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The MG ZS EV is a reasonably capable, practical and affordable all-electric SUV looking to tackle our electric future.

23 Mar 2020


Electrification is the future. Pretty sure you've heard.

Singapore has announced that one of its key transportation goals is to phase out Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars by 2040. A slew of new incentives have been announced to get car buyers to switch to electric cars.

However, buyers are understandably still slow on the uptake. That's partially down to basic math - many electric cars till date are still notably more expensive than their ICE counterparts. Also, the lack of comprehensive charging infrastructure makes buyers wary about immediately going electric.

That certainly hasn't stopped manufacturers from aggressively developing and rolling out electric models. The latest one to our market? This car here, the MG ZS EV...

The what? 

The ZS EV is the first all electric model from the now Chinese-owned MG marque
MG. ZS. EV. If you haven't heard the first two terms before, we don't really blame you. MG is the brand that was most recently reintroduced to the Singapore market. An old British carmaker, MG is now owned by SAIC Motor Corporation Limited. Under Chinese ownership, MG has retooled its lineup to focus on SUVs.

The ZS model is the brand's compact SUV offering, and is being sold both as a full electric as well as with an ICE. And EV stands for electric vehicle, of course.

As a compact SUV, it's fairly typical fare within this particular segment. The styling is generally inoffensive, cabin space adequate, and boot space sufficient for a family of five. Of note, noise insulation within the car is pretty good. 

A PM2.5 Air Purification system ensures the cleaniness of the air within the cabin
Don't be expecting a whole ton of equipment, though. The car delivers enough modern day necessities, such as smartphone connectivity and a LCD screen on the dash to display various information, but beyond that it's a fairly straightforward cabin. There's a gigantic panoramic sunroof, though, so that's good. 

But, electricity...

Powering the ZS EV is a front-mounted electric motor that produces 141bhp and 353Nm of instantaneous torque. The water-cooled 44.5kWh battery pack delivers an on-paper range is 335km, but we only managed around 240km.

Mind you, that's with the car operating at less than optimal conditions, considering it spent a lot of time doing low speed driving and sheltering the video team in between takes on a sweltering hot day. Realistically, you should expect to achieve in the high 200s.

Mounted underneath the car, the battery's balanced distribution of weight keeps the car planted through corners
It's not the biggest battery pack in the world, but for that reason the car feels quite light. Power is fed to the wheels eagerly, and the car accelerates with easy verve. And, once you get up to highway speeds, the car cruises along comfortably and in a rather serene manner.

The ride is agreeable, too. It can be a tad bouncy over the bigger bumps on the road, but it's generally forgiveable. There's not much in the way of handling, but no one was expecting otherwise.

The car offers three regenerative braking settings. In some electric cars, the highest setting is so harsh that you can't reasonably have it on for highway driving. We found the difference between levels two and three in the ZS EV to be rather small, so you can effectively just leave the car permanently in the highest regenerative setting for maximum energy recuperation.

There are three regeneration level settings available
Qualms? The seating position isn't the best (there's not a ton of adjustability both for the seats as well as the steering wheel), and the brakes could be better. It tends to be overly bitey at low speeds, and the crossover between not enough braking and too much braking as you depress the pedal is sometimes too stark.

As far as charging goes, the ZS EV will charge to 80% within 40 minutes using a 50kW DC fast charging point, or 7.5 hours to fully charge using a standard 7kW AC home charger, pretty much par for course in this regard. 

Make the case for me...

The battery can be charged to 80% in 40 minutes using a DC fast charge station
The MG ZS EV makes a simple case to potential buyers - it's the cheapest all electric SUV you can buy right now. It'll cost you $119,888 (as of 22 March 2020) for the car, and an additional two grand more for a wall charger.   

Is it the best all electric SUV you can buy? Probably not. We reckon its direct competitors like the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro Electric deliver better overall build quality and more range. But, they are also significantly more expensive - the cheapest Kona Electric is about 18% more expensive than the ZS EV.

The value proposition of the MG ZS EV is reasonable enough. For its pricepoint, it delivers sensible SUV utility and practicality coupled with usable all electric range and general capability. It's not perhaps the most charming electric SUV available, but it's certainly highly effective. 

Sensibly capable and attractively priced, the new MG ZS EV is a worthy all-electric SUV to consider
However, the inherent resistance and existing challenges of electric car ownership mean that the most likely scenario this car will see our roads right now is likely in the hands of private-hire drivers.

Yes, the hurdles to electric car ownership still exist. Our charging infrastructure isn't quite ready, and the existing rate of charging still means that you most likely need to have private access to a charging point to make electric car ownership viable right this moment.

But, those things are changing. And if you are looking for an affordable and practical way away from ICE cars and into electric car ownership, the MG ZS EV should certainly be considered.

Want to get a better idea of how this electric vehicle works? Why not watch our video review here!



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Car Information

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MG ZS Electric 44.5kWh (A)
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Promotion
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Price

: $119,888

Engine Type

:

Permanent magnet synchronous motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

105kW (141 bhp)

Torque

:

353 Nm

Transmission

:

unknown

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

unknown

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mg  mg zs  mg zs ev  zs electric  electric  suv  electric suv  mg electric