Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Broadly good enough
  • Plenty of zip around town
  • Not the best motorway companion

What power options are there?

The electric motor produces 150hp and gets the ZS EV from rest to 62mph in 8.2 seconds – pretty good figures for a car this price. That’s only half the story, though – acceleration up to 30mph is really impressive. That’s all down to the way electric cars produce their power – it’s all available instantly from rest, tailing off as your speed increases.

This makes the ZS EV a really good town car. You can even surprise some performance cars off the lights, and there’s certainly enough power that if you put your foot down the tyres will chirp. Drive more sedately, and the instant takeup is still very appealing.

It offers three levels of regenerative braking – operated by a switch marked ‘KERS’. Just like a Formula 1 car… by name. It means that lifting off the accelerator will have a braking effect, as the electric motor becomes a generator and reclaims some of that energy that might otherwise be lost in braking.

Handling

  • Tuned for comfort, not handling
  • Front tyres can struggle to cope with power
  • More than acceptable in city environment

Handling is what you'd expect, and if that sounds like that's damning it with faint praise, then that's correct. It doesn't put a foot wrong, with slightly wobbly-feeling cornering and more bodyroll than something like a SEAT Arona – but because the battery pack is mounted low in the car, the centre-of gravity is also low, and that gives it good stability in bends. So, it doesn't feel confidence inspiring, but neither does it put a foot wrong – which is as much as you'd expect in a low-cost electric car.

The ZS’s steering is light and reasonably accurate though it’s a little slow to make nipping through traffic really satisfying. It’s also reasonably comfortable and deals with bumps well, though the unrefined suspension can feel like it’s struggling to keep the car’s body in check on potholed roads or over speed bumps.

Generally speaking, though, the ZS EV feels pretty unremarkable to drive – in a good way. Electric cars need to be accessible to all for widespread adoption, and this one meets its brief perfectly.