MG ZS EV review
The updated MG ZS EV is a well equipped and practical small electric family car, with the new Long Range version offering impressive range at an affordable price
- Great price
- Competitive range
- Interior quality
- Rapid charging speeds
- A bit dull to drive
|Car type||Electric range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||273 miles||10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||42mins (10-80%, 76kW)|
Since its launch in 2019, the MG ZS EV has offered people a very affordable route into zero-emissions motoring. The electric SUV consistently undercut the prices of rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e, while providing similar levels of practicality and standard kit. But now, for 2022, MG has given the ZS EV a facelift, adding new styling, an updated infotainment setup and introducing a Long Range version to its line-up, which boasts a range of up to 273 miles.
The 110-mile bump in range over the previous-generation model is thanks to a significantly larger battery. The pre-facelift model used a 44.5kWh unit, while the new Long Range version of the refreshed ZS EV gets a sizeable 72.6kWh battery. There is another ZS EV model with a smaller 51kWh battery coming in 2022, which will be less expensive while also having a 198-mile range, but it's the Long Range we’ve driven and that’s currently in showrooms.
When we picked our test car up it had 98% charge and showed us a predicted range of 267 miles, rising to 280 miles if we switched into Eco mode. Over 127 miles of motorway, 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 top-spec Renault ZOE or Nissan Leaf could cover on a single charge.
But, fully recharging the battery from a home wallbox will take around 10-and-a-half hours, and rapid charging speeds are limited to 76kW, meaning topping up from 10-80% will take 42 minutes from a fast enough DC charging-point.
The bigger battery does come with a price increase as well, but only a relatively small one considering. The new ZS EV Long Range starts from £28,495 after the UK government’s plug-in car grant has been deducted, compared to £25,495 for the pre-facelift model. For that you get the 72kWh battery, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, a 360-degree parking camera, and 10.1-inch central touchscreen.
Performance remains peppy rather than blistering. The updated ZS EV’s electric motor pumps out 154bhp and 280Nm, all of which is sent to the front wheels, and 0-62mph takes 8.4 seconds – 0.1 seconds quicker than the previous model could manage – while the top speed is 108mph. 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 the electric SUV is comfortable and quiet, although not the most serene EV on sale.
Inside, there’s lots of space in both the front and rear, with good headroom available, even when fitted with a panoramic glass roof fitted like our top-of-the-range test car was. Boot space stands at 470 litres – more than enough for daily family life, plus there’s a false boot floor to store charging cables beneath, too. However, the cabin quality does still leave something to be desired, because it features some cheap-looking plastics and fake leather – telltale signs of the cost-saving.
That said, there is a new digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel, and the new 10.1-inch central infotainment touchscreen is an improvement. It could react a bit quicker to inputs, but the menus are logical enough, and it’s sharp and bright. Plus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, too.
Ultimately, while the 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-for-money EVs on the market. The Long Range version in particular, thanks to its 273-mile range and sub-£30,000 starting price. 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 new Long Range version offering impressive range at an affordable price
- 2Range, battery & chargingWhile the new Long Range version of the MG ZS has an impressive 273-mile range that trumps many of its rivals’, the same cannot be said for the MG’s rapid charging capabilities
- 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 you go for, with the updated model featuring an improved infotainment system
- 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, and the electric ZS has received a strong safety score from the Euro NCAP crash safety tests
- 8Owner reviewLondon teacher Malcolm Smith shares his experience of first-time electric-car ownership with an MG ZS EV