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Road tests

New MG4 Extended Range 2023 review

The new MG4 Extended Range has joined the brand's line-up with over 300 miles promised between charges

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

The MG4 Extended Range does what it says on the tin, managing to achieve impressive range figures without compromising on efficiency or its driving dynamics. But as the price of the car creeps up, so does the focus on its interior quality and digital interfaces, both of which fall short.

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One of the undoubted star cars of 2023 has been the all-electric MG4, and to judge from the sheer numbers you see on the road, it appears buyers agree. Yet as the model matures, so its maker continues to diversify the line-up, from the wickedly powerful XPower hot hatch to this new Extended Range model.

Visually, there’s little to tell this fresh version apart from its range-mates, save for new wheels, but what lies underneath is a healthy upgrade in battery capacity. Now packing 77kWh, up from the Long Range’s 58kWh, and 44kWh in the base car, this MG4 has a claimed WLTP range of 323 miles, up from 270 and 218 respectively.

From behind the wheel, the extra weight in the battery pack is almost imperceptible – so aside from some bigger range numbers on the driver’s display, there’s very little to tell between the two. A difference you might spot, however, is the extra cost, because at £36,495, this MG creeps ever closer to rivals such as the Hyundai Kona Electric or Kia Niro EV, which offer similar ranges.

As a result, the MG4’s limitations start to show, because compared with the more rounded and better-built Korean options, the MG’s interior quality and tech are rather exposed. The interior plastics are fine, but no better than that, and while the 10.25-inch infotainment screen is on target for size and clarity, its interfaces are slow to respond and can be frustrating to use on the move.

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Being available solely in top-spec Trophy form, it is packed with kit, such as surround-view parking cameras and a full suite of driver aids and assistance. However, none of these systems works particularly well and they feel a little more like a box-ticking exercise than being genuinely helpful.

Space inside is not affected by the larger battery, so there’s still plenty of room in the second row for adults, although legroom can be pinched behind a tall driver. The floor is almost flat, but the relatively narrow body will make it tight for three adults in the rear seats. Its boxy exterior dimensions help with head and shoulder-room on the outer seats, at least, and the boot’s a good size.

On main roads, and especially on coarse surfaces, the MG4’s relative lack of noise insulation can grate, but it otherwise makes a fine long-distance companion. The ride is sometimes a little firm, but it’s never brittle and doesn’t feel too affected by crosswinds. The car’s comfort zone is still definitely in town, where it can achieve some impressive efficiency figures, thanks to more effective use of the brake-energy recuperation.

In its ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ driving modes, the MG4 feels zippy, with lots of accessible performance that without due care will have the narrow front tyres chirping as you pull away from rest. The steering is well weighted, but we find the octagonal steering wheel annoying, especially in town, where lots of wheel-twirling might be required.

We were able to eke out an impressive 4.6 miles per kWh, including some motorway driving, roughly matching the claimed range figure. But in order to do this, we had to stick to the most efficient ‘Eco’ mode, and switch off the air-con. A more reasonable expectation would be 250-280 miles in a more carefree driving manner on motorways – still impressive.

Due to the upward creep of its price point, the Extended Range might not be the most rounded version in the MG4 range, but the fact MG is now offering a potential 300-mile EV for below £40,000 is an achievement in itself, throwing down a gauntlet to challenge other makers.

There are a few quirks and rough edges, but the Extended Range is still a worthy addition to the line-up, and will no doubt join its range-mates as another hit in the sales charts.

Model:MG4 Extended Range
Price:£36,495
Powertrain:1x e-motor, 74.4kWh battery
Power:242bhp
Transmission:Single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
0-60mph:7.4 seconds
Top speed:112mph
Range:323 miles
Max charging:150kW (10-80% in 39 mins)
On sale:Now
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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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