Mg is one of the elements that are regarded as having a beneficial effect on the Al electromigration (EM) lifetime. In this paper, we compare the EM behavior of 0.4 μm wide passivated Al-1%Mg-0.5%Cu, Al-0.5%Cu and Al-l%Si-0.5%Cu lines. Plan-view transmission electron microscopy and focused ion beam imaging reveal that Al(MgCu) film undergoes bimodal grain growth. Auger electron spectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry show a strong surface segregation and a severe bulk depletion of Mg. Additionally the line-width dependence of the rate of the resistivity decay during aging shows also a different behavior for Al(MgCu) compared to Al(Cu) and Al(SiCu). All these findings are consistent with the EM results that Al(MgCu), processed with our experimental conditions, has both the lowest median time to failure and deviation in time to failure. The results are discussed in the light of the effect of Mg addition on the microstructure and of the great surface activity of Mg.