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MG ZS in the test: What can the electric car from China do?


VW partner SAIC from China is increasingly attracting customers in Germany - for example with the MG ZS electric car. In our test, the car did not look bad.

Icon: enlarge

The MG ZS is an electric car in compact SUV format.

The Stromer will soon be available in Germany from around 32,000 euros.

Photo: Jonathan Fleetwood / MG

The first impression:

 A compact SUV - the MG ZS follows the stylistic mainstream.

Out of the monotony of design, only the little-known logo stands out.

But that's not new, it just disappeared from the market for a few years.

This is what the manufacturer says:

 MG Germany boss Philipp Hempel knows about the skepticism with which Europeans approach car brands from China.

So far it has either been manufacturers who offered junk goods and embarrassed themselves in crash tests, or start-ups who first appeared cocky and then ran out of money.

MG does not belong in any of the camps, explains Hempel.

He describes MG as a down-to-earth brand with affordable cars.

"We offer a lot of cars for the money, but we don't want to be cheap Jakob," says Hempel.

Anyone who sees certain parallels to VW is not wrong.

Especially since VW operates a joint venture with MG parent company SAIC in China.

The traditional British brand MG was founded in 1923, belonged to BMW from 1993 to 2000 and to the Chinese SAIC group since 2006.

MG sales in Germany should start again this spring - with the ZS electric model.

Electric is the new normal, says Hempel.

We noticed: 

Mazda, Mitsubishi or MG?

Just like the exterior design, the interior of the ZS also fits into the mainstream.

There are partly digital, more classically designed instruments, an ordinary touchscreen, paintwork and leather, seats with a good grip and finely decorated fan nozzles, similar to Audi.

The equipment is neat: the MG neither irritates with a hard plastic landscape that smells of solvents, nor does it surprise with its high-tech ambience.

Adaptive cruise control is even standard.

The ZS also makes a solid impression otherwise.

With a length of 4.32 meters and a wheelbase of 2.57 meters, it offers enough space everywhere.

448 liters of luggage fit behind the electrically opening trunk lid.

And if there is no frunk, i.e. a second cargo space in the bow, then there are a few compartments under the trunk floor in which the charging cable, for example, disappears. 

The drive is also pragmatic: the ZS with a 105 kW motor on the front axle is not one of the most powerful electric cars, nor does it have the largest battery with 44.5 kWh.

The range is rather low at 263 WLTP kilometers.

The car is limited at 140 km / h.

That is more than sufficient in everyday life.

Especially since the MG ZS has a brisk start, accelerates uniformly and is solidly tuned.

The chassis and brakes have a European, mandatory set-up.

Only the steering is extremely smooth and is supported too much by the servo motor.

After all, parking is so easy.

This is helpful because the rear view camera is so sluggish, i.e. whether it sends each pixel individually to the screen. 

Those who drive long-haul with the MG ZS look more often at the range display than with the VW ID.4 or Tesla Model Y, whose batteries are almost twice as big.

But the small power storage device reduces costs and can be charged quickly with up to 85 kW.

In half an hour the battery will be pretty full - provided you have a suitable column.

However, caution is advised: The cover of the socket behind the logo in the radiator grille looks cheap and fragile. 

You have to know that:

 MG, founded as Morris Garage in Oxford, has been around for 98 years.

While SAIC was right at the start after taking over the company in England, MG has only been back in the rest of Europe since 2020.

With considerable success, after all, MG has sold more than 7,000 cars in Norway and the Netherlands to date.

MG manager Hempel would like to repeat that in Germany.

The start of sales is planned for the first half of the year.

In addition to the ZS electric SUV, whose prices start at just under 32,000 euros, the MG EHS is to be launched as the second model.

At 4.57 meters in length, the car is half a size larger than the ZS and is in a league with the VW Tiguan.

This model should cost around 34,000 euros.

However, there is then no pure electric drive, but a plug-in hybrid drive.

It combines a 1.5 liter 162 PS gasoline engine, a 90 kW electric motor and a 16.6 kWh battery (52 kilometers electric range).

“This is how we want to reach customers who are not yet fully ready to switch to electromobility,” says Hempel.

We won't forget that:

 the button on the center tunnel labeled with the letters KERS.

The driver uses them to set the three levels of recuperation.

That works perfectly, but the name is a fat exaggeration.

Because KERS stands for "Kinetic Energy Recovery System", the recuperation system from Formula 1. That is a bit over the top.

Icon: The mirror

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-01-22

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