FULL-ELECTRIC MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV is a compact SUV that’s fully electric – it has no petrol or other energy source. It’s sold at a driveaway price of $43,990, which is significantly lower than anything else in its class.

The name may suggest the MG is a British vehicle, it’s actually Chinese as that country has been snapping up overseas vehicle makers who have been in long-term financial strife.

China is one of the leaders in many aspects of electric energy, not just automotive and the MG ZS EV certainly benefits from that..

Part of the reason for the low(ish) price of the ZS EV is its relatively small batteries. This not only keeps the cost down but also reduces weight, which adds to performance. It’s officially measured range of 263 km is about 60 per cent of that of other pure electric vehicles we have recently road tested. See more in the Driving section this review.

STYLING
The MG ZS EV has a bold front highlighted by a large logo on a diamond grille. Push the MG badge and the front opens up to give you access to the charging ports.

It’s a modern-day SUV in its style and gained approval from those we displayed it to.

INTERIOR
The MG has soft materials, imitation leather with intricate stitching that looks almost like the real thing.

The Panoramic Stargazer Sunroof, covering 90 per cent of the roof it is one of the largest in the segment. Try for yourself as it can’t be fully shaded and may be a pain in sunny places.

The front seats are comfortable and we found them easy to adjust to suit our individual needs.

The rear seats have good legroom and footroom. As is often the way the rears work better for two people than for three.

It has a 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a maximum cargo space is 1,166 litres with the rear seats down.

INFOTAINMENT
The MG ZS EV has an 8-inch colour touchscreen, integrated Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six-speaker surround-sound audio and satellite navigation.

POWERTRAIN
The MG ZS has an electric motor producing 105kW of power and 353 Nm of torque. It’s driven by a 44.5 kWh battery.

MG ZS EV has a standard CCS2 socket located behind the grille. Plugged into a 10amp wall socket it takes about seven hours from next to nothing to almost 100 per cent. On a supercharger it would take just 45 minutes to reach 80 per cent.

SAFETY
MG assures us the 44.5 battery is built to the highest quality and safety standards that are dependently certified. The battery is shielded by high-strength steel enabling it to withstand fire, submersion, impact, dust, pressure and salt spray.

MG ZS EV comes with MG Pilot, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Speed Assist and Lane Departure warning.

The ZS EV has a 5-Star Euro NCAP rating.

DRIVING
Our driving range turned out to be pretty much in line with the measurements provided by MG. After our initial drive south from Brisbane to our home on the Gold Coast it had covered 95km and indicated about 60 per cent ‘full’.

We topped it up each night and suburban running about with shops and some touring it looked as though we could have managed near enough the 263km listed for the car.

It wouldn’t work for long country trips of the type we enjoy of a weekend. The number of public changing points on the east coast is expanding quickly but we would feel hampered by having to suit the needs of the car – not when and where we stopped.

There are three regenerative braking modes; Light, Moderate and Heavy. We chose Heavy but were disappointed that the MG can’t be driven as a one-pedal machine as the brakes have to be used to drop the final few km/h. Other EVs can do this, why can’t the MG?

The driver can choose between Eco, Normal and Sport modes, we found the Sport rather too abrupt at times so we spent most of our time in Normal.

SUMMING UP
The future of motoring is getting closer all the time and this MG is another step along the way. Like all electric vehicles the MG ZS EV is delightful to drive thanks its instant acceleration. The prompt way it answers to its steering is the sign it’s being aimed at keen drivers.

The warranty is impressive, eight years 160,000-kilometre on the battery; a five-year unlimited distance on the vehicle; five-year roadside assist package.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
MG ZS EV: $43,990 driveaway

SPECIFICATIONS (MG ZS EV five-door wagon)

ENGINE:
Capacity: Not applicable
Configuration: Not applicable
Maximum Power: 105 kW
Maximum Torque: 353 Nm
Fuel Type: Not applicable
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): L/100km
CO2 Emissions: zero

DRIVELINE: Not applicable

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4320 mm
Wheelbase: 2585 mm
Width: 1812 mm
Height: 1640 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 1532 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not applicable

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid Disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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