All new electric family car from just £26,000

This is the all-new all-electric MG4 EV which is now on sale in the UK starting from just £25,995. To put that into context, this is a futuristic purpose-built electric car, featuring a new modular platform that will form the basis of new EVs from MG to come; it is around the same size as an electric Volkswagen ID.3 but about the price of electric superminis like the Peugeot E-208 and Vauxhall Corsa E. Do I have your attention?

On a typical PCP finance package, it would work out to between £300-410 per month (depending on model spec) compared to £564 for the ID.3, and the residuals on the MG4 are calculated to be as high as 63.4% after three years, compared to 53.7% for the VW. Finally, let’s mention the battery range – 218 miles for the standard range, and 281 miles for the longer range. NOW I’ve got your attention, right?

Let’s start with the styling though: a sharp wedge-shaped beak breaks character with all the current MGs in the line-up. Deep blade air-intakes actually open for improved airflow on higher spec models such as the current-range topping Trophy in this Volcano Orange (this colour is only available for the Trophy). Unique headlight tweaks, light blades at the back, along with that twin-aero rear spoiler mounted on the two-tone roof, really emphasis what is already a dramatic and strikingly styled five-door crossover-style family car.

The MG4 EV is rear-wheel drive, with a 50:50 weight distribution. The standard battery is a 51kWh pack (80% charge in 39 minutes), while the longer-range version gets a 64kWh battery (80% in 35 minutes). Next year a 77kWh Extended Range version will offer even more range – 329 miles.

With 201bhp (150kW) and 250Nm of power and torque available, 0-62mph acceleration is 7.7 for the regular car and 7.9 for the long range. Meanwhile another offering mooted for next year, with the 64kWh battery, is the High Performance model which will offer 442bhp and will be able to dispatch the 0-62 in just 3.9 seconds – it will have dual motors and all-wheel drive to aid its traction, but will lose some range at 250 miles.

Back to the current models and in addition to the entry price already mentioned, the long-range version starts from £28,495, while this Tangoed-Trophy (which has a slightly lower 270-mile range due to being heavier and increased aerodynamic drag for better grip and handling) is £31,495.

And while supply remains an issue for MG Motors as it does for other companies, 2200 units of the new car have already been allocated to the UK market for the remainder of this year. With 800 spoken for and deliveries expected to begin by the end of September, better sign-up now! But read the rest of this review first.

Inside, it’s as much of a jaw-dropping departure from current MGs as the exterior. Minimalist with a clean, crisp and contemporary design, there’s a definite tangible step-up in quality. A simple 7-inch instrument panel sits ahead and a 10.25-inch floating touchscreen resides in the middle which handles most of the car’s systems. Remotes on the rectangular steering wheel take some getting used to.

A cantilevered centre console houses the gear selector knob, electronic handbrake and wireless charger for your phone. Below it are the power supply plugs, cup holders and storage bins. While the front is very spacious and comfortable even for my long-legged frame, the rear was a little tighter for my feet and knees but overall this should be fine for four regular-sized adults or up to three children in the back. It’s a little dark without a sunroof though.

Luggage space is ample for a car of this size, while under the floor there is space to store the charging cables and tyre repair kit. Split-folding seats will help for the occasional trips to Ikea.

The cars are very well equipped with full connectivity and voice-control, there’s a phone app you can use to monitor charging, lock and unlock the car etc. It has adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition. And there’s an excellent stereo on board.

Off-the line acceleration feels a lot quicker than the numbers suggest, the rear tyres frequently breaking traction in slippery conditions making the MG4 EV lively and exciting to drive in the wet, while handling is reasonably capable, with good turn-in, some hint of understeer, but decent poise.

While the steering is nicely weighted but lifeless, overall, the MG4 is far from entirely dull, and can be quite fun when hustled. There are five driving modes, and I kept it in Sport for most of the time. As well as Normal, there is Eco, Custom and Snow.

Mid-range acceleration remains strong. A mention too for the excellent ride, ultimately it is prone to the slight harshness of electric cars, but the damping has improved, and on smoother surfaces and over minor bumps you’ll feel very little, aided no doubt by the smaller-than-usual spec 17-inch wheels – larger wheels are overrated anyway, and these don’t look too bad, though a tad larger would look cooler.

Overall, it’s hard to fault this car for what it offers at the price point in terms of spec, style, comfort and performance. If you’ve been thinking of switching to electric for a while, but the usual concerns over driving range and high prices has stayed your hand, you should definitely check out the MG4.