Everyone complains that electric vehicles are expensive.
That’s often true. The Tesla Model S costs around £75,000, for example. And BMW’s i4 – essentially an electric 4 Series – will set you back £52,000.
You can get a Nissan Leaf for less than 30,000 but it’s pretty small and range is below average.
What if there was a good mid-size electric family SUV with decent range that could be bought for sensible money?
Step forward the MG ZS EV. It’s a spacious SUV that has plenty of room for four adults and a large boot. Yet it starts at £27,495 (including the government’s electric car grant).
That’s comparable with the price of similar sized petrol and diesel SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga. Yet thanks to its electric powertrain the MG should be much cheaper to run.
That £27,495 buys you an entry level car with a 51kWh battery which, according to official figures, can cover just shy of 200 miles on a full charge.
Spend an extra couple of thousand and you can have a Long Range version. These use a 72.6kWh battery and can cover up to 273 miles between charges.
A match for premium badge electric vehicles
That’s better than any budget electric car and up there with many much more expensive EVs with premium badges.
So what’s it like? Externally, we have a chunky, pleasing shape that doesn’t look out of place next to rival SUVs. Inside, there’s an updated design with a large infotainment screen that operates most of the controls.
I spent a week with the high spec Long Range Trophy Connect version of the MG ZS EV. It came with full leather seats that were electrically controlled, a nice panoramic roof and a clever 360 degree parking camera.
It’s spacious too. There’s plenty of room for four adults or five children. Unlike many electric cars there isn’t a front boot – or ‘froot’ – as it’s been nicknamed. However the main boot is a spacious 470 litres.
It’s a good shape as well, which makes it easy to load awkward objects. A couple of dogs or a family’s holiday luggage should fit in there no problem.
On the road, the MG ZS EV isn’t as composed as some more premium EVs, with slightly twitchy ride quality. It’s perfectly acceptable, though, and you have to factor in the car’s budget price.
An impressive seven year warranty
An absence of engine noise makes the MG a surprisingly good cruiser as well. I had it on the A90 and M90, and at 70mph there was very little noise intrusion in the cabin.
All MGs come with a very impressive warranty. You get seven years or 80,000 miles (whichever comes first) giving more peace of mind than you get with most rival car makers.
I found the 273 mile range to be fairly accurate and only had to plug the car in a couple of times during my week with it.
Initially my car had an issue with charging. I’m assured this was a glitch with the particular car I had, however, and after a couple of days the problem went away and the MG charged without any issue at all.
It looks decent, drives well, a good range and a bargain price
There are a few nuisances. A system called “emergency lane keep” wrenches the steering wheel around all the time. It can easily be switched off but you have to do this every time you start the car.
Another issue when you start the car is a voice emanates from the speakers telling you the date, time and which town you’re in. Handy if you suffer from amnesia but I found it another mild annoyance.
Those niggles are fairly minor, though, and it may be there’s a way to permanently turn both features off.
The fundamentals of the car are pretty sound. It looks decent, drives well enough, has loads of practicality, a good range and a bargain price tag.
Model: MG ZS EV
0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Top speed: 108mph
Range: 273 miles
CO2 emissions: 0g/km