MG4 EV crowned UK Car of The Year - and deservedly so

The new MG4 is a sensibly priced family EV with 280 miles of range
The new MG4 is a sensibly priced family EV with 280 miles of range

THE MG4 has just won UK Car of The Year - and the only people who will be surprised are badge snobs and those who have yet to drive one.

MG's competitively priced EV had already won Best Family Car during the UK Car of The Year (UKCOTY) semi-final last month. At last week's final, a panel of 27 motoring journalists praised the MG4 for its design, quality and outstanding value for money as they crowned it the overall winner from a final list of seven popular new cars, including models from Dacia, Land Rover, Lotus, Kia and Toyota.

"We couldn’t be prouder of what the MG4 has achieved in such a short time,” said Guy Pigounakis, commercial director of MG Motor UK.

“Winning UK Car of the Year demonstrates the immense capabilities of our new all-electric hatchback and there’s much more to come in 2023. I would like to personally thank each expert who took part in the judging process.”

UKCOTY head judge and founder John Challen says: “The MG4 proves that electric cars can be affordable, practical and appeal to all areas of the automotive market.

"Fully charged, it offers more than enough miles for the vast majority of journeys, while the design and driving dynamics tick two other important boxes for consumers. A deserved winner for the electric future.”

Having driven the MG4 during a test day last year, I can't disagree with any of that. With prices starting at £26,995 for the base-spec SE trim - cheap in the world of EVs, where comparable peers like the Peugeot e-208 and VW ID3 start at £29,302 and £39,425 respectively - it's a striking looking car blessed with a quality of finish that puts some of its more expensive peers to shame.

The mid-spec MG4 SE Long Range costs £29,495, bumping up the battery capacity from 51kWh to 64kWh and the electric motor power from 170hp to 203 hp, while extending maximum range from 218miles WLTP to 281miles WLTP and unlocking 135kW rapid charging.

The range-topping SE Trophy costs £32,495 and adds desirable toys like a 360-degree reversing camera, wireless mobile phone charging, heated electrically adjustable seats and built-in sat nav (though all versions are Apple Car Play and Android Auto ready).

However, where the MG4 really excels is the way it drives. I spent an hour with a basic SE version - the very same car, in fact, which was driven all the way to the World Cup Finals in Qatar by a bunch of mad Wales fans a couple of months later - and I was pleasantly surprised by just how good it was.

The MG4's electric motor has plenty of poke that allows you to overtake with confidence, the suspension is pleasantly soft without feeling 'wafty' and the steering has electronically adjustable levels of assistance, so you can tweak the level of 'feel' to taste.

In general, the inside of the MG4 is a really pleasant place to be. The cabin and dash design is superb (love that 'semi-floating' centre console) and it feels surprisingly plush for the price of the car. There's also plenty of room in the back for two decent-sized humans, though, despite the flat 'skateboard' style floor, the middle seat is not great: you would probably struggle to transport three in comfort over any kind of distance.

There are a couple of other niggles, too. While the MG4 has adjustable regenerative braking levels, it doesn't offer true 'one-pedal' driving, and driving mode can only be switched via a fiddly procedure on the touchscreen rather than a literally handy steering wheel or console toggle. Also, rear visibility is not the best.

Still, as their UK Car of The Year wins illustrate, the reborn MG is on to a real winner here that should hopefully turn the heads of discerning drivers tired of paying the ‘badge premium’ demanded by the likes of VW - especially as MG offers a seven-year warranty on its cars that's rivaled only by Kia. 

If MG can manage to iron out some of the aforementioned annoyances without inflating its price point too much, the MG4 should enjoy plenty more success in the very near future.