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Car of the Year Awards 2024: Small Electric Car of the Year

This class embraces nimble city cars and family hatchbacks, as long as they are no more than 4.5 metres long...

WINNER: Small Electric Car of the Year


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The MG brand has been through a number of hands, but with the MG 4, the now Chinese-owned company has, in a way, gone back to its roots. You see, where its Abingdon-based ancestor made its name with sports cars that the ordinary person could afford, today’s MG Motor (part of the Shanghai-based SAIC Motor) has done the same with electric cars.

And we’re not talking about cheap and nasty, either. The MG 4 is a genuinely good car – good enough to have you wondering if there’s any point in spending more. It’s a five-door hatchback, comparable in size and shape to the hybrid-powered Honda Jazz, but with a fully electric power set-up that makes it a rival to the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa Electric, for a lot less cash.

MG 4 front

The MG 4’s more upright shape gives it a practicality advantage over those rivals; it’s much easier for passengers to access the rear seats, and they’ll find more head and leg room when they’re in there. The Fiat 500 Electric is tiny inside by comparison.

There’s space in the MG 4’s boot for five carry-on suitcases, too, so family holidays are a real possibility – and with even the entry-level model having a respectable 218-mile range, it’ll get you to the seaside from most parts of the UK. If that isn’t enough for you, an extra £2500 gets you the 281-mile Long Range version, and there’s a £36,495 Extended Range, which can officially travel for up to 323 miles between top-ups. The entry-level version is our pick, though; its range should be more than enough to fit in with most day-to-day family lifestyles.

The MG 4 is pretty good to drive, too – another link with those historic sports cars. With 168bhp and a 7.7sec 0-62mph sprint time, it never feels sluggish, and the fact that it’s rear-wheel drive (like the Cupra Born) means you never feel the steering wheel tugging under hard acceleration. And while the fact that the MG 4’s suspension is softer than the Born’s means it leans more in corners, it still handles pretty neatly, comparing favourably with the e-208 and Corsa Electric.

MG4 EV interior

One area in which the e-208 does show up the MG 4 is interior quality, but some will prefer the latter’s cleaner look inside and will forgive the fact that some of the plastics feel a bit on the cheap side. And don’t forget that the e-208 is around £5000 pricier than the MG 4 and beats the entry-level version on official range by only six miles.

Rather than cutting corners to come in cheap, then, the MG 4 is a very well-rounded package that just happens to be great value. You even get an impressive seven-year warranty for long-term peace of mind. So, be careful how you put it to the MG traditionalists: this is one of the best cars ever to have worn the badge.

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