MG4 EV XPOWER: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

Editor and seasoned road tester Paul Hadley recently invited me to spend some time in the MG4 EV XPOWER he had on test. Excited to experience supercar-rivalling performance, I snapped this chance up. On paper, the XPOWER offers incredible performance for the price, potentially making it even better value than the already brilliant MG4. Kicking off at just £36,495, there’s nothing else remotely near this price point with similar credentials. I only poked around it and experienced it from the passenger seat for just under an hour, but I feel I got a pretty good understanding of what the performance bargain offers, and I’ll try to summarise everything you should know before buying.


A Divisive Design

The appearance of the MG4 is polarising and the XPOWER adds to the aggressive design with some subtle sporting touches. Most notably the 18-inch Cyclone alloy wheels flow nicely with the shiny silver accents that feature lower down, something you don’t see on cheaper MG4s. Despite riding on 18s, there’s still a considerable gap between the top of the non-performance Bridgestone Turanzas and the arches, something I thought would have been reduced in the performance-oriented model. You might also notice the large orange calipers, although these are stuck on for appearance. Other changes to the exterior include the rear spoiler and a more aggressive front lip.


In terms of overall design, I quite like the front end, with its tapered headlights and sharp creases. Moving to the side, it doesn’t look as ungainly as I was expecting, as the roofline sits lower than it appears to in pictures. The contrasting black roof and trim contribute to a sporty ambience, although neither are exclusive to the performance XPOWER model. Neither is the no-cost Holborn Blue, the vibrant colour that adorns so many of the quirky hatchbacks.

At the rear, it’s almost as if it was created in isolation from the rest of the design team. The protruding light bar is a bit too out there for me (and I imagine many others), but the light signature on top is a nice touch. The aforementioned rear spoiler seems a bit overkill and the barely-there diffuser seems like an afterthought.

To summarise the exterior, it’s like a crossbreed comprised of a Lamborghini Urus and Jaguar I-Pace, perhaps with a bit of Cupra Born in the mix too. Or, as Paul puts it, ‘It’s like someone described a Lamborghini over the phone’. I couldn’t agree more Paul.


Premium for the Price

When stepping into the MG4 EV XPOWER, you’re welcomed by a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect the inclusion of Alcantara upholstery in a sub-£40k car, and the extensive use of black leather with contrasting red stitching creates a properly premium ambience inside. Sure, there’s some scratchy plastic down below, but what can you expect from a car with this much performance at such a reasonable price? The seats are low and supportive and have nice side bolsters for when you’re pushing it down the backroads. The unconventional leather-wrapped heated steering wheel may take some getting used to, but it has plenty of handy controls and provides a clear view of the digital driver’s display.

The MG4 range has a rather modest deployment of technology but still provides everything you’d expect in a straightforward manner. The 7-inch digital driver’s display shows a wide range of information, such as energy consumption, cars nearby and road signs. The 10.25-inch touchscreen in the centre is responsive and intuitive, although, to the dismay of some, it is the only way to adjust the climate control settings. A few buttons remain underneath the screen, but the screen dominates the proceedings. As expected, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available but aren’t wireless. Instead, you have to connect your phone using the integrated cable.


In the back, headroom is great – although I am slightly below average height. The legroom is good but could be a little tight if you’re sat behind someone taller. Interior storage is good, with plenty of room for an assortment of things, although the glovebox is rather shallow. Boot space is about what I’d expect for a car of its size, although there’s no storage space at the front – something we’ve grown to expect from EVs. I can easily see the MG4 being a great family car, though.

Although it’s a motoring journalist cliché, the MG4 EV XPOWER has an interior that I could quite happily spend a lot of time in, thanks to the comfort of the seats and technology that’s functional rather than fancy.


Relaxed When Required

Despite the MG4 EV XPOWER being the top-of-the-line sports model, the suspension is still compliant (even in Sport) and takes the sting out of the nastiest of bumps. Around town, it’s stress-free to be in, thanks to its 360° camera, which is automatically displayed on the central screen at manoeuvring speeds. Noise is more obvious in electric vehicles, as there’s no droning engine to drown out wind and tyre noises, but the MG is refined – even at higher speeds.

Urban driving can be made even easier with one-pedal driving, although this can be easily turned on or off in the settings. Regen braking was a first for me and a slightly strange sensation, but it greatly improves range and will be convenient in a town or city centre, where there’s plenty of stop-start traffic. It’s set to High by default, although, like the safety systems, can be altered on the central touchscreen.

On the topic of safety systems, they aren’t intrusive and certainly weren’t nannying the MG4 at any point in time. The driver’s display shows nearby vehicles, both moving and stationary, as well as road markings. These both worked well, although it did get slightly confused on a road with plenty of parked cars on either side. Adaptive Cruise Control is smooth and allows you to take your feet off the pedals while maintaining a safe gap behind the car in front.

The XPOWER Experience

This is all well and good, but you’re probably not here for this. All of the above can be achieved in standard MG4s. What the XPOWER brings is dynamism in bundles. Unlike other MG4s, the XPOWER has two electric motors, one on each axle, with a combined 429 hp and 600 Nm of torque.

Not enough for you? Make sure it’s in Sport and mash the brake and accelerator at the same time. Release the brake and you’ve nearly rear-ended the car in front. That’s right, there’s launch control! In a family hatchback! The power delivery is calculated, but instant. Even on the gravelly surfaces we were on, there wasn’t an ounce of slip and the MG4 was nearly in a different postcode by the time you realised it. If you want to scare anyone brave enough to get in with you, try but I’m sure you’ll fail. It’s probably not enough to get even the most fainthearted screaming, but instead, they’ll be grinning like a Chesire Cat. Gimmick or not, it’s not something I think I’d ever get bored of, and you won’t have a problem overtaking almost anything this side of a supercar.

The sporty drive isn’t limited to point-and-shoot acceleration, though. Despite the orange caliper facades, the XPOWER does get larger discs at both the front and rear. The braking performance is excellent, being able to stop from 62 mph in just 33.9 metres – an impressive feat for EVs, as their stopping distances suffer due to their additional weight.

Although I wasn’t able to experience any B-road blasting, Paul assures me it coped well and even quipped that his head hurt slightly from all the acceleration out of the bends. The Bridgestone Turanza tyres fitted aren’t focused on outright performance, but the MG4 EV XPOWER never seemed to lose grip. This was particularly evident around roundabouts. It hung on well, at speed, and didn’t lean like the Tower of Pisa. It’s far from a lithe sports car, but you can still have fun in the bends in the performance MG4, although it’s not quite as agile as the other models, which come in rear-wheel-drive.

The Price of Performance

However, the focus on performance is detrimental to the range. MG reckons the XPOWER has a range of 239 miles in mixed conditions and in the city up to 328 miles.

MG also claims the MG4 EV XPOWER has a maximum efficiency of 3.27 miles per kWh in combined driving and this is definitely achievable. When pushing it, we saw figures as low as 2.9 miles/kWh. When taking it easy, with higher regenerative braking, the efficiency was up at 4.7 miles/kWh. This would give a range of nearly 300 miles, an impressive feat for a performance EV. Granted, this was when we were crawling in traffic trying out all the efficiency boosters – but it’s still encouraging.


There are a few options for charging. Charging at home with a 3-pin plug is possible, but MG estimates it will take 8.5 hours – so it might not be worth the effort. You can charge with both AC and DC, with cables for both included, as well as for plugging into 3-pin sockets. MG reckons charging from 10 to 80% will take 52 minutes with a 50kW public fast charger, and just 35 with a 150kW rapid charger. These are standard figures for EVs nowadays, but it’s nice peace of mind to know that you can gain so much range while you eat a greasy meal at the service station. Added peace of mind is that the MG4 EV XPOWER comes with a 7-year warranty, and they will replace the battery if it falls below 70% of its original capacity.

Final Thoughts

The MG4 EV XPOWER is undoubtedly great value for money, no matter what angle you look at it from. As EVs go, it’s on the more affordable end and offers more performance and a more luxurious interior than most at a similar price. As far as performance cars go, it’s got performance figures similar to the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 S. These hot hatches go for serious cash now – you won’t find either of these brand-new for much less than £55k and they can easily be specified upwards of £65,000. So as performance cars go, it’s a bargain.

Where I struggle is within the MG4 range itself. The base SE starts at £26,995 and has everything you need (and most of the things you probably want). The range is slightly lower than that of the XPOWER, but you also save £9,500. The SE Long Range starts at less than £30,000 and offers a longer range than the XPOWER. If you want all the nice-to-haves that the XPOWER has, the Trophy models have almost identical levels of standard equipment, and both have longer ranges and lower prices.


This leads me nicely to my final thought. I’m still not sure who it’s aimed at. Surely people interested in hot hatches want a loud, macho car rather than a silent EV? Nobody needs this kind of power in a family car, especially an EV where range is the name of the game. The MG4 has been popular, especially as a company car – but I’m not sure the boss would let you get such a fast EV on the company card.

Looking at XPOWERs on the market, it appears there are plenty of brand-new cars being offered with significant discounts, and nearly new models more than £10k cheaper than their price new. It’s still a compelling package for the price, but perhaps one that doesn’t make enough sense to most to consider buying it.

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