The 2023 MG ZS EV is the most affordably priced, fully electric, five-seater family SUV on the market in Australia at the moment starting at $42,990 and going up to $48,990 for the top-spec Essence model.
With the latest update, the 2023 MG ZS EV has a new, longer battery range of 320km making it practical for many urban and suburban families. With this in mind let's put it through our family testing and see how it goes as a BabyDrive.
The MG ZS EV is a nippy and zippy little car to drive. It has a tiny turning circle and so is easy to park and manoeuvre in tight supermarket and school car parks, which made our everyday driving; school drop-offs, commutes and shops nice and easy.
I found its new 320km battery range to be a practical distance for our family, with our weekly routine of drop-offs, commutes, play days and outings. We had to charge it once a week at the shopping centre but also found it easy enough to just plug it at home where we were using the solar to charge it up which felt pretty good!
Not only does charging with solar feel good but you also have all the great benefits for your family driving an EV. Like driving your kids to school or to sleep, or sitting (silently) with the AC running while they sleep in the back without churning through fuel and pumping exhaust fumes into the air breathed by everyone nearby. Which is even more of a feel-good factor.
Comparing the battery range to other EVs, the Nissan Leaf+ is the closest at 270km while the more expensive Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro do around 470km. The range is shown on the driver's display screen, like a fuel gauge, so you know your distance remaining before needing to recharge the batteries.
When it comes to family practicality, the MG ZS EV is well thought-out for a small SUV. We found it surprisingly accommodated our family of four very comfortably.
With two child seats in the back then you have plenty of space for all passengers and you can fit a third child seat in if you need to.
There are ISOFix points in the two outer rear seats…
… and top tether anchorages on the back of all three rear seat backs.
Legroom is good inside the MG ZS EV, with rear-facing child seats in the two outer rear seats we can fit a 186cm front passenger and 170cm driver. Or with forward-facing child seats a 186cm driver will easily fit.
Boot space is generous in the MG ZS EV for a family of four too.
The boot floor can drop down around 10cm giving a much deeper storage space, including more depth if you want to take a small or medium size family dog to ride in the boot.
This gives ample room for a twin side-by-side or double pram to fit for families with two young children.
From empty, nine shopping bags will fit in the boot which is comparable to the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, Nissan Leaf+ and Hyundai Kona EV which all hold nine shopping bags too and the Kia Niro PHEV which holds ten shopping bags.
Or you can fit a compact stroller in the boot with six shopping bags.
When it comes to storage inside the cabin, rear passengers get a good size rear door bin and storage well in the handle.
There are map pockets on the back of both front seats that will hold and conceal an iPad, as well as USB and USB-C sockets on the back of the central console box for charging devices while travelling along. There are no cup holders in the back for rear passengers. There are aircon vents in the back of the central console box too which is great news for rear passengers, so they can be kept comfortable while travelling along.
In the front, there are two cup holders that will hold a reusable or disposable coffee cup. Behind them is a small central console box and in front of them a wireless phone charging tray and USB, USB-C and 12V sockets.
The glove box is a good size in the MG ZS EV and will hold my iPad and wallet with the manual.
Door bins in the front are also practical with room for an iPad and water bottle and storage wells in the handles…
… and there is a lined glasses case in the ceiling.
When it comes to driving the MG ZS EV, it is a nippy little electric car and I LOVE the silence! However, I have found you can feel the road bumps quite a lot so you need to drive accordingly with little passengers on board. With the previous model, on motorways, I found the lane keep assist caused the car to bounce around in the lane from one white line to the other in a pinball effect, and I am pleased to say this has been fixed and it is no longer the case in this new model.
There is a good seatbelt removal visual on the driver's display screen so you know instantly if a rear passenger takes their seatbelt off.
The media system in the 2023 MG ZS EV has had quite an update. It is now nice and modern and easy to navigate and use.
Some of my favourite menus within the system include the EV Screen, where I can keep an eye on my battery range and all things charging.
The camera screen gives you a really good 360-degree view around the car which is fantastic for an EV of this price.
The air-conditioning and climate are mainly controlled through the media screen and I found this difficult to use and manage while driving.
The MG ZS EV has both wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is excellent for safely accessing your phone's messaging, navigation and listening apps on the move.
When you select reverse the camera images are very clear and you have 360-degree view.
Also when you indicate you have side camera images in the media screen which are excellent for ensuring you are a good distance from the kerbs.
For our family of four, the 2023 MG ZS EV makes a very practical and affordable little five-seater electric SUV and BabyDrive. Hubby is 186cm and I'm 162cm and it fits us both happily in the front with our seven- and two-year-olds in the back with surprisingly good and comfortable legroom and boot space. It makes a great, affordable car for your everyday school runs and commute drives.
The new 2023 MG ZS EV has not been tested by ANCAP but the pre-update version had a five-star ANCAP safety rating and has six airbags as standard.