MG ZS EV Review 2023

MG ZS EV At A Glance

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.

New prices start from £27,495, brokers can source from £25,495

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 as 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. Find out more in our MG ZS EV review.

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 now also on sale – 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? Only a few minor niggles, really. There's the aforementioned wind noise, while the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel means a handful of drivers might struggle to get comfortable.

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 MG ZS EV review.

Ask Honest John

Can I disable the automatic locking on my MG ZS EV?

"I have recently purchased a 70 plate MG ZS EV. It has automatic central locking when the car travels above a set speed ? 10 or 20mph. Is it possible for this to be disabled? It can be done by pressing the central locking tab on the door handle, but will reset itself every time the car stops and restarts, which is tiresome and slightly awkward. I understand on the later models it can be disabled by the owner. My wife is fearful that the automatic unlocking in an accident will not work!"
On later versions of the MG ZS you can deactivate this function in the 'Convenience' settings menu, but if your vehicle does not have this option the doors can be unlocked from the inside by pulling on the interior door handle twice if the vehicle has locked automatically when in motion. In addition, the vehicle is equipped with a crash sensor which will automatically unlock all the doors if it is triggered.
Answered by David Ross

Should we buy a PHEV, mild hybrid or pure electric vehicle?

"Nine years and 111,000 miles ago I bought a Mazda 5 on your advice which has served me well but is getting tired. My wife has a 13 year old Nissan Micra which has done 60,000 miles. Along with solar panels we have installed an EV charging point and now want to reduce to one vehicle. Eighty per cent of our daily mileage is less than 20 for each vehicle. There is a weekly 100-mile round trip in the Mazda and longer 200-300 mile trips with overnight stays every two months. The Micra does 50-mile round trips weekly. What is the best type of EV for our usage (PHEV, mild hybrid etc.) and which models deserve a closer look? Our budget is £30,000-£35,000. I am six foot so headroom and driving position is important. We want a comfortable five-door car with higher access and a decent sized but not enormous boot, somewhere in size overall between the Mazda and the Micra. "
We'd recommend a pure-electric vehicle for your needs. The new MG 4 could be a good option - it's an electric hatch with a higher-than-normal seating position and a range of between 218 and 281 miles depending on which model you choose. With prices starting from £25,995, it's well within budget and represents remarkable value for money. Also consider the MG ZS EV or an alternative like the Hyundai Kona Electric.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a versatile EV?

"What would be an appropriate EV replacement for my lovely Skoda Yeti?"
The obvious choice is the Skoda Enyaq iV. It's one of our favourite electric cars with impressive versatility. You could also look at the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6 – or the new Kia Niro EV, which is slightly smaller but still a very convincing electric car. If you're on a tight budget, we'd also recommend the MG ZS EV. This guide might be useful:
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend an electric SUV?

"I am contemplating changing my large automatic SUV vehicle to an electric or plug-in hybrid. I don’t quite understand the cost of charging compared to the range the vehicles can potentially achieve. Which cars achieve the most mileage for the price to charge the car? I cover approximately 5,000-6,000 miles a year, generally in the countryside, up to a distance of 20 miles radius, with an occasional short drive locally. I intend to charge at home as I am retired and prefer an SUV type vehicle due to ride height and ease of getting in and out of it. My budget would be in the range of £25,000-£40,000 as I don’t wish to be penalised for extra car tax. I would also like to hear your opinion on the cost of electricity that keeps increasing dramatically and if it is a false economy of purchasing an electric vehicle."
To find out how efficient an electric car is, you need to look at the miles/kWh figure. This is kind of the electric equivalent to MPG. A Skoda Enyaq, for example, officially returns around 3.7 miles per kWh. That means, with its 77kWh net battery capacity, you'll be looking at a range of around 285 miles. The cost of electricity will depend on your home electricity tariff. If you're paying, for example, 28p per kWh, you'll pay around £21.50 to fully charge the Enyaq at home – equating to around 8p per mile. That's still significantly less than a petrol or diesel car. If you have to use public rapid chargers regularly, you'll be paying significantly more for electricity and it might not make as much financial sense. You will save in other areas, though – such as VED (road tax) and servicing costs. We'd recommend an MG ZS EV for your requirements – it's an excellent introduction to electric cars. Bear in mind, though, that EVs with a list price of more than £40,000 aren't hit by the premium car tax.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a MG ZS EV cost?

Buy new from £25,495(list price from £32,995)