MG ZS EV review
The updated MG ZS EV is a well equipped and practical small electric family car, with the Long Range version offering impressive range for an affordable price
- Great price
- Competitive range
- Interior quality
- Rapid charging speeds
- A bit dull to drive
|Model||Electric range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Standard Range||198 miles||8hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||38mins (10-80%, 76kW)|
|Long Range||273 miles||10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||42mins (10-80%, 76kW)|
Since it was launched in 2019, the MG ZS EV has offered an appealingly affordable route into zero-emissions family motoring. The electric SUV has consistently undercut the prices of rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e, while providing similar practicality and standard equipment. For 2022, MG gave the car a facelift, tweaking the styling, updating the infotainment and introducing a Long Range version, with a range of up to 273 miles.
The 110-mile bump in range over the previous model is thanks to a significantly larger battery. The pre-facelift model used a 44.5kWh unit, while the Long Range version of the refreshed ZS EV gets a sizeable 72.6kWh battery. In February 2022, MG introduced an entry-level Standard Range car, which gets a 198-mile range thanks to a 51kWh battery, but so far we've only driven the Long Range model.
When we picked our test car up, it had 98% charge and showed a predicted range of 267 miles, rising to 280 miles when switched into Eco mode. Over 127 miles of motorways, B-roads and city streets, we averaged 3.7 miles per kWh, which translates to a real-world range of around 252 miles – further than either a Renault ZOE or Nissan Leaf could cover on a single charge.
Fully recharging the battery in the Long Range model with a home wallbox will take around 10-and-a-half hours, and because rapid charging speeds are limited to 76kW, topping up from 10-80% will take 42 minutes from a fast enough public charging point. The Standard Range model takes eight hours to fully recharge its 51kWh battery from a wallbox, or 38 minutes to go from 10-80% charge at public rapid-charging point.
In both standard and long-range forms, the ZS EV is available in three trim levels: SE, Trophy and Trophy Connect. Standard equipment on SE includes LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, vehicle-to-load charging, a 360-degree parking camera and a 10.1-inch central touchscreen.
Performance is peppy rather than blistering. Output hasn’t changed much from the original, with both cars still using a single electric motor that only powers the front wheels. The one in the standard ZS EV pumps out 174bhp, while Long Range models have 154bhp on tap. Torque is the same for both, at 280Nm, as is the 108mph top speed and 0-62mph times of over eight seconds.
But even in Eco mode, the ZS EV has enough punch for town driving and more, while Normal makes throttle inputs sharper and more reactive. Hop on the motorway and things generally stay comfortable and quiet, although this can't be called the most serene electric car on sale.
Inside, there’s lots of space front and rear, with good headroom available, even when the panoramic glass roof is fitted. Boot space stands at 470 litres – more than enough for daily family life, plus there’s a false floor to store charging cables beneath, too. However, cabin quality does leave something to be desired: there are some cheap-looking plastics and imitation leather – telltale signs of cost-saving to achieve low list prices.
That said, there's a digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel, and the 10.1-inch central infotainment touchscreen is an improvement over the one in the pre-facelift car. It could react a bit quicker to inputs, but the menus are logical and it’s sharp and bright. Plus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard-fit.
Ultimately, while the latest ZS EV makes the same compromises when it comes to quality as the pre-facelift model, the updated version of MG’s zero-emissions family car remains one of the best-value EVs on the market. For a more detailed look at the MG ZS EV, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe updated MG ZS EV is a well equipped and practical small electric family car, with the Long Range version offering impressive range for an affordable price
- 2Range, battery & chargingWhile the Long Range version of the ZS EV has an impressive 273-mile range that trumps many rivals, its charging speeds aren't as impressive
- 3Running costs & insuranceRunning costs for private buyers will be very low, and upcoming tax changes will make the MG ZS EV extremely attractive as a company car
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe MG ZS EV doesn't offer a thrilling drive, but it should do more than enough to satisfy typical family-car buyers
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe MG ZS EV is great value for money, offering plenty of kit regardless of which trim level you go for
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe MG ZS EV is comfortable and roomy SUV, that will do well as a family car
- 7Reliability & safety ratingAs with all electric cars, reliability should be strong, plus the ZS scored well in Euro NCAP crash safety tests
- 8Owner reviewLondon teacher Malcolm Smith shares his experience of first-time electric-car ownership with an MG ZS EV