Budget-Friendly Electric Ride Redefining MG’s Legacy and Features

Budget-Friendly Electric Ride Redefining MG's Legacy and Features

You know how there are quite a bunch of compact electric cars out there? Well, we’ve had the chance to check out a few – like the Renault Mégane and VW’s ID.3. They’re sleek and all, but boy, they can be pricey.

But wait, enter the MG4 from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), a Chinese auto giant. It’s not as fancy in terms of features, but here’s the kicker: it’s way more budget-friendly. So, we took it out for a test spin.

When you think of MG, you might immediately picture those classic sports cars, right? Think the MGA or the MGB – those cool two-seaters the Brits churned out from the ’50s till the ’90s, especially the ones with the top down.

But hold up, that party came to an end around the millennium shift. Due to not hitting it off in the market, BMW decided to sell off the British Rover brand, which included MG. Then came the MG Rover Group, which sadly didn’t last too long either. By 2005, the whole gig went bankrupt. Then, the Chinese Nanjing Automobile Group stepped in, later bought up by SAIC in 2007, taking charge of the brand.

Now, here’s the twist – MG wasn’t only about those sports cars

SAIC kept the MG legacy going, but here’s the thing: they ditched the sports car vibe. The MGs rolling out of China now? They’re your typical SUVs, available in both fuel and electric versions, not the flashy sports cars we all reminisce about.

Enter the MG4, a cool SUV with a sleek coupe-style rear, and guess what? It’s the flagship model riding on SAIC’s Modular Scalable Platform (MSP). Fancy name, right? That’s essentially SAIC’s fancy electric platform that caters to different wheelbases, track widths, body types, and battery sizes. For our test drive, we got our hands on the regular MG4 variant.

So, here’s the lowdown on this ride: about 4.30 meters long, a little over 1.80 meters wide, with a wheelbase of 2.7 meters. Depending on the bells and whistles, it weighs anywhere between 1.6 to 1.8 tonnes. It packs a 125-kilowatt (kW) rear-wheel drive and a 51-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery. Oh, and fun fact: smaller battery, lower price tag – because batteries are quite the big-ticket item in electric cars.

Design-wise, it’s not too flashy – none of those fancy tricks like retractable door handles or logos popping up on the ground. There are a few cool exceptions, like light strips atop the taillights. But practical stuff? Some missing, like those mirrors that tilt automatically when reversing for a better view.

Inside’s roomy, thanks to that low center console that’s lower than the seats. You’ll spot only a short part jutting out from the dashboard with a smartphone charging pad and the drive controller – it’s like a wheel shifting from neutral to left or right.

Below that bit, there are USB ports (USB-A and USB-C) – though placed a tad inconveniently, if you ask me. Oh, and a quirky surprise: there’s no mirror on the back of the passenger-side sun visor.

But hey, the back seats? Comfy for three, including the one in the middle – decent legroom, a luxury not many cars offer. And guess what? A USB port’s there for all three backseat spots.

The controls? Kinda minimalist: a few switches under the central display for stuff like air conditioning, hazard lights, and the home button for the entertainment system. Then, there are more controls on the steering wheel, including those for cruise control, music, and phone settings.

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Michael Lynch
With a passion for cybersecurity, Michael Lynch covers data protection and online privacy, providing expert guidance and updates on digital security matters.