Twin test: Kia Soul EV First Edition vs MG ZS EV Exclusive

Electric family SUVs go head-to-head: will more expensive Kia win out against value-focused MG?

These two pure-electric cars are not what you’d call direct rivals. The MG ZS EV has already established a reputation for exceptional value, offering an official range of 163 miles from only £25,995, although we’re testing it in top-spec Exclusive trim, costing £27,495.

The Kia Soul EV is its latest rival in an increasingly busy class of compact, high-riding family cars and takes a different tack. A long official range between charges of 280 miles, all the equipment you could wish for and bold styling made to look only more startling by the remarkably generic-looking MG come at a price of £34,295.

But if you’re considering a battery-powered car, need a functional family layout and like a dash of SUV bravado, you'll invariably find yourself comparing these two cars. Even with rivals like the Peugeot e-2008 on the horizon, more conventional hatchbacks like the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and even more expensive alternatives such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, our two protagonists stick out in the search for a plug-in family car.

Kia Soul EV First Edition

Pros

  • Long range
  • Great infotainment
  • Tidy and confident drive

Cons

  • High finance costs
  • High insurance group
  • Comparably small boot

MG ZS EV Exclusive

Pros

  • Spacious boot capacity
  • Loads of equipment
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Underwhelming to drive
  • Lacks charging functionality
  • Poor reliability reputation

So how far do they go in the real world, what do you get for the money, which one’s the best family car and – ultimately – which one suits your lifestyle and budget best? Read on to find out.