Review: MG ZS EV (2019)

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Rating:

UK's cheapest electric SUV. A genuine alternative to pricier rivals from Hyundai and Kia. Seven-year warranty.

163-mile range isn't as good as key rivals. Hit and miss cabin quality. Not great to drive.

MG ZS EV (2019): At A Glance

The MG ZS EV is the UK’s cheapest electric family car and a genuine alternative to pricier rivals, like the Hyundai Kona and Kia e-Niro. There are no surprises when it comes to quality or handling, but the ZS EV's value makes it easy to overlook its shortcomings. 

MG says the ZS was originally designed as an EV, and this means the electric version looks and feels identical to the standard car. You also get the same 488 litres of boot space as before - which is far more than you'll get in any of its EV rivals, like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. 

The ZS EV can't match its key competitors for range, however, with the MG covering an official 163 miles on a single charge. The ZS EV is powered by a front-mounted electric motor and a battery pack that's located under the car floor.

The electric motor powers the front wheels and gives the MG a welcome injection of performance, with 0-62mph taking a respectable 8.5 seconds. Torque is instant, with 434Nm available from the press of the accelerator pedal. 

The cabin is identical to the standard car, with a mixture of premium soft-touch materials and hard cheap plastics. The driving position is quite high (even by SUV standards) but visibility is good and the seats are firm and comfortable. The only slight annoyance is the absence of reach adjustment for the steering wheel.  The ride quality is on the firm side of comfortable, however, while the standard fit 17-inch alloy wheels transfer the occasional knock through the suspension.

All cars get a regenerative braking system that tops up the battery on-the-move by feeding energy back into the battery pack. 

MG ZS EV 2019 Road Test

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What does a MG ZS EV (2019) cost?

List Price from £14,485
Buy new from £14,176
Contract hire from £255.23 per month

What have we been asked about the MG ZS EV (2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Should I replace my diesel car with a hybrid or electric vehicle and, if so, which one?

I own a Skoda Yeti diesel, which I have used for towing a caravan for the past six years. Due to our advancing years, we have decided to give up caravanning and no longer need a diesel car. We will probably pass the Yeti onto a family member and are now in the position of trying to decide on a replacement, but there is no rush. In the electric car range, the Kia e-Niro looks to be the front runner, but are like the proverbial hen's teeth. The Jaguar I-Pace is lovely but out of my price bracket. We need a car that can do mainly local journeys but can also cope with a regular 130 mile trip to Cumbria but (hopefully) without an hour's stop to charge it. Should I hang onto the Yeti for a while and wait for a wider choice of electric cars or can you suggest a suitable alternative such as a hybrid?
A Kia e-Niro sounds like a good choice and should easily be able to cover a 130 mile trip to Cumbria but, like you say, actually getting one is tricky. A Hyundai Ioniq Electric would be another strong choice, with an official range of 194 miles. Also consider the MG ZS EV - it's an affordable electric crossover, officially capable of covering 163 miles on a full charge. Alternatively, it might be worth waiting for the new Volkswagen ID.3, which will go on sale next year: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/new-cars/2019-09/volkswagen-id3-electric-car-revealed/
Answered by Andrew Brady
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