Browse over 9,000 car reviews

MG ZS EV 2023 review: Long Range

  • DrivetrainElectric / FWD
  • Battery capacity72.6kWh
  • Battery typeLi-ion
  • Range440km (WLTP)
  • Plug TypeCCS Type 2
  • DC charge rate80kW
  • AC charge rate11kW
  • Motor output115kW/280Nm
  • Efficiency17.7kWh/100km
Complete Guide to MG ZS EV

If, like just about everybody, you’re a bit concerned that an electric car might not be able to travel as far as you need to go, then the new MG ZS EV Long Range could be the small, fully-electric SUV for you.

We’ve tested the ZS EV Long Range here and can tell you how far you’ll get on a full charge and how much extra you’ll have to pay in price over the standard range version, along with what it’s like to drive, its features, practicality, ownership costs and of course its safety systems.

Be sure to watch the video above, where I’ll take you for a ride and show you my Big Foot tattoo. Yes, seriously.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor?

The MG ZS EV has one electric motor driving the front wheels and it makes 115kW of power and 280Nm or torque.

That’s the same power as the petrol MG ZS, but more torque, so it accelerates faster. We’re talking 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds. 

Sure, that’s not Tesla quick, but being an electric car the acceleration is instantaneous with none of the lag petrol cars have due to turbos or changing gears.

The MG ZS EV has one electric motor driving the front wheels and it makes 115kW of power and 280Nm or torque. (Image: Richard Berry) The MG ZS EV has one electric motor driving the front wheels and it makes 115kW of power and 280Nm or torque. (Image: Richard Berry)

How much can the ZS EV tow? Not much. The braked towing capacity of the ZS EV Long Range is 500kg. But think of it like this: a box trailer can weigh about 250kg and a fully grown Sumatran tiger can also weigh up to 250kg.

So an ZS EV Long range can tow a box trailer carrying a fully grown tiger. That sounds impressive.

For more on what the ZS EV Long Range is like to drive, keep reading.

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is its charging time?

The ZS EV Long Range has a larger battery than the standard range ZS EV and this gives it the ability to travel further on a full charge

The regular version is fitted with a 51.1kWh battery and the Long Range has a 72.6kWh battery which is pretty big - and that gives this an official range of 440km. 

The standard range ZS EV has a range of 320km. So the Long Range will get you 120km further which could make all the difference in whether you make it to your destination or not.

So, is 440km a lot compared to other electric cars? Well, it’s more range than the Nissan Leaf (385km) or Mini Electric (233km), but not as much as the Kia Niro (460km) and 50km less than the entry-grade Tesla Model 3 (491km).

The ZS EV Long Range is fully electric and that means you’ll have to plug it in to charge it. (Image: Richard Berry) The ZS EV Long Range is fully electric and that means you’ll have to plug it in to charge it. (Image: Richard Berry)

Put it this way, the 320km offered by the standard ZS EV falls short of what I think is enough. But anything with more than 400km is truly useful and I find anything less than this can bring on range anxiety pretty quickly.

The ZS EV Long Range is fully electric and that means you’ll have to plug it in to charge it

You can charge up using a household power point, but it’ll take more than 24 hours to get to 100 per cent. So, a much better idea is to use a fast public charger.

A 50kW charger will take the battery from empty to 80 percent in 63 minutes using a CCS Type 2 port/plug.

As for energy efficiency, MG says that after a combination of open and urban roads the ZS EV Long Range will use 17.7kWh/100km.

I drove our ZS EV Long Range every day and used it for school drop offs, city commutes and some motorway running. And while most of the 156km I travelled was urban-based the trip computer was reporting an average of 20.0kWh/100km.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The MG ZS EV Long Range lists for $55,990 which is about $11,000 more than the standard range ZS in the Essence grade.

The features on this Long Range are almost identical to the Essence, too.

Coming standard are LED headlights and running lights, then there are those 17-inch alloy wheels (which have aerodynamic covers on them), proximity unlocking, roof rails, the rear spoiler and a panoramic sunroof with a retractable cover.

17-inch alloy wheels, which have aerodynamic covers on them. (Image: Richard Berry) 17-inch alloy wheels, which have aerodynamic covers on them. (Image: Richard Berry)

Inside, the seats are a combination of polyurethane and PVC, plus there’s a 10.1-inch media display with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

You can see the battery status from the screen as well along with the energy efficiency. 

Climate, phone and media are all accessed through the screen, but fortunately there are physical buttons for volume, temperature and fan speed.

There’s single-zone climate control and tinted rear windows.

A 360-degree camera view is also standard, but the quality of the picture is pretty murky.

How does that cost compare to rivals? Well, you could buy an MG4 electric vehicle for about the same price with 530km of range, but it’s not an SUV

The interior features a 10.1-inch media display with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Richard Berry) The interior features a 10.1-inch media display with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Richard Berry)

You can even get a Tesla Model 3 for about $61K, but again, that’s not an SUV. The Tesla Model Y is an SUV and lists for $69,300 and has 455km of range.

The closest competitor would be the BYD Atto 3 Extended Range which can travel 420km and lists for $51,011.

There are more affordable EVs coming from brands like BYD and GWM, too, and they’re all competing for your money. 

Compared to the MG ZS EV Essence the Long Range has exactly the same features, apart from the tinted rear windows, but you’re paying $11,000 more. What you’re paying for is a bigger battery which will allow you to drive 120km further.

The MG4 Long Range offers more distance and represents better value, but it’s not an SUV and therefore not as practical as the ZS EV.  

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The ZS EV Long Range is a practical small SUV and it fit my little family of four, although my kids are both under 10 years old and not at the lanky teenager point yet.

Space on board is good, offering ample legroom for even me (at 188cm) in the second row and adequate headroom back there, too.

The second row also has directional air vents and dark-tinted windows. (image: Richard Berry) The second row also has directional air vents and dark-tinted windows. (image: Richard Berry)

I like the large door pockets, the wireless phone charger, and there are two USB ports for the back seats and another two up front.

The second row also has directional air vents and dark-tinted windows. I liked the panoramic sunroof's retractable shade, too. 

  • 2023 MC ZS Long Range I Boot 2023 MC ZS Long Range I Boot
  • 2023 MC ZS Long Range I Boot 2023 MC ZS Long Range I Boot

SUVS like the MG ZS offer easier access than sedans and hatches thanks to the elevated ride height which means people of my height don’t need to crawl in and out on their knees.

Boot capacity is decent at 359 litres, but not enormous.  

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

The ZS EV Long Range has a traditional SUV shape but with a very futuristic looking face thanks to its grille-less nose. That’s because with no radiator needed to cool a combustion engine there’s no need for an open vent or grille for air flow.

MG has used a textured plastic to subtly imitate an old-school grille to lessen the visual impact of a sheet of plastic between the headlights.

I think the effect works although the obvious charging flap could have been cleverly and seamlessly integrated into the nose, in the same way Genesis has done with the GV80 Electric. But the attempt has failed.

The ZS EV Long Range has a traditional SUV shape but with a very futuristic looking face thanks to its grille-less nose. (Image: Richard Berry) The ZS EV Long Range has a traditional SUV shape but with a very futuristic looking face thanks to its grille-less nose. (Image: Richard Berry)

The ZS EV Long Range’s cabin looks premium with the sporty seats and red stitching, the landscape screen and digital driver display.

But, while the interior looks great, it feels a little low quality in places such as the vinyl upholstered seats. 

There are some ergonomic issues with the high centre armrest and the raised seating position, too.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

At first, the driver’s seat felt overly high and the lack of reach adjustment in the steering wheel made finding a good driving position harder.

But, the ZS EV Long Range is comfortable and easy to drive, while its size and ‘electric zippiness’ makes this little SUV perfect for narrow city streets and tight car spaces. 

Some EVs have break-neck acceleration and minimalist cabin controls which can feel weird, but the ZS EV Long Range’s cabin looks just like a regular combustion engine car’s and the motor has the same power as a petrol ZS’s engine.

That said, the instant acceleration of their ZS EV Long Range is fun and great for moving quickly out of car space, merging and overtaking when needed.

As with all EVs, passengers who are prone to motion sickness might find the acceleration and heavy deceleration a bit much. My family didn’t complain but the photographer who filmed the video above found it a bit much while looking down at his screen.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The ZS EV Long Range has yet to be given an ANCAP rating, but it is equipped with AEB, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assistance and blind-spot warning. There are front and rear parking sensors and six airbags.

For child seats there are two ISOFIX points and three top tether anchor mounts across the second row.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The ZS EV Long Range is covered by MG’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. The battery is covered by a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty, too. 

Servicing is recommended by MG at 40,000km/24 month intervals.

According to MG the first service costs $295, then the next is $810, then $295 for the third, $810 for the next and so on. That’s about $233 a year over six years which is excellent value.

  • DrivetrainElectric / FWD
  • Battery capacity72.6kWh
  • Battery typeLi-ion
  • Range440km (WLTP)
  • Plug TypeCCS Type 2
  • DC charge rate80kW
  • AC charge rate11kW
  • Motor output115kW/280Nm
  • Efficiency17.7kWh/100km
Complete Guide to MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV Long Range is a practical small SUV that's easy to drive and the 440km it can travel on a full charge makes it the better choice over the standard range ZS EV. The extra 120km offered by the Long Range version reduces anxiety and is truly useful in covering more ground between charging.

The asking price may seem expensive but electric vehicle batteries are extremely costly to produce and will remain so for years to come.

Remember, too, that the MG4 electric car has an even great range for the same money - the only catch is, it's a hatch and not an SUV.

$55,990

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Score

4/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.