MG4 vs Ford Focus: New vs Old Comparison


All-new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans are set to be banned from sale in 2030. New hybrids will be able to continue until 2035, on the condition that they can cover a ‘significant distance’ in zero-emission mode, a term which the Government has yet to helpfully define.

And then there’s new plug-in hybrids which you will be able to buy for another five years, before they themselves are eventually banned in 2035. The thing is though, those deadlines are getting closer and closer, rather quickly.


Well MG, that young upstart company owned and improved by SAIC Motor, think that they have the answer to our original question. A few details first to allay any lingering doubts as to the validity of a MG built anywhere other than Abingdon or Longbridge. MG is the fastest growing car brand in the UK, with a range of vehicles designed in Marylebone, London and manufactured in state-of-the-art factories in several countries meaning that today’s MGs are practical, spacious, and packed with technology.

MG have also recently introduced their innovative new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) allowing them to design and build a whole range of Electric Vehicles using the same basic structure and associated cost savings. Believe me when I say that you’re going to be hearing an awful lot more about MG in the very near future.

But why is any of this important when you have legacy car makers using their decades of experience and development to create cars as popular and well defined as the Ford Focus. A car which, it could be argued, offers the consumer the absolute zenith of conventional car and powertrain design. A car that Ford has consistently kept hovering around the top of the UK best seller charts since its inception, way back in 1998.

So, you’ve reduced the choice down to the all-new MG4, a car that, rather surprisingly, starts at just £25,995 for the SE with a range of up to 218 miles and more than enough standard kit to warrant looking at the handbook to see how most of it works or the rather more common Ford Focus. Perhaps the Titanium spec, a specification that was once top of the range but now appears as favourable as the old Zetec nomenclature, starting at a similar £28,750.00.

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For the kind of money we’re talking about here the Titanium Focus can be had with a slightly more peppy and interesting 155 PS (114 kW (plus 16 PS (12 kW) electric)) 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid engine, an engine that offers power a plenty for todays roads whilst benefitting from Ford’s rather excellent new Hybrid technology whereby the Belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) acts as an electric motor, seamlessly integrating with the petrol engine to provide additional torque during normal driving and accelerating.

While the EcoBoost Hybrid PowerShift improves fuel economy by keeping the hybrid engine at optimum speed for efficiency. There’s no doubt that this is extremely clever stuff, particularly as this engine now offers up to 53.3 combined mpg with the 7-speed PowerShift Automatic gearbox.

And there’s a decent amount of standard technology to keep the driver and passengers happy with 16″ 15-spoke Dark Sparkle painted alloy wheels, LED rear lights, Door line ornamentation – bright-finish on lower door line, Sports-style seats with Ray/Eton Black fabric trim, 13.2″ landscape-aspect TFT touchscreen display, SYNC 4 with Connected Navigation, Voice Control, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, hands-free calling, GPS, Bluetooth® and audible text messaging, 2x USB, Privacy Mode, remote audio controls and 6 speakers, Dual-zone fully automatic electronic temperature control (DEATC) and Ford Key Free System with Ford Power starter button.

Not bad for a last throw of the dice. And that’s pretty much what this latest iteration of the Ford Focus really is, it’s the dying breath of an outdated technology. A superbly developed engine in a fantastically matched chassis that will keep you and your family happy and safe until you’re forced to change by that ever-ticking clock that heralds the arrival of 2030 and a brave new world.

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The MG4 doesn’t give two hoots as to the current and future dilemmas facing Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot et al as this sharply dressed, exciting looking youngster has arrived with the desire to give those that have come before a well-deserved thrashing.

The standard SE arrives on the forecourt with a plethora of driving aids as standard as well as the option of a larger battery pack which, for just £2,500 more, increases the potential range up to a simply staggering 281 miles. MG Pilot, MG’s impressive suite of driver aids offers up Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist & Traffic Sign Recognition, Emergency Braking, Intelligent High Beam Assist and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) as well as a 10.25″ Colour touchscreen, iSMART user app, 7″ digital driver display, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Damn good in my opinion and quite incredible for the money.

We all know how the Focus drives before putting the seatbelt on but did you know that the MG4 offers up improved acceleration and unrivalled eagerness around town, a low centre of gravity due to its heavy batteries mounted in the floor of the car which means the MG4 is engaging to drive, less noise and fewer vibrations than internal combustion engines means a smooth and effortless experience whilst no gears to worry about makes the MG4 less tiring and easier to drive.

There’s also the fact that the MG4 will be better for the environment, have lower running costs, less maintenance, strong resale value, exemptions on road tax and the Congestion Charge in London as well as the additional clean air zones springing up in cities around the country. Plenty to think about.

It’s sad to say but it feels like it’s time to park up the Focus and get on board with the MG4.

— This article has been republished on our website with permission of MotorMartin. Original article: