There’s no great excitement and the octagon and letters
“M” and “G” don’t really mean a lot. Without any fanfare, the new MG ZS EV has joined the choice of compact SUVs now on the roads of Europe – and a booming market. MG? Never heard of it?
People of a certain age will remember them as proper roadsters and coupés with V8 engines – made by a British sports car manufacturer that seemed untouchable... until failed nationalisation and stubborn unions left parent company British Leyland on its knees. After the collapse of MG Rover, a Chinese Group bought what was left of the business in 2005.
And now MG is back on the European market, even though there’s hardly anything left of the brand’s old values. There’s no emphasis on the sporty side anymore, but on staying power instead, which is why the MG ZS EV comes with an electric engine.
MG is now part of the Chinese Group SAIC, sharing a production plant with Volkswagen. Production of electric SUVs for export has just started at a brand new plant in Ningde, Eastern China.
But what’s the point of nostalgia for a past that’s gone for ever? It’s now all about efficiency, range and charging speeds - MG definitely has a contribution to make here. The Chinese are asking €30,985 for the ZS EV in Luxembourg, and at that price, customers are entitled to a more than decent 5-seater SUV (2 of which fitted with the Isofix system) on a 4.32 m chassis. The 2.58 m wheelbase will ensure good passenger comfort. This particular SUV is powered by a 143 hp (105 kW) motor. It goes from nought to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and has a top speed of 140 km/h. Maximum torque 353 Nm. MG gives the range at 263 km (WLTP cycle) and the 44.5 kWh battery takes 7.5 hours to charge fully (alternating current). With direct current, it takes 40 minutes for an 80% charge.
The first ever MG electric SUV hits the road with a full pack of drive assist features, including emergency braking assist, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Jam Assist, which automatically follows the vehicle in front when the speed drops below 56 km/h.
MG’s return to Europe might not be a cause for celebration for the nostalgic among us, but anyone who’s price-conscious and looking for an affordable electric vehicle will find it hard to overlook the MG.
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