Well isn’t this a breath of fresh air! The MG brand is back and with a very compelling offering, hopefully this time it’s here to stay. The MG brand truly has an amazing heritage and it was difficult to watch the brand not only disappear from Ireland but struggle in the UK as funds dried up and the cars could no longer move with the competition. Thankfully Chinese giants SAIC Motor came to the rescue and gave the company that much-needed boost in financials. Over the last eight years the company has slowly returned to form and now has some very desirable and affordable cars. The development and testing still takes place at the historic Longbridge plant in Birmingham but all cars are manufactured in China. One Irish company tracking the progress of MG was the Frank Keane Group and as MG moved more towards hybrid and electric powertrains they decided it was time to relaunch the brand in Ireland. As of now the MG ZS EV and the MG5 EV Sportwagon are available in Ireland and we recently had the chance to spend some time with the MG ZS EV compact SUV.
Starting with the exterior, the MG ZS EV boasts a new front face, which becomes instantly recognisable thanks to the prominent MG badge. The full LED headlamps sweep back towards the wings and give the nose a purposeful stance that looks far from cheap. The lower aluminium-effect grille finishes off the front end nicely and your charging port is directly behind the badge. Moving around to the side the MG ZS EV has tasteful modern 17-inch alloy wheels that come in two styles depending on if it’s an Excite model or Exclusive which our test car was. The Exclusive’s Tomahawk wheels compliment the muscular side profile of the little SUV and towards the rear you get a fresh aluminium look trim and stylish taillights that make it very modern. As of now six vibrant exterior colours including a brand new metallic colour, Battersea Blue are available. Three other metallic paints include Black Pearl, Cosmic Silver and Spiced Orange. A classic Dynamic Red made with a tri-coat finish was developed especially for MG ZS and Arctic White is the clean and crisp solid colour option for those keeping it simple.
When you open the driver’s door you are greeted by a stylish new dashboard design with more soft touch materials and a detail stitching that looks great. The driving position sitting on the electrically adjustable seat is good and the steering wheel is adjustable up and down. The central 10.1-inch floating colour touchscreen featuring DAB radio, Bluetooth telephone and music streaming, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is easy to use and our Exclusive test car also had iGO satnav and a 360 degree reversing camera. Below the screen a selection of buttons are arranged to allow access to the air conditioning and other key controls. Again our Exclusive version test vehicle benefited from leather-style upholstery, which is cloth on the Excite model.
The MG ZS EV is powered by a 44.5kWh water-cooled lithium-ion battery which is covered under the impressive 7 year warranty. It feels zippy to drive and with 140hp on tap, it can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 8.5 seconds. It feels torquey to drive also with 350Nm produced from 5000rpm. This means even with four adults on board, those inclines will seem inconsequential.
With a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating you are in good hands with the MG. The High-tech MG Pilot driver assistance suite comes as standard on both models and features Active Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control which are normally associated with cars at a more premium price point.
Priced from just €28,995, MG ZS EV is a great new option for not just private purchasers but also fleet, and corporate customers across the country. There are slight differences in prices depending on colours but even our top of the range Exclusive test car came in at just €32,895. Prices include the SEAI grant of €5000 and PCP options are available from 2.9% APR with no deposit needed.
We are not sure if its nostalgia or not but the MG brand is a welcome addition to Irish roads. This first offering in the form of the MG ZS EV is an excellent starting point and we look forward to testing the Hybrid Version and the MG5 EV in the not to distant future. Living with the full EV for a week was easy considering the country is still in lock-down so we never got a chance to really challenge the WLTP certified range of 263 kilometres but it seemed to manage its power pretty well and with just a single overnight charge on a regular 3 pin socket at home, we had ample power to see us through the week. Testament to MG’s confidence in the quality of its design, engineering and manufacturing operations the 150,000-kilometer warranty or 7 years offers real piece of mind, especially for those worried about battery life! Welcome back MG we believe you have hit the ground running with this offering.
Dirty hands after opening charge port under the front badge!