Pros: value, space, equipment
Cons: poor infotainment system
The MG brand has been reinvented in recent years by its Chinese owners and this year it is being reintroduced to the Irish market. Spearheading its assault is a focus on electrification, starting with the ZS, a fully electric compact SUV.
MG ZS Design
MG has played it safe with the exterior design of the ZS, but, while it is quite a generic SUV shape, it’s not unattractive. Stylish alloy wheels, roof rails and generous ground clearance make it obvious it’s an SUV, and that seems to be precisely what the market wants right now. In terms of physical size, the exterior dimensions make it just a little bit smaller than the big-selling crossovers, such as the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson. Neatly, the charging ports are hidden behind the front ‘grille’. It gets Type 2 and CCS charge ports.
MG ZS Interior
The interior of the ZS is likely to win it more fans than its derivative exterior, but not because of its quality or design. They’re not bad at all, but what stands out is the sense of space, particularly in the rear seats. Sure, it’s probably not wide enough to fit in three bulky child seats, but there’s a lot of legroom and huge headroom, too. The floor is completely flat as well, so an adult can fit in the middle seat with more comfort than in some cars of this size. Up front, the layout and quality are mostly good, though the touchscreen menu system isn’t very sophisticated, and the steering wheel position doesn’t adjust in and out. Still, there’s a lot of equipment included for the price. And it also gets a large boot.
MG ZS Performance & Drive
MG fits the ZS with a 105kW electric motor, driving the front wheels, as ever with an electric car, fully automatically. That translates into 143hp and there’s also a considerable 353Nm of torque available from low speeds. Hence, the ZS feels pleasingly quick, perhaps more so as there is no combustion engine noise to indicate how fast you’re going. You can choose from three different levels of brake energy regeneration and Normal or Sport driving modes. It’s not an exciting car to drive, but it’s impressively competent. MG quotes a range of 263 kilometres on a full charge, which isn’t exceptional, but there are no other electric cars with this much space at this price that go further, so we feel it’s acceptable.
MG ZS Pricing
Pricing for the ZS starts at €28,995 including the SEAI grant and VRT rebate. That’s exceptional for its size and specification. The entry-level Excite model is complemented by the higher-spec Exclusive, which, for €3,000 more, adds things like leather-like upholstery, a panoramic glass roof and other.
Carzone Verdict 4/5
MG is back with a bang. Sure, the charismatic British sportscars of yesteryear are likely gone forever from the brand, but it has returned to the Irish market with an all-electrified offering at the perfect time. If MG can get the word out about this car, it will do very well indeed.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: MG ZS Exclusive
Price: from €28,995 including the SEAI grant and VRT rebate
Electric system: 105kW motor and 44.5kWh battery
Annual motor tax: €140
0-100km/h: 8.5 seconds
Boot space: 448 litres