Pros: long range, better infotainment
Cons: narrow rear seating, average boot space
The MG ZS was already one of the best-value electric cars on sale and now a refreshed model for 2022 looks to further boost the SUV’s appeal. It gains a larger capacity battery for increased driving range plus an upgraded infotainment system.
MG ZS Design
A redesign of the front gives the MG ZS a look that is more modern and emphasises its pure electric underpinnings. New headlights feature a more distinctive daytime running lamp signature while the front grille is now a body-coloured panel that includes a re-designed battery charge port that is easier to access. The lower section of the bumper has also changed, adding a greater sense of width to the car.
The alterations around the rear of the ZS are more subtle but welcome, nonetheless. The back lights repeat the design of the headlights, and a tweaked bumper keeps the modern look going. MG is adding two new colours, called Monument Silver and Brilliant Blue, while several new features will improve ownership such as scheduled charging, vehicle-to-load capability for powering or charging external devices such as e-bikes, and the limit of the battery charge can now be set to a desired state.
By measuring only 4,314mm in length, the MG ZS is a nice size that doesn’t take up much room. It’s slightly shorter than a Toyota C-HR crossover and Renault Kadjar but still is tall enough to provide a desirable elevated driving position.
MG ZS Interior
One of the main things that the original ZS drew criticism for was that its interior wasn’t of particularly high quality and had an infotainment system that didn’t match up to modern standards. MG has listened and made some very welcome changes that should please buyers.
The 10.1-inch tablet-style touchscreen not only looks much better but reacts faster to inputs. It’s good to see that MG has also retained physical controls for certain functions such as climate settings and volume, which take the form of piano keys at the base of the screen, so there’s no need to take your eyes off the road to adjust these things. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality are also present.
Both types of USB charge port can be found at the bottom of the dashboard alongside a wireless charging pad on the Exclusive specification grade. The rotary controller for selecting drive and reverse is simple to use. A new fully digital instrument display is a further improvement inside with a simple and clear layout.
With the exception of a narrow middle seat, rear passenger space is decent with good amounts of legroom and headroom. The boot space measures in at a useful 448 litres, increasing to 1,100 litres when the rear seats are folded - however, these do not fold entirely flat.
MG ZS Performance & Drive
The product offering is a simple one with only two specification grades and one battery. A new larger 72.6kWh battery is a huge boost to the appeal of the MG ZS, as it now has a driving range of up to 440 kilometres, compared to the 263-kilometre range of its predecessor. The power output has also changed slightly, increasing to 156hp, with a towing capacity rated at 500kg.
The MG ZS is not especially heavy, which should also help it be reasonably efficient and it never feels lacking in performance. A choice of three different levels of energy recuperation vary between coasting and almost one-pedal driving. The power delivery is expectedly smooth and sufficient at getting the ZS up to speed when joining a motorway, for example. At a cruise, the ZS remains quiet with little in the way of road and wind noise entering the cabin.
Stick to urban or city driving and the longer range figure quickly becomes a reality as the energy consumption levels of the ZS are quite respectable. A reasonably compact size and light steering make it easy to navigate the urban landscape and the MG Pilot suite of driver assistance can take the burden out of driving in heavier traffic.
Carzone Verdict: 4/5
When you look at what you get for your money, the MG ZS makes a compelling case for itself. Affordability and much-improved styling make it an attractive car for anybody looking to make the switch to an EV, and delivering SUV size and practicality while costing the same as most electric superminis make it a certain winner.