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MG ZS EV

Priced from £21,495, 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. MG's SUV doesn’t deliver any surprises when it comes to quality or styling, but it does provide bucket loads of value.

Not everyone will get the MG ZS EV for £21,495 though. That list price (which includes the deduction for the Plug-in Car Grant) is limited to only the first 1000 cars to be sold in the UK. After that, the price jumps by £3500 to £23,495. But, even then, it’s still thousands cheaper than the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. 

So what do you get for your money? Well, in short, you get a spacious and well-equipped family car. 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 from Hyundai or Kia.  

At the business end of things, the ZS EV is powered by a front-mounted electric motor and a battery pack that's located under the car floor. MG claims that the ZS EV will cover 163 miles on a full charge, while the city range, with lots of short runs in start/stop traffic will be closer to 231 miles. We should point out that neither of those figures can match the advertised figures of the Kia e-Niro (282 miles) or the Kona Electric (279 miles).

MG ZS EV 2

Charging the battery is easy, with the socket located behind a panel in the front grille. The ZS EV can be boosted from flat to 80 per cent in 40 minutes from a 50kW charging station, while a full charge at home will take six hours via a 7kW wall box. 

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. This means the ZS EV has no shortage of pace, although the power delivery is not as refined as we would like at low speeds. Indeed, the throttle has an on-off nature and even the gentlest of nudges of the pedal will provide an unwelcome jolt of power, which can make parking a sweaty palmed process. 

MG didn’t give us the opportunity to test the ZS EV on the motorway, but in town the electric motor is quiet and smooth at 20-30mph. 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. 

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.

 MG ZS EV 3

When the original ZS was launched in 2017 it was criticised by some drivers for its lack of tech, but MG has attempted to counter this by giving all EV versions the new MG Pilot system, which adds adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking and lane guidance assist. High spec models also get rear cross traffic alert, which warns the driver of approaching cars when reversing out of parking space of driveway. 

If truth be told, all versions are well-equipped as standard. Even the entry-level Excite trim gets a leather steering wheel, electric parking brake and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with DAB audio, navigation and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. 

PCP monthly payments are projected to start below £300 a month (with a £1750 deposit) and this will put the ZS EV on par with much smaller electric cars. MG could well be the brand that kick-starts the affordable revolution for EVs in general.

We will have to wait until we drive the ZS EV on the open road before we can make a full judgement on its handling and refinement, but it’s difficult to deny that MG has produced a truly affordable family SUV. 

The MG ZS EV is on sale now with UK deliveries expected in September. Prices start at £21,495.

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