MG MOTOR UK

MG MOTOR UK ZS ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 130kW SE EV 51kWh 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.2s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range198 miles

Looking for a compact family-sized full-electric model with zero emissions and the rapid responses characteristic of today's EVs? For some time now, the most affordable option you could consider has been MG's ZS EV, but the original version was let down by its modest drive range. That's been sorted with the smarter, revised variant, which remains sensibly priced and well equipped. If you're buying on a budget, you might rather like it.

POKE ZERO

MG improves its offering in the compact part of the electric vehicle market with this revised version of its affordable ZS EV model. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Looking for a compact family-sized full-electric model with zero emissions and the rapid responses characteristic of today's EVs? For some time now, the most affordable option you could consider has been MG's ZS EV, but the original version was let down by its modest drive range. That's been sorted with the smarter, revised variant, which remains sensibly priced and well equipped. If you're buying on a budget, you might rather like it.

Background

The world is calling for higher levels of electrified vehicle technology (which to some extent we've now got) and more affordable EV models (which we're still waiting for). Enter MG - and specifically, this improved ZS EV model, priced to undercut similarly-sized rivals by a significant amount. There's a chance you might already be familiar with the ZS. This decently spacious compact SUV was launched in 2018 with 1.0-litre or 1.5-litre petrol power. But MG were also keen to tell us at the time that this model's platform had been designed with full electrification very much in mind. Hence the introduction of the MG ZS EV in 2019 with a 44kWh battery, but that car could only go 163 miles between charges. MG knew it had to do better - and has, with this improved ZS EV longer range model. More fully electric MG models will of course follow, but how good is this one? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

As with most EVs, this one should feel sprightly away from rest, courtesy of the fact that all its drive torque is generated immediately from the get-go. The ZS EV is powered by a water-cooled lithium-ion battery which offers a vastly longer driving range than this model's original, rather feeble, 44kWh battery, which only took the car 163 miles. The entry point to the line-up is these days marked by a 51kWh battery, which can take you up to 198 miles. But MG expects that most will want its 72kWh Long Range battery, which can take this car up to 273 miles - and that's what we tried. At the wheel, instead of the usual gear stick, you select drive from a Rotary Gear Selector, which allows you to switch between three settings for the single-speed auto transmission - Drive, Neutral and Reverse. In front of this is a further control that allows you to switch between three levels of brake energy recovery (or turn the recovery system off). Level one will implement a small amount of regeneration, with much of the braking still dependent on the vehicle's brakes. Level three offers the greatest regenerative benefit, offering near one-pedal driving with minimal need for the brakes, improving the lifespan of the parts, increasing efficiency and reducing ownership costs.

Design and Build

Some would number this car amongst the more stylish family sector EV models you can buy. At just over 4.3m in length, it's an SUV sized somewhere between the smaller Crossover class (think Renault Captur/Nissan Juke) and the larger family-sized Crossover segment (think Nissan Qashqai/Kia Sportage). In this revised form, the ZS gets a smarter electric-only front end, with a stamped-effect grille to improve aerodynamics and a revised side-opening charging port. The bolder face is set off by LED headlights and distinctive daytime running lights. It also gets a redesigned rear bumper and smarter wheels. Without exception, all of the EV models you can currently buy on the UK market for under £30,000 are considerably smaller than this MG, both inside and out. Careful packaging has positioned the battery pack beneath the car, so that it doesn't impinge on either passenger or luggage space. Hence the way that it can handle bikes, pushchairs, luggage and bulky loads with no trouble at all. There's 448-litres of boot capacity, around 60-litres more than you'd get from most normal compact SUVs. Open the cabin doors and you're greeted with a spacious interior, though one with material quality not quite the equal of what you'd find from more established brands. Still, MG has tried hard, with faux-leather upholstery and a range of 3D shapes, metallic and chrome finishes. There's a decently large 10.1-inch centre-dash infotainment display too, with plenty of features, over-the-air updates and built-in navigation that's quick to react.

Market and Model

There are three trim levels, base 'SE', 'Trophy' and 'Trophy Connect', with asking prices starting at around £27,500 for the Standard range model and around £29,500 for the Long range version - both figures based on entry 'SE'-spec, once the government's £1,500 Plug-in car Grant has been deducted. That's way above what MG was asking for the original version of this EV model, but the government grant is less these days, so that's one reason for that. Plus the asking figure is still very good value by EV standards. Equipment levels are strong, with all variants getting the latest version of MG's infotainment system, with a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen featuring satellite navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming and DAB radio. There's also a state-of-the-art MG iSMART connectivity set-up, which offers a connection via a smartphone app, through which various car, climate, security and charging functions can be controlled remotely. Smart 17-inch alloy wheels are standard - and your dealer will want to show you the brand's glass sliding 'Sky Roof'. If you can progress up from base 'SE' trim to either the mid-range 'Trophy' or the top 'Trophy Connect-spec we have here, you get you leatherette upholstery and a large panoramic 'Sky Roof' sunroof, plus a 360-degree parking camera, a wireless phone charger and heated front seats. Safety provision has taken a big step forward with the introduction of this revised model, thanks to the standard inclusion of the 'MG Pilot' camera safety package.

Cost of Ownership

Earlier we mentioned this car's 273 mile WLTP-rated driving range in 72kWh Long Range form (23 miles more than the MG5 EV). That's a combined figure. MG quotes 207 miles for motorways, 305 miles for rural roads, 370 miles for towns and cities and 387 miles for slow-moving traffic. As we mentioned in our 'Driving' section, the base version with the smaller 51kWh battery has a combined range figure of up to 198 miles. Charging a ZS EV is straightforward thanks to its combined CCS and Type 2 port, mounted within the front grille for easy access from either side of the car. Charging status is now readily viewed on the four stage indicator LEDs inside the charging port. The combination Type 2 and CCS charger provides up to 7kW fast charging using the on-board AC charger, or up to 76kW DC rapid charging (depending on climatic conditions). This means the Long Range 72 kWh battery can be charged from 0-100% in as little as 42 minutes on a 100kW rapid charger (if you can find one). At home, the car can recharge itself using a standard 7KW wallbox in ten and a half hours; quite a bit more than the six hour time required for the previous 44kWh model. But overnight charging's still just about possible. In emergencies, the car can also be charged via a standard 3-pin plug. The battery pack is comprised of 18 cells and weighs just 280kg, providing competitive performance without generating any emissions. Managed by MG's Intelligent Battery Temperature Control system, the battery pack is insulated from external temperature variations, delivering the optimum power and range whatever the weather. As with all MG models, you also get one of the longest fully transferable warranties in its class, a 7 year/80,000-mile package being standard across all variants. Rivals such as SsangYong, Hyundai and Toyota only provide 5 years.

Summary

If you're wondering just how affordable a family-sized full-EV model with decent driving range can be, MG has delivered the answer here in the form of this improved ZS EV, which remains a typically tightly-priced package. Particularly in this 72kWh Long range form, this car might suit you down to the ground, especially if your motoring is based around short urban runs. It's well equipped, spacious and comes with a notably long 7 year transferrable warranty to complement a price that looks like a misprint. Is it the best car in the sector? No. Is it the best really affordable model in the class? Absolutely yes. MG has just taken another big step forward.

  • Rain sensor
  • Rear wiper
  • Front and rear electric windows with driver's one-touch up/down

  • Hill launch assist
  • Electric parking brake with auto hold function
  • 3 Regenerative braking modes (1, 2, 3)
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • EBA

  • Android Auto
  • iSmart user app (includes vehicle status, charging management, WiFi)
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Lane keep assist system (LAS) with Lane departure warning system (LDWS)
  • 3 Driving modes
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • 360 degree parking camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Power assisted steering

  • Trip computer
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Full digital driver information display
  • eCall emergency call system
  • 10.1" colour touchscreen
  • Rotary gear selector

  • Electrically adjustable, folding, body colour door mirrors

  • 2 USB C Ports (1x front, 1x rear)
  • 3 USB ports (1x front - inc data transfer, 1x rear, 1x rear view mirror - power only for dash cam accessory)
  • 4 speaker audio system
  • DAB audio

  • Vehicle to load charging
  • Rear side wing doors

  • Auto headlights
  • LED Bi-Function headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Follow me home headlights
  • Intelligent high beam
  • LED centre brake light

  • Auto air conditioning

  • Leather steering wheel
  • 12V power sockets
  • Houndstooth fabric upholstery
  • Adjustable dual height boot floor

  • Anti rolling protection
  • Rear passenger seatbelt reminder
  • Active emergency braking with pedestrian/Bicycle detection
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • Front seatbelts (3-point + pretensioner + load limiter)
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Front side airbags
  • Dual front airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Side curtain airbags
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Seatbelt reminder for driver and front passenger

  • 3 seat bench in 2nd row
  • 2nd row 60/40 split/fold
  • 6-way manually adjustable driver's seat
  • 3 rear headrests
  • Front headrests
  • ISOFIX restraints on outer rear seats x2
  • Single front passenger seat
  • 4 way manually adjustable passenger seat

  • Keyless entry and push button start system
  • Alarm system and engine immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Speed sensing door locks

  • 17" Propeller alloy wheel aero cover

  • Tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 480
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 7
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 54
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 10-80
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 36
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 10-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 51.1
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 429
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 320
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 13
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 17.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 4.7
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.6
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 266
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 198

  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Engine Code: N

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: SE EV
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 80000
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 176
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 28A
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 28.6
  • Engine Power - BHP: 176
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.2
  • Top Speed: 108
  • Engine Power - KW: 129
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 207
  • Engine Torque - NM: 280

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: PROPELLER
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/55 R17

  • Length: 4323
  • Width: 1809
  • Wheelbase: 2581
  • Width (including mirrors): 2048
  • Height: 1625
  • Height (including roof rails): 1649

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 470
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 500
  • Max. Loading Weight: 490
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1570
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2060
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1100
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.2

  • Metallic paint: £545
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Tri coat paint: £695

  • Metallic - Battersea Blue: £545
  • Metallic - Monument Silver: £545
  • Metallic - Black pearl: £545

  • Solid - Arctic white: £0

  • Tri coat - Dynamic Red: £695

  • Houndstooth fabric - Black: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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