elmo Rapid Review #3: MG ZS EV
Sometimes it’s fun to watch a presenter critique a car while driving it through peculiarly deserted, picturesque roads. But sometimes you just want to cut the fluff and find out what makes the car good or bad and whether it’s the right car for you.
We’re trying to do just that in our ‘Rapid Review’ series (see also Kia e-Niro and Renault ZOE ZE50). In this bitesize review we will tell you everything you need to know about the MG ZS EV. With no added fluff.
You can watch our video version or read on. Either way, it’ll only take about 5 minutes.
MG ZS EV: What’s it like?
MG started making classic British sports cars in Abingdon in Oxfordshire in 1923. Now, nearly 100 years later MG Motor belongs to Chinese automaker, SAIC Motor, who are ushering in a new era for this famous British mark and have committed heavily to producing electric cars.
The MG ZS EV is their first. And it’s an eye-opener. An all-electric SUV crossover that is significantly cheaper than its closest rivals.
But is it good value?
Its looks are classic SUV so a bit derivative but undeniably popular and easy on the eye.
The interior is spacious and well-sized for a small SUV: the driver and front passenger enjoy a high position and good visibility; while the back seats comfortably accommodate 6 foot adults or children in baby seats.
The boot is pretty spacious too; and at 448L, it’s enough for two child buggies and a big dog or 6 cabin bags. There’s even room underneath all that for the charging cables.
How does it perform?
In terms of performance, numbers like 0-62 in 8.5 secs and a top speed of 87mph are nothing to get excited about. But are they even relevant for a car designed for safe and sustainable school runs and shopping trips?
It comes with all the usual tech bits you’d expect from a modern car and actually over delivers for its price, even with the lower spec ‘Excite’ version. The higher spec ‘Exclusive’ version just gets a cool panoramic sunroof, roof rails and leather upholstery on top of what the ‘Excite’ offers.
Parents will also be pleased to know that it comes with a coveted 5* Euro NCAP safety rating.
So far so good!
How far does it go?
The good folk at MG say that the ZS EV has an official WLTP range of 163 miles thanks to its 44.5kWh battery and an efficiency of 310Wh/mile.
In real life, drivers report a range varying between 150 miles in summer and 115 in winter. That should be more than enough range for most people most of the time. But, let’s face it, it’s not massive when compared to the ranges available from other electric SUVs like the Kia e-Niro.
More on that in a second...
Charging the car is simple enough. If you can charge at home on a standard 7.4kw charger, you’ll be able to charge from 10-80% in 5.25 hours.
On any occasional longer trips, the ZS EV can accept up to 50kw from fast chargers. This will take you from 10-80% charge in 40 mins. That’s adding about 114 miles.
But unlike some of its pricier rivals, it can’t accept the increasing number of ultra rapid charge points.
How does it compare?
The MG ZS EV has a starting price of about £25.5k and an official range of 163 miles.
This is how it compares to some other electric cars currently on the market:
Perhaps its closest competition are the 39kWh versions of the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona. These offer more range - 17 and 26 miles more respectively - but cost about an extra £5k. The e-Niro and Kona also come in 64kWh versions with considerably more range, but at an £8-10k premium.
There are also a number of high-end small SUVs on the market including the Audi e-tron, Jaguar i-Pace and Mercedes EQC. All of these offer much greater range than the MG, but are at least £35k more expensive and cater to a different segment of the market.
In terms of range and price, the MG ZS EV it’s actually most similar to the most recent Nissan Leaf with a 40kWh battery...What’s most astonishing about this is that the Leaf, a hatchback and not an SUV, is about £1,500 more expensive, but only gives 5 miles more range!
Clearly then, for people who don’t regularly need 200+ miles of range, this car offers incredible value for money.
So who’s it for?
For families, in particular, who need a green and affordable car for school runs, shopping trips and regular daily commutes, the MG ZS EV is going to be hard to beat.
- It wins hands-down for price in the small SUV category and is surprisingly well-equipped at that price.
- It's well-sized, comfortable and practical for active families.
- It's top-rated for safety.
- The range is admittedly not ideal for regular long journeys.
- And there are a few cosmetic rough edges like the usability of the charging port and load speed of the infotainment.
All told, for families looking to make the switch to an electric car, the MG ZS EV is, in our opinion, the best value small SUV for comfortable, everyday driving.
What do you think of the MG ZS EV?
Would it fit your lifestyle?