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BYD Dolphin vs MG4: spec battle!


It’s time for the battle of the small Chinese electric cars, with the BYD being the cheapest electric car on Australian soil… just

The time is now for electric vehicles and Chinese automakers like BYD, MG and GWM are proving that EVs for the masses are more attainable than ever. 

These brands are pushing for price parity between electric and combustion vehicles as demand for electric cars grows. 

Enter the new BYD Dolphin and the MG4, both of which start in base guise for under $40,000 before on-road costs. 

2023 BYD Dolphin front 3/4
The 2023 BYD Dolphin

In this spec battle, we are going to compare the two variants to see what is the same, and what’s different about these two small electric cars.

Let’s dive in!

It must be stated that this is simply a comparison of raw spec sheets, but we look forward to doing an in-person test with both of these two cars very soon on the Chasing Cars channel! 

How much do they cost?

Beginning with the new BYD Dolphin, prices start as low as $38,890 before on-road costs for the entry-level Dynamic, with the Premium costing $44,890 before on-road costs. 

2023 MG4 Excite 51 front angle cornering 3
The 2023 MG4 Excite 51 during Chasing Cars testing

Meanwhile, the MG4 range begins at $100 more than the base Dolphin, costing $38,990 before on-road costs for the base Excite 51 variant. 

Running up the MG4 range, the Excite 64 is priced from $44,990 before on-road costs, while the more plush Essence 64 costs $47,990 and the flagship Essence 77 with the largest battery costs $55,990 before on-road costs. 

The recently launched MG4 XPower is priced at $59,990 before on-road costs.

2024 MG4 XPower driving shot front 3/4
The new MG4 XPower flagship

In terms of servicing, the BYD Dolphin will cost $1565 over six years. Routine servicing for the BYD is every 12 months or 20,000 kilometres. 

For the MG4, servicing will cost $1478 over six years. Service intervals are every 24 months, or 40,000 kilometres.  

Variant breakdown and what you get for your money

2023 BYD Dolphin side profile pink
The BYD Dolphin is available in pink!

BYD Dolphin 

Beginning with the BYD Dolphin Dynamic, the following features are standard:

  • 12.8-inch rotating touchscreen
  • 5.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Synthetic leather upholstery 
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • DAB+ radio
  • Satellite navigation
  • Wired Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto
  • LED headlights, daytime running lights and tail lights 
  • Four USB ports
  • Electric driver and front passenger seats 
  • 44.9kWh battery pack
  • DC 60kW max. charge speed 
Inside the 2023 BYD Dolphin

The Premium grade adds:

  • DC 80kW max. charging speed
  • Larger battery pack (60.5kWh)
  • More powerful electric motor with 150kW/310Nm


Standard kit included on the base MG4 Excite 51:

  • 10.25-inch centre touchscreen
  • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights 
  • 17-inch alloy wheels with aero covers
  • Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay 
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Reversing camera 
  • Manual adjustable seats
  • MG Pilot safety features 
  • 500kg towing capacity 
2023 MG4 interior wide shot (Excite seats)
A look inside the interior of the MG4

Stepping up to the Essence trim, owners will receive:

  • Larger 18-inch alloy wheels 
  • Twin-aero rear spoiler 
  • EV trip planner 
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Steering wheel heating
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • PU leather and fabric seats 
  • 360-degree camera 
  • Enhanced MG Pilot with 14 safety features
  • Electric driver’s seat 
  • Active intake grille shutter
  • Two-tone roof 

How big are these electric cars?

After looking at both spec sheets, the BYD Dolphin is just 3mm longer than the MG4, but 66mm narrower than the MG4. The Dolphin is taller at 1570mm, but has a slightly shorter (by 5mm) wheelbase than the MG4. 

In terms of boot space, the MG4 wins with a 363 litre boot capacity, while the BYD Dolphin has a 345 litre boot. 

The MG4 is actually shorter than the BYD Dolphin

But how do these cars compare in size to the equivalent combustion vehicle?

A Toyota Yaris, in comparison, measures in at 3940mm in length, 1695mm wide, 1505mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2550mm, so both of these cars are slightly bigger than the Yaris. 

What powers these small electric cars?

BYD Dolphin 

The BYD Dolphin is powered by two different electric setups. 

The BYD Dolphin is one of Australia’s cheapest EVs

The entry Dynamic model uses a single electric motor on the front axle that produces 70kW/180Nm. This variant uses a torsion beam rear, and a Macpherson strut front suspension system. 

Stepping into the Premium, this grade uses a 150kW/310Nm electric motor which is also located on the front axle. However, the Premium grade differs by using independent rear suspension, rather than a torsion beam arrangement. 


The MG4 is rear-wheel drive right across the range (excluding the new X-Power) and in base Excite 51 spec, is powered by a rear electric motor that produces 125kW/250Nm. The larger 64 battery cars use an uprated electric motor with 150kW/250Nm. Lastly, the Essence 77 uses a 180kW/350Nm electric motor. 

MG4 2023 Essence 77 front 3/4
The MG4 Essence 77 long range model

In comparison to the BYD Dolphin, the MG4 uses a five-link independent rear suspension across all grades. 

Efficiency and electric driving range 

The BYD Dolphin in Dynamic guise has a claimed WLTP range of 340km, while its bigger capacity sibling, the Premium, has a claimed WLTP range of 427km.

The Dynamic would theoretically have an economy of around 13.2kWh/100km, while the Premium would have an average electric efficiency of 14.1kWh/100km. 

MG4 2023 Essence 77 group shot
A group of MG4s during the Australian launch

The MG4 range has at least 350km of WLTP range (in Excite 51 spec) and as much as 530km of range (WLTP) in top-spec long range Essence 77 trim. 

The MG4 has an estimated electric efficiency of 14.5kWh/100km, while the top spec Essence 77 has an estimated efficiency of 14.5kWh/100km. 

How safe are the BYD and MG?

The BYD Dolphin in 2023 has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, scoring 89 percent for adult occupant protection, 86 percent for child occupant protection and 77 percent for safety assist.  

2023 BYD Dolphin Sport front 3/4
A BYD Dolphin Sport is also on the cards for Australia

The BYD Dolphin will launch in Australia with plenty of standard safety features, including:

  • Front, side, side curtain and far side airbags 
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping support 
  • Intelligent speed limit 
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Predictive collision warning 
  • Rear collision warning
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert and brake
  • Front cross traffic alert and brake
  • Lane departure prevention 
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • 360-degree camera  

The MG4 has also been rated by ANCAP in Australia for safety and scored a five star safety rating. The model scored 83 percent for adult occupant protection, 86 for child occupant protection and 81 percent for safety assist. The MG4 scored lower than the BYD for adult protection, but did better in the area of safety assist. 

2024 MG4 XPower side shot static
The new MG4 XPower

The MG4 is fitted as standard with the following safety features:

  • Front, front side and curtain airbags 
  • Lane keep assist 
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning 
  • Autonomous emergency braking 
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Traffic jam assist 
  • Intelligent headlight control
  • Speed assistance 
  • Unsteady driving warning

Higher spec MG4s also gain:

  • Blind spot detection
  • Rear cross traffic alert 
  • Emergency lane keep assist 
  • Lane change assist 

So who wins this spec battle?

Looking at the two models side by side, there are quite a few similarities, such as upfront cost, battery range, electric motor power and standard features.

The MG4 does a lot well for the price of entry

However, there are some differences, such some safety features being restricted in MG4 in the lower grade and the BYD’s front drive architecture versus the MG4s rear-drive setup.

All in all, looking at the spec sheet alone, both models excel in a lot of the key areas, and as we have said earlier, provide affordable electric motoring to the masses. 

Both models are able to be ordered in Australia now. 

Stay tuned for a future Chasing Cars YouTube video where editor Tom Baker will be testing these two electric cars back to back!

Chasing more Dolphin?