MG4 Malaysia: RWD electric hatchback priced from RM104,000, better than BYD Dolphin? (VIDEO)

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — MG (Morris Garages) is back in Malaysia and SAIC Motor has introduced two electric vehicles (EV) for our local market. The most exciting vehicle among the two is the MG4 which is an all-electric hatchback. The MG4 appears to be the direct competitor of the popular BYD Dolphin and it has an attractive starting price of just slightly above RM100,000. There’s a lot to expect from his compact EV as it has gotten a lot of awards and recognition in Europe.

MG4 variants and pricing

For Malaysia, SAIC Motor is introducing a total of four MG4 variants. There are three rear-wheel drive (RWD) models and a range-topping AWD model called the XPower. Here’s the estimated pricing for the Malaysian market:

  • • MG4 Standard – RM104,000

  • • MG4 Lux – RM129,000

  • • MG4 Lux Extended Range – RM149,000

  • • MG4 XPOWER – RM159,000

MG dealers in Malaysia are now accepting bookings for the EV. The MG4 will be on display at Pavilion KL starting tomorrow 29th February 2024 and will continue to make its rounds across MG dealerships in Melaka, Johor, Muar and Seremban.

MG4 Performance and Range figures

Despite being an entry-level model, the MG4 comes in a variety of motor and battery configurations. The base MG4 Standard gets a single motor at the rear pushing 125kW (167hp) and 250Nm of torque, and it has a 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds. It comes with a modest 51kWh battery which a WLTP-rated range of 350km.

Moving up a notch is the MG Lux which gets a more powerful motor with 150kW (201hp) and 250Nm, and it gets a larger 64kWh battery which offers 435km of WLTP-rated range. Due to the larger battery, it has a slightly slower 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds.

For those who need more range for long distance drives, the MG4 Lux Extended Range model gets a bigger 77kWh battery which has a WLTP-rated range of 520km on a single charge. It also gets a more powerful motor delivering 180kW (241hp) and 350Nm of torque, which propels this EV from 0-100km/h in just 6.1 seconds.

For those who favour performance over range, SAIC Motor Malaysia is also introducing the MG4 XPower which is a souped up AWD version. The dual motor setup produces an insane 320kW (429hp) and 600Nm, and it can get from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds. That’s slightly quicker than the Smart #1 Brabus edition or just as quick as the BYD Seal Performance.

The MG4 XPower shares the same 64kWh battery as the Lux variant but it has a shorter range of up to 385km on the WLTP cycle. It is worth pointing out that the base model’s 51kWh battery uses Lithium Ion Phosphate Battery, while the rest are using Ternary Litnium Batteries.

Whichever MG4 you pick, Malaysian units come with a single-phase 7kW on-board AC charger which takes 8 hours to charge to full. For quick top-ups, the MG4 supports up to 150kW of DC fast charging and it takes between 26 minutes (64kWh) to 38 minutes (77kWh) to charge from 10-80%, depending on the battery capacity.

The MG4 Standard comes with 17″ alloy wheels while the rest are equipped with larger 18″ alloy wheels. All MG4 variants get LED headlamps and day time running lights as well as LED rear lights. In terms of safety, you do get 6 airbags as standard as well as MG Pilot suite of advance safety features such as Front Collission Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Traffic Jam Assistance (TJA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) and Intelligent High Beam Assist.

MG4 interior and features

Stepping inside the MG4, it gets a rather decent interior which looks more modern than the MG ZS EV. On the dash, you get a 10.25″ Floating Display which supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There are also physical buttons below the screen which feels quite hard to press. Most of the controls including air-conditioning are adjusted via the screen. Also included is a squarish 7″ digital instrument cluster for the driver.

The MG4 still offers dedicated physical controls for power mirrors, indicator stalks and it also features a rotary gear selector mounted on a slightly protruding “floating” centre console. The console also houses a wireless charging pad and electronic parking brake. You do get two cup holders, a multiple storage options on the centre area but I do wish that they extended the “floating” console further to the armrest which could have provided more storage to hold small items like your parking tickets and SmartTAG.

You get more features on the Lux and XPower variants. Besides having larger 18″ alloy wheels, the MG4 Lux variant and above get additional rear centre light bar, twin aero spoiler, active grille system, two-tone black roof, power foldable wing mirror with integrated signal lights, 360-degree camera, wireless phone charger, 6-way power seat for the driver, auto-dimming rear view mirror, auto power window for all four doors, 6 speakers, and leather upholstery. For the base model, it only comes with 4-speakers as well as fabric upholstery.

In terms of safety features, the MG4 Lux and above adds Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Door Opening Warning (DOW). The MG4 also comes with an iSMART connectivity which allows owners to start their EV, turn on the air conditioning and view real time vehicle information from their smartphones.

The MG4 looks sportier than the BYD Dolphin

While the BYD Dolphin is a competent, feature packed and well designed compact EV, the MG4 does look more sporty and exciting thanks to its sharper looks and aggressive rear styling. For the Lux model which was on display during the media preview, the rear gets a double-spoiler and the MG badge is placed underneath the plastic housing for the rear LED bar. At first glance, you’ll noticed that the MG4 rear lamps does look quite similar to the Toyota BZ4X.

Looks aside, the BYD Dolphin for us at least feels like a better place to be in. While the MG4 interior is quite decent for a hatchback, the Dolphin’s seats are more comfortable and it even gets an armrest for rear occupants. On top of that, the Dolphin Extended Range model even comes with ventilated front seats and a panoramic glass roof with built-in blinds for a more upmarket experience. In terms of boot capacity, the MG4 has the upper hand with a slightly larger 363 litres (Dolphin: 345 litres) of space, which can be expanded to 1,177 litres with the 60:40 rear split seats folded.

Similar to the Dolphin, there are no rear aircon vents and the MG4 comes with a single USB-a charging port for rear occupants. Despite being built on SAIC’s EV-dedicated Nebula platform, there’s still a slight hump on the rear floor.

Overall, the MG4 is an interesting new option for those looking for an affordable EV below RM150,000. When comparing the price and capable range, the Dolphin Extended Range seems to offer greater value as offers a claimed range of up to 427km on a single charge and more features for only RM125,530. As a comparison, the MG4 Lux with 435km of range is estimated to be priced at RM129,000.

However, the MG4 has the advantage when it comes to DC fast charging that supports up to 150kW, versus the Dolphin’s maximum rate of 88kW for the Extended Range model. One major factor to consider is the way it drives and hopefully we will get a chance to take the MG4 for a spin to get a better idea.

The MG4 is covered by a 7-year 150,000km mileage warranty for the vehicle. Meanwhile, the battery comes with a 8-year or 180,000km warranty. It comes in 8 colours – Volcano Orange, Holborn Blue, Dynamic Red, Arctic White, Camden Grey, Black Pearl, Monument Silver, and an exclusive Racing Green in matte for the MG4 XPower. — SoyaCincau