ELECTRIC MG ZS EV

As EVs move mainstream, it’s not just price that cements MG as a popular and affordable frontrunner.

As you know, a key attraction of EVs in New Zealand is they are largely powered by renewable energy. And with batteries becoming more energy-dense and owners getting smarter about setting their home charging for off-peak hours, the equation looks better and better. Meanwhile, an improving nationwide charging network is helping to quell those bugbears of range anxiety and charging anxiety.

Aside from the fact that EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, many buyers are attracted to the new and rapidly evolving EV technology, fresh design language, some unique driving attributes, and solid performance from the off. The ZS EV exhibits all of the above and is based on a popular SUV platform that does a power of work for the MG Motor brand on the global stage.

ZS EV proved popular from launch three years ago and has already undergone a significant refresh to compete in a sector that is hotly contested. It remains outstanding value, with the entry level Excite model priced at $49,990 drive-away, while the upmarket Essence model is packed with features and commands a modest $4000 premium. The Government’s $8625 Clean Car rebate is the thick layer of icing on top.

Range is now a very respectable 320km, improving on the previous model’s 263km. Plus, new on-board charging capability means 80 per cent charging can be achieved in just 54 minutes (based on a 50kW fast-charging speed). And in the ever-important contexts of interior space, useful tech, clarity of displays and perceived quality, this car’s slickness makes it a compelling package. Some premium SUVs might have a bit more overall polish but you can’t argue with the MG’s price, everyday practicality, refinement and fit and finish. It’s easy to get comfortable in the leather-upholstered driver’s seat and easy to stay that way, with a seven-year warranty and seven-year roadside assistance package delivering absolute peace of mind.

On the road, the MG excels as an urban all-rounder but it transposes its abilities to the open road despite not having strict dynamic pretensions. The instant urgency from a standing start is fun rather than exhilarating while rolling acceleration is on a par with rivals. You have the choice of easy-to-access driving modes to employ for maximum efficiency or extra urge, and perusing the excellent energy graphics also adds to overall driver engagement.

EVs are generally adept at isolating occupants from the outside world and the ZS EV is no exception, its suspension quietly going about isolating bumps and bumps. The large underfloor battery pack lowers the centre of gravity and translates into a settled attitude when sweeping around bends.

Distinguishing the new ZS EV is a revised front fascia that pronounces electric intentions while retaining a practical front-mounted charging port. The revised ZS EV also offers owners its own app-based software architecture, called iSmart, which allows owners to perform over-the-air updates, remotely control air-con and door-locking, and performs real-time navigation.

A thorough update, then, for the broad-batted car that continues to spearhead MG’s electric charge. It now does so with more energy and appeal.

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