Citroën has unveiled a new model for the electric ë-c4 called the Shine Edition. This model joins the existing Sense, Shine Plus model in offering an electric vehicle for those used to the fossil fuel models. The Shine Edition is also priced at £31,995, thus qualifying for the UK government's generous plug-in grant of £1,500.
Does this model have enough goodies to dethrone the 2022 MG ZS EV in claiming the best affordable EV title?
Is one better than two?
All models of Citroën ë-c4 come with a single electric configuration - a single 100 kW motor and a 50 kWh battery pack offering 45 kWh usable capacity. In contrast, there are two models of MG ZS EV priced below the £32K figure:
- Trophy Connect with a single 130 kW motor and a 51.1 kWh battery pack offering 49 kWh usable capacity.
- SE Long Range with a single 115 kW motor and a whopping 72.6 kWh battery pack offering 68.3 kWh usable capacity.
The MG ZS EV SE Long Range could take you to parts of the country where the Citroën ë-c4 would struggle to reach in a single charge.
Does this mean it's game over for Citroën? Nope. For daily use, a 45 kWh battery pack is perfectly good enough, even beating the capacity offered by Nissan Leaf and Ioniq 38. When it comes to comfort and ride quality in the city, Citroën does have the upper hand, thanks to the 18-inch alloy wheels and the use of an advanced comfort hydraulic suspension offering a soft ride. In contrast, the 17-inch alloy wheel and the spring coil suspension used by MG offer an average firm ride. With Citroën, there appears to be a trade-off with comfort chosen over range.
Citroën ë-c4 is also less heavy than MG ZS EV, which improves its stability and handling (2000 kg vs 2070 kg).
Both Citroën and MG have similar performance for 0-62 mph acceleration. While MG ZS EV Trophy Connect could achieve this in 8.2 seconds, Citroën could manage this in 9 seconds. While the top speed of 93 mph for Citroën is plenty for UK motorways, MG ZS EV could get a higher maximum speed of 108 mph. Both the cars support DC fast-charging up to 100 kW with a 7 kW AC onboard charger.
Both the cars come packed with the latest technology and safety features. Citroën includes the "Safety Pack Plus" with the Shine Edition, comparable to the MG Pilot Advanced Driver Assistance System. It, however, contains a useful Heads-Up Display which is missing in MG ZS EV.
While MG offers connected live services in the Trophy Connect model, Shine Edition includes TomTom powered connected navigation but lacks Amazon music. However, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, users could directly stream their music from their mobile phones.
We like the design of Citroën, which combines the elegance of a compact hatchback with an SUV. Free Graphics options are available to customise certain body elements. In contrast, MG ZS EV looks a bit dull and uninspiring.
Being a taller car, MG ZS has a large 470-litre boot and is dual-height adjustable. However, due to the location of the battery pack underneath the rear seats with seats folded, the boot capacity is slightly reduced to 1,100 litres. Citroën ë-c4 has a 380-litre boot; however, with seats folded, it offers a whopping 1,250-litre capacity, a good 150 litres more than the ZS EV. MG ZS EV does provide a decent Headroom and Legroom both at the front and the rear despite the panoramic sky roof in the Trophy Connect model. As an ICE design, Citroën ë-c4, unfortunately, has a transmission tunnel at the back that sacrifices some floor space.
MG ZS EV supports Vehicle-to-Load charging (max load of 2.2 kW) to power appliances during mini EV adventures.
As the charging infrastructure in the country improves, range and charging anxiety is no longer a concern for EV owners. While MG ZS EV is the best choice for range and value for money, when we look beyond range toward comfort and design, Citroën ë-c4 wins MG ZS EV hands down with its superior design and softer suspension.
If you're looking for a well-designed car as your first EV, then consider a Citroën ë-c4.
If you want a solid range and great value for money, then just buy the new MG ZS EV.