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Review of the MG ZS EV: An Electric SUV Worth Considering

The MG ZS EV is an affordably priced electric SUV that stands out for its range and equipment. Despite being less expensive to run, electric SUVs generally have a high initial purchase cost, but the ZS EV is a notable exception. It offers a commendable range, especially the Long Range version with over 270 miles. While its performance is decent with a 0-60 mph time of just over eight seconds, its driving dynamics are uninspiring, and it suffers from significant wind and road noise. The interior is spacious with good quality for its price, although rivals offer better infotainment systems and comfort. The ZS EV’s affordability, high equipment levels, and practicality earn it favorable reviews, despite faster depreciation and mediocre driving experiences.

Introduction

What Car? says…

The problem with electric SUVs is that, while they are cheap to run, they can be quite expensive to buy in the first place. However, there’s a notable exception: the MG ZS EV.

The ZS EV is essentially an electric version of the well-rounded MG ZS SUV. While the EV model may not be as wallet-friendly as its petrol counterpart, the brand’s value for money ethos remains.

This is no surprise as MG, relaunched by a Chinese company, has focused on building value-oriented models, gaining steady market traction. With a Long Range version capable of over 270 miles and an attractive price point, the ZS EV might just be the electric SUV bargain you’ve been looking for. But before you decide, let’s see if it’s worth grabbing over something like a Kia Niro EV or a Peugeot e-2008.


Performance and Drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

One area where the MG ZS EV shines brightly is in its efficiency. While the MG ZS petrol feels sluggish, the ZS EV can sprint from 0-60 mph in just over eight seconds regardless of the version you choose. This is pretty impressive, and you won’t find yourself yearning for more speed even on faster roads. True, the Kia Niro EV might beat it by doing the same sprint in 7.8 seconds, but most buyers won’t notice the difference.

When you’re not aiming for speed, the ZS EV’s entry-level 49kWh battery can cover up to 198 miles between charges, while the Long Range version’s 68.3kWh battery boosts it to 273 miles. For context, the entry-level Niro EV and the Peugeot e-2008 can manage 285 miles and 250 miles respectively.

In real-world tests, the Long Range version managed 246 miles per charge, which is quite good. However, you might find the steering to be less responsive compared to the Niro EV or e-2008. While predictable, it lacks the insight into what the front wheels are doing. Even adjusting the steering weight doesn’t help much.

Moreover, driving the ZS EV isn’t particularly fun, largely due to the extra weight from the battery pack. While none of its rivals are particularly sporty, the Niro EV and e-2008 feel tighter and more nimble.

Comfort-wise, the ZS EV’s soft suspension handles big bumps well but struggles with expansion joints and minor road imperfections, especially at higher speeds. The Niro EV feels more comfortable overall. The brake pedal makes it easy to judge the pressure you need for a smooth stop, which is a relief since regenerative braking can often complicate things.

Surprisingly, despite having no engine noise, the ZS EV isn’t as quiet as you might expect. Wind and road noise become noticeable at 70 mph, unlike the quieter Niro EV.


Driving Overview

Strengths:

  • Good range between charges
  • Decent performance

Weaknesses:

  • Rivals ride better
  • More wind and road noise than competitors
  • So-so drive

Interior

Interior Arrangement, Fit, and Finish

The MG ZS EV offers reasonably good interior quality for its price. It features soft-touch plastics, solid buttons, and an impressive fit and finish. However, more premium-feeling rivals like the Kia Niro EV do feel a bit more luxurious.

Every ZS EV includes a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The system responds quickly and has sharp graphics, though the operating system isn’t as intuitive as that of the Hyundai Kona Electric or Niro EV.

Highlights

  • Standard features: Keyless entry, air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, automatic LED headlights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Advanced features: The Trophy trim adds rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, and power-folding door mirrors.

Visibility out front is good thanks to the raised driving position, but the rear view is compromised by thick pillars. Thankfully, rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera come standard, along with automatic LED headlights for good night visibility.


Internal Supervision

Strengths:

  • Impressive overall interior quality
  • Good forward visibility

Weaknesses:

  • Infotainment system not particularly intuitive
  • The driving position could be better

Passenger and Boot Space

The MG ZS EV offers a spacious interior, rivaling most electric cars in its price bracket. Space up front is generous, with ample head and legroom. Rear space is even more impressive, beating the Hyundai Kona Electric and even the Kia Niro EV in terms of legroom. There’s plenty of headroom for taller passengers, even with the panoramic sunroof fitted.

The boot is slightly larger than the petrol MG ZS, offering 470 liters of space—enough for five carry-on suitcases. The rear seats split 60/40, adding versatility, though there’s a noticeable step down to the boot floor when folded.

Practicality Overview

Strengths:

  • Larger boot than competitors
  • Plenty of interior space

Weaknesses:

  • Rear seats not as versatile as those in the Hyundai Kona Electric

Buying and Owning

When it comes to cost, the MG ZS EV is hard to beat. It’s cheaper than all its rivals as a cash purchase, even undercutting the Renault Zoe and costing significantly less than the Kia Niro EV, Mini Electric, and Peugeot e-2008. Though it may depreciate faster than competitors, its much lower list price makes it a compelling choice.

Daily Costs, Reliability, and Safety

Strong points:

  • Cheaper than most rivals
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Long warranty: 7 years/80,000 miles

Weak points:

  • Predicted faster depreciation
  • MG’s overall reliability score

The ZS EV can draw up to 75kW from a public CCS charger, allowing a 10-80% top-up in about 36 minutes. The Long Range version can take up to 94kW for a similar charge in 42 minutes.

Safety-wise, the ZS EV fares better than the petrol ZS, boasting a full five-star Euro NCAP rating thanks to its standard safety kit and superior occupant protection.


Overview of Costs

Strengths:

  • Long warranty
  • Many standard tools
  • Affordable list price

Weaknesses:

  • Depreciates faster than rivals
  • Lower reliability score for MG brand

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the MG ZS EV good or bad?

While it may not drive as well as some rival electric SUVs, the ZS EV compensates with an affordable price tag, high levels of equipment, decent electric range, and excellent practicality. Our expert reviewers awarded it four stars out of five.

What is the actual range of the MG ZS EV?

In our real-world tests, the ZS EV Long Range managed 246 miles per charge in summer conditions. Expect somewhat less in colder weather.

How long does it take to charge the MG ZS EV at home?

Using a 7kW home charger, the standard MG ZS EV takes about eight hours to reach 100%, while the Long Range version takes 10.5 hours.


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