The kind folks at MG saw I had converted to an electric car (Nissan Leaf) and offered me five days of driving one of their new EVs, the MG ZS EV.
It retails at $48,990 and has a 45 kWh battery. This gives you a 260 km range on a single charge.
I’ve now been driving an EV for four months and I can see why people say you never go back. No more finding time to pop into a petrol station to fuel up. At home it takes me around 10 seconds to plug the cra in and start charging overnight.
The MG impressed me for its price tag. The safety features were especially impressive.
It of course has Apple Carplay plus an inbuilt navigation system, But the safety features include emergency braking to stop you hitting a car in front of you in case of a sudden traffic jam, or a pedestrian who steps onto the road. It also has lane assistance where it will keep you in your lane on motorways etc unless you indicate to change lanes. Driving up Ngauranga Gorge, the car steered itself around bends to stay in my lane. It even told me off for removing my hands from the steering wheel.
It isn’t an autonomous driving vehicle, but the safety features get you close to it. The car can read speed limit signs and alert you when the speed limit changes. They have a smart cruise control which will cruise you at a speed that maintains a safe distance between you and the car in front. Also the wing mirrors alert you to a car in your blind spot.
In terms of driving, I really got to enjoy myself. To save power I always drive my Leaf in eco mode which is great for range, but means more resistance. The MG has three levels of driving mode (eco, normal, sport) and three levels of regenerative braking. Driving the car in sports mode was a blast and I’m just sorry I wasn’t in the Wairarapa where I could have found a nice straight country road to really test it.
The MG handled smoothly and is reasonably well elevated off the ground, which makes you feel safer driving.
My kids loved the sunroof. You can open and close the sunshade and even pull back the roof entirely. My four year old was very disappointed I wouldn’t drive the car with him standing on the seat with his head popping out over the roof.
As I said I was pleasantly surprised by how many safety features you get for a car that is priced under $50,000. The equivalent Nissan Leaf looks to cost a bit over $60,000.
The next time we are looking to buy, this will definitely be on the short-list.