Last updated on April 8th, 2020 at 07:54 pm
MG ZS EV review: Performance
While the seats are cushiony and provide a degree of adjustment, the vehicle's ride height is overly exaggerated, namely for the driver. All of the seats seem elevated, which is the effect of having the batteries lined along the vehicle's floor.
It's also somewhat surprising to find the MG ZS EV has a rather stiff suspension; it's like being on a see-saw when going over speed bumps. It's not as bad as the BMW i3, however, but given the SUV has been designed to be a “family-friendly electric car”, I'd have expected a smoother ride. On the plus side, the SUV remains planted when cornering around country lanes.
Speaking of handling, the MG ZS EV is a joy to drive; no matter if the SUV is set to Eco, Standard or Sport mode, its accelerator responds extremely well while the brake has a soft-press pedal, which makes it easy to come to a standstill without abruptly stopping.
The regenerative braking methods, namely Level 3, encourages the use of a one-pedal approach. Of course, if you find it too harsh, it can be dialled down. A word of warning, however: if you're fully charged, the KERS won't be in operation and thus the vehicle won't slow down on its own – logically, there's nowhere for the recouped energy to go when the battery is fully topped up. Thankfully, MG has integrated a warning through the instrument cluster to remind you to use the brake pedal. Smart thinking.
When it comes to raw performance, the ZS EV manages to get up to 62mph in around 8.5s, where the front-mounted synchronous motor dispatches 105 kW (143 hp) of power and 353 Nm of torque. The SUV's top speed is limited to 87mph, although, that shouldn't be a problem as it's past the UK's legal speed limit.
As for road noise, the 17″ diamond-cut alloys that come fitted with 215/50 R17 tyres, tend to send a fair bit of road noise into the vehicle's cabin. It also seems the SUV has a poor drag coefficient, as a lot of air can be heard deflecting off the vehicle's A-pillars and front wing panels.
In terms of driving range, the MG ZS EV has a quoted WLTP Combined Cycle of 163 miles and a city rating of 232 miles. In WhichEV's tests, the SUV didn't last as long; realistically, you'll get around 140-150 miles with mixed driving (urban plus motorway combined). Here, both the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric offer a more consistent and longer driving range.
The 44.5 kWh battery pack supports a 50 kW CCS charge, which thanks to a rapid charger, will be able to recharge to 80% in around 40 minutes. More conventional 7 kW Type 2 chargers will take 6.5 hours to charge till full.
MG ZS EV review: Safety
The MG ZS EV scores 5/5 in Euro NCAP's rigorous safety tests: the vehicle managed to get a 90% score in adult occupancy and an impressive score for child occupants (85%).
As standard, the SUV includes the following:
- Active emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection; where the SUV will automatically detect danger and perform an emergency stop if you've taken your eyes off the road.
- Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which attempt to keep you driving somewhat hands-free, although, the system will play audible warnings if you have your hands off the wheel for more than 10-15 seconds.
- Traffic jam assist, which involves automatic accelerating and braking.
- Intelligent speed limit assist; the system detects the road's speed limit and will notify you if there's an upcoming change.
The Exclusive model adds Blind Spot Detection (BSD), which works on both side mirrors; and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), which helps while reversing out of a parking space – the SUV will notify you of any oncoming danger you might not have yet spotted.