MG ZS EV (2019) Review
MG ZS EV (2019) At A Glance
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.