MG ZS EV Extended Range Test: The Clean Automobile Supertest

MG ZS EV

To get a better place, the MG ZS EV comes in a more versatile restyled version with the Extended Autonomy version.

The Supertest, what is it? This is a new test format on Automobile-Propre.com which follows the first impressions collected during the initial handling. This is a deepening worthy of the greatest speleologists carried out over much longer distances and always on the same route according to a very precise protocol which is intended to be repeated with each novelty. We had started this exercise with plug-in hybrids and we are now also applying an evolution dedicated to electric ones. The goal? Gather comprehensive information from a long-term test in real conditions!

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Launched in 2020, the ZS EV is the first weapon of conquest from MG, the English manufacturer now passed under the Chinese standard. To tackle Europe, the manufacturer has chosen an urban SUV, unfortunately equipped with a battery and the autonomy of a city car. Just two years after his arrival, he is doing a profound update.

But there is no question for him of downloading software that would only improve his autonomy: the ZS EV changes everything, or almost. This goes through its face, now more enticing, but also through several technical innovations that finally allow it to have versatility at the height of its segment. And this is particularly the case with this Extended Autonomy trial version, which will undoubtedly represent the vast majority of sales.

Introducing the MG ZS EV

ZS EV technology

Previously available in a single version, the MG ZS EV now offers two choices, with a 51 kWh or 70 kWh battery. It is the latter that equips the Extended Autonomy version. With Nickel Cobalt Manganese technology and supplied by CATL, it comes from the MG Marvel R, the big brother of the ZS EV. This is what allows him to claim now 440 km rangewhich is still 177 km better than before!

Still, this unit is limited in power and bridles the engine cavalry. In this top-of-the-range version, the mechanism installed on the front axle announces 156 hp for 280 Nm of torque, compared to 177 hp in the entry-level version. But despite less power and greater weight, it manages to display the same performance values ​​with a 0 to 100 km/h in 8.6 s and a top speed of 175 km/h.

On the charging side, the new ZS EV is equipped as standard with an on-board charger of 11 kW alternating current. The new battery promises a peak at 92 kW of DC power at fast charging stations. According to the brochure, he can perform the exercise of the 5 to 80% in 40 minutes. With its extended autonomy, it should therefore be a little more robust over long distances.

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All our consumption measurements of the MG ZS EV

Mixed autonomy: 364 km

As usual, we start with the mixed autonomy measurement workshop, with a temperature of 10°C. An exercise where the MG ZS EV also has the opportunity to present other developments on the road. Because, for this restyling, it does not only focus on its electrical and mechanical endowment: the SUV receives structural modifications at the front, which give it a completely different face. If the management is still silent, it is however more reactive. The course holding appears to be rigorous, as is the balance, which is always reassuring for family use.

In strict compliance with speed limits, the SUV does not take long to show a completely different facet: that of consumption. At the end of this 100 km course (twice 50 km in one direction then in the other), the ZS displayed an average of 19.9 kWh/100 km. This is reflected in terms of the capacity of its battery by a mixed autonomy of 351 km. A rather correct score, with a good mention on a winding road where it posted an average of 18.6 kWh / 100 km.

Road vs highway: he doesn’t like speed

Among other technical improvements, the MG ZS EV receives a new permanent magnet synchronous motor, against previously wound-rotor technology. According to the manufacturer, it is more efficient by around 1% to 4%, while the rotation speed has been raised to 15,000 rpm. And on our favorable national road type route, efficiency is indeed there: at the end of these 50 km (at an average speed of 57 km / h), the SUV posted a consumption of 14 kWh / 100. This is equivalent to a formidable total autonomy of 499 km!

On the other hand, the improvements will not be of any help on the motorway (120 km / h on average), where he completed the 50 km of expressway with an appetite of 26.9 kWh / 100 km, or 259 km of autonomy. . That’s nearly twice as much as on-road, and roughly matches what we observed on the long drive.

Instant consumption of the MG ZS EV

If the consumption is in the high average, the ZS continues to prove that it does not like to drive fast. This is confirmed by our consumption test at stabilized speed. At 110 km/h, it has a consumption of 21.5 kWh/100 km, compared to 27.8 kWh/100 km at 130 km/h. With only 20 km/h of difference, the appetite manages to climb by 29.3%, which is a very high value.

Still according to purely theoretical projections, this is equivalent to a difference of 51 km of autonomy on a useful full of 80% at 10% load. Or even 74 km on a full tank.

Long distance journey: 186 km of useful autonomy

With all this data in hand, the MG ZS EV created no surprises on the long-distance journey, which connects Paris to Lyon via the A6 motorway. On this course, we recorded an average of 26.2 kWh/100 crossing the finish line. A predictable result when driving at 130 km/h over the vast majority of the route, in an average temperature of 10°C.

The total autonomy in this case is 266 km on a full tank. With a 100% departure, it is possible to envisage a first link of 239 km, then to count on 186 km between two stations on the motorway. This remains in the average of the two compacts that we have already screened, but the autonomy is not the only parameter to take into account, as we will see in the second part of this Supertest.

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Comfort and performance of the MG ZS EV

The interior of the MS ZS EV does not claim as many modifications as the exterior dress may suggest. The design is preserved, as is the very good quality of finish which has nothing to envy to European standards. Especially since it now gains full digital instrumentation, an induction charger, automatic air conditioning and a central 10.1-inch touch screen with more attractive graphics and considerably improved speed. Note that not everything can be perfect, however, with a steering wheel that is adjustable only in height, unlike the passenger seat that is adjustable only in length, or with perfectible support for the shoulders on the backrests.

Not enough to degrade comfort on the road, the SUV has a very good level of filtration. It is only on the deformations that it will admit its limits, with deafening percussions coming from the rear suspension on the worst fittings, or a front axle which is guided by the bleeding. So many defects that we do not encounter on the highway, where aerodynamic noise takes over. Despite the engineers’ efforts to soundproof the lower parts, rolling noise is present, while aerodynamic nuisance surrounds the passenger compartment. However, our sound level meter does not panic and presents average values, with a maximum of 75 dB at 130 km/h.

In the performance department, the ZS announces a 0-100 km/h in 8.6 s and we timed the 80-120 km/h in 6.30 s at 80% load in mode Normal. We did not expect better from an SUV with an unfavorable weight / power ratio of 10.38 kg / hp according to the technical sheet. But if it keeps this time up to 20% load, overtaking will be much more complicated below, with a recovery in 9.80 s at 10% load. Nothing surprising in itself, but it doesn’t make the effort to warn the driver about the level of power remaining as the battery drains, as is the case in a Volkswagen ID.3.

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MG ZS EV Supertest: the results

Forget the passable copy of the previous version which managed to make people talk about it thanks to its aggressive selling price. The new MG ZS EV appears as a next-generation vehicle. To its revised plastic, it also brings a mechanical endowment which now allows it to venture out of towns without a second thought. All without affecting the qualities of its interior or its trunk volume of 488 l. And to better affirm that versatility was one of its specifications for this restyling, it comes with a towing capacity of 500 kg and a reverse charging function (which however we were unable to try due to lack of adapter and other electric vehicle on hand).

So here is a proposal that deserves our attention, at least on the strict level of driving and autonomy. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to pass the test of travel and fast recharge times. In the meantime, it has something to tickle the Hyundai Kona Electric with which it shares a face without grille. Certainly, the Korean can sleep on his two mirrors in terms of efficiency. But on the tariff balance, the ZS is displayed at a total of €38,490 (excluding bonuses), while the dealer network is tending to develop.

What is the Supertest?

Lovers of numbers and allergic to official data sheets, the Supertest, Automobile-Propre’s new test format, is made for you, bringing together data collected during a test in real conditions and according to a transparent and precise protocol. We will add them on the Wednesday following the publication of the second part dedicated to the MG ZS EV Extended Range to our summary article allowing to compare the values ​​noted of the models tested, which will make all the value of the section.

If you want to go further, do not hesitate to consult our tests and to exchange with the community on our discussion forum.