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Once cheap, once expensive: MG4 Electric and Nio ET7 – How good is Made in China?


Once cheap, once expensive: MG4 Electric and Nio ET7 – How good is Made in China? Created: 01/10/2023 04:58 By: Rudolf Boegel Twilight of the gods in the automotive industry? Are the Chinese rolling over the Germans with their e-cars? Double test of MG4 Electric and Nio ET7. The Chinese are pinching the German automakers. With the luxury liner ET7, which costs at least 70,000 euros, Nio is att

Once cheap, once expensive: MG4 Electric and Nio ET7 – How good is Made in China?

Created: 01/10/2023 04:58

By: Rudolf Boegel

Twilight of the gods in the automotive industry?

Are the Chinese rolling over the Germans with their e-cars?

Double test of MG4 Electric and Nio ET7.

The Chinese are pinching the German automakers.

With the luxury liner ET7, which costs at least 70,000 euros, Nio is attacking the premium segment.

At the lower end of the price scale, MG is trying an electric Volkswagen: After deducting the premiums, the Model 4 is available for around 25,000 euros.

The attack from the Middle Kingdom is rolling - and unlike in the past, the Chinese are not bringing cheap optical copies onto the market with questionable quality (like the cheap e-car Suda SA01 once) and technology.

And when it comes to software, they are often even superior to German manufacturers.

Nio ET7, the new Daimler?

MG4, the new VW?

We took a close look at both models during the driving test.

Rebellious, agile and nimble.

The MG4 Electric mixes up the compact class with sportiness.

© MG

MG4 Electric – Made in China marches

MG – was there something?

The two letters stood for affordable fun sports cars from England in the 1950s and 1960s.

In any case, they had style, only the technology occasionally lacked.

The decline of the British automotive industry in the 1970s also tore MG into the abyss and, via detours, the brand ended up with SAIC, a large Chinese group.

SAIC – wasn't there something there too?

The Chinese have been building cars for the Volkswagen Group for decades.

Expertise enough to try it yourself.

With growing success.

Over 10,000 units sold in Germany alone - more than ever, MG proudly announced in November.

MG4 offers a lot of car for little money

Another small number game: Almost every second electric car offered in Europe costs more than 50,000 euros.

Choice and competition are plentiful, often stately SUVs with plenty of power.

In comparison, the small and compact car sector is almost empty.

Opel Corsa-e, Renault Zoe, Fiat 500e - plus the electric Mini and the cute Honda-e.

Basta con la musica.

At least for the moment, because now the Chinese are coming and may soon set the tone.

Example MG4 Electric: In the basic version with 170 hp and a range of 350 kilometers it costs almost 32,000 euros.

If you subtract the new environmental bonus of a maximum of 6,750 euros, you end up with around 25,000 euros.

And you get a lot of car for that.

With a progressive look that one or the other could classify as taking some getting used to.

Counter and beer handle.

The MG4 Electric impresses with its progressive rear part, which also lights up quite mysteriously.

© MG

When charging, the mobile phone becomes a plaything in the MG4

On the one hand there is the neatly illuminated ducktail rear, which could also be misunderstood as a counter.

Or the two matching beer handles on the roof, which act as spoilers to ensure better aerodynamics.

At least that makes the MG4 look unmistakable.

We always attracted attention in Munich.

The interior design is rather conservative: small information display behind the steering wheel, infotainment screen in the middle.

Below, a small tray protrudes from the dashboard and serves the rotatable gear lever and a recess for wireless charging of the smartphone.

Works perfectly when stationary, in the curves the mobile phone becomes a plaything of centrifugal forces.

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My space

There are also deductions for infotainment, the touch-sensitive screen definitely doesn't deserve this attribute.

The operating menu is confusing.

The last point on our negative list: it may be that the battery cells in the underbody are shorter than a coke can.

It remains a mystery as to why the bodywork ledge near the doors has become so wide that it is difficult to get in.

You also have to accept one or the other contortion at the back if you want to take a seat.

If you sit first, you have plenty of space in the front and plenty of space in the back.

The touch screen of the MG4 Electric reacts insensitively to touch, the menu is confusing.

In the console below is the charging station for the mobile phone.

© MG

The MG4 is a fun vehicle, agile and boisterous

Now for the fun part of the test.

As soon as you step on the brake, the system starts up.

No more start button, that's fashionable with e-cars.

The Luxury variant has a little more power than the standard model.

Instead of 150 it is 204 hp and the battery is also larger at 64 kWh.

Brings a total range of 435 kilometers.

But then it costs almost 38,000 euros.

As far as the acceleration values ​​are concerned, however, there is hardly any difference due to the higher battery weight.

235 Nm of torque get going immediately and impetuously.

It feels sporty because all the power goes to the rear wheels.

If you put your mind to it, you can already make the rear vibrate in the curves.

The MG4 drives fast and agile.

The weight is distributed 50:50 on the front and rear axles like in a sports car, which inspires confidence.

There is also nothing wrong with the chassis and the steering.

On the contrary.

The suspension is either warm and comfortable or rock hard, depending on your needs and settings.

In addition, the electric Chinese is extremely manoeuvrable.

Only 10.6 meters, then the (turning) circle is complete.

Charm offensive from the digital world.

Nomi is the voice assistant of the Nio ET7, who can even wink with her eyes.

© Nio

MG4 - Be careful with piloted driving

When it comes to the assistance systems, MG offers the usual from traffic jam to lane departure warning, even piloted driving is possible.

The fact that the system sometimes develops stubbornness and, as in our case, wanted to follow the turning lane instead of driving straight ahead, the engineers should also be able to get a grip on software updates.

MG is technologically strong when it comes to electrical accessories: the luxury variant already has a heat pump on board, and the car can also charge external devices.

However, there is a weakness when it comes to self-loading.

The maximum is 117 (standard) or 135 kW, so it takes 40 or 35 minutes to get back to 80 percent power.

Nio ET7: replace the battery instead of charging it

Nio customers do not have this problem.

In the luxury vehicles, the flagship of which is the ET7 sedan, the entire battery is swapped at the so-called Power Swap Stations (PSS).

In China there are over 1000 of them, in Germany there should be 100.

One is on the A8 near Zusmarshausen.

Here we try the technique.

From the outside, the battery changing station looks like a cross between a car wash and a double garage.

The driver remains seated, but parking on the lifting platform is automatic.

The same goes on.

A robot loosens the screws, removes the old battery and attaches the new battery.

Screw it on, after five minutes you have a range of between 445 and 580 kilometers again, depending on the battery size (75 or 100 kWh).

Extremely flat daytime headlights give the ET7 a daring facial expression.

The sensors are deliberately placed prominently on the roof.

© Nio

Nio ET7 - expensive leasing, even more expensive buying

Practical – but now comes the snag.

This service only applies to customers who lease a Nio for prices between 1,000 and 1,500 euros per month.

Or buy the ET7 – but then the battery must also be rented for 169 (small battery) or 289 euros per month.

You can also buy the batteries.

For outrageously expensive 12,000 or 21,000 euros.

In this case, however, they must not be exchanged on a PSS, but can only be charged (up to 130 kW, DC).

Sounds complicated - and it is.

Cool computers are required here.

But whichever way you look at it: The Nio pleasure is not cheap, with annual leasing rates between 12,000 and 18,000 euros, or a purchase price of almost 70,000 euros and additional battery rentals of 2,000 to 3,500 euros annually.

Charging an electric car: These ten go the furthest after 20 minutes

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Nio ET7: two electric motors, four-wheel drive, 3.8 seconds from 0 to 100

It's actually a shame, because the ET7 sedans are well-made luxury cars with all-wheel drive and two electric motors, which develop tremendous propulsion with 653 hp and reach 100 km/h in under four seconds.

The air suspension ensures comfort and a firm driving style, depending on what you want - and the 20-inch wheels also look good on the noble Chinese.

Panoramic glass roof, soft-closing doors, seat heating and ventilation, and a sound system with 23 speakers and 1000 watts also meet higher demands.

Technologically, Nio brings out even bigger artillery.

The ET7 is a supercomputer on four wheels that processes eight gigabytes of data per second.

33 sensors, eleven high-resolution cameras, five radar systems - and the advanced lidar (light radar) should make the dream of autonomous driving a reality.

Apart from the price, there is little to complain about.

The language assistant Nomi with her tinny voice promises to improve with a wink.

Is also necessary.

There aren’t really many charging options in the rear – perhaps the biggest shortcoming is the lack of noise insulation.

From 120 km/h it gets loud in the car, it can't have been due to the road surface of the A8 motorway, which is quite new in parts.

Luxury class from China.

The interior of the Nio ET7 is noble, valuable and also well made.

© Nio

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MG4 and Nio ET7 - that's how dangerous they become for the Germans

Technologically upgraded, qualitatively equal - how dangerous are Nio and MG of the German competition?

In the luxury segment, the Chinese have the big shortcoming that they don't have a well-sounding premium name like Mercedes or BMW.

Therefore, the Germans on the home market need not be alarmed.

This may look different in China and the USA.

But cars like the MG4 Electric are becoming much more dangerous.

So much fun, so much technology, and all at a really marketable price - no German manufacturer offers that.

This MG4 could become a Volkswagen of the electric generation.

But not just a Golf, but a Golf GTI, because it's also incredibly fun to drive.

Rudolph Boegel

  • MG4 Electric (Default)

  • Motor/drive e-machine/rear wheel

  • Power / Torque 125 (170 hp) / 250 Nm

  • V max / 0 - 100 km/h 160 km/h / 7.7 s

  • Length / width / height 4.29 / 1.84 / 1.50 m

  • luggage compartment / curb weight / max.

    363 – 1,177L / 1,655kg / 448kg

  • Battery / charging power 51 kWh / 117 kW (DC);

    6.6kW (AC)

  • Consumption / range 17.0 kWh / 350 km

  • Price: from 31,990 euros (without environmental bonus)     

  • Nio ET7 (base)

  • Motor/drive electric machine/four-wheel drive

  • Power / torque 480 (653 hp) / 850 Nm

  • V max / 0 - 100km/h 200km/h / 3.8s

  • Length / width / height 5.10 / 1.99 / 1.51 m

  • luggage compartment / curb weight / max.

    363L / 2,359kg / 541kg

  • Battery / charging power 75 kWh / 130 kW (DC)

  • Consumption / range 19.0 kWh / 445 km

  • Price: from 69,900 euros (without battery)       

Source: merkur

All tech articles on 2023-01-10

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