MG is coming back with strong sales of their ZS Electric vehicle. But, really, MG never left. It’s one of those marques that’s gone through a few restructures, trading one parent company after another.
It’s coming back only in a manner of speaking; I say so for the benefit of enthusiasts — including myself — who mostly think of British roadsters when MG comes to mind. It turns out MG Motors has been producing a range of models for decades.
Two years later, in 2018, the ZS went full-electric. SAIC released the BEV while preparing the model for markets abroad, and just this year announced a ZS plug-in hybrid, claiming it targeted drivers “...who are not yet ready for a fully electric car.” The order of development and release might seem backward.
Still, the MG ZS Electric Vehicle is quietly doing well according to sales figures. In our reporting of the ID.3’s Norwegian sales, we mentioned the MG sits in second place behind the Volkswagen. But the ZS EV is enjoying success in a number of places besides Norway, too.
The ZS EV has a range of 231 miles in city driving, which drops to 167 miles combined with longer jaunts. It has modern tech and modest amenities. The ZS EV’s safety was bolstered over the ICE model, and it received a five star rating from Euro NCAP. It starts at kr239,980 NOK in Norway. In the UK, it starts at £25,495, VAT included. The ZS EV is priced competitively in both markets, so it’s not too surprising that it is selling well.
Why? Because it’s a crossover originally built as an ICE car, that enjoyed success due to its practicality and affordability. I am a tiny bit annoyed at MG, however, for renaming the ZS so it reads like this: MG ZS EV.
That’s a little cruel. It leaves six letters, seven syllables, and zero charm but then again, MG MGB isn’t exactly a creative or catchy name, either. It’s not even alphanumeric, for chrissake!
But MG deserves some credit. It did something that the bigger carmakers have tepidly approached. It took a well-received car, replaced its drivetrain with forward-facing, sustainable technology and, at least for now, positioned itself as a player in an upcoming, competitive EV market.