MG joins electric

charge with a

bargain

MG ZS EV, 2019, front, action
MG ZS EV, 2019, nose
MG ZS EV, 2019, front, static
MG ZS EV, 2019, side, action
MG ZS EV, 2019, side
MG ZS EV, 2019, rear, action
MG ZS EV, 2019, dashboard
MG ZS EV, 2019, interior
MG ZS EV, 2019, rear seats
MG ZS EV, 2019, boot
MG ZS EV, 2019, boot, maximum
MG ZS EV, 2019, motor
MG ZS EV, 2019, charging
MG ZS EV, 2019, gear shift
MG ZS EV, 2019, display screen
MG ZS EV, 2019, badge

THE surge towards electric powered cars is all well and good but one bugbear for drivers thinking of changing over is the cost.

While electric vehicles offer cheaper running and lower maintenance costs they are vastly more expensive than conventional petrol and diesel powered equivalent models.

That's all changing in September when the now Chinese owned MG car maker really puts the cats amongst the pigeons by offering its first pure electric model - the compact five-door SUV ZS - from only £21,495.

Admittedly this bargain price only applies to the first 1,000 customers who place an order with a £500 deposit - they will also be given a free home charging point installation - then even afterwards the asking price for the entry-level Excite model will be reduced from £28,395 by the government grant of £3,500.

The top specification Exclusive model listed at £30,495 will also gain the same double whammy price cut if ordered within the same 1,000 first orders bringing that down to £23,495.

It's a clever piece of marketing because such aggressive pricing, even when the first 1,000 have been snapped up, still makes the ZS EV a more realistic purchase for family motorists looking to go electric.

The other plus factor for buyers is that there is no waiting time for delivery because come September sale day MG claims it will have a ready and constant supply of the electric powered ZS unlike most rivals where the waiting time for delivery can be many months.

There is also the benefit of MG's seven-year/80,000 mile full warranty deal and on the ZS EV that includes the battery.

The other more practical bonus for drivers who opt for this newcomer is that it has quicker recharging time than most rivals with 80 per cent of the battery able to be charged up within 40 minutes.

The plug-in is simply too with the socket under the MG badge on the front grille making it an easy access.

The other concern for motorists driving electric cars is the battery range - this MG ZS EV's 44.5kWh battery claims to be 163 miles and up to 231 miles with just city driving.

Although rivals like the Nissan Leaf offer 168 miles on ordinary driving and the Kia e-Niro a range of 282 miles the MG team believes the figures will stretch further over time.

The single electric motor provides 141bhp of power along with 353Nm of torque providing a decent enough zero emission performance of 0 to 62mph in 8.7 seconds and with a claimed top speed of 87mph, more than enough to cope with motorway driving.

The initial launch drive was a couple of hours run in and around the centre of London in heavy traffic where the ZS EV performed admirably enough.

The acceleration was smooth and the car's precise steering was admirable.

Like the petrol ZS it has a comfortable, relaxing ride and there's a switch near the bottom of the central console which allows the driver to choose the levels of brake energy regeneration when lifting off the throttle.

This works, although for the driver it may feel strange at first, and pleasingly there is practically no whining noise when driving the car quickly as evident on one or two of its rivals.

The real test will come later when there's a chance to drive this car outside of built up areas and on the open road.

Any driver will appreciate the rotary style gear selector between the two front seats which provides the drive, neutral and reverse functions while a button in the centre of the dial puts the car into park mode.

Like the ZS petrol model the interior is kitted out fairly basically but comfortably enough with a fair amount of plastic trim but it is a genuine five-seater with good boot space of 448 litres pushed up to 1,375 litres with the rear seats folded.

There's no cabin intrusion either from the batteries - they are all laid out underneath the passenger seats - and all the seats are comfortable offering decent all round support.

Both models are exceptionally well equipped with the Excite having 17-inch alloy wheels, air con, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, eight-inch infotainment screen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and lane departure earning.

Move up to the Exclusive level and in addition there are roof rails, an excellent panoramic opening roof, leather-like upholstery, heated front seats, blind spot detection, rain-sensing wipers and rear cross-traffic alert for when reversing out of a parking spot.

Certainly the ZS EV is a bit of fresh air in the ever growing electric car sector and it will make its mark with its aggressive pricing policy that is sure to convert more drivers over from conventionally powered cars. In reality they won't be disappointed.

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