MG ZS EV electric motor, drive & performance

The MG ZS EV doesn't offer a thrilling drive, but it should do more than enough to satisfy typical family buyers

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
8.5 seconds 87mph Front 141bhp

Keen drivers with memories of MG sports cars of old are unlikely to be queuing up to buy the ZS EV, but then they're not really the car's target market. It's perfectly competent around town, even if the ride is perhaps a little lumpy for some tastes.

MG ZS EV 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

A 141bhp electric motor drives the front wheels to get the ZS EV from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, although the performance from 0-30mph is more impressive – and arguably more relevant in urban and suburban driving. The car's top speed is just 87mph.

Handling

'Unremarkable' is the word best used to describe how the ZS EV drives; it just gets on with the job, without being particularly exciting or involving. Three driving modes are offered, allowing you to prioritise either efficiency or performance as desired, and a rotary selector between the front seats makes it easy to switch between them.

Like all electric cars, the ZS EV surges away from a standstill rapidly and is a swift performer around town. It does feel less planted on the motorway than a Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona Electric – it needs subtle steering inputs all the time to keep it in the middle of the lane and gets blown about by crosswinds a bit, so it's no relaxing long-distance cruiser. 

The ZS EV offers three-level adjustable brake-energy recuperation – similar to Nissan's 'e-Pedal' system and the one on the revised Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In – although the regenerative force isn't quite as strong as you get in those cars, even in its maximum setting.

True 'one-pedal driving', where you can just come off the accelerator to stop, isn't really possible. There's no 'auto' setting (where the car automatically moderates the braking to keep a safe distance from the car in front) as you get on some rivals, either.