11 December 2020

MG ZS EV 2020 Car Review

There are two main stumbling blocks for those who are looking to buy their first Electric Vehicle (EV) and the new MG ZS EV may have just found a way around both of them.

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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020
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MG ZS EV 2020

The first one is the range. Some drivers have a need to drive longer distances and haven’t got the time to sit waiting to recharge their car when it runs out of juice. Although the MG ZS EV is by no means class-leading, it can offer up to 263km between charges (and charge to 80% in around 45 minutes).

The second issue is price. Like with a lot of new tech, if you’re in a position to become an ‘early adopter’, then you must pay a premium price to do so. The MG ZS EV is the first new EV with a sub-$50,000 price tag – it retails at $48,990 (+ORC).

But what is the MG ZS EV like to drive and, perhaps more importantly, is now the time for you to jump aboard the EV train?

Modest looks

The overall aesthetic of the MG ZS EV is pleasant, and it doesn’t really possess any ‘crazy’ design cues that some EVs flaunt. It’s actually quite reserved and looks pretty much exactly the same as the MG ZS - its Internal-Combustion-Engined (ICE) sibling. The alloys on the ZS EV are exclusive to the electric model, and are the style that have become synonymous with EVs.

The most noticeable features on the outside of both the ZS and ZS EV are the large ‘Exclusive’ grilles, although it serves a separate purpose on each car. As you’d expect, it helps cool down the engine on the ZS, but press the large ‘MG’ logo on the grille of the ZS EV and the charging port is revealed.

Like with all modern EVs, the batteries are housed on the floor, which equates to a much lower centre of gravity and ‘keeps the ZS EV planted to the road through the corners’ according to MG.

Size-wise, the MG ZS EV is 1,644mm high, 4,314mm in length and 1,809mm wide, which makes it a perfectly sized SUV for four adult occupants to sit comfortably. It also has a respectable luggage capacity of 470 litres with all the seats up.

Inside the cabin

On the inside, the MG ZS EV is surprisingly well equipped, with a six-way electric adjustable seat for the driver and heated seats for both the driver and front passenger.

The seats are finished in synthetic leather, while a genuine leather steering wheel with contrast stitching and perforations helps give off a feeling of luxury. There are an array of buttons both on the steering wheel and in the centre console, and while these feel quite cheap, they’re self-explanatory and make most operations in the car easy to perform.

There’s a welcomed addition of a rotary speed selector, which is a bit more futuristic compared to the standard stick-style found in the MG ZS. Another difference between the ZS and the ZS EV that helps distinguish the latter is some blue accents on the end of the cruise control and washer stalks.   

The eight-inch multi-function touchscreen infotainment system that comes pre-loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to keep you connected on the road. The systems also allow you to play your favourite tunes through the six-speaker audio system.

The spacious feeling that the SUV gives you is amplified by a gorgeous panoramic sunroof which comes complete with a sunshade.

How does it drive?

The MG ZS EV drives much like other EVs. If you haven’t tried one yet, it might take you a while to get used to the responsiveness that electric motors give you.

A synchronous motor is used in the ZS EV to drive the front wheels, and is powered by a 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery. It creates 105kW of power and 353Nm of torque. All of this works together to launch you from 0 to 100km/h in just 8.2 seconds, which isn’t bad for an SUV with a kerb weight of 1,966kg.

There are three driving modes: ‘Eco’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ to help customise your experience, as well as a ‘KERS’ switch, which allows you to flick through three levels of regenerative braking to help extend your driving range.

The ride is comfortable and smooth, and ‘MG Pilot’ – MG’s comprehensive safety suite – helps keep you safe on the road with a vast array of safety features including Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Active Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assistance. This all helped the MG ZS EV achieve a 5-star ANCAP rating.


The MG ZS EV could play a key part in helping to mainstream EV technology in countries like New Zealand, Australia and the UK. It’s worth noting that, just before release date, MG decided to lower the price by a few thousand dollars.

“Our vision at MG Motor is to change this situation by making electric vehicles available and accessible to everyone. By removing the affordability barrier, we are seeking to fast track EV adoption in Australia and New Zealand,” said Peter Ciao, CEO of MG Motor Australia and New Zealand.

While you might find better quality EVs in the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, neither of them can match the price of the MG ZS EV. Add to that an eight-year (or 160,000km) battery warranty, a five year unlimited kilometres vehicle warranty and five years of roadside assistance, and we think MG have cooked up a recipe for success. That was evident in November’s vehicles sales numbers – 60 were sold in NZ last month.

At a glance




Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor


From $48,990 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

Not yet rated


44.5kWh Lithium-ion


Single speed reduction gear



Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

470 litres (seats up)

Safety systems

  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Active Emergency Braking
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Intelligent Headlamp Control
  • Blind Spot Detection

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