Driving report: MG Marvel R

With the Electric SUV Marvel R has MG an offer for relaxed travel with the whole family. And: Less can definitely do more.

Do mothers, fathers and children really have to start their vacation with a kick in the back? With aching ribs after the serpentine ride thanks to ultra-contoured sports seats? Or stitches in the popometer because of the overly sporty chassis? In the new all-electric world of torque monsters, those who succumb to the advertising lyrics of many car manufacturers often buy a vehicle that is supposed to be a catapult-start sports car. With the consequences mentioned. 

A "normal" car?

But that doesn't have to be the case, as evidenced by a first trip with the Marvel R, which the Chinese manufacturer MG will be bringing to Germany from the turn of the year. The 40.000 meter long SUV should be available for 4,67 euros (the subsidy is still deducted). And the basic motorization in particular shows: strength lies in calm.  

Now, 132 kW/180 hp and 410 Newton meters of torque are not exactly a declaration of waiver. But the 1,8-ton car doesn't start when you step on the accelerator like the space shuttle does when it starts. What for? 

How is the Marvel R doing on the road?

After all, the Marvel primarily wants to be a touring car – and it is precisely with this motorization that it stands out from the range. The SUV has soft, but never wobbly suspension. The feedback from the road is direct, but remains relaxed. Even in the seats, which are ventilated and heated from the luxury version (approx. 50.000 euros), the passenger feels at ease straight away. Not too tight, not too soft. Back-friendly – ​​even after a long ride.  

Only the steering could be a bit tighter; but the Marvel driven is a pre-series model, maybe the engineers in Shanghai will turn a few more screws. 

Bad quality no longer

The assistance systems should also be put through their paces again on this occasion. Because in the Chinese original version, Marvel R can do more than the one offered here: intelligent distance cruise control with adjustment to the permitted speeds, independent driving at level 3 (without hand on the wheel) or autonomous parking without sitting in the vehicle, that's what the SUV can do there. In Germany, the functions are created in the central computer and can even be seen in some cases, but they are not activated. These increases in travel pleasure would also be available here via an online update via the built-in 5G SIM card. How exactly the Marvel is configured at the market launch is not yet entirely clear. 

Driving report: MG Marvel R
Marvel advantage – higher quality than the main competitors in terms of workmanship and materials

However, it is clear that the Chinese are up to date with the processing, despite the competitive price – competitors such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Skoda Enyaq are a few thousand euros more expensive. Instead of hard plastic, the passengers on all seats touch soft, meticulously processed plastics and fine leather. The on-board computer also reacts quickly - and displays its calculation results for navigation systems and the like in high-resolution on the 19,4-inch monitor located at a slight angle under the center console, for the driver also in a virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel.

However, the Marvel does not offer a head-up display. So there is still work to be done for the next facelift. However, in addition to the usual navigation or infotainment commands, voice control can also open the huge, standard glass sunroof; further dialogues should be submitted later via update.  

200 make them all

The impressive running smoothness has already arrived in the first league. The Stromer is already quiet due to the drive, but particularly good insulation and double glass on the front side windows even allow whispered conversations at a speed of 200. No misprint ... the Marvel R easily reaches the 200 km/h mark, unlike the competitors, which were limited much earlier, even in the basic version. It could even be used as a constant speed during night-time vacation trips. If the battery hadn't been drained after just under a three-digit mileage. Nobody can do witches with electric cars. But the short sprint can sometimes be helpful. 

By the way, driving programs are automatically even more comfortable: If you choose Eco mode instead of “Sport” or “Normal”, you limit acceleration and top speed in a range-friendly way. And the recuperation can be increased to three levels up to the one-pedal feeling. The electric motor can call up a maximum of 100 kilowatts when braking and feed it back into the battery.  

If the charge then approaches the zero line after almost 400 kilometers at the latest, a little more patience is required for the long journey. Because the maximum charging capacity is 92 kilowatts. So it takes around three quarters of an hour, even at the quick charging station, before the battery has reached a charge of five to 80 percent. Instead of a coffee break, it's more a matter of having a well-kept lunch before the journey continues.  

Touring car without a large trunk?

Incidentally, not only children sit comfortably and airily in the second row - even if the electric SUV is not a space miracle. The height of the trunk is even below average and the loading sill is quite high. The flap, which is always electric, releases just 357 liters. Without fellow passengers in the rear, there is up to 1.396 liters after folding the back seat. And after all, thanks to rear-wheel drive, it still has space under the front hood for a further 150 liters, which opens automatically via a gas pressure spring.  

Driving report: MG Marvel R
Without folding the back seat, the cargo space is one of the smaller in a class comparison

In the all-wheel drive version, the only thing left is a better glove compartment. The 4WD with its three motors drives the Marvel from zero to one hundred in less than five seconds (instead of just under eight) - and rams the 665 Newton meter elephant's foot in the back when accelerating. But honestly: do you need it?

Technical data

Five-door, five-seat SUV; Length: 4,67 meters, width: 1,92 meters, height: 1,62 meters, wheelbase: 2,80 meters, trunk volume: 357 to a maximum of around 1.639 liters 

Up to three electric motors, two-speed automatic, lithium-ion battery with 70 kWh, total output 132 kW/180 hp (all-wheel drive: 212 kW/288 hp), maximum torque: 410 (665) Nm at 0 rpm, 0- 100 km/h: 7,9 (4,9) s, Vmax: 200 km/h (limited), range: 402 (370) km, standard consumption: not specified, DC quick charging 5-80%: 43 min., CO2 -Emission: 0 g/km, efficiency class: A+ 

Price: from approx. 40.000 euros

In brief  

Why: very well made, cheap 

Why not: moderate trunk, not the fastest when loading 

What else: Hyundai Ioniq 5, VW ID4, Skoda Enyaq

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