found the six-speaker audio system to be pretty decent, but the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay was perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the infotainment system.

    Add to that wired CarPlay would only work via the USB-A port, not the USB-C port, which is a little bizarre. If you have a new iPhone, you will need to get a USB-A to USB-C adapter which is fine, but charging speed is limited as a result.

    The best way to overcome that is to buy a $50 wireless CarPlay adapter from Amazon, plug that into the USB-A port, then connect the iPhone to that wirelessly while it’s plugged into the USB-C port for fast charging.

    This seemed to work fine. In fact, it worked more reliability than the direct CarPlay connection – which in the first few months of ownership kept dropping out until the company did a software update and that seemed to fix it.

    The other thing worth noting is the wireless phone charger says it’s 15 watts but that’s only if you have an Android phone that supports that speed. Apple limits charging speeds for non-certified chargers to 7.5 watts (15W on Apple chargers), which is incredibly frustrating.

    The good news is that the wireless charger in the MG 4 is pretty much useless anyway. It sits almost horizontal to the car with next to no support for holding the phone in place; so unless it’s your grandma driving, you’ll find yourself catching a flying $2000 iPhone every time you accelerate off the lights and then trying to realign it on the charger.

    In terms of fit and finish, we found the MG 4 to be definitely on par with any other car at the price point, if not a bit better.

    It doesn’t feel cheap; it actually feels well-built and the buttons and switchgear also work well.

    We would love it if we didn’t have to use the screen to change the AC temperature, though there is a physical button to turn the aircon on and off – which you can use to activate the screen for changing the temperature .

    Just give us basic controls for temperature without having to use a screen.

    Apart from the Long Range variant, the rest of the MG 4 range offers 363L of storage in the boot, which is definitely enough for the week’s groceries but not ideal if you want to put larger and bulkier items in there. If you fold the rear seats down, it does expand to 1177L (1165 Long Range).

    What we can say after 10,000km is that the interior still looks new – minus the phone charger mat, which has strangely lost its colour, perhaps due to the heat generated in the charging process. The quality of the interior materials has remained solid and unfazed by the harsh sun and daily use.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    The MG 4 Essence 64 on test is the mid spec model for performance.

    Performance data:

    Model VariantPowerTorque0-100km/h
    Excite 51125kW250Nm7.7s
    Excite 64150kW250Nm7.2s
    Essence 64150kW250Nm7.2s
    Long Range 77180kW350Nm6.5s

    Efficiency data:

    Model VariantBattery capacityWLTP rangeDC charging rate
    Excite 5151kWh350km88kW
    Excite 6464kWh450km140kW
    Essence 6464kWh435km140kW
    Long Range 7777kWh530km144kW

    All models can be charged at 6.6kW on AC power, apart from the Long Range 77 which gets 11kW three-phase AC charging capability.

    We found that our range always managed to get above 400km around town and around 370km if it was mostly highway speeds.

    How does the MG 4 drive?

    So here’s the thing, the MG 4 is actually really nice to drive.

    Being rear-wheel drive with a reasonable amount of power and torque makes this almost a sporty hatch. At 7.2 seconds to 100km/h for the model on test (the XPower is supercar quick at 3.8s) you can definitely have a bit of fun in daily driving.

    Yes, it’s definitely not a sports car, but its dynamics are better than most small petrol cars in its class, some of which cost more. The reason for that is that all the power and torque go to the rear wheels with a 50:50 weight distribution, like in a proper sports car. Even the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sends power to the front wheels to save cost.

    This traditional setup is where MG has not skimped on costs. Having a rear-wheel drive small hatch is almost enough reason to buy the car itself, but the engineers have also managed to get the ride and handling of the MG 4 to a point where it feels like it has been set up just for Australia’s unique conditions.

    Around Brisbane and surrounding suburbs, we found the MG 4 to always ride with grace and be pleasant overall. It’s also surprisingly quiet even on poorly surfaced roads – remember, noise intrusion in an EV is more noticeable given the lack of combustion engine up front.

    Most of the 10,000km we covered in the MG 4 was around the city and drives between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. However on a few occasions we also took the car from Brisbane to Warwick, which is about a 2-hour drive through some of the twistiest roads you will find in QLD.

    While we found the MG 4 consistently able to give us around 400km of range from full charge around town, on the odd occasion when we drove it super hard and up mountains, the range suffered quite a lot. That 400km claim was closer to 280km.

    We weren’t shocked by this because when you think about it, it’s precisely the same as a normal petrol car – you drive it harder, it uses more fuel; you drive the MG 4 harder, it uses more battery. Just like your laptop or iPhone, if you start editing videos in 4K, it will use more power and your battery will die quicker.

    The main difference with an EV, though, is that if you don’t have reliable charging options, the reduction in range can meaningfully impact how you plan your drives.

    For the 99.99 per cent of the time we had the MG 4, we found driving it and the battery range to be very consistent. If you intend to buy one of these and have it as a runabout for inner-city driving, you will never have any range anxiety or concerns so long as you have home charging – it’s not the sort of car you buy for regular long distance trips, though.

    The one pedal mode also works well, but we could not work out a way to keep that setting on permanently, meaning you had to go in the menu and turn it on each time you turned the car on. A basic software bug that we hope MG will fix up with an update soon.

    While we love driving the MG 4, it had a ‘feature’ – or a bug as we like to call it – that became very frustrating for me (though not my wife, because she is an adult and can follow basic rules). The MG 4 refuses to go into gear unless your seatbelt is on. I know this sounds reasonable, but it’s actually incredibly annoying. Let me tell you why…

    The CarExpert Brisbane office is in Fortitude Valley, and each morning when I drive in, I have to exit the vehicle and touch my security key on the scanner on the side of the garage so it opens the door (no remote).

    In order to do this, I have to get out of the MG 4 – which doesn’t turn off until you lock it, by the way (give us an on/off button please!) – open the garage and then get back in the car, which is now in P. In order to get moving, the MG 4 demands I put on my seatbelt, wait a second or two, before chimes to say ‘Ready’ and only then will it go into drive.

    This is the same case for my home garage, I never put my seatbelt on until I exit the garage because I like the flexibility of moving around for better visibility. So every single day, I have an argument with the MG 4.

    I keep trying to put it in drive, by frantically rotating the dial and it keeps telling me no… but get this, every once in a while, it goes ‘ok fine’… which is even more confusing. Either let me do it, or don’t let me do it – don’t confuse Pavlov’s dog with the occasional positive reinforcement.

    I know what you’re thinking, just put on your damn seatbelt, be an adult and wait a few seconds, but when you just need to move a few metres, having to do this is very annoying.

    The likely reason for this is because there is no on/off button, so when you unlock the car, it turns on by itself. Adding that basic on/off functionality would add that extra layer of security to tell the car that I want to move, but I don’t need my seatbelt at this moment.

    When some talk poorly of the safety systems in Chinese-made cars, please let them know this is utter nonsense when it comes to the MG 4. The active safety systems in the MG 4 are some of the best in any car at this price point that we have seen.

    They are well-tuned to Australian standards, and the active cruise and lane keep assist worked well the overwhelming majority of the time. The company has come a very long way since the original MG Pilot we tested many years ago, and it’s now on-par if not ahead of most of the Japanese manufacturers when it comes to active safety.

    From a driving enjoyment and refinement perspective, the MG 4 is the most accomplished EV in its class and price point.

    What do you get?

    Despite there being a total of five variants – separated by battery size, performance and equipment – there are only three trim levels: Excite, Essence/Long Range, and XPower.

    MG 4 Excite standard equipment:

    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Tyre repair kit
    • One-pedal drive
    • Four-mode regenerative braking
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Automatic LED headlights
    • Automatic high-beam
    • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
    • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • 4-speaker sound system
    • Black fabric upholstery
    • Artificial leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
    • Electric side mirrors with heating functionality
    • 6-way manual driver’s seat adjustment
    • iSmart Lite connectivity

    MG 4 Essence and Long Range add:

    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Black roof
    • Active grille shutters
    • Rear privacy glass
    • iSmart connectivity
    • 6-speaker sound system
    • Satellite navigation
    • Wireless phone charger
    • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
    • Power-folding exterior mirrors
    • Height-adjustable load floor
    • EV trip planner
    • Synthetic leather/cloth upholstery
    • 6-way power driver’s seat
    • Heated front seats
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Leather-trimmed steering wheel

    MG 4 XPower adds:

    • Metallic brake caliper covers
    • Alcantara interior trim
    • Polished trim accents

    Is the MG 4 safe?

    The MG 4 has a five-star safety rating based on the more respected Euro NCAP testing conducted in 2022 – the local testing body in Australia has also rated it five stars.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • AEB with pedestrian, cyclist detection
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Driver attention monitoring
    • Intelligent speed limit assist
    • Lane keep assist
    • Lane departure warning
    • Traffic Jam Assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Reversing camera

    MG 4 Essence adds:

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

    How much does the MG 4 cost to run?

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

    Given there is really not much to do for an electric car, servicing intervals are massive at 24 months or 40,000km, whichever comes first. This will greatly reduce your running costs, especially if you can charge at home.

    Service IntervalXPowerAll other variants
    24 months or 40,000km$296$296
    48 months or 80,000km$962$907
    72 months or 120,000km$296$296
    96 months or 160,000km $962$907
    120 months or 200,000km$296$296
    144 months or 240,000km$962$907
    168 months or 280,000km$296$296

    CarExpert’s Take on the MG 4

    After almost six months and more than 10,000 km with the MG 4, I have become an EV convert.

    As long as you have home charging, a small, affordable electric car makes a lot of sense; and the MG 4 is arguably one of the best small EVs in Australia you can buy right now.

    With a combination of great technology, very reasonable range and an excellent starting price (that is made better by government incentives and FBT leasing benefits), the MG 4 is certainly worth a look if you have been eyeing off a Tesla Model 3. This will save you around $15,000-20,000, and you will get the added benefit of not owning a Tesla.

    To be fair to the MG 4, we feel it actually has a more usable interior than the super bland Model 3, but that is pretty subjective.

    If you have been thinking about buying an MG 4, the things you shouldn’t be worried about are the brand’s reliability, build quality and performance.

    The MG 4 never missed a beat in 10,000km of driving, and given its seven-year warranty (hello, Tesla?) and super long service periods, it will likely be the cheapest car you have ever owned in terms of running costs.

    My recommendation? Go test drive an MG 4 and see for yourself. It’s worth noting you can compare this against the GWM Ora, which is just a little cheaper and offers a similar level of comfort and technology, but lacks the dynamic refinement of the MG 4.

    We have now swapped out of the MG 4 Essence 64 and into an MG 4 XPower, and will report back on that in due course.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Buy an MG 4
    MORE: Everything MG 4

    Alborz Fallah

    Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine. The best way to reach him is via Instagram.

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    Overall Rating
    Cost of Ownership9
    Ride Comfort8.5
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    Handling Dynamics8.8
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    Fuel Efficiency8.5
    Value for Money9
    Technology Infotainment7.5
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