MG ZS EV Review: The family-friendly electric car

The iconic MG brand has recently returned to the Irish market but the big difference is that it has now gone electric!

The new affordable and family-friendly, five-seat ZS EV crossover is also the first Chinese-built car to go on sale here.

This B-segment car is available in two trims, Excite and Exclusive, both of which come very well ‘specced’

The car is quite roomy with plenty of space for five adults and a boot capacity of 448 litres.

Being a Crossover you sit higher up than in a saloon or hatchback.

The exterior of my car looked well in a Sky blue colour with chrome along the bottoms of side windows and on door handles, together with a silver base on both sides of the car. Privacy glass and silver roof rails added to the pleasing look as did the smart looking 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.

The interior is welcoming with quite a lot of shiny silver detailing. The 8-inch colour touchscreen works very well and you can see how your car is charging on the instrument panel. Seats were in a nice leather type upholstery with contrast stitching; the driver’s gets 6-way power adjustments while the front passenger seat has 4-way adjustments. Front ones can also be heated in the top grade. Second row seats split 60:40.

Power is from a 143hp petrol engine and a 44.5 kWh lithium-ion battery with 105kW power and which is covered under MG’s 7-year warranty. Being electric means you get automatic transmission. Maximum torque is 353Nm and annual road tax €120. Fuel efficiency rating is 5.3 L/100kms.

The car is also supplied with a home ‘residential’ charger that can be plugged into a standard household 3-pin socket. To release the charging port, you press the big MG badge on the front of the car. I don’t have a 7.4m charger on tap as the nearest fast charging station is quite some distance away which means I have to mostly resort to charging my electric press cars via our domestic supply which with the MG took seven hours to charge for another 50 kms. Not an ideal way to charge up.

A 7kW charge time will take 6.5 hours which drops to just 40 mins to reach a 50kW CCS charge time to 80pc. A colleague and I observed we could get 90kms range in 23 minutes at a Circle K fast charging facility. We also found that travelling the same distance on standard roads instead of on the motorway meant an extra 20kms added to the range.

MG ZS comes with a maximum five star Euro NCAP safety rating and high levels of technology including the MG Pilot suite of driver aids, three driving modes (ECO, Normal and Sport), a KERS system to recapture energy through regenerative braking – I chose the E mode for heavy energy regeneration driving.

The available range may not suit every owner so it’s always best to have a chat with a salesman in your local dealership to determine if an electric car will suit your lifestyle.

My Exclusive grade spec included auto headlights and wipers, an opening sunroof, reversing camera, sat nav, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a tyre repair kit, air con with odour and pollutant filler, six-speaker audio system with 3D sound. Safety features were ISOFIX child seat anchors, a full complement of airbags, Blind Spot detection, Hill launch assist, and MG Pilot with Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Bicycle detection, Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

On the road, the car can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 8.6 secs using the Sport drive mode.

The ZS EV offers a really good drive that is responsive and the car is easy to handle with a decent turning circle for city streets and parking in multi storey car-parks.

However, I had a problem with the speedometer showing mph yet my digital speed was in km/h and I discovered that road sign speed recognition wasn’t synchronised to kms but to mph. An MG spokesperson explained that my press car was among the very first few models to arrive here, and due to legislation at the time, MG were unable to change the relevant settings from mph to kms. He stressed that ‘everything will be shown to Irish settings when the next allocation arrives’. Problem solved!

Prices range from €28,995 to €32,895 and include the €5,000 SEAI grant and €2,500 SEAI grant for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

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