BYD Dolphin
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 6 minutes.

It’s time for another affordable compact EV showdown: MG4 EV versus BYD Dolphin.

Last time we put the Funky Cat among the MG pigeons. 

But this time the MG4 is diving into saltier waters as we pit it against the brand-new BYD Dolphin.

Can the MG4 EV retain its crown as the best of the compact EVs?

Or will the slippery allure of the Dolphin prove irresistible?

In the famous words of Harry Hill, there’s only one way to find out…


(In a purely figurative sense, of course. There will be no hands thrown between the MG4 and the BYD Dolphin today.)




We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it a thousand times. If you’re after an affordable compact EV, there’s been no better option than the MG4 EV. It’s distinctive orange hue, generous range and surprisingly spacious cabin have placed the MG4 firmly on top of the podium.

That was, of course, until a few weeks ago when newcomer BYD launched the baby of their current UK line-up, the BYD Dolphin.

You might not have heard of BYD before, but there’s a high chance you’ll have ridden one of the buses that they supply the batteries too. They’re another Chinese brand, but they’re taking this electric car business seriously.

A battery maker for many years, it’s their innovative Blade Battery – one of the safest on the market, and the only one to pass the nail penetration test – and all-around approach to developing EVs that is making the brand stand out amongst the crowd.

With a focus on sustainability, innovation, and affordable motoring, BYD are one of the best brands currently on the market.

And the Dolphin might just be the best compact EV money can lease.

BYD Dolphin interior

BYD Dolphin interior


There’s nothing much to write home about when it comes to the interior of the MG4. This is built to be a car that people can afford, and it does that very well.

The design of the cabin is clear and functional. It’s a practical space, with a clean dash dominated by the 10.25in touchscreen. Like so many cars these days, there aren’t all that many physical buttons.

But the screen is intuitive and responsive, and MG have conceded to a row of buttons for the most-used features under the screen, which is welcome. 

The interior of the BYD Dolphin is a bit more fun.

Available in three different colourways (we’re a particular fan of the pink and grey interior colour scheme, which brings more joy than your typical white or black interior), the cabin is playful and clean.

It’s all swooping lines and clean dash, with the centrepiece – the rotating 12.8in touchscreen – the main feature. Sure, a rotating touchscreen might lose its charm after a few months, but it’s still a handy bit of kit to have on board. 

The Dolphin interior is a little more mature than the ATTO 3. It has lost the guitar string door pockets and treadmill-style gear selector, and gained a more conventional and logical layout.

MG4 EV interior

MG4 EV interior


The BYD Dolphin is a bit of a TARDIS when it comes to interior space.

It might look small, but you can happily fit four six-feet tall adults into the space, with a smaller one in the middle. There’s good head and legroom too, with the flat floor giving plenty of space for everyone’s feet. 

But prioritising cabin space does mean the boot is on the smaller hatchback side, clocking in at 345L. It’s still big enough for a weekly shop for the whole family, and your family will thank you for the leg room. 

The Dolphin is also packed with additional cabin storage for all your odds and ends. You get a good glovebox, door bins big enough for a large bottle, two cupholders, a small cubby and a further storage space under the central armrest.

The MG4 EV is also pretty spacious inside, considering the size of the car. 

You’ll comfortably fit four adults in with a smaller person wedged in the middle of the back row. Perhaps not the best for long journeys, but for town driving, it’s fine.

There is a good amount of cabin storage on offer though. There’s a little flat section below the touchscreen for your phone to rest in that doubles as a wireless charger in the higher spec models, as well as two cupholders, more storage and a covered bin in the centre console, and a decent glovebox. 

The MG4 boot is slightly larger than the Dolphin’s at 363L. Like the Dolphin, it’s practical enough, and the reduced boot space does mean that there’s more cabin space for your passengers.

As someone wise once said, you win some, you lose some. 

BYD Dolphin

BYD Dolphin


The MG4 has five different models to choose between, with two different battery sizes.

The smallest battery (50.8kWh) is only available with the entry-level SE. But this does keep the price down, and you get a good amount of kit including adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors and vehicle-to-load charging, which allows you to power items like a kettle with your car battery. 

Handy if you’ve gone on a long winter walk and need to warm up with a cuppa before heading back out on the road. 

Then you get two big battery but still affordable models, the SE Long Range and the Trophy Long Range. The Trophy trim adds some additional styling features, a 360-degree camera, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

If you’ve got a bit more cash to splash, you might want to look at the XPower. Not only does it have the best performance, but it’s also equipped with more safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assistance. 

And if you’re regularly undertaking long journeys and need all the range you can get, there’s the Extended Range model with its 77kWh battery.

The BYD Dolphin line-up is a little simpler.

Currently, the Dolphin is only available in the top two trims (Comfort and Design), with the cheaper Active and Boost coming next year. It’s the Active trim that has the smallest price tag and the smaller battery, but the Comfort is really the cream of the crop.

It’s equipped with the same 60kWh battery as the BYD ATTO 3, and comes equipped with 360-degree parking camera, vehicle-to-load charging, electrically adjustable seats, front parking sensors, heated front seats and a better audio system.

The range-topping Design trim gets the same battery as before, with the same 150kW motor, but adds a panoramic roof, dual-tone exterior paint and wireless phone charging. 




Currently, with only the Comfort and Design trims available, the BYD Dolphin has a very good claimed range of 265 miles. 

It blows most rivals out of the water, with many charging much more than BYD for often a smaller range. Pricing for the Peugeot e-208 starts where the Dolphin ends, and VW’s ID.3 is even more expensive than that.

In terms of range for cost, it’s an absolute winner.

And, from next year, if you’re looking to keep costs down and you don’t need such a large range, you’ll be able to drive away in the Dolphin Active, with its 45kWh battery and still very nice 211 miles of range.

The MG4 is a bit more convoluted.

The base-spec SE has a 50.8kWh battery and 218 miles of range. Hop up to the SE Long Range and you’ll get a 61.7kWh battery and 281 claimed miles, while the Trophy Long Range has the same battery, but the range dips to 270 miles.

XPower also gets the same battery, but it’s built to be a performance car, not a range car, and so only gets a claimed 239 miles. 

Extended Range gets the biggest battery, at a whopping 77kWh, which is good for a WLTP range of 323 miles – but you will be paying out for this extra mileage.

BYD Dolphin rearview

BYD Dolphin


It’s a close race.

There’s much to recommend about both an MG4 EV lease and a BYD Dolphin lease. Both brands knew what they were setting out to do – nice electric car, good range, plenty of tech, little price – and both have succeeded.

But when it comes down to it?

The BYD Dolphin just scrapes into first place.

Sure, the boot isn’t as big.

But the styling is incredible, the claimed range for the price tag is excellent, and the amount of innovative tech on offer for that price is nothing short of astounding.

Plus, who doesn’t want to drive around in a real-life Dolphin? We certainly do.

Ready to get behind the wheel of your own BYD Dolphin (or MG4 EV)?