If you’re looking for a cheaper entryway into EV ownership, it’s hard to go past the 2023 MG ZS EV. Its sleek design and safety features ensure it’s fit for purpose as an SUV.
Although there’s no doubt it’s been made on a tighter budget, this EV shouldn’t have any issues getting you from A to B if you’re living in the city.
MG has recently unveiled its upgraded 2023 ZS EV in Australia, allowing drivers to get their hands on one of the cheapest electric vehicles currently available. Is it worth the investment? How does it compare to other similar models on the market today? Read Savvy’s in-depth review of the MG ZS EV to find out all you need to know, from its performance to its features and more.
The 2023 MG ZS EV remains the most affordable electric car on the market right now, with prices starting from just $44,990 driveaway (for the Excite model) up to $48,990 (for the Essence model).
The MG ZS EV has expanded to two models from the one it launched with several years back, with the Excite, a compact SUV, now being joined by the Essence, which maintains a near-identical structure but comes with a variety of additional features.
The dimensions of the 2023 MG ZS EV are as follows:
|2023 MG ZS EV Dimensions|
|Length||4,323mm (14ft, 2in)||4,323mm (14ft, 2in)|
|Height||1,625mm (5ft, 4in)||1,649mm (5ft, 5in)*|
|Width||1,809mm (5ft, 11in)||1,809mm (5ft, 11in)|
|Weight||1,570kg (3,461lbs)||1,610 kg (3,549lbs)|
|Wheelbase||2,585mm (8ft, 6in)||2,585mm (8ft, 6in)|
|Tyre size||215/55 R17||215/55 R17|
|Ground clearance (unladen)||161mm (6in)||161mm (6in)|
*The Essence’s height includes roof racks. Without this addition, the vehicle’s height is 1,625mm (5ft, 4in).
It comes with a new 130kW/280Nm electric motor. This is an upgrade on the previous model in terms of power (albeit still relatively low for an electric car) but comes with less torque.
Accessories and features
The 2023 MS ZS EV range comes packaged with a variety of desirable features to excite drivers. It comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built-in alongside satellite navigation to help you get from A to B.
Its 360 View Camera is also included so you can gain a better view around your vehicle, while it also offers three different options when it comes to driving your vehicle: Eco, Normal and Sport. Some of the other inclusions to look out for when purchasing your MG ZS EV are:
- Three regenerative braking modes
- LED daytime running lights
- 17-inch alloy wheel covers
- Push button start
- Houndstooth patterned fabric seats
- Vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality
On top of these, the following features are available exclusively in the Essence:
- Passenger and driver front seat heating
- Wireless phone charger
- Roof rails
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Panoramic glass sunroof
- Synthetic leather seats
Rather uniquely, the MG ZS EV comes with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is longer than the five offered by many other manufacturers. The intervals for required servicing are whichever comes first between two years and 20,000km.
MG’s Precise Price Servicing caps the cost of taking your vehicle in per interval to $268 per service, aside from the fourth at eight years or 80,000km, which is set at $807.
You can purchase your ZS EV vehicle in one of the following colours:
- Brighton Blue Metallic
- York White
- Diamond Red Metallic
- Sloane Silver Metallic
- Pepper Black
Battery, charging and range
Both models of the ZS EV come with 50.3Kwh lithium-ion batteries, which are liquid-cooled and enable you to travel up to 320km per charge. In terms of its charging capabilities, MG says that the ZS EV can be charged up to 80% in 54 minutes at 80kW from DC rapid charging points.
Conversely, if you have a 7kW wall charger, you can fully charge your vehicle in approximately eight hours, while 11kW chargers are also able to be installed to speed this up to five hours. The ZS EV comes with CCS and Type 2 charging ports.
|MG HS Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Fuel Cost Comparison With ZS EV Charging Cost|
|Petrol Cost Per Litre||$ / 100 km||Petrol Cost Per Year (Driving 100km per week)||EV $ Savings Per 100km||EV Electricity Cost (31.5c for 17.3kWh Per 100km)|
MG ZS EVs can go from 0 to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds. This makes it one of the slower EVs in the market right now in terms of acceleration and is notably slower than the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, which can reach that mark in 5.2 seconds with its AWD variant.
The interior of the ZS Essence is adorned with eye-catching red stitching across the dark seats, dashboard and console to draw the eye. The materials used to construct the cabin of the vehicle are designed to be soft to the touch, including a carbon fibre-style dashboard, although the price of the vehicle prevents its comfort level from reaching the same heights as other, more premium makes and models.
While this only applies to the Essence, the Excite also has some attractive qualities. Although its synthetic leather is replaced with cloth upholstery, it still has ample room in the console for cupholders and a highly spacious back row.
With its seats in place, the boot of the MG ZS EV can store up to 359L. However, you can also fold the back seats down to expand the available space to 1,187L.
As a compact SUV, the ZS EV can be expected to come with reduced towing capacity. This is rated at 500kg for both variants, both braked and unbraked.
The MG ZS EV’s five-star ANCAP safety rating hasn’t been updated since 2019, so this rating doesn’t apply to the 2023 model. However, it’s packed with a variety of other safety features to consider, which come primarily from MG Pilot’s ten safety features. These include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Forward Collision Warning
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Lane Keep Assistance
- Traffic Jam Assistance
- Intelligent Cruise Assistance
- Intelligent Headlamp Control
- Speed Assistance System
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert*
- Blind Spot Detection*
The vehicle also comes with six airbags, hill launch assistance, automatic door unlocking in an accident and more.
*Only available in the Essence variant.
There are several differences between the 2023 model and its 2021 and 2022 predecessors, although overall the car remains very familiar. Perhaps most notably, the new ZS EV’s range of 320km on each charge is an improvement on the older model’s 263km range. This is made possible by the upgrade of the 44.5kWh battery to 50.3kWh.
Additionally, rear vents serve as another upgrade (although some would argue they could’ve come sooner), while the multimedia touchscreen attached to the dashboard is a step up from older models also.
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