MG ZS EV Long Range


    So far, the (albeit) small selection of electric cars I’ve sampled over the past few years have failed to impress. There have been exceptions of course.

     Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S for example, is beautifully built, astonishingly quick, and above all, feels like a Porsche should – but at £136,830 before options, one could argue so it damn-well should. The Taycan Turbo S’s range on a fully charged battery is said to be 257 miles; hardly what you call continent crushing. 

    Then there’s the E-Up! (No, honestly, that’s what it’ called), the all-electric version of Volkswagen’s brilliant Up! city car. Around town it’s perfect; nippy, easy to park, fun even, not to mention congestion charge and road tax free. But an E-Up – one of the cheapest electric vehicles currently on sale (if you believe certain reviews) costs from £23,650 upwards. An Up! with a petrol engine can be yours, brand new, for £13,250. Fully charged an E-UP! has a range of around 160 miles, whereas fully fuelled the 3-cylinder petrol Up! is good for around 400. I’ll let you do the maths.

     And then there’s whole charging issue. When do you find a charger? Will there be a queue? Will you have the right card/app to use it? Will it actually work when you do? And then there’s the waiting time. How is one meant to spend a day in the sleepier market towns of Blighty, while the car takes 9 hours to charge?  If only there was a quick way you could refuel, a liquid you could pour into a tank perhaps…

     It’s with that level of scepticism (should that say experience?), that I approached the MG ZS EV – as in electric vehicle. And yes, before you ask like I did, this is the long-range version. With a full, contingency of electrons, it’ll do 273 miles between fill-ups, apparently.

     I’m also acutely aware that to many a petrolhead anything wearing the infamous octagonal MG badge, and even the merest mention of electric, in the same sentence is the stuff of nightmares. Let’s not mention the Rover collaboration too, some of us will ever sleep again!

     Fortunately, such things are in the past. So-much-so in fact that What Car Magazine have just named the MG ZS EV their ‘Best Used Small SUV’ for a second consecutive year,  recognising MG’s compact, zero-emissions SUV as a fantastic option for customers looking for their first electric vehicle, and describing the ZS EV as ‘a terrific way to get into fully-electric motoring’.

   The ZS EV has proved a favourite with customers across the new and approved used market since launch, with the facelifted Long Range model (as sampled here) having been launched in November last year.

      It’s certainly practical. The ZS will seat five and accommodate the weekly big-shop. A 60/40 split folding rear seat and its boxy body means it’s handy for lugging larger loads too – I used it to pick-up a set of alloy wheels that were going cheap on eBay.

    It’s also nicely equipped. If you can live with a few hard plastics here-and-there, and the ZS’s somewhat generic SUV styling – it’s a bit Mazda here, a bit Qashqai there, a bit any SUV you can think of almost everywhere else - you’ll get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, automatic air conditioning, adaptive cruise control and integrated sat-nav with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. If you pick an SE version that is.

      If your budget runs to such things, the range-topping Trophy gains goodies such as powered folding door mirrors, automatic wipers, wireless smartphone charging, an upgraded audio system and MG's iSmart live services which includes weather and live traffic updates and access to Amazon Music. There’s also a new 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen which handles the sat-nav, DAB, and rear-view camera display. It’s not the highest resolution screen I’ve seen, nevertheless, it’s certainly not the grainiest.

   The same could be said of the driving experience. Dynamically, the MG ZS EV is not car that will set your pulse racing; the steering is a tad numb, it rolls in corners, and everything feels a bit soft. A single speed transmission means you don’t feel very involved in what’s going on either. But, it’s surprising how smooth and how swift the ZS feels – no doubt as a result of the motor’s instant torque whatever your speed. Factor in the adjustable KERS system that recovers energy when you lift-off, and you can very nearly drive the ZS EV using just the accelerator pedal alone. It really is incredibly easy to drive. That 273-mile range feels attainable too – rather than just something that once happened in a test lab somewhere.

     I’ll readily admit I’m yet still to be charmed by any car that’s fully electric; I like engines and the noises they make, and I like to feel as though I’m involved when I drive rather than being simply being conveyed. That said, and quite unexpectedly-so, I genuinely liked the MG ZS EV. It may not be something that’ll set your heart aflutter but trust me – and I speak from experience - it is infinitely better than you think it’s going to be. 



MG ZS EV Long Range

Battery Capacity: 72.6 kWh (usable: 68.3 kWh)

Transmission: Single Speed, rear-wheel drive

Motor Output (max): 130kw / 176PS / 174bhp

Motor Torque (max):  280Nm / 206 lbft

0-62mph: 8.2 sec

Max Speed: 108 mph

WLTP Combined range: 273 Miles

WLTP Consumption: 3.5 miles/Kwh (kWh /100km 17.8)

Charging Times: 7kW: 10.5 hours. 50kW: 1 hour and 3 minutes. 100kW: 42 minutes.

Price: from £34,495.00


Many thanks to Heather at MG’s UK press office for the loan of the ZS EV





Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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