Can MG’s ZS EV match the established players in the compact electric SUV class?
Verdict 4 stars
The MG ZS EV isn’t about to set new benchmarks on dynamics. But as an overall proposition, with that aggressive pricing, the practicality and low running costs factored in, it is by far the best effort yet from the ‘reborn’ MG brand. And one that deserves to find its place as a real alternative to the likes of the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf – particularly amongst electric car customers, second-car families and company car choosers, who tend to be more focused on ease of use and battery ranges than they are the badge on the nose.
The MG ZS has garnered a reputation for being one of the more practical small SUVs on the market – a vehicle that sits between the likes of the Nissan Juke and Qashqai on size, while competing hard on price. Now, though, the range is being bolstered by the ZS EV – a pure-electric version that has the potential to radically shift MG’s brand perception with British buyers.
In fact, if the stories about pent-up demand for small EVs are indeed true, the ZS EV surely has the potential to become MG’s best-selling vehicle in the UK. That’s because the British division has access to decent supply of the vehicle, which is made in China, where MG and sister firm Roewe shifted 140,000 EVs in 2018 alone, and a recently opened battery factory can supply up to 300,000 vehicles per year. When the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric and even the Kia e-Niro are stifled by long waiting lists, there’s a clear opportunity for MG to steal more than a few customers.
The ZS EV can’t compete with those Korean models on range but then, it’s undercutting them both on price anyway (and then some – more of that later). The battery capacity is 44.5kWh – enough, under the tougher WLTP test regime, for an official range of 163 miles – some way short of the e-Niro’s 282 miles, but pretty much on a par with the likes of the current 40kWh Nissan Leaf (168 miles). The WLTP city range, incidentally, is 231 miles – a sign of how much more sympathetic urban driving is to battery life.
Read more: Auto Express