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Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Impressive value on offer from all-electric SUV

MG ZS EV SUV (19 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
Enlarge 22 photos

PROS

  • Low list price and good finance options
  • Usable electric range and performance
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Practicality unaffected by EV conversion

CONS

  • Less range than key rivals
  • It’s not quite as cheap as we had hoped
  • Low-rent interior
  • Not exciting to drive

At a glance

New price £28,495 - £30,495
Lease from new From £426 per month
Insurance group 21 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Low list price and good finance options
  • Usable electric range and performance
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Practicality unaffected by EV conversion

CONS

  • Less range than key rivals
  • It’s not quite as cheap as we had hoped
  • Low-rent interior
  • Not exciting to drive

MG ZS EV SUV rivals

British brand MG is dipping its toes into the hotly-contested market sector of affordable all-electric vehicles. The ZS EV is the first step in its plan, and it will be followed soon by another electric vehicle (EV) as well as a pair of plug-in hybrid models.

For the moment, though, the ZS EV sits alone in MG’s range. It’s based on the existing ZS SUV, which usually only comes with petrol power. However, it was designed from the beginning to accept a battery pack and electric motor, meaning the conversion from combustion engine to EV is pretty seamless.

With its affordable price tag and spacious interior, the ZS EV has to compete against a talented field of rivals that includes the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric. And, while its range of 163 miles is lower than those competitors, its list price undercuts them significantly.

Subtle EV makeover

From the outside, you’d be hard-pressed to notice that the ZS EV is any different to the regular ZS. Only a new paint colour – Pimlico Blue – and new alloy wheel design set it apart from its combustion-engined brother, though if you look closely you may be able to spot the electric charging port cover in the front grille.

2019 MG ZS EV charging port

Very little has changed inside, either. The gear selector is now a rotary dial – twist for Drive or Reverse, push for Park. There are also a few new switches and dials, but broadly the ZS is the same inside.

The EV conversion hasn’t affected practicality either, which is a good thing. As it’s been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the ZS locates its batteries neatly under the floor, meaning the impressive 448-litre boot is untouched and there’s plenty of space to stretch out in all five seats.

Nippy performance around town

The ZS EV takes 8.5 seconds to get to 62mph from rest, and tops out at just 87mph. This means it’s not really the ideal car to undertake long motorway journeys in – overtaking at higher speeds will require some forward planning, not to mention faster runs tend to deplete the car’s battery much faster than urban driving.

It’s in towns and cities where the ZS excels – the instant response of its electric motor means it’s rather quick at getting up to 30mph, especially when it’s in the sportiest of its three driving modes. Three levels of regenerative braking mean that you barely have to use the left pedal, either – the car will slow itself down, recharging the battery as it does so.

Impressive value proposition

The ZS EV isn’t quite the cheapest electric car on sale, but it does undercut its main rivals quite substantially. With the car’s range of 163 miles enough for the majority of journeys, this could prove a really tempting alternative to the likes of a Nissan Leaf.

2019 MG ZS EV rear three quarter

MG’s certainly helping matters along. The ZS is aggressively priced, and gets £3,500 cut off its list price by the government’s Plug-in Car Grant. Better yet, the first 1,000 buyers of the ZS will have that contribution matched by MG, dropping the price by a further £3,500, and the brand will even throw in a free home charging station.

Could these deal-sweeteners put the MG ZS EV on your shortlist? Read our full review to find out.

Find out more about all electric cars here

MG ZS EV SUV rivals