MG ZS EV (2019) Review

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MG ZS EV (2019) At A Glance


+Sensational value for money, incredibly practical for a family, surprisingly good on interior quality, seven-year warranty.

-Limited range compared with many EV rivals, rather clumsy touchscreen system, not awfully quiet for an EV.

The MG ZS EV is a unique proposition in the current electric vehicle market. It costs significantly less than several supermini- or city car-sized offerings (the Renault Zoe and Mini Electric being examples), but it’s a Qashqai-sized SUV that provides far more space and practicality. It also looks good inside and out, and there’s loads of luxury equipment to keep you comfortable and entertained. Granted, it has a few flaws and the relatively limited range probably will rule it out for those who need more versatility for their family wheels, but within its given window of operation, the ZS EV is very tough to beat, especially at the price.

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.

We won’t take you through every footnote of MG’s convoluted history. Suffice it to say that this once-desirable British sports car maker found itself in a bit of strife a few years back under Rover’s ownership, and was then bought (as part of its parent company) by a Chinese firm that now builds and markets low-volume budget cars under the MG brand. There we go, you’re pretty much caught up.

It’s fair to say that the current crop of products offered by modern-day MG represents a fairly motley bunch.

There’s no denying their affordability, but each one has significant weaknesses in other areas that limits its appeal to mainstream car buyers. It’s also fair to say that the ZS SUV is probably the most well-rounded of the lot, so it’s a good job that the company chose this model as the basis of its first foray into the electric vehicle (or EV) marketplace.

The result is the ZS EV, and it really isn’t what you might expect from an unashamed budget brand. It looks good, with no awkwardness of fussiness in its styling. The interior is nice, with plenty of high-grade materials and some thoughtful finishes.

It’s packed with modern-day technology, with an all-encompassing infotainment system, loads of standard luxury kit and a suite of safety aids that includes most of the latest clever systems. Honestly, this really doesn’t feel like the bargain-basement product that you’ve probably already written it off as.

Perhaps even better, it’s big. Compare it to other EVs of a similar ballpark price (although in reality, none of them can match the MG’s incredibly low price), a collection of superminis and supermini-sized SUVs, and this Qashqai-sized family car absolutely blows them away for space. Even by the standards of similarly sized rivals, this is a roomy car, with loads of space in any of the five seats, a big boot and family-friendly touches to keep life easy.

You won’t find too many signs of cost-cutting on the road, either. Sure, it’s not the last word in either ride comfort or handling prowess, but it does a thoroughly acceptable job in both areas, and thanks to the strong performance you get from the car’s 143PS electric motor, it’s a very easy and relaxing car to drive.

It’s reasonably quiet compared with a regular combustion-engined car, too, although with a slightly whiny motor and plenty of wind and road noise, it’s not as quiet as most other EVs.

Other gripes? The infotainment system is rather glitchy and occasionally confusing to use, while more steering adjustment would come in handy. More critically for EV buyers, though, many rivals have its official range figure of 163 miles beaten fairly easily, and this figure will inevitably be a lot lower in the real world. That limits the car to short-haul use only, and anyone who needs more versatility from the car will need to look elsewhere.

However, if your regular journeys - school runs, short-hop commutes, trips to the shops - fall into the MG’s window of operation, and your family has access to another more conventional family car for longer weekend trips, then this is a very affordable - and actually very pleasant - way of getting around during the week.


Ask Honest John

I want an electric car to replace two diesel cars. What do you suggest?
"I drive a 2011 Ford Galaxy auto, mostly for transporting grandkids to school and long motorway journeys. I have a 2007 Fiat Panda for local runs around town. I get 44mpg and 60mpg respectively, both diesel engines. Choosing a new car has been a nightmare for me, so any good advice welcome. I want one car - possibly a good quality used car. Ultimately, I would like electric, I just feel they are too expensive at the moment. My total yearly mileage is usually 11,000. My budget is £15,000-20,000."
You can certainly get a good electric car within budget. How about an MG ZS EV? It's a versatile electric vehicle with a range of 163 miles. Prices for a new one start from £25,495 but you can pick up a nearly-new one for less than £19,000. If you'd prefer something more premium (but less practical), consider a BMW i3. If you're not ready to make the jump to an electric car, we'd recommend a hybrid model. A Toyota C-HR or RAV4 could be a good choice. Or a Kia Niro.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Why is there such a long wait for new electric cars?
"Just tried to buy a Peugeot e-2008 from my local dealer, it had done 250 miles and was their demonstrator. However, Peugeot has said they can’t sell me that particular car. There is a six to seven-month wait for a similar vehicle. Can you recommend a similar vehicle in the same price range?"
There's a lot of demand for electric vehicles at the moment so it's not surprising to hear of a long waiting list for the Peugeot e-2008. Also consider the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric or maybe the MG ZS Electric.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What electric cars offer a high seating position?
"Which EVs have a high driving position?"
MG ZS EV, Kia e-Niro, Kia Soul EV, Jaguar I-Pace, Hyundai Kona Electric, Peugeot e-2008.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which electric cars have higher seating positions?
"Can you point me in the direction of affordable electric cars with higher seating positions? I'm 83 and reasonably fit but higher seating does help. Currently own a 2017 Peugeot 3008."
The answer to this very much depends on your definition of 'affordable'. However, if we use your current car as a baseline (which starts at £26,000 new), you can get: A new MG ZS EV: A 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric: It might also be worth considering the Nissan Leaf. Technically it is a hatchback, but the driving position is higher than that of a Ford Focus and there is huge level of choice on the used market.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a MG ZS EV (2019) cost?

Buy new from £14,035 (list price from £15,390)