Pleasant, calm, suitable for the masses: The outer shape of the MG Z S EV fits seamlessly in the round of compact SUVs that are currently driving through Europe. The appearance of the ZS has absolutely nothing to do with body shapes from the gray antiquity of England - even if the Chinese brought a couple of MGs from the 1960s to the presentation - after all, they bought the history of MG as well.
Formally, the ZS is a little reminiscent of the VW Tiguan. The glitter elements in the front grille, on the other hand, clearly come from the ideas shelf of Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener, who first presented such a grill years ago for a sporty A-Class. Briefly pressing the large MG logo in the center of the grill opens a flap and releases the charging connections. At the rear, of course, the insignia of internal combustion engine locomotion is missing - there are no tailpipes.
The front seats sit comfortably and provide sufficient lateral support. The leather upholstery makes a high-quality impression, as do the seams. It is not for nothing that those responsible for MG emphasize that they have “a lot to do with VW” - after all, MG to SAIC, VW's joint venture partner in China. The quality of the surfaces is also right, even if they are made of plastic. The steering wheel is below for easy accessflattened - and comfort is one of the main themes of the ZS, as MG points out. It is not for nothing that the brand has given itself the motto “Recharge yourself”.
The ZS is available in the basic configuration comfort and in the top configuration luxury. Luxury includes the sunroof, which also leaves enough space over their heads for people who are 1.88 meters tall. The fabric of the electric privacy blinds always lets in a bit of light, which makes the interior brighter even when the blind is closed. The instruments consist of the speedometer scale on the left and a display for the driving status on the right, so you can see there whether the drive is currently consuming or recovering energy. Scaling and numbers are a bit similar to those of the speedometer - an optically even clearer differentiation would be desirable here. Gear selection is again super easy: for D, turn the large knob in the front of the center console all the way to the right, for reverse gear all the way to the left.
In the rear there is a comfortable back seat and plenty of space for Head and legs. To open the trunk, you fold up the large MG logo on the rear - as a reward there is a rugged trunk cutout and 448 liters of storage space on a loading floor that is flat even with the seat backs folded down.
Press the start button, watch the pointers wake up, turn the gear selector knob to the left as far as it will go and the ZS EV starts moving with gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal. The only thing you can hear is the rubbing of the tires over bumps - the chassis copes well with small bumps. Long waves are also no problem, but the SUV reproachfully rumbles over short grooves and speed bumpers. In turn, it masters bends unobtrusively with a slight tendency to roll, which is not unusual for this vehicle class.
When it comes to steering resistance, the engineers made a conscious decision to keep the value as low as possible - and the steering is actually exceptionally smooth. For sporty drivers this may be too much comfort, but those who want to crank through the city stress-free can get used to it. Especially since there is little play in the middle position andthe direction specification is possible despite all the ease of movement.
You don't necessarily need the brake pedal in the ZS - with it, too, like many other electric cars, One pedal driving, i.e. driving only with the accelerator pedal, is possible. If you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the drive system recovers energy, which automatically brakes the SUV. The strength of this so-called recuperation can be set in three stages, even in the lightest one, no braking is necessary when driving with foresight.
Completely normal assistants
A whole host of assistants is already there with the ZS included in the price. Here, too, the Chinese engineers emphasize their cooperation with German suppliers. For example, the adaptive cruise control system was developed together with Bosch. The cruise control is operated via the lower left steering wheel satellite - it regulates the distance gently and reliably. Lane Keeping Assist does not like to see the SUV near white lines - it steers away from them very early. If that bothers you, press the button at the end of the upper left satellite. Overall, the assistants should enable autonomous driving according to level 2.5 - fully autonomous would be level 5. MG is also researching fully autonomous driving in its test centers. The Chinese engineers do not want to venture a prognosis as to whether this will ever be possible.
Unexcited electric drive
An electric motor with an output of 105 kilowatts (143 hp) is responsible for the drive in the ZS EV. The unit has one thing in common with the engine in Porsche's new Taycan electric sports car: the copper wires in the stator coil have a square cross-section. Thanks to this so-called hairpin technology, more copper comes together in the same installation space, which means more power and more torque for an electric motor. The drive of the ZS EV can only be heard softly when accelerating, otherwise rolling and wind noises take over. The acceleration can be finely controlled via the accelerator pedal and the ZS also offers the acceleration force typical of electric vehicles from a standstill. This is an advantage, for example, in the environs of the Belgian capital, Brussels, which is affected by a roundabout epidemic: one step on the accelerator pedal and the SUV jumps into the gap on the roundabout carousel. It scurries to 100 km /h in 8.2 seconds, but the top speed is only 140 km /h.
While driving, the smell of gasoline blows in from the opposite lane - this also gives off a strange feeling in the electric SUV like the knee-jerk control of fuel prices at the next gas station, which is no longer your business. The battery, which is rather small at 44.5 kilowatts, ensures a WLTP range of 263 kilometers - which is rather tight considering the vehicle size. For comparison: the small electric cars of the Volkswagen Group (VW eUp, Skoda Citigo eIV, Seat Mii Electric) cover 265 kilometers. A direct current charge of the MG to 80 percent takes at least 40 minutes, charging ten minutes at full power should bring 60 to 80 additional kilometers.
Inexpensive entry, inexpensive luxury
The MG ZS EV will follow in the first half of 2020 Germany. You can order it online and then pick it up in pop-up stores, for example. MG promises that you always have enough cars in stock - no customer has to worry about long waiting times. And the price is an announcement: 30,000 euros go to MG for the well-equipped basic model “Comfort”, the fully equipped luxury version costs 32,000 euros.