Which MG is best for you? We test the 4, 5 and ZS

Nicki Shields

22 May 2023

We know that visitors to Electrifying are really interested in MG’s electric cars. All three models in its range are proper contenders, offering a great combination of value and performance. And while they cost about the same, they are quite different. 

But which one is the best for you? We brought all three together to take a closer look. 

For this test, we have an MG4, the MG5 and the ZS. That’s a family hatchback, a small estate and a medium-size SUV. 

You can only have the MG5 as a Long Range model, so we’re looking at like-for-like models and the SE Long Range versions of each car.

An MG4 costs £29,495 for the SE Long Range, an MG5 weighs in at £30,995 and the MG ZS £32,995, both for SE Long Range. Though there are standard range versions of both the MG4 and ZS that cost less, and better-specified Trophy versions of all three that cost more.

Interiors and practicality. 

The MG4 and MG5 lead the way with more recent interior design, and although the ZS is functional, it hasn’t got the space of the two newer cars. 

But they’re all pretty well-equipped. The two newer cars get 10.25-inch screens, the ZS a slightly smaller one at 10.1. But they all get the iSmart app, which allows you to do things like pre-start the climate control system to get the car toasty on a cold day and schedule charging. 

There is also a host of safety assistance kit and CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. But the MG4 feels a bit bigger in the rear seats - more so than the MG5. Probably because the MG5 wasn’t designed from the outset to be pure electric, and the MG4 was. Same with the ZS - because it also has versions with engines, there have been compromises. None of them have frunks, either.

The MG4 is the cheapest of the three

Luggage space 

The MG4 has the smallest boot with the seats up at 363-litres, which is to be expected. But seats folded, it has a bigger total volume than the ZS with 1177 vs 1166. 

Although the ZS has a bigger normal boot at 448-litres. Which isn’t that much smaller than the overall winner here - the MG5 - which has a 479-litre boot with the seats up, and 1,367-litres with the seats folded. 

So if better back seat space is your priority, the MG4 is probably the one. If you want more overall family-carrying capacity it has to be the 5. 

The ZS, despite looking like the larger car, isn’t actually that much bigger. But it is easier to get in and out of, because it’s a bit taller - you get in, rather than down, which is helpful if you are less mobile. And the 5 and ZS will be ok for dogs, where the 4 might struggle.

The ZS will be best for dog owners


The ZS has one motor that drives the front wheels, and although it’s not hugely powerful at 154bhp, it’s enough to get the ZS to 62mph from rest in under 8.5 seconds. Which is perfectly acceptable. 

And that’s the theme with the rest of the car - nothing stands out in terms of being bad or particularly inspiring, but an absolutely solid performance. There’s brake re-gen if you use a switch on the console and the steering is a bit slow, but very safe. 

Traction is good and the ride won’t make you feel seasick, though it will pick up some bumps if the road is really bad. 

The raised driving position and better visibility is one big advantage of the SUV body style - and it’s handier for getting kids in and out of; especially if they're in child seats. Small details, but they matter.

The 5 is another car that does everything perfectly acceptably. It’s got a smaller battery than the ZS but the same power outputs, so 154bhp and 207lb ft of torque, but it’s noticeably a bit quicker. Where the ZS gets from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, this takes 7.7. 

In fact, it’s faster than the MG4, even though that car has more power. Otherwise, it’s reasonable to drive. The steering is a bit lacking in feel and the brake re-gen could be stronger, plus on the bigger 17-inch wheels the ride is a little chunky on bad roads, but it really does work if you’re just running around. The older model rode better, but this newer version goes around a corner with more verve. We’re not sure that’s a trade-off which makes sense in this kind of car.

A raised driving position could be a big selling point for the ZS

Which brings us to the MG4. It’s the only car designed from the outset to be exclusively an electric vehicle, and is also the heaviest of the three, surprisingly. It’s also rear-wheel drive, and has the most power at just over 200bhp. 

You can feel all of that when you are driving. The weight is always present, but there’s enough torque and power to feel perky - although it’s a smidge slower to 62mph than the MG5, it actually feels faster. Maybe MG is underplaying the figures a little bit? It certainly feels like it. 

And that rear-wheel drive platform really does make a difference. Where the other two MGs get the job done without fuss, the MG4 actually makes things fun. The steering is very quick, making the car turn positively, and the body bounces around less so the car follows the steering properly. It’s also got the best turning circle, and is a tiny bit quieter as well. 

The brake re-gen feels similar to the other two - not quite aggressive enough for us - but if you want a car that’s even vaguely fun to drive, then the MG4 is the one from the stable.

Batteries and charging

When it comes to range and charging ability, it’s slightly odd to see all three MGs offering something different. And it’s the MG5 that comes in third. 

With the smallest usable battery size of 57.4kWh, it’s not a huge surprise that it also has the lowest WLTP range of just under 250 miles. Now that’s not bad, but it’s only supported by 87kW peak DC charging, which means a 42 minute stop to get from 10-80% charge - so that’s 23 to 180 miles of range. 

Anything with a 4 at the front of that number these days is considered slow, so that’s not great. There’s also only 7.4kW AC charging, so the bigger AC chargers won’t be as useful as they could be. Oh, and 9 hours 15 on the average home wallbox.

Rear-wheel-drive means the 4 is the most fun and it charges faster too

The ZS, on the other hand, has the biggest battery here at 68.3kWh and a respectable 273 miles of WLTP range. Not bad at this price point. It’s got a higher peak fast charge than the MG5 too, at 94kW, meaning that you’ll be looking at 37 minutes for 10-80%, adding the same amount of miles five minutes faster. With the same 7.4kW AC ability, while not groundbreaking, it’s OK.

The MG star is the 4 though. Again, designed from the outset as an electric car, it might only have the same 7.4kW AC capability as the other cars, but supports 135kW DC charging, so on a big enough charger you’re looking at 34 minutes  for 10-80% - every minute counts! 

And that charge fills up a 61.7kWh battery that gives 280 miles of WLTP range. Only seven more than the ZS, but from a smaller battery don’t forget. It’ll be the most convenient to do a long journey in - even if by a small margin over the ZS.


That’s a quick rundown of what these MGs have to offer. They can all tow, and you can get vehicle-to-load charging at 2.2kW for all of them - always useful. They all get a seven year warranty, which is as good as it gets, and they perform really well in the resale value stakes, so the monthly costs can be cheaper compared to some electric cars.

So which is the MG to go for, all things being equal?The ZS feels like the oldest, and it’s not as massively space efficient as the SUV shape might have you believe. The raised driving position and ease of entry are useful though. 

Similarly, unless you absolutely need the extra storage space the MG5 offers, the MG4 feels like a better package. With faster charging, better efficiency, bigger cabin space and a more modern design, the MG4 takes the prize for us.

See if you agree with our verdict - arrange your own test drives of the MG range by clicking here.

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