New MG ZS EV 2021 review

The Long Range version of the facelifted MG SZ EV could be a game-changer for the fast-growing manufacturer

The new MG ZS EV still offers no-nonsense, no-frills electric motoring – just over a longer distance than before and for slightly more money. It’s a bargain EV for those prioritising range and roominess on a budget, but there are compromises to make on quality. It won’t suit everyone, but it’s an appealingly affordable electric SUV.

This could be a sliding doors moment, not just for MG – a brand that is steadily building solid sales figures in the UK – but for Britain’s electric car market. It’s the facelifted ZS EV, a heavily revised version of MG’s compact electric SUV that arrives with some updates usually associated with an all-new car, not a mid-life refresh.

It doesn’t look hugely different, with a new, smarter front grille joined by updated headlights, a fresh rear bumper and a revamped colour palette. It’s still very much an amalgamation of common small family SUV design themes, but it’s what’s underneath that counts. That’s because while the old ZS EV was only available with a 44kWh battery enabling 163 miles of range, this new version offers two choices.

ZS EV (Image: MG)

ZS EV (Image: MG)

A 51kWh car will come early next year offering 198 miles of range and a cost likely in line with the pre-facelift model’s price tag of around £25,000. But arriving in MG showrooms at the end of November is this 72.6kWh Long Range version.

On paper, it takes the ZS into entirely new territory. Up to 273 miles of range is claimed, and this facelifted model is priced from £28,495 after the £2,500 plug-in car grant – or £319 a month on a typical three-year, 10,000-mile per annum PCP deal with a 10 per cent deposit and a £1,500 contribution from MG. The figures really are a big pull, because similarly sized electric SUVs such as the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e cost more, and also won’t get you nearly as far on a full charge.

An electric motor with 154bhp and 280Nm of torque drives the front axle, a slight rise in power but a decrease in peak torque over the previous model. The new ZS’s battery only contributes an additional 10kg to the kerbweight, which is good given the extra range that’s on offer.

With a 98 per cent charge, we saw a predicted range of 267 miles, rising to 280 miles in Eco mode. Over 127 miles of motorway, B-roads and London city streets we averaged 3.7 miles per kWh. With the battery’s usable capacity standing at 68.3kWh, it translates to a real-world range of around 252 miles, strong figures for an electric car of this size and price.

Read more: Auto Express

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