MG 4 XPower long term test: report 1

The MG 4 offers great value in cheaper guises, but this XPower version promises to add hot hatch fun to the mix. We're living with one to see if it delivers...

MG4 EV X-Power side

The car MG 4 XPower| Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it's here To find out what it’s like to live with a fast and practical pure electric car that costs less than many petrol or diesel-engined rivals 

Needs to Be a comfortable, frugal and easy to charge commuter car Monday to Friday, and something to raise a smile and enjoy driving at the weekend

Mileage 3144 List price £36,495 Target Price £36,134 Price as tested £37,295 Official range 239 miles Test range 185 miles Options Racing Green paint (£800)

20 December 2023 – Moving to a money saver 

I'm quids in. You see, I’ve got an MG 4 XPower to replace my £62,000 Volvo XC40 Recharge, and the cost difference is nearly £25,000 in the new car's favour. It’s not just the headline price that raises a smile, either; the monthly PCP payments for this MG 4 are around £370 a month, whereas the XC40 costs £655. 

The most striking thing about the range-topping XPower model that I've gone for, though, is its incredible acceleration. It has two electric motors instead of the single unit fitted to other MG 4s, and this gives it four-wheel drive and a staggering 429bhp. That's enough for a 0-62mph time of 3.6sec, which is quicker than a Porsche Taycan 4 S can manage, despite that costing more than £90,000,

MG4 XPower long termer

First impressions of other aspects of the MG 4 XPower have been mostly good, too. The car has a purposeful-looking front end, lots of sharp angles, and a rear bar with attractive criss-cross lines that light up in the dark. 

On the inside, the Alcantara trim gives it a premium feel and helps distract you from some areas that have harder plastics, such as the door tops. The Jaguar-esque dial gear selector is positioned high up on the centre console so it’s easy to reach, and that leaves space for a pair of cupholders and a selection of large storage compartments between the two front seats. The large lidded compartment at the back of the centre console is particularly handy for storing a small handbag if you want to leave it out of sight in the car. 

Standard equipment is acceptable rather than lavish, though. Like the XC40, the MG 4 XPower gets heated front seats, heated electric door mirrors, a 360deg parking camera and wireless mobile phone charging. However, it doesn’t come with a powered tailgate or adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat, even as an option. I’m not so bothered about missing out on the former, but the absence of the latter means I might have to spend a bit of the money I’ve saved by switching to the MG 4 on a lumbar support cushion to prevent aches and pains. 

MG4 XPower long termer

The touchscreen for the infotainment system isn’t particularly quick to respond, either. And I wish the radio and most air-con controls were always displayed instead of hidden away in sub-menus that can be distracting to get to. 

That said, it is possible to use the steering wheel buttons to do quite a range of things, and these work well. I have programmed some radio stations into favourites, and they can be accessed via the steering wheel controller, plus I’ve been told it’s possible to configure one of the steering wheel buttons so it can be used to alter the temperature – something i will definitely investigate.

There are also physical buttons below the touchscreen that enable you to demist the windscreen and rear window, and these work quickly and efficiently. I’ve found it handy to make use of the volume controls and home button that are situated here, too. And, like all versions of the MG 4, my XPower comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring as standard, so I have the option of using the apps on my phone to play music and for navigation.    

MG4 XPower long termer

As for practicality, while the boot isn’t as big as some rivals', it benefits from having a height-adjustable floor so I can create a flat load area to make it easier for me to slide heavy bags of shopping into the boot.  There's plenty of space for me up front, and wide-opening rear doors give good access for my Mum, who declared the back a comfortable place to be.

While it may already have Mum's seal of approval, though, it remains to be seen if the MG 4 will ultimately earn mine. But at least it should be fun finding out.

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