MG4: The most affordable family electric car yet
YOU can't ignore the new MG4 - and not only because it looks like a bit like what Lamborghini might come up with if the Italian outfit were tasked with drawing a five-door family hatchback, writes William Scholes.
There's definitely something Lambo'ish about the origami creases of the MG, at least from some angles, as if it were a baby brother to the Urus SUV - though any similarities, real or imagined, end there.
The MG, which arrives on our roads any day now, is a battery-electric family car which promises to be a viable zero-emissions alternative to regular petrol and diesel hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
Such things, of course, are available already - cars like the Volkswagen ID3 and the Nissan Leaf. But compared to the MG4, these rivals and others are hampered by factors including steeper price tags, less range and very long waiting lists.
The MG4 line-up consists of three models, starting with an SE 'standard range' version for £25,995. It uses a 51kWh battery and has a claimed range of 218 miles. If you're buying the car on MG's finance scheme, expect to pay £300 a month (for three years/30,000 miles, with a £4,000 deposit).
For another £50 a month, or £28,495, you can move up to a SE 'long range'. It gets a 64kWh battery, the claimed range climbs to a useful 281 miles and there's also 135kW rapid charging capability.
At the top of the MG4 line-up is the 'Trophy long range' - yours for £31,495, or £410 a month. All versions are well kitted out, but the Trophy gets leather seats, 360-degree camera system, keyless entry and such like.
Together, it makes the MG4 an affordable and competitive package. For reference, the only version of the VW ID3 on sale at present costs £36k and has a range of 265 miles - and you'll face a very long wait to get your hands on it...
The cheapest Vauxhall Corsa-e - a smaller car - is £29,305 (or £366 a month) and does 200 miles on a full battery. The entry Nissan Leaf has a 39kWh battery and a range of 168 miles for £29k; step up to a Leaf with a 59kWh battery, from £34,945, and its 239 miles is still some way short of the MG4 long range's reach.
Another point in the MG's favour is a seven-year warranty. The batteries are mounted under the floor, in a 'skateboard' format, with the motor at the back of the car. The MG4 is rear-wheel-drive.
The standard range car's motor makes 168bhp and has 184lb ft. The 0-30mph time is quoted as 3.1 seconds, with 0-60mph taking 7.5 seconds.
Long range versions have a 200bhp motor, the same 184lb ft of torque as the standard MG4. A little counterintuitively, the long range cars are a fraction slower - 0-30mph taking 3.5 seconds and 0-60mph, 7.7 seconds.
On a 7kW wallbox charger at home, expect the smaller battery to take around 7.5 hours to fully charge and the larger one, 9 hours.
MG might be a much-loved British nameplate, once synonymous with sports cars, but these days it's a Chinese company. It says it has none of the supply issues that are blighting some other manufacturers, so expect to see lots of the striking MG4 on our roads before too long.