7.3.2022MG ZS EV 44.5 kWh review
MG is one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the UK, and much of that growth is down to the strength of its electric vehicle options. A PHEV and two pure-EVs represent a significant plug-in selection for a four-car line-up, and the MG ZS EV is the cornerstone electric model.
Review by Chris Lilly
MG ZS EV: PERFORMANCE
The MG ZS EV is powered by a 105 kW electric motor, which produces 353 Nm of torque. It’s good for a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds, which is plenty sprightly enough for a practical family SUV. It’s nippy rather than fast, but the ZS EV is responsive thanks to its electric motor, and works well around town.
Although it’s quicker at slower speeds, the MG doesn’t run out of puff on the motorway, and it will sit with traffic comfortably. A little more oomph would be welcome on occasion, but for a budget-conscious SUV, you can’t really expect much more.
Don’t expect the ZS EV to be a dynamic, sharp handling model, largely because of its taller suspension and practical focus. That said, the MG isn’t bad to drive at all, and works well around urban roads. It will deal with poor road surfaces and speed bumps easily, though not with much refinement, and can get crashy over particularly poor surfaces.
Like the performance, it deals well with faster roads too, and will even provide some enjoyment on a sweeping A-road. Motorways and dual-carriageways are usually comfortably covered too, with the lack of corners removing avoidance of suspension that will lean a fair bit around corners.
The MG is not going to grab sales with its styling alone, but it’s a nice looking family SUV. The styling is inoffensive and nicely designed, though soon to be updated for something a little sharper. Proportions are classic family crossover, which allow for a practical interior.
Cabin space is good throughout, and boot space is ample if not huge. There is no compromise with the electric powertrain, with the battery placed in the floor of the car, so other than a compact space for toes, it’s a useful workhorse. Seating for four adults is good, and for two plus two children is even better.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The interior is the worst area of the MG ZS EV’s package, but “worst” is a harsh word really. It’s true that the MG is built to a budget, and this is reflected in the quality of materials in the cabin. Soft touch plastics aren’t particularly soft touch, switchgear doesn’t clunk as you use them, and the highlight trim feels plasticky. It’s not a high-quality can, nor even a middle-of-the-market one.
Despite that, the interior is more than good enough for the money, and surprisingly well equipped. The steering wheel is a good size and shaped well, plus there are plenty of cubby holes dotted about the place. It’s not going to wow passengers, until you tell them how much the MG ZS EV costs, and then the perspective will be flipped on its head.
MG ZS EV: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
Driving range is good rather than amazing, but with an official WLTP range of 163 miles on a charge, it’s more than enough for most driving needs. The 44.5 kWh battery is not particularly large, but is nicely balanced between driving range and charging times.
In real-world conditions, the ZS EV was achieving 140 miles on a charge, even in late autumn conditions. It is able to get more out of a charge when sticking to a less varied driving route, which would be more typical for most drivers. Here, sticking more to town driving than faster roads, the range pushed closer to 150 miles on a charge.
Charging the MG ZS EV is possible at 7.4 kW AC and 50 kW DC. A full charge on an AC charge point will take less than six and a half hours, while a 0-80% charge on a CCS-connected rapid unit will take around 45 minutes. A range of three brake energy recuperation settings are available for the driver, which unusually are toggled via a rocker switch on centre console. It works well, and the variety of regen settings is good if not class leading. There are also three driving modes - Eco, Normal, and Sport.
There are two trim levels to pick from - Exclusive and Excite. The entry-level model includes a suite of driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. There is also an 8-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, sat-nav, Bluetooth, and air conditioning.
Also fitted are a panoramic sun-roof, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, automatic wipers and headlights, LED leather upholstery.
MG ZS EV : MODEL SUMMARY
The MG ZS EV is a decent family car with good levels of space and practicality throughout. It’s a good electric car, featuring a decent range and a flexible powertrain too, but then throw in the price into the mix and the MG gets better and better. It’s difficult to argue with a price of less than £30,000 (after PiCG) for a car of this size and ability.
Model tested: MG ZS EV Exclusive
Engine / CO2: 105 kW electric motor / 0 g/km
Trim grades: Excite and Exclusive
On-road price: Range from £25,995. Price as tested: £28,495
Warranty: Seven Years / 80,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 3.5 Stars