The latest addition to the MG group comes to measure up to Tesla's best-seller, the Model 3. With an excellent price/performance ratio, will the MG ZS EV be able to win out over the American sedan?
It is no longer presented as it is a hit throughout Europe, the Tesla Model 3 has become in a few years the reference electric car for many. However, whether for objective or subjective reasons, many potential buyers do not end up choosing the American firm's electric sedan.
We will try today to offer an alternative with the MG ZS EV, which does not lack advantages as we will see. Design, on-board technologies, road behavior and of course the final invoice, we will detail the differences between the two vehicles so that you can determine which one is made for you.
MG ZS EV and Tesla Model 3 data sheets
MG ZS EV
Tesla Model 3
0 to 100 km/h
Level of autonomy
Main screen size
Car side sockets
Type 2 Combo
Type 2 Combo
See the test
See the test
Dimensions, weight and exterior design
The dimensions of the two vehicles in this comparison are quite different. And for good reason, they do not play in the same court. On the side of the MG SUV, with 4.32 meters long by 1.81 meters wide and 1.65 meters high, you are dealing with a car cut out for the city, which can be parked without problem almost anywhere.
At the level of the Model 3, with its 4.69 meters long (37 centimeters longer than the MG ZS EV), 1.85 meters wide and 1.44 meters high, it is not the same symphony. Forget the cramped places of the city centers under penalty of leaving some traces on your bodywork.
To finish on the technical sheets, we note that the Tesla Model 3 is 200 kilos heavier than the MG ZS EV, with, for the American, between 1,760 and 1,844 kilograms displayed against between 1,570 and 1,620 for the Japanese.
The design of the MG ZS EV is quite attractive for a compact SUV, notably with a full textured grille allowing the charging port to be revealed. The light signature at the front associated with the sharp lines of the bonnet is of the most beautiful effect, giving it a sporty look as desired.
The Tesla Model 3's polished aerodynamics are apparent at first glance, with a long, sloping hood giving the car a bullet-like look. We will see later that this makes it a strong point, especially in terms of consumption, which the SUV look of the MG ZS EV will not be able to fill.
With a trunk of 488 liters, the MG ZS EV is doing with honors for a vehicle 4.32 meters long. The space on board is more than adequate, with enough room in the back for two adults to sit comfortably.
The interior of the MG ZS EV is generally convincing: it benefits from well-made materials that dress the dashboard, and a fairly ergonomic layout of the various buttons here and there at the level of the central console.
Minimalist is the key word on board the Tesla Model 3, where you will not find physical buttons to start the vehicle, manage the air conditioning or even open the glove box. Forget all that, and welcome with open arms the central screen which brings together all the controls relating to the vehicle.
Not having a tailgate, the Tesla Model 3 still offers a large storage capacity (561 liters for the rear trunk and 88 liters for the front trunk). However, it should not be desired to load too bulky objects, the opening of the trunk being relatively small compared to that of an SUV like the MG ZS EV.
The two screens that make up the instrument cluster of the MG ZS EV make it easy to view all relevant information relating to the current status of the vehicle: range, speed, navigation. Note, however, that the manufacturer's embedded system, iSmart, sometimes lacks ergonomics, with sub-menus that are difficult to access.
Android Auto and Apple Carplay are available from MG, unlike Tesla, which definitely doesn't do things like the others.
The giant 15-inch screen in the center of the Tesla Model 3's dashboard sets the tone: it's a vehicle condensed with technology. Between the on-board cameras that scan all the surroundings, and the high-tech interior, the most tech-savvy among us will be delighted.
As standard, Tesla's Autopilot still impresses with its simplicity and efficiency, making fast lane travel very relaxing for the driver. Among Tesla's particularities, we can mention the "key on phone" function, which makes it possible to do without a physical key to open and start the vehicle, and which works perfectly well on the Model 3.
On the road
As much to say it from the beginning, the two vehicles do not play in the same category once one is on the road. The MG, with a 156 horsepower engine and a 0 to 100 km/h in over 8.5 seconds, has no chance of competing with the sporty side of the Tesla Model 3.
Driving as a good family father will be preferred, even if during our recent test, the improvements on this 2021 vintage left us with a good impression during dynamic driving sessions.
Tesla's sporty sedan, on the other hand, is naturally much more playful once you're behind the wheel. The ride is very engaging, the handling is exceptional and the four-wheel-drive models' all-wheel drive is hard to fault.
For those who don't want to put their foot down frequently, know that the Tesla Model 3 is also a champion of eco-driving, with very low consumption, especially for a car with such power. Let's remember all the same as a black point the rolling noises on board the vehicle, which are still very high at high speed.
The different engines offered
The MG ZS EV is available in two different configurations, depending on the battery size chosen:
Range Standard 2-wheel drive, traction with 51 kWh battery: 130 kW front motor, 0 to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, top speed 175 km/h;
Range Extended 2-wheel drive, traction with 70 kWh battery: 115 kW front motor, 0 to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, top speed 175 km/h;
For the Tesla Model 3, three different versions are available:
Propulsion: rear motor only, 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, top speed 225 km/h;
Great Autonomy: front and rear engine, all-wheel drive, 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, maximum speed of 233 km/h;
Performance: front and rear engine, all-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, top speed 261 km/h.
Autonomy, battery and charging
Displayed with a WLTP range of between 320 and 440 kilometers, the MG ZS EV will not match the Tesla Model 3 on this point. As for fast charging, it is announced at 40 minutes to go from 5 to 80% battery in ideal conditions, with a maximum power of 92 kW.
Depending on the version chosen, you will have a 7 kW (51 kWh battery), or 11 kW (70 kWh battery) on-board charger, ensuring that you can fully fill the car in around 7 hours at home. On domestic outlet, count between 18 and 25 hours for a full tank.
The autonomy in the WLTP cycle of the Tesla Model 3 is between 491 and 602 kilometers depending on the version chosen. The entry-level has a 60 kWh battery, and the “Grande Autonomie” and “Performance” models have a 79 kWh battery.
Champion of fast charging, on the network of Tesla Superchargers, a Model 3 will go from 10 to 80% battery in a big half hour, and the high-end versions accept up to 250 kW of power via their CCS port.
On a domestic socket, it will take between 20 and 30 hours to fully fill the batteries, when the on-board 11 kW charger can allow it to recharge to 100% in less than 8 hours on a Wallbox.
With an aggressive price, MG undoubtedly wishes to win over many customers looking for an excellent quality/price/performance ratio. The price to pay for an entry-level MG ZS EV is displayed at 30,990 euros, without taking into account the ecological bonus (6,000 euros until July 2022).
For this price, it will of course be the version equipped with the 51 kWh battery. For those who wish to opt for the large 70 kWh battery, the bill will be a maximum of 36,990 euros.
On the American side, the price will necessarily be higher. The most expensive versions will be close to 70,000 euros by checking the options on the online configurator, and the entry-level is available for 43,800 euros (excluding ecological bonus). That's still well above the MG ZS EV, even in its most expensive configuration.
Which to choose between the MG ZS EV and the Tesla Model 3?
If all goes well, one of the two vehicles in this comparison should win in your eyes. If sporty and engaging driving appeals to you, there's no doubt that the Tesla Model 3 is the ideal candidate. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an all-purpose electric car, the enormous turning radius and the 4.69 meters of the Tesla Model 3 will be crippling criteria.
The MG ZS EV, with its hefty price tag, is an excellent electric automobile to consider, even if its fast-charging performance makes it a tough choice as a first household vehicle. The Tesla Model 3 will necessarily prevail on long journeys, where the combination of the network of Tesla Superchargers and the autonomy recovered in less than 30 minutes will be a major advantage against the MG SUV.
But for that, it will necessarily be necessary to put at least 43,800 euros to drive a Tesla Model 3, or 43% more than for the entry-level ZS EV.
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