If you believe pure electric cars are overpriced and underperforming, you haven’t tried the MG4 Trophy.
Introduced last autumn as the top model in a new series, the Trophy builds on the success of the ZS suv and MG5 estate and delivers family friendly hatchback practicality wrapped in an eye-catching style.
But its beauty is more than skin deep and the versatile Modular Scalable Platform it shares with its stablemates comes with a surprisingly good specification and a price which is highly competitive against its closes rivals.
There are three new MG4 EV models; SE standard or long range and the top end Trophy long-range model priced from £26,995, £29,495 and £32,495 respectively.
There is also the MG4 EV XPower from £36,495 and is the first of the next generation of high-performance hatchbacks with 64kWh battery an a beefier motor which produces a maximum power of 435PS, accelerating from 0 – 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and the reassurance of a new all-wheel drive system, as well as enhanced brakes and launch control.
Apart from the power gain over the 170ps standard powertrain, the 203ps Trophy gets intelligent headlights, daytime running lights with special rear lights display bar, two-tone paintwork, twin aero rear spoiler, rear privacy glass, powered mirrors, heated wheel and front seats, faux leather and cloth upholstery, Wireless charging and Bluetooth phone link, auto dimming mirror, adjustable loadbed floor, one-touch powered windows, six speakers with live services info including satnav, 360-deg parking camera, MG Pilot feature including radar alerts for blindspots, lane changes and rear cross traffic alert.
With the larger of the two batteries available and a more powerful motor driving the rear wheels, it felt like a sporting model and not a run-of-mill family hatchback.
The steering was very well weighted, the turning circle particularly tight for town use and parking, and it gave good feedback on the move, slowed and stopped very quickly and really soaked up bumps and potholes without much complaint.
You can determine the level of acceleration and regeneration of the motor through on screen settings for eco, normal, sport or snow. We ran most of the time in normal mode and saw it frequently return an indicated 230 miles, but eco mode I felt would lift this above a 250 miles range.
What adds to the quality feel of the MG4 was the very low noise level, even from the wheels and tyres in the absence of any usual powertrain noises.
Its refinement approached that often found in much more expensive executive cars, and it did not lack some nice user-friendly features as the Trophy comes with many driver aids and all users’ comfort aids.
The MG4 has won five stars for its safety features including its driver assistance an alert systems but it strangely did not have a rear wash/ wiper which kept the back window opaque in poor conditions.
Visibility was generally good with low waistline and slim roof pillars, good wash and wipe to the front and bright intelligent headlights at night.
For the driver the pod infront was of reasonable size and very clear, well marked and instantly changed with settings, but the infotainment display to the centre of the fascia was a bit fiddly and slow changing with small markings to touch and alter sections.
Access inside was good and the boot had a fair capacity but not a huge space when the rear seat was used, while it easily tripled volumn when the offset split seat backs were dropped.
Legroom was a bit short in back seats and headroom could be tight all-round but the front seats had reasonable adjustment range along with the steering column and wheel.
Four one-touch powered windows balanced the air flow if you wanted to save on the power-sapping air conditioning, which worked very well throughout.
Oddments room was good for all users and the Trophy had wireless charging and a usb point as well.
Being electric, the acceleration was strong when needed and it had a respectable overtaking ability and quiet cruising character on main roads. You could add a few miles to the range when thinking ahead and lifting off the throttle so the system recharged the battery and it came with domestic and public charge point cables for convenience.
If you want to get into the EV era now, the MG4 is a very good starting point for a family and with a long seven years or 80,000 miles warranty it is going to hold its value better than some rivals.
Model: MG4 EV Trophy
Mechanical: 203ps synchronous rear mounted motor, rear wheel drive, 61.7kWh NCM battery
Max Speed: 100mph
0-62mph: 7.9 secs
Range: 230 miles
Insurance Group: 29
CO2 emissions: Zero
Tax costs: Bik rating2%, VED £ZeroFY, £170SR
Warranty: 7 years/ 80,000 miles
Size: L4.29m, W2.06m, H1.51m
Bootspace: 363 to 1177 litres
For: Good handling, fair performance, reasonable range, fairly well equipped, comfortable, quiet, long warranty, attractive price for an ev, low tax costs.
Against: Dark interior with few brightspots, modest rear bootspace, short legroom in back, no rear wash/ wiper. By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency