2024 MG 4 X-Power Review

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2024 MG 4 X-Power Review



Overview

 

ON paper, the MG 4 X-Power hot hatch looks impressive rocking 320kW and 600Nm from its dual electric motor all-wheel drive system and priced from $59,990 drive-away.

 

MG reckons it’s good for a 3.8 second sprint from 0-100km/h and a range of up to 400km.

 

Comparing apples with apples, the X-Power has no competitors, while a turbocharged petrol VW Golf R that isn’t even close to the X-Power in performance lists from $70,590 excluding on-road costs.

 

As the range-topping MG 4, the X-Power comes with all the fruit across luxury, safety (MG Pilot with 10 active driver safety features, 14 overall), tech and comfort areas with go-fast bits and pieces such as aero enhancers, launch control, track mode… and a lap timer.

 

Power is supplied from a 64kWh battery which may be charged at a rate of up to 140kW (DC), topping the pack’s charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 26 minutes.

 

Aiding dynamics is the power split that delivers 150kW to the front axle and 170kW to the rear presumably with a similar torque split.

 

A four-wheel torque vectoring system called Dynamic Cornering Control System combines an electronic locking differential and Intelligent Motor Control that MG says generates maximum traction and “outstanding” composure across a wide variety of driving conditions.

 

The model is underpinned by a range of suspension upgrades, including recalibrated spring and damper tuning, stiffer anti-roll bars and a sharper steering tune with the spring rates upped by some 25 per cent.

 

Large four-wheel 345mm ventilated rotors are fitted clamped by multi-piston callipers.

 

Standard equipment includes keyless entry and start, driver’s six-way electrically adjustable seat, heated wheel, V2L function, active intake grille shutter, X-Power exterior trim kit, two-tone roof, LED DRL headlights and taillights, seven-inch digital cluster, track mode app, electric parking brake, iSmart on-line service, 360-degree camera.

 

That’s in addition to other goodies like 18-inch five spoke alloys, one pedal driving, sports pedals, 10.25-inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging (15W), voice control, a six-speaker audio system, and polyurethane ‘leather’ and Alcantara seating with orange stitching.

 

Various colour accents are added specific to the X-Power.

 

The five-door hatch sits in the Small passenger segment and will accommodate up to five people and their luggage. It has been awarded a five-star ANCAP crash rating on the back of the MG 4 range.

 

Driving Impressions

 

The Hunter Green satin duco is a standout on this car attracting positive comments everywhere as does the X-Power’s specification with plenty of punters knowing what’s “under the bonnet” and they all want to know how it goes…

 

Whoosh… is how with near faint-inducing off-the-line acceleration even in Normal mode, faster again when launch control is activated.

 

The claim of 3.8 seconds for a 0-100km/h sprint seems fairly accurate but like other high performance BEVs we have driven, the X-Power tends to taper off the faster it goes – unlike ICE-powered performance cars that do the opposite.

 

Having said that, tapping the brutal acceleration instantly available from the X-Power’s dual motor drivetrain is addictive… and a touch dangerous as many other drivers seem to have distorted spatial perception unable to compute its point-to-point speed.

 

Driven enthusiastically, the X-Power sucks plenty of electrons nearly halving the claimed 400km range and making recharge availability a pressing issue.

 

Even cruising on the freeway, the X-Power exponentially used power such that the range claim was never attainable.

 

During three recharges at 50kW outlets, the test car was incapable of taking a full 100 per cent charge tapping out and switching off at 90 per cent which was disappointing. On the plus side was the relatively fast recharge time from around half full/half empty, of 35 minutes for 31.1kW …. to 90 per cent at a cost of $18.66.

 

That means a full recharge cost of about $40.00 – hardly cheap given the available range. But the rewards of driving the X-Power are there for enthusiastic drivers especially if applied in a straight line.

 

You are talking something ICE-powered with a six-figure price to get within the accelerative capabilities of the fast MG, vehicles like the new BMW M3 for example or a car from the AMG stable. Then, at substantially less (around $80K +ORC) there’s always the latest and quicker Tesla Model 3 Performance.

 

Cornering is a different matter as the X-Power’s 1800kg bulk makes its presence felt when pushed generating a four-wheel drift initially until the car’s electronic controls take over and shut everything down momentarily.

 

It is not engaging when a car takes over this way detracting from its driveability. Even when some driver-assist functions are deactivated, the car over-rides when pushed begging the question as to how such a high-performance car would go at the track…. we suspect it would drive us nuts.

 

Other aspects of its dynamics are pretty good as it has strong, at times grabby brakes, handy one pedal drive function, a comfortable, firm ride and responsive, well weighted steering.

 

More work needs to be done on the touchscreen which had to be tapped hard to activate and there are too many functions in menus accessed through the screen. Some more hard buttons would be appreciated while Apple CarPlay is by Bluetooth with wired Android.

 

Some passengers found access a little tight because of the smallish door aperture size but we did manage to squeeze in five adults for a short drive. Plenty of luggage space is provided expandable with 60:40 folding rear seats.

 

The audio system is OK, without being great. The climate control was appreciated, and the shape of the sports seats is in keeping with the car’s intent.

 

We have mixed feelings about the X-Power’s exterior styling as it seems a tad “over-styled” with strakes, creases, lighting overkill and too much emphasis on an aggressive feline appearance perhaps… and orange callipers. But all that was softened by the funky colour option on the test car.

 

There’s no doubt we enjoyed driving the X-Power mainly due to the sensational off the mark acceleration. Other elements of the most powerful MG to date are a bit ho-hum, particularly for a car billed as a high-performance hot hatch.

 

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