MG ZS EV (2019) Review

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MG ZS EV (2019) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
There aren't many new car bargains these days but we reckon the MG ZS EV is one of them. A recently upgraded battery means it now has a genuinely competitive range, while the new infotainment system is just as good as you'll find in mainstream rivals.

+Nothing else beats it in terms of value for money. 273-mile range on the latest models. Practical and surprisingly well-finished interior. Seven-year warranty.

-Pre-facelift cars have a limited range and clumsy touchscreen infotainment system.

While many electric cars work well as a second pair of wheels (ideal for commuting to the station), the MG ZS EV is versatile enough to act your main family transport. For the price of a Renault Zoe or MINI Electric, the ZS EV has space for all the family, and it doesn't represent the compromise you might expect in other areas, either.

Looking for a MG ZS EV (2019 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

A new longer-range battery means the MG ZS EV can officially travel up to 273 miles between charges, which is almost as impressive as much pricier rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric. An even more affordable model with a range of 198 miles is set to follow in 2022 – or, if you're not too fussed about its mile-munching abilities, you can pick up a second-hand MG ZS EV with a 163-mile range for not a great deal of cash.

Charging is easy, thanks to a flap in the front grille that opens to reveal a CCS charging port. A full overnight charge will take around 10 and a half hours, costing around £11 (depending on your home electricity tariff). If you need a quick top up on the open road, a rapid charger should add 70% of range in a little over 40 minutes.

With instant acceleration, the MG ZS EV is easy to drive around town, while it can comfortably hold its own on the motorway, too. There's a bit more wind and road noise than you might expect, but that's partly a consequence of not having a petrol or diesel engine rumbling away up front.

Importantly for a family SUV, the MG ZS EV doesn't compromise on safety. It was awarded five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2019, while there's a long list of driver-assistance tech to keep you on the tarmac. This includes an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as a lane-keep assist feature.

There are now three core trim levels available: SE, Trophy and Trophy Connect. All are extremely well kitted out, with even the most affordable MG ZS EV SE (to give it its full name) featuring adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera and the excellent new 10.1-inch infotainment system (with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

We'd recommend the MG ZS EV Trophy, though, for an extra few driver assist features (namely Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist as well as Rear Cross Traffic Alert), alongside faux-leather seats and a panoramic glass sunroof which does an excellent job of brightening up the cabin. For an extra £500, the MG ZS EV Trophy Connect adds some live services to the infotainment (including weather, traffic and Amazon Music).

Not only is the MG ZS EV exceptionally well equipped for the cash, it doesn't feel like a budget option, either. A lot of the materials feel just as plush as you'd find in a Volkswagen ID.3, while the aforementioned media system demonstrates sharp graphics and quick responses.

Four adults can sit comfortably in the MG ZS EV (five at a push), while a big boot will swallow up prams, shopping and overnight bags. A 500kg towing capacity won't be enough for weekend warriors looking to lug a caravan, but at least you'll be able to fit a tow bar and carry a bike rack if required.

What's the catch? There isn't one, really. An MG ZS EV isn't going to turn heads in the same way as a new Hyundai Ioniq 5 or more premium alternatives like the Audi Q4 e-tron, but it looks smart enough. And with the money left over, you'll comfortably be able to afford a family holiday. That's a win in our books.

Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar's review of the MG ZS EV

Ask Honest John

What's the best EV on sale right now for range and boot space?
"I am interested in purchasing an electric car; however, I don't know where to start. Can you help me please? I'd like a car that has good range, like the Kia e-Niro and a large boot for the shopping, too. What do you recommend?"
A Kia e-Niro is a strong start. It's a practical choice with a very useable range. We'd also recommend the slightly bigger Skoda Enyaq iV – it's one of our favourite electric cars with an excellent cabin. You could also consider the Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ioniq 5. The MG ZS EV is worth a look, too – it's a budget choice but very impressive for the money.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will I still get the £2,500 plug-in car grant?
"I signed the order and a £500 deposit for the new MG ZS long range in December, am I still OK for the £2,500 plug-in car grant?"
It depends what date in December you placed the order. If it was seven days prior to the announcement (on 15 December) then yes the dealer can claim the £2,500 plug-in car grant. However, they need to have submitted the request on the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) portal before 15 December. If they didn't, they will need to speak to OZEV.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
Why don't you recommend more EVs to your readers?
"I just read the reply for a user who described the perfect case for an EV, yet you recommended something that burns fuel: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/askhj/answer/161598/should-i-buy-a-hybrid-or-electric-car- The MG ZS EV (for example) is about £21,500 list (discounts available) and would save the reader more than £21,000 in fuel alone (even after paying for electricity). If you are not going to recommend an EV for a "second car" doing 32-mile trips and high annual milages, when will you?"
Completely disagree – the Yaris is perfect for the job. The MG ZS has a list price of £26,095, which is a big price hike for a buyer that was bulking at paying £23,000 (notional discounts don't apply when we're handing out advice). Ignoring the Renault Twizy (not really a car), Smart EQ ForTwo (painfully slow) and SEAT Mii electric (not a great car for motorway driving) there aren't any electric cars on budget. In comparison to those two, the Yaris has plenty of space for four people, it's an excellent small car on the motorway and its hybrid engine is brilliant – allowing it to run on electric power alone almost all of the time. By my reckoning, you'd have to travel more than 185,000 miles to burn £21,000 worth of fuel in a Toyota Yaris, which doesn't sound realistic.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Will prices of electric cars come down soon?
"I would like to change my current car for an electric one, but at the moment they don't have the range I would like. I think this will happen in time, along with more charging points, but do you think the prices will come down? Thanks and regards."
Electric cars are gradually becoming more attainable. The key is to include running costs when doing the sums on monthly payments – a typical EV might be £100-200 a month more than a petrol equivalent on PCP finance, for example, but you could save that in fuel costs. Take a look at MG's electric models (including the MG5 EV and ZS EV). They represent very good value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a MG ZS EV (2019) cost?

Buy new from £15,908 (list price from £16,285)