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MG ZS EV price slashed to remain Australia’s cheapest electric car, besting BYD Atto 3

John Law

Facelifted MG ZS EV arrives in Australia and MG has dropped price of entry back to $44,990 driveaway for base model Excite

Australia’s cheapest new electric car is still the MG ZS EV. Despite earlier reports suggesting a $2000 price bump, MG Australia has decided to drop its driveaway pricing back to $44,990 for base model Excite EV – at least initially. 

This decision may have been motivated by the launch of the a new player on the ZS’s block – the BYD Atto 3 electric small SUV, which starts from $44,381 before on-roads, or $45,405 driveaway in NSW.

MG ZS EV 2023-3
The facelifted MG ZS EV has arrived in Australia

Both BYD and MG are made in the People’s Republic of China (despite MG’s historical British badge), with MG owned by SAIC motor company and BYD (Build Your Dreams) proudly wearing its parent company’s name. 

The new ZS EV packs a slightly larger liquid-cooled battery than before (now 49kWh usable) and more advanced battery management for 57km more range at 320km (WLTP) – identical to a standard range Atto 3. 

MG has kept specifications otherwise very similar, save for the addition of smartphone connectivity via MG’s ‘iSmart’ app and new-look, larger infotainment screens.

MG ZS EV 2023-6
There are a host of changes to and under the skin of this electric SUV

Apart from the Atto 3, the MG ZS EV also has to compete with the Hyundai Kona Electric standard range ($54,500 before on-road costs) and Nissan Leaf ZE+ ($50,990 before on-road costs). 

The MG ZS is the brand’s small SUV. The newer ZST – launched in 2021 – is the internal combustion equivalent, though MG still offers a previous-gen ZS Excite as a price leader in Australia. The brand also sells the HS midsize SUV and popular MG3 light car. 

What’s new in the 2023 ZS EV facelift?

MG has neatened up the ZS EV’s visage with new LED lighting features from the ZST and blanked off grille with golf ball-like dimpling to differentiate it from ICE-only ZS and ZSTs. There are also new 17-inch aero alloy wheels on both grades. 

MG ZS EV 2023-2
The ZS EV features a new design of aero alloy

Apart from the exterior makeover, there are more colours including the pictured Brighton Blue metallic; the deeper blue replaces the previous EV-exclusive Clipper Blue hue.

Inside the ZS EV’s touchscreen grows to 10.1-inches on both grades with new infotainment graphics and a new digital driver’s display. 

Fabric upholstery is fitted to Excite grades, stepping up to Essence ($48,990 driveaway) nets black vinyl upholstery, six-way electric driver’s seat, wireless charging pad and six-speaker sound system.

MG ZS EV charging, battery size and range

MG has opted not to release the ZS EV Long Range in Australia. This more flexible version of the ZS EV swaps the 49kWh  battery for a bigger 68.3kWh pack with 440km WLTP range.

MG ZS EV 2023-5
The ZS EV boasts a longer range than before

Instead, we get the 320km WLTP vehicle fitted with a 49kWh lithium-ion battery pack. In the Australian spec sheet, MG quotes the ZS EV’s efficiency at 17.1kWh/100km, however to achieve maximum range the electric SUV will need to hit a lower 15.3kWh/100km figure. 

Power is up in the facelifted ZS EV with maximum outputs of 130kW (from 103kW), though torque has been reduced by from 353Nm to 280Nm – a move that echoes a similar choice made by Kia Niro recently to improve the drivability of the Niro EV. MG claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.2 seconds.

Fast-charging speed for the standard range MG ZS is 50kW CCS, meaning charge will climb from 10-80 percent charge in 54 minutes. The long-range ZS is capable of charging at up to 76kW. 

MG ZS EV 2023-4
The MG ZS EV is available to order now

AC charging from 0-100 percent using a typical 7kW wallbox will take around eight hours, a higher capacity 11kW AC charger drops that time to five hours. 

The facelifted MG ZS retains its cheapest new EV tag (just!) and is available to order now from $44,990 driveaway.

MG ZS 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • ZS Excite 1.5T: $21,990 ($22,990 driveaway)
  • ZS EV Excite: $43,990 ($44,990 driveaway)
  • ZS EV Essence: $47,990 ($48,990 driveaway)