MG ZS EV 2020 essence
Owner Review

2020 MG ZS EV review

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My MG ZS EV was bought in November 2020, and was one of the first MG EV's delivered in Australia. The car was bought after placing our deposit on the pre-registration sale and taking delivery sight unseen and without a test drive (but we had watched loads of YouTube reviews from the UK).

The MG is a great size for our family. This "Mum and Dad's taxi" has space and convenience for our daily lives, and has all the latest safety features (ie advanced driver aids). It navigates the shopping centre car parks well (easier than our other ICE SUV) and carries all five of us when the need dictates. The boot is "capacious", to borrow a term from the advertising of the 1930's 4-door MG's.

The only drawback is the battery size, as there is only one option for size. A long-range version would be an advantage for those who want the option and would pay for it. For the price and specs, this is not a complaint, but we would have liked the option like with other EV's. I am not sure if I can get over not having a spare tyre, although a lot of new cars do not have spare tyres these days. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a flat - but if I were to get one in the MG, there is a repair kit and 5 years roadside service to assist.

A spare tyre is an option, and a provision for stowage is already in the boot - so I haven't decided if it is important enough for me to buy one.

With the Australian conditions, window tinting should have been factory fitted, and the first thing we did was organise the tinting as there is so much glass (including panoramic sunroof).

The tech in the car is almost what you would expect for an upmarket car (ie lane keep assist, emergency assist braking, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control) and should be mandatory on all new cars. It's surprising how often the driver aids alert the driver, or the brakes come on when I don't slow down quick enough from the traffic stopped in front.

I am delightfully surprised with the drivetrain - the EV is very smooth, takes off very quickly, and when using the maximum regeneration braking setting I hardly use the brake pedal. The road handling is good, as the battery changes the dynamics with centre of gravity being lower for an SUV. Suspension is a bit "tight" and could be softer.

It has been very reliable so far too. There have been no issues except for some known software bugs and system improvements that were updated immediately at no charge. In terms of day-to-day, the MG EV was originally my wife's car for driving to and from work, shopping and weekend use (as the second car). However everyone in this family prefers driving this car - even the P platers. It is now our first car and is doing more kilometres than I thought we would, with our main (ICE) car now doing much fewer kilometres.

We have also driven to Sydney from Melbourne (return) during the COVID border window. We recharged via the public charging stations, although this is not very practical in a daily sense at the moment for a low-range EV. Admittedly our reason for purchase was not to drive to Sydney, but it is possible to do and it is not that hard.

In terms of improvements to the next update of this car, I think there could be a better battery display and better software for estimating kilometres left in range. The flip up charge point is clunky and not a very human-centred design. The passenger seat should have the same operations for height adjustment as the driver's seat, and there should be lumbar supports. A 12V plug in the boot would be good for a car fridge.

The big question is, would I recommend the ZS EV to a friend?

In short, yes. It was more expensive to purchase as an early adopter however the purchase was based on sustainability reasons. Regardless of motive to purchase, we were really surprised with the driving experience, and would not go back to ICE in the next vehicle purchase.

"Once you've owned an EV, you'll never go back."

We know that when we make our next purchase there will be a lot more choice and competition in the market place, but this time we have not regretted taking the leap into EV ownership.