The MG ZS EV is a low-cost, spacious, practical SUV
Introduction to the MG ZS EV
The MG ZS EV is MG’s first fully electric car (BEV) available in the UK market.
It’s a practical, 5-seat SUV at a surprisingly low price, given all its features.
MG is now owned by Chinese company SAIC Motor. China is an electric vehicle world leader, with more electric cars and buses than any other country on earth.
Read our MG ZS EV review below for a quick overview of price, real-world range, trim levels, etc., followed by video reviews at the end.
- Excellent value for money
- Cheapest 5-seater EV you can buy
- High ground clearance
- Range could be higher
- No app for pre-heating
- No timer for charging
- Charge port is awkward to access
Range on a single charge
The ZS EV has a 44.5 kWh capacity battery. Officially, according to the WLTP standard, it will go 163 miles before it needs recharging.
In reality, the range of an EV varies according to multiple factors and it’s best to knock off about 10% to reach a real-world, average range of about 147 miles.
That’s not a very high range for a modern electric cars. It puts it on a par with the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf which has a range of about 151 miles.
As ever with range, it depends on how many miles you need to cover per day. If your round-trip, daily commute is below 100 miles, you’ll be fine. You can power up at home on a cheap, off-peak rate and have a full ‘tank’ in the morning.
For longer trips, the MG ZS EV has rapid charging capabilities. It comes with a CCS charger socket which offers DC charging speeds up to 80 kW.
Read the next section to put the MG’s range into perspective, by comparing it with the price you pay.
There are two trim levels for the MG ZS EV:
The Excite model costs from £22,245, including the government plug-in car grant.
The Exclusive model begins at £24,245 with the grant.
Is the MG ZS EV price competitive? Yes it is. The Excite model is the cheapest 5 seater electric car in the UK.
When you divide the price of the base model of £22,245 by its real-world range of 147 miles (163 miles according to WLTP), you get £151.
In terms of value for money, that puts it into fourth place behind the Kia e-Niro (£130), the Hyundai Kona Electric (£140) and the Renault Zoe (£145).
This MG electric SUV comes with plenty of features as standard. Read this section of our review to discover optional extras and how the two trim levels differ.
There are four colours to choose from for both versions of the MG ZS EV:
- Artic White
- Black Pearl
- Pimlico Blue
- Dynamic Red
For both cars, white is standard and free. Black and Blue cost an extra £545. Red is £695 more.
MG ZS EV Excite
The base Excite model has a lot to offer and comes with:
- 8-inch touchscreen with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- MG-Pilot driver assistance tech (see section below)
- Satellite navigation
- Digital DAB radio
- Sound system with four speakers
- 2 x USB ports for charging
- Keyless entry
- Bluetooth connectivity for your mobile phone
- Parking sensors when reversing
- Headlights which come on automatically
- Air con
- Electric windows front and rear
- Electronic parking brake
- Leather steering wheel
- Electric door mirrors
- 17-inch alloy wheels
MG ZS EV Exclusive
In addition to all the items above, the higher spec Exclusive model also offers:
- Panoramic sunroof
- Reversing camera
- Driver’s electrically adjustable seat
- Mock leather seating
- Heated seats in the front
- Blind spot detector
- Filtered air-conditioning
- Auto windscreen wipers
- Traffic assist
- Heated door mirrors
- Roof rails in silver
For home charging, you can charge both models with a Type 2 plug at 7 kW on your home AC electricity connection.
When out and about, you can rapid charge at up to 80 kW at a DC rapid charging point. That’s plenty of power to get you back on the road as fast as possible.
For a complete picture of all the differences between the models, go to the MG UK website (link below) and read the online brochure. Alternatively, send your local dealer an email and they can put a physical copy of the brochure in the post.
This is MG’s answer to Tesla’s Autopilot and Nissan’s ProPILOT.
The philosophy is to keep you safe and in control, making driving the MG ZS electric as easy as possible.
With Pilot engaged, the Excite model gives you:
- Lane Keep Assist
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Active Emergency Braking
- Bicycle & Pedestrian Detection
- Traffic Jam Assist
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
- Intelligent High Beam Assist
Over and above these features, the Exclusive model adds:
- Blind Spot Detection
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
If you’re wondering what Rear Cross Tariff Alert is all about: it helps you avoid crashing into cars when reversing onto a road.
Probably not something you should be doing in the first place…
The technology is very clever, but complex. Best to read the owner’s manual to get the most out of it.
Who is the MG ZS EV for?
This MG EV is ideal for a family. Why?
It’s a spacious SUV – 5 seat capacity – and enjoys a high driving position. No problem going through countryside floods.
The two outer, rear seats are fine for tall adults. The middle seat – as with most cars these days – is narrow and better suited for a child.
The boot is large (470 litres) and the rear seats can be folded down, with a 60:40 split, to create a really big space (1,100 litres).
With the Exclusive version, you get a large, panoramic sunroof which makes the cabin really light and airy. There is even an electric blind for the sunroof which helps keep the warmth in on cold days.
It’s also nippy enough for most everyday occasions. According to the official data, it will do 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 87 mph. Cars with an electric motor have instant power and it’s a real adrenaline rush.
You can control how much power is delivered by selecting one of the three drive modes: Eco, Normal or Sport. Eco makes the accelerator response quite dull. Normal mode would probably be your default to eke out more range. Sport is for the boy racers.
You will also notice a ‘KERS’ selector. This controls regenerative braking or ‘regen’, and there are three levels. If you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal, the car will automatically slow down. Instead of the brakes being applied, regen makes the electric motor go in reverse and charge your car’s battery. You can select how hard the regen effect is with the KERS button.
Safety is strong with the Pilot features mentioned above, plus 2 x ISOFIX points in the back, lots of airbags, and anti-roll protection.
On the down side, not having a phone app for the car is both surprising and annoying. One of the joys of most EVs is being able to pre-heat your car on frosty mornings from the comfort of your kitchen. When it’s time to get into the car, the cabin is already nice and toasty and the windows are clear. Hopefully MG will address this point soon.
Also, the position of the charging socket is weird. Instead of being at the side of the car at a normal height, the socket is low down at the front. You have to bend or kneel right down to get at it.
Nonetheless, the £3,500 plug-in car grant makes this electric MG incredibly good value. The grant won’t last forever. If you take it out for a test drive and find this style of SUV to your liking, strike while the iron’s hot.
The ZS EV can also make sense as a company car, depending on what your job is.
If you need to transport boxes and bulky cargo, it will handle pretty much anything with style.
On the other hand, if you spend hours driving up and down the UK’s motorways, the MG ZS EV might come up short. Even the generous WLTP prediction of 163 miles before you have to charge might not be enough for a busy sales / business development person. Too much time at the charging point means less time with customers.
Having said that, if your daily driving requirements are fairly modest, the ZS EV with its chunky good looks will be perfectly at home in the corporate car park. If your employer installs a few charging points, you may even be able to charge for free at work
MG ZS EV Review Section
We have searched round the web and brought some of the best video and text reviews to you here in one place.
Click on the links below for a review of the ZS electric car from respected car reviewers based in the UK:
> Fully Charged Live
- Reviewer: Robert Llewellyn
- Organisation: Fully Charged Live
- Date published: 15 October 2019
- Length: 17 minutes 45 seconds
> After 3,000 miles
- Reviewers: James and Kate
- Organisation: James and Kate
- Date published: 8 December 2019
- Length: 22 minutes 22 seconds
> What Car?
- Reviewer: Will Nightingale
- Organisation: What Car?
- Date published: 23 July 2019
- Length: 10 minutes 10 seconds