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Tech Guide gets behind the wheel of the new MG4 electric vehicle

MG has launched one of Australia’s most affordable EVs – the MG4 – and Tech Guide got a chance to get behind the wheel ahead of its official launch earlier this week.

The vehicle was officially unveiled at the South Sydney Rabbitohs High Performance Centre at Heffron Park – MG is, after all, South Sydney’s major sponsor.

The MG4 is the first MG model built with its new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) which means it was designed as an EV from the ground up.

The previous MG ZS EV was an electrified version of the petrol model but the MG4 was an EV from the moment it was conceived.

The hatchback has a sleek eye-catching design. MG said the goal was to make the car look fast even when it was standing still.

It’s also available in a range of standout colours including Brixton Blue and Volcano Orange.

The MG4 Excite 51 that we drove starts at $38,900 plus on-road costs and has a range of 350km and can move from 0-100km/h in 7.7 seconds.

MG Motor is also offering the MG4 64kWh Excite ($44,990 plus on road costs, 450km range), MG4 64kWh Essence ($47,990 plus on road costs, 435km range) and the MG4 77kWh Essence Long Range ($55,990 plus on road costs, 530km range).

One of the most attractive features of the of the MG4 is the price which is now within reach of most drivers shopping for a new car.

EV adoption has been slow in Australia because they were priced like luxury cars but with models like the MG4 coming to market it will certainly move the needle and be seriously considered by customers who were previously on the fence.

Range anxiety is also a factor but the MG4 models offers impressive range.

Some of the things that drive up the price of EVs is the size of the battery which also translates to range, the performance (speed from 0-100km/h) and the sheer size of the car.

What was achieved with the MG4 is bringing together quality, performance and value to make it a real competitor and make it on the list for customers considering the switch to an EV.

We drove the car for just under a week and found it to be an excellent drive.

The car is rear wheel drive and has a smooth ride and power when you need it.

It was a lot zippier than when we expected. It has 125kW of power and 250Nm torque.

The onboard battery, which is shorter than a can of coke, sits across the case of the car and provides a 50/50 weight distribution over both axles which is responsible for the stable ride.

On a road trip you can charge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in under 40 minutes.

But it is recommended if you are considering an EV purchase is to install a charger at home that can top up the battery overnight.

Considering Australians on average drive 35km a day the range of the MG4 Excite 51 will certainly coverage most people’s daily driving needs.

On the safety side the MG Pilot is included as standard on all MG4 EV models and offers a range of safety equipment and features including Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning System, Driver Attention Alert, Intelligent High Beam Assist.

It has LED headlights and taillights and a reversing camera along with 17-inch alloy wheels with an Aero Cover.

It also offers keyless entry and Auto Start/Stop.

The MG4 has a solid feel to it as well. The doors close with a reassuring thunk which reflects the outstanding build quality.

The interior is as sleek and stylish as the outside with plenty of room for the driver and passengers.

I’m 184cm tall and I could fit in the driver’s seat with ease and the back seat was also quite roomy.

Plenty of space in the boot too – 363L with the back seats up, 1177L with the back seats down.

I could easily fit my golf clubs and buggy when the back seats down.

The interior features a 7-inch digital cluster in front of the driver as well as a 10.5-inch main touchscreen.

The system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when you connect your device with a USB cable.

The MG4 doesn’t actually have its own GPS navigation so you need to rely on either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to get around.

And being designed as an EV, there is no lump in the middle of the car which usually accommodates the drivetrain of a petrol car.

With the added space there is more room to store things alongside the conveniently located cup holders.

There are also USB-A and USB-C charging ports as well.

The MG4 Excite 51 might be priced at the lower end of the EV scale but it most certainly punches above it weight.

It would be an ideal first EV for anyone thinking of making the switch.