Many people choose to buy a car mostly based on their emotional response to what it looks like and feels like sitting inside at a dealer. The BYD Dolphin and MG4 are the two most affordable electric cars in Australia at the moment with base versions less than $40K (plus onroads) but they have a lot of differences in how they look.
I’ve recently sat in an MG4 at the Australian media event and in a Dolphin at the BYD Experience Centre in Darlinghurst, these are my thoughts about how each car looks inside and outside.
They’re both hatchbacks but the exteriors are quite different, the front headlights are a good comparative example.
The Dolphin is curved and non threatening. All versions have a panoramic glass roof with retractable sunshade.
The MG4 is angular, bold and sporty. The base Excite version has a metal roof matching the paint colour and the more premium Essence version has a black metal roof for a two tone effect. There is no option of a glass roof for any version.
Interior Material, Screens and Software
The glass roof combined with two tone seats makes the Dolphin interior less boring and more bright than the MG4. The perforated seats may be tricky to clean if you have dogs or kids.
Tall drivers like me may find the left side legroom cramped for longer journeys as the centre console doesn’t have a gap in the middle.
The 12.8 inch main central screen in the Dolphin is large and the software looks modern. The 5 inch driver information screen is a bit small for my liking.
The dark grey interior throughout the MG4 and lack of glass roof make the interior less welcoming, especially on a dark day. Cloth seats in the Excite and plastic leather in the Essence should be easy to clean.
Tall drivers will like the extra space the MG4 has at left to move your leg sideways for a stretch. The front passenger can also stretch their right leg out a bit.
I think MG made the right size balance choice with a 10 inch main central screen in the MG4 and a 7 inch driver information screen. The software user interface is functional with basic graphics.
The Dolphin rear window is pictured below. As seen from the drivers seat you can tell the rear visibility is poor. The MG4 also has 3 backseat headrests which makes it’s rear visibility equally poor.
Personally if I was only going to transport passengers in the back rarely I’d pull out the rear headrests and put them in the boot or leave them at home. At a minimum I’d pull out the centre rear headrest.
Boot Space and Front Trunk (Frunk)
The MG4 boot is pictured below and capacity is 350L (Essence) or 363L (Excite). The Dolphin boot is very similar at 345L capacity.
Under it’s bonnet the BYD Dolphin as pictured below doesn’t have a frunk and the MG4 doesn’t a frunk either under it’s bonnet.
The MG4 as pictured below has solid brand name tires, either Bridgestone or Continental depending on which version you buy, details are explained here.
The BYD Dolphin has unknown LingLong tyres pictured below. I’ve never heard of them being used on an Australian car before and some Australian reviewers say these tires don’t perform well.