The latest updated version of affordable family electric SUV, the MG ZS EV went on sale at the end of last year. The previous edition offered exceptional value, but fell a little short in the overall electric-only mileage range at just 160 miles. The new car gets a bigger 73kWh battery and a vastly improved range – claimed to be up to 273miles now.
Having said that, the MG website actually tries to break that down depending on how you use it. Turns out 273 miles is actually pessimistic if you’re mostly going to use it in traffic clogged cities, where it rises to as much as 387 miles. It also quotes 370 miles for general city use, 305 miles on rural roads and 207 miles on the motorways.
The trip computer does appear to keep a record of your usage and driving styling, seemingly penalising you if you’re driving it more aggressively, as I was. So having charged it to 91%, it still only indicated a range of 188 miles. It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to charge to that. MG reckons it will do up to 3.5 miles per kWh – I saw 2.9.
There’s 156bhp and 280Nm of torque, giving it a good 0-60mph acceleration time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 108mph. That’s 0.3 seconds quicker and up just over 20mph in maximum velocity.
A styling update borrows from the refreshed non-EV versions, but the grille – or should that be front fascia panel with a grated graphic – takes in no air, but does hold the compartment for the charger which does make it easier to identify. Plus, there’s no tailpipes of course.
With an SE starting at £29,500, nearly five-grand more than before, and this range topper up at just over £33k, it’s no longer the penny-pincher’s family EV of choice out there necessarily, though compare specs and range, it remains competitive in the fast-changing EV landscape.
The Trophy Connect spec tested gets leather upholstery, wireless charging, heated front seats and 360-degree camera. There remains a highly usable luggage compartment with an adjustable floor should you need more depth, while retaining underfloor compartments. Rear space is more than adequate and now there’s an armrest. A panoramic sunroof helps to make it feel airier and more spacious.
Up front, the centre console is different, as is the improved and bigger centre monitor with updated operating system. There’s full connectivity, plenty of charging options available for your phone including wireless, and a comprehensive display that tells you how you’re doing on charge. And there’s driving modes.
The modes include Sport, but don’t ever mistake this for a sports car. Having said that, the steering is reasonably responsive, the all-wheel drive is surprisingly sure-footed, understeer is well contained, and you can make use of that extra performance in even quite wet conditions with confidence. Push on though, and you’ll see more of the range used up than is suggested.
Stay in town and the ride is better than some more upmarket EVs. Its urban usability is backed up by handy-to-park dimensions. The family will be pleased by all the kit on board, the driver won’t be disappointed either. And it does a good impression of feeling more upmarket than it is. The range is more useful, though longer and harder runs will gobble it up faster. But the occasional well-planned intercity run shouldn’t be an issue. Definitely worth checking out for city-bound families looking to switch to electric.