Budget electric crossover is given a makeover, new infotainment and the option of a bigger battery

What is it?

MG continues to hone in on the EV market: around one in three cars it sells is now electric. The affordable ZS EV has played a key role in this growth, and now it has been rewarded with some design changes and a new infotainment system. 

The ICE-car-style grille is replaced by a textured design, while a new bumper has been fitted at the rear. The charging port has now been placed to the side of the MG badge at the front of the car and is no longer integrated behind it. 

There are currently three specification levels to choose from, starting with the entry-level SE, moving up to the Trophy and then Trophy Connect.

Our Trophy Connect test car was equipped with LED lights at the front and rear, a panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, parking sensors, a 360deg camera and vehicle-to-load capability (meaning the battery can power external devices). 

The headline on this new model is the introduction of a long-range variant tested here. It uses a 72kWh battery (far larger than the regular 44.5kWh unit), meaning the ZS EV now offers up to 273 miles of range. 

Its powertrain – unusually noisy for an electric one – produces 153bhp for a healthy 0-62mph time of 8.2sec.

A full charge from a 50kW public fast-charger takes about an hour, while a home unit will charge it to capacity in around 10-and-a-half hours.

With the Long Range battery and updated infotainment system comes a bump in price (our Trophy Connect car starts from £31,495 after the government’s £2500 EV grant).

A Standard Range model will be introduced early next year with a lower price and a 49kWh battery providing a still-competitive 149 miles of range.

What's it like?

This price bump is significant, meaning the ZS EV now goes toe to toe with some of the more serious players in the EV rankings, such as the Kia e-Niro.

In this respect, its longer range will stand it in good stead, while its new smartphone-style touchscreen infotainment system is intuitive and lag-free. Over-the-air software updates will keep it up to date, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both on the way. 

In the city, the powertrain is smooth and offers several levels of regenerative braking for some semblance of one-pedal driving. Overtaking is an easy task on motorways, with enough punch to for the ZS EV to comfortably tackle longer commutes. 

Other areas are less impressive, though. The ride quality doesn’t stand up well to choppier roads and the handling is leaden, with almost no feel and a general lack of precision in the steering. 

Road and wind noise are more pronounced on faster roads, and the ZS EV is still plagued by a host of chimes and bongs from its selection of active safety systems (MG's Pilot system is provided with adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane-keeping assistance and collision warning). 

Should I buy one?

The ZS EV’s range is good for its price and its equipment levels are comprehensive, even if it's lacking in perceived quality.

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MG's PCP finance deals are attractive, too: the company says the ZS EV is cheaper than all of its competitors on such a deal. 

A true indication of the model’s value will become clear with the arrival of the 49kWh Standard Range model next year.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
whalley 14 November 2021

The ZS EV represents the end of the market where huge numbers of new cars are going to have to be sold in the next 5 years and beyond in order to meet our commitments to reducing carbon emmissions. Action here means action from us, the car buyers and drivers, not them the government or the manufacturers. Its just an uncomfortable fact.

The critical point that seems lacking in many debates on this is the relationship between battery size and range anxiety. Yes, upwards of 300 miles range will stop a few worries but for most users it would be totally unnecessary IF SUFFICIENT CHARGE CAPACITY IS IN PLACE AND IN THE RIGHT LOCATIONS. We need blanket coverage in streets, car parks for flats and other areas other than peoples drives. If such were in place, cars with 150/200 miles range could gain more general acceptance. They would be £5000 cheaper and 400kgs lighter too. Crucially the world might just have enough raw materials and productive capacity to make the batteries for the cars needed to be sold. This then is the real pressure point needed to be places on goverments. For them to either to put such charging structures in place or to encourage / legislate for others to put them in place in a regulated way so all could effectively use them. It's not new tech or rocket science, it just needs to happen and the intention to do it needs to start this year.

Stockholm Calling 12 November 2021

We are all getting this content for nothing so are hardly in a position to start moaning. If you want higher quality journalism (or anything for that matter) you shouldn't mind paying for it. People have to earn a living. 

DuncB 12 November 2021

Please fire your proof-readers!

I thought all new cars sold in the UK, and probably globally, are required to have lights front and rear?!  I assume that 'LED' is missing...fourth paragraph.

Your articles contain so many mistakes they are getting difficult to read without frustration levels increasing...and the standards have been dropping for some time now...please do something about this!

The car?  If it keeps MG alive until they can start introducing some interesting cars (see recent concepts) I applaud them and for a certain percentage of the population this EV will satisfy their requirements.

SCHNICK18 12 November 2021

Haha you are right, I was going to comment on something similar. Also the chargepoint has not been relocated from the side, the pre-facelift ZS EV has the charge point under the grill behind the MG badge on the front!!

gavsmit 12 November 2021

I'm regularly disappointed with the quality of modern motoring journalism. Maybe the authors of these items aren't really interested in cars and just see this job as an opening to get into some real biased / inaccurate / agenda-driven work for the mainstream media.

Inaccurate or completely wrong technical data, strange group comparisons, odd verdicts based on made-up nonsense / favouritism or the prioritisation of the superficial seem to be the order of the day.

And don't get me started on the car magazine use of the word 'affordable' in these days of horrific car price inflation and the great scam of rapidly increasing ICE car prices to make EVs look more competitive rather than their prices coming down like everyone expected.

John Savill 12 November 2021

Just being a bit picky,but you appear to have misread. The article states the 'charging port has now been placed to the side of the MG badge at the front of the car and is no longer integrated behind it.'