MG 4 XPower long term test

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 XPower long termer

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 6977 List price £36,495 Target Price £35,954 Price as tested £37,295 Dealer price now £24,728 Private price now £21,980 Test range 160-210 miles Official range 255 miles Running costs (excluding depreciation) £165.51 (Electricity)

10 April 2024 – Cash converter

The overriding reason why I, and many other people, are choosing the MG 4 XPower over other electric models is its price.

At £370 a month if you buy on a PCP finance deal, my car costs a hefty chunk of cash less than rivals, such as a comparable Cupra Born, which costs £440 – and if you compare the two on list price it’s £4000 cheaper. It’s also not much pricier than many combustion-engined rivals: a Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI 150 FR costs just over £31,000, or £362 a month, for example. 

MG 4 XPower long termer

However, the MG 4 has one big advantage over petrol alternatives if you can charge it up at home – it’s far more economical to run. Using my cheap overnight electricity tariff of 9p per kWh, it costs £5.29 for a full charge, and that means every mile I drive costs just 3p.

In contrast, a Leon FR would cost around 7p per mile. And I also have the benefit of knowing my electric motoring is less harmful to the planet, and that means it ticks one of my ‘must do’ boxes. 

My MG 4 been cheap to run, then, but has it been fun to drive? Well, although it doesn’t have the handling finesse of a Volkswagen Golf GTI, having the phenomenal acceleration from its electric motors up my sleeve for occasional use has ensured it’s put a smile on my face regularly. It also impressed my road test colleagues too, when they borrowed the car to drag race it against an Audi e-Tron GT.

MG 4 XPower long termer and Audi e-tron GT

The MG 4 completed our quarter-mile race in 12.1sec, 0.2sec faster than the Audi. Power is only one part of the engaging handling equation, though, and my MG 4 is not as competent or engaging to drive as other hot hatches. 

There’s less good news to report regarding the XPower’s range, which I found was exacerbated in colder weather by the lack of a heat pump, which efficiently warms the car's interior, meaning less energy wasted and a slightly longer range. In milder weather conditions I was getting at least 200 miles between charges, but when the mercury plummeted below zero the range fell too – at its lowest point to 160 miles. 

While that was perfectly acceptable for my usual 90-mile daily commute, as soon as I needed to go further afield it meant stopping at a public charger to get a top up so I could get home. After some less than happy stops at motorway service station charging stations, where the chargers were either broken or busy, I adopted a new strategy of finding rapid chargers less than 10 minutes off the motorway. That’s worked well ever since, because these locations have always had chargers available without a wait.  

MG 4 XPower long termer

There are plenty of things to praise the MG 4 for, though. It’s roomy enough to use as a mini office, trimmed in plush-looking Alcantara, and most of the controls you touch frequently feel sturdy. The dial-like gearlever sits up high on a ledge on the centre console making it easy to reach. The boot space has been a boon for trips to garden and DIY centres, and the wide opening doors made it easy for my elderly mum to get in and out. 

MG 4 XPower long termer

However, the infotainment system is slow to respond, and it’s a pain having to delve into it do to simple things like change radio stations and adjust the temperature. And the voice control function doesn’t understand natural speech, so it’s hard to get it to do anything – I've resorted to using the steering wheel buttons instead.

There isn’t an app to use to pre-heat the car so that it's toasty warm when I get inside, but that’s not been an issue because the interior heats up really quickly, and the quick-clear windscreen worked well over winter.

Overall, the MG 4 has proved an impressive value option that doesn’t make you feel like the maker has skimped on too many things to keep the cost down. It’s fast, comfortable and well kitted out.

That being said, next time around I’d opt for the Extended Range version. It may not have as much accerlation as the XPower, but it has a 77kw battery that provides an official range of 323 miles, making it easier to live with for drivers who regularly cover lots of miles. 

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term MG 4 XPower >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Buy a new car with What Car?

Like the sound of the MG 4 XPower?

If so, check out the latest MG 4 deals available through our free New Car Deals service.

Our network of What Car? approved dealers use our Target Price discounts (the most our mystery shoppers think you should pay) as the basis for their savings.

Also consider