MG, the famous brand associated with quintessential Britishness, is now competing against the global big boys in the Electric car market. Their ZS EV is a small SUV with a big attitude and many positives. Jeremy Webb took it on a Cotswolds tour and into the county of Shakespeare.
Now owned by the Chinese, MG is back manufacturing cars and wants to compete for customers; it is producing electric models such as the ZS EV, which I took around the Midlands.
The MG ZS EV looks superb and eye-catching with its fancy grille and shaped panels. Inside is as good; Driver and passengers get comfortable seating and a new 22.5 cm infotainment system. The excellent 22.5 cm tablet-style infotainment screen has all the latest technology, including sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Driver’s console is clear and easy to read, showing all relevant information in several changeable displays.
The MG ZS EV has plenty of technology to assist the Driver and general safety. Emergency braking system (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), while the MG ZS EV Trophy and Trophy Connect models add Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.
The MG ZS EV has soft seats, but they support well, and the Driver’s can move up and down for the ideal position.
A Touchscreen infotainment system at the top of the centre console and physical air-con controls underneath mean you don’t have to delve into complicated touchscreen menus to change the cabin temperature. The MG ZS EV dashboard is conventional, meaning everything sits where you expect it to be. You will find it straightforward to locate and use everything, while the instrument dials are also clear and simple to understand. The Driving position gives you excellent Visibility, and you get rear parking sensors to assist manoeuvring. On the MG ZS EV Trophy, you have a reversing camera and a rear cross-traffic alert to help prevent you from backing out of a parking space into traffic.
Labelled a Small SUV, the MG ZS EV impresses with its size. You have to compare it to the Vauxhall Corsa-e and MINI Electric in terms of price, but you get a far larger five-seat car with a good-sized boot. The MG ZS EV, compared to other electric vehicles available for approximately the same money, beats all of them. It is considerably larger, measuring 4323mm long, 2048mm wide (including door mirrors), and 1649mm high (including roof rails).
The MG ZS EV has an expansive cabin, and a flat rear floor means you get a car which is much better at carrying three in the back. If you need to take child seats, there are Isofix mounting points, and two will fit in happily. The boot is cavernous, and all charging cables are stored in a handy compartment under the floor. The MG ZS EV has 470 litres of luggage capacity, increasing to 1375 litres, with the rear seats flat. This is better than the larger Nissan Qashqai SUV.
The MG ZS EV offers good comfort and handling and good performance from the electric motor. It’s not in the realms of a Tesla, but it feels good. Initially, when you put your foot down, you get an instant pickup, so the car pulls away quickly if you want it to. You can reach motorway speeds easily at cruise at these all day without much impact on the range.
When I received the MG ZS EV, it showed 460 Km available on 100% charge, and I was impressed because many more expensive EVs can’t match this range. I know from experience that it is one thing showing a long-range, but usually, this drops rapidly as soon as you start driving. On the MG ZS EV, however, in economy mode, the range dropped with actual mileage on the odometer. If you engage Normal or Sport mode, the range reflects lower as power output is higher than economy setting.
The MG ZS EV’s charging socket is the common CCS (combined Charging System) type which matches most AC and DC charging stations. You get a Type 2 charging cable as standard and one for a domestic socket.
I found the charging ability of the MG ZS EV so helpful on my tour of the Cotswolds and Warwickshire because I could park up in a Supermarket, put it on charge and explore the town. A 100kWh rapid charger can top up 10-80% in around 42 minutes.
The MG ZS EV is a lovely car to drive; it looks great and, with its long-range a truly practical vehicle. You get a lot for your money, and although labelled a small SUV, it doesn’t feel small. The driving position is excellent as you sit up high, and all the controls are within easy reach of the Driver. Comfort for all occupants is good, and they have plenty of room for themselves and their luggage. You will be as impressed as I was when you drive one.
$48000 starting price.
You get an extended Seven-year warranty on a new MG ZS EV.