MG ZS EV Review: Putting a Spark Back into Driving an MG

Written by

Simon Blaaser

Posted on

November 25, 2019

The MG ZS EV is the first MG I’ve sat in since throwing a friend’s 73rd mid-life crisis MG TF around country roads last winter. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting the ZS EV to put anywhere near a similar sized smile on my face as the TF did – but I was pleasantly surprised.

Reasonably priced at £21,995 (that’s including the government grant and MG customer saving), the ZS EV promises to be a family-friendly car designed for those who wants all the advantages of a zero emissions vehicle without compromising on practicality and style. After using the car for three days, I’d confidently say that MG have kept that promise.

In addition to the fact this vehicle is great value for money from a personal user’s perspective, it’s also great if you are a company car driver. In the 2020/21 tax year all electric cars will have a 0% benefit-in-kind rate (a tax on employees who receive perks on top of their salaries) and this vehicle will also be eligible for free annual road tax. There are also currently grants in place for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the workplace, with up to £10,000 of grants available from the government’s OLEV scheme.

The government has already suggested the grants won’t be available forever, so now is the time for businesses to adopt Electric Cars and maximise the savings and grant opportunities.

Even with all these incentives to drive electric in place, you still need to love the car and the day to day drive. Two specifications for the ZS EV are available, the Excite and the Exclusive – I had the latter. There is quite a significant difference between the two, with the most notable (for me at least) being the panoramic sunroof. I’m a sucker for a sunroof.

How does it drive?

Being fully electric, I expected the ZS to be very responsive to a tap of the throttle – and it certainly is. An impressive 0-60 speed of 8.5 seconds will slightly pin you against the comfortable leather seats.

I do prefer to give all cars I test a good thrashing around some B roads to get a true feeling for how it handles. The ZS’ handling is better than expected, I felt confident enough to push it through some tight bends and experienced the expected body roll. However, the seats in the Exclusive are great are holding you in so the body roll isn’t as apparent.

Childish B road thrashing aside, the ZS is a great car to drive. The driving position is nice, it’s responsive and being electric it’s so quiet.

Interior and features

As the years go on, more and more technology is being added to cars to make the experience that little bit more enjoyable.  The ZS is jam-packed with that type of tech.

The infotainment touchscreen combines Radio, Sat Nav, car settings, Apple CarPlay and so much more. However, I found it to be a little clunky and slow so be sure to try it out on a test-drive to make sure it’s not too slow for you either.

Other features of the car included Blind Spot Detection, Speed Limit Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and 3 driving modes (Eco, Comfort and Sport).

Cost of electric vs petrol

To demonstrate just how much money can be saved once you’ve purchased an EV, I’ve calculated how much money you’d need to spend to travel 1,000 miles in the ZS EV and compared it to the 1.0 petrol equivalent ZS.

Based on charging at home and paying 16.5p per KwH, you would spend £54.

In the petrol equivalent, filling up at 127.9p, you would spend £173.

That’s a saving of £119!

Plus, fully electric cars have far less moving components which means there’s less to go wrong and servicing costs are heavily reduced.

Range and running costs

MG promises a combined mileage of 163 miles on a full charge. I of course tested it, using a mixture of dual-carriage ways, city driving and the odd thrashing. I managed 168 miles, so rather impressive.

Using a 7kW charger, you can expect a full charge to take 6.5 hours.

As mentioned at the start once you take the government grant and MG’s contribution, the ZS is very affordable when compared to other EVs.

The warranty on the battery lasts 7 years/80,000 miles which will put many minds to ease as the cost of replacing a faulty battery is a key concern amongst those considering purchasing an EV.

Would I buy one?

If I was in the market for a fully electric vehicle that had a high-spec and an enjoyable driving experience but didn’t have a hefty price-tag – then I’d certainly be considering the MG ZS EV.

The car that I road-tested was provided to us by Brandon MG, who are happy to chat with you about your EV needs.

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