More impressive and luxuriously equipped, does it deserve to be attached to the all-wheel drive MG Marvel R electric SUV in view of its price, which is significantly higher than the motorized version? Maxime Fontanier took the machine to the German roads to find out.
Same battery 70 kWh
Under the Chinese group SAIC, the brand of British origin catalogs on its website the Performance version of the Marvel R as a superior finish, specifying that it provides comprehensive motor drive and a Bose audio system with 9 speakers in addition to luxury equipment. We had already tested the latter, equipped at the rear with 2 permanent magnet synchronous motors capable of jointly delivering 132 kW (180 hp) for a torque of 410 Nm.
Eliminating the frunk under the bonnet, a third block located at the front allows the figures to be increased: 212 kW (288 hp) and 665 Nm, so that the 0-100 km/h exercise can be completed in 4.9 seconds. (7.9 s for thrusters), before hoping to hit the common top speed limited to 200 km/h.
With two or four wheel drive, the MG Marvel R receives an NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt) lithium-ion battery with a useful energy capacity of 65 kWh out of a total of 70. It is made up of CATL cells.
If the MG Marvel R may seem imposing, with a height of 1.62m, it is more because of its width (1.92m) than its length (4.67m). These dimensions bring it close, for example, to the Skoda Enyaq (4,649 x 1,879 x 1,616 m), Ford Mustang Mach-E (4,713 x 1,930 x 1,624 m), Mercedes EQA (4,684 x 1,834 x 1,667 m) and Aiways. U5 (4,680 x 1,865 x 1,700m).
Currently, the Sino-British electric SUV is only offered in two colors: Black Pebble or, like the tested model, Blue Prism. Cumulus white and two shades of gray (Béton and Night Watch) are also expected to be available soon. The machine is built on 19-inch wheels fitted with Michelin Primacy 4 tires in 235/45 as standard.
The front is illuminated by Full LED blocks with fog lights integrated into the shield. The rear is grilled with a strip of lights” reminiscent of the most prestigious German SUVs “, compares Maxime Fontanier. The large panoramic sunroof, combined with light upholstery, provides beautiful light on board when the awning is not open.
In the back
Behind the tailgate that opens electrically with the remote control, the trunk appears very small with its 357 liters without double bottom. In comparison, they are only 19 l more than in a Renault Zoé. In the Marvel R, by folding the backrest in two parts and without the bench ski hatch, the volume increases to 1,396 litres.
MG probably wanted to focus on the well-being of passengers in the back. Comfortable, the space for 3 real seats, offers a seat long enough and high enough on a perfectly flat floor. Between the chaplains splayed over the front seat backs and the bins in the door panels, there’s no shortage of storage space.
Travelers glued to the extremes will appreciate the padded tops of the doors and the large tinted windows that open wide. The luxurious effect is accentuated by the quality of the upholstery and the brushed aluminum inserts. For more comfort: two ventilation nozzles and two USB sockets.
The driver’s point of view
What stands out and sits at the front of the Marvel R is the floating center console with a 14-inch digital and touch screen. If the latter is presented very well, it inherits the defects of the rest of the models in the MG catalog: lack of dynamism and a slab that has a hard time reacting under the driver’s fingers.
” You have to press the keys well and there is a latency time confirms Maxime Fontanier. ” It’s a shame it’s not more responsive, because it looks pretty good and the overall ergonomics are pretty good. “, weight. Apple CarPlay works by plugging a cable into one of the USB sockets hidden behind the screen.
Below the latter, the wheel that acts as a driving selector is flanked by 2 buttons: on the left to intervene in the driving modes (Eco, Winter, Normal, Sport and Sport+), on the right to adjust the regeneration power (three levels ). The steering wheel also has, on its horizontal branches, different action keys. Behind it, the highly legible digital display also accommodates the GPS display.
Before hitting the road
The driver and the passenger sitting on his right have, in terms of storage, cup holders, a small compartment under the fixed center armrest with two wings, glove box with felt and waste bins in the door trims. They have access to an induction charger for smartphones, two USB sockets and a third for 12 V.
Our test journalist was convinced by the finish of the Marvel R with many padded areas, the brushed aluminum inlays at the front as well. But also because of the resumption of the reversing camera images on the big screen. Also, thanks to the good-sized windows, visibility to the outside is naturally very good. At 11.5m, the turning radius can be described as correct for the size of the vehicle.
Before hitting the road, the man in the cap warns: ” You should know that this car beeps a lot. The driving aids are a bit too sensitive. It is better to cut them or put them in low mode. Otherwise the car will beep for yes or no and make incessant course corrections. “.
Regenerative braking can be improved. Even at level 3, is not very pronounced, and the difference between the three modes is not very strong This translates into a smooth feel at the level of the brake pedal that will be used frequently. Available as standard, Active Cruise Control lets you cruise smoothly through traffic jams.
Without controlled suspensions, the MG Marvel R successfully filters out speed bumps and road imperfections at moderate city speeds. In this he ” it’s much less firm than a Tesla Model Y where you’ll be less sitting in the back “. Choosing the Eco driving mode does not deprive you of good acceleration.
Like the Porsche Taycan, the electric car we are testing has an original two-speed transmission: “ It will go into first gear from 0 to 80 or 90 km/h. There, he will shoot short – we will have juice. And then it will put the overdrive to be able to evolve in fast lanes “. In the city, the width of the modern SUV and its tires very exposed to the sidewalks are disadvantages.
Little winding roads
Pushing it on small winding roads, the MG Marvel R, which took 110kg (1,920kg in total) by adopting the third electric motor, will reveal its bias. Prioritize safety over sportsmanship: “ We feel that the ESP will brake the vehicle. It intervenes upstream. Before the car skids, it will begin to brake the wheels. An athlete will find it too interventionist. But from a security point of view, it’s pretty good. “.
Body roll and flutter in tight corners remain moderate. ” It drives very well in the dry. But it would be nice if the steering was more precise, especially at the midpoint where consistency is lacking. “. In emergency braking, the ABS makes itself heard. The distance on dry ground is correct.
Note that this electric SUV can tow a trailer of up to 750kg, with or without brakes. The ” it benefits from a 4-wheel drive mode that allows the differential to be locked and therefore to be in 50/50 to evolve on loose surfaces when necessary, such as in the snow, for example adds Maxime Fontanier.
Video test: MG Marvel R Performance: three motors and a gearbox in an electric SUV!
On the freeway
” We go full throttle. It works great up to 130. Above 150 km/h it has problems reaching 200 km/h top because we are in second overdrive “, testifies the videographer journalist.
His opinion about the driving aids available in the MG Marvel R is quite mixed: “ It works and provides greater real security. But it is not always of great delicacy in terms of intervention on the steering wheel to keep the line. The car tends to stay quite far from the one in front, even if you set the active cruise control as close as possible. All these aids are standard, from the entry-level model. “.
Thanks to laminated glazing, soundproofing is excellent up to 115 km/h. Even at 130, it’s still pretty reasonable. Instead, at very high speeds, like 180 or 200, I can have a nightingale at the windows level. It is an inconstant phenomenon. “.
For its Marvel R Performance, MG reports an average consumption of 20.9 kWh/100 km, for a combined cycle WLTP range of 370 km. For comparison, in the propulsion version, the figures are 19.4 kWh/100 km for 402 km of autonomy. Maxime Fontanier obtained 20 kWh/100 km, against 18 with the 2-wheel drive version.
On the motorway, it communicates the following figures recorded by 16° C outside: 25 kWh/100 km at 130 km/h; 30 kWh at 140-150 meters in cruise control. In these conditions, ” with a 70 kWh battery you don’t get very far. If you drive hard, you will have to stop every 200-220 km. If you go with the cruise control at 120 km/h, you might do 250 km. And daily, driving in an urban area, without playing nag, you can get 300 km. “.
In direct current, the 92 kW of recharging power will mean a waiting time of about forty minutes to recover 80% of the battery’s energy. Against 5 to 10 minutes less with competitive models. For AC terminals, this electric SUV has an 11 kW charger.
” If the MG Marvel R is not the champion of recharging and autonomy, on the other hand, in terms of price/services, price/equipment, it is unbeatable. », says Maxime Fontanier. The performance version is 49,990 euros, or 47,990 euros discounting the bonus of 2,000 euros for the benefit of individuals.
For comparison, in Luxury finish, the rear-wheel drive model starts at 46,990 euros, or 40,990 euros discounting the 6,000 euros from the bottom of the Government aid. That then it does not matter upon arrival a difference of 7,000 euros. And even 10,000 euros, a price of 37,990 euros, if we can settle for the entry level.
” I recommend the basic model with the two motors in the rear. “, concludes the specialized journalist. As a reminder, the Marvel R’s are guaranteed for 7 years or 150,000 km. The prices announced in this article are those indicated on October 22, 2022 on the MG website.
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