2023 MG ZS EV Review

By Alexi Falson on 10 Feb 2024
image for 2023 MG ZS EV Review
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Affordable entry-point into battery-electric segment
  • Smooth power delivery
  • Spacious second row with decent boot space
  • Infotainment system can be slow to respond
  • Claimed range figures difficult to obtain
  • MG reserves its larger 72kWh battery pack for overseas markets
  • Some safety kit reserved for range-topping Essence variant
MG ZS EV Essence Specs
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0 / 0
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
MG’s all-electric SUV takes the cake as one of Australia’s most affordable electric vehicles, but is it a no-brainer bargain or an EV to avoid?

Lofty price tags for new electric vehicles have been one of the biggest barriers to entry for Australian buyers, which is the exact market MG is hoping to capture with its updated ZS EV.

Since its introduction, MG has given the ZS EV a styling update and a larger battery pack underneath, which positions it nicely as an affordable entry point into the world of battery-electric vehicles.

Just how well does the MG ZS EV perform as a usable electric car, then, and how does it stack up against its rivals? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

MG ZS EV Competition


BYD Atto 3
Hyundai Kona Electric
Tesla Model Y
Kia Niro EV
Nissan Leaf

Starting Price: $43,990

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

Considering that electric vehicle subsidies change between states and territories, prices for the MG ZS EV depend on where in Australia you live.

List prices for the MG ZS EV range kick off from $43,990 for the entry-level Excite variant, with prices rising to $47,990 for the range-topping Essence.

As we’ve mentioned, prices vary across Australia and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save by hiring one of OnlineAuto’s car buying experts to assist you in finding the best value model for you.

MG ZS EV (ESSENCE) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make MG
Model ZS EV
Series MY23
Fuel type ELECTRIC
Transmission 1 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine ELEC
Engine capacity 0
Engine configuration NOT APPLICABLE / 0 valves
Engine RPM 0 / 0
Cylinders -
Torque 280
KW 130
Fuel tank size 0.0
Fuel usage specs 0.0 / 0
CO2 0
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the MG ZS EV Have?

MG’s entry-level ZS EV Excite comes riding on 17-inch alloys and is packaged with a set of automatic LED head & tail lights, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry & start, vehicle-to-load charging, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the ZS EV Essence adds a panoramic sunroof, heated seats wrapped in leatherette upholstery, a wireless smartphone charger, roof rails, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, added safety equipment and an upgraded six-speaker sound system.

2023 mg zs ev interior

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys 

  • LED head & tail lights

  •  Adaptive cruise control 

  • Surround-view camera 

  • Cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel 

  • Vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging 

  • 7.0-inch driver’s display 

  • 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Panoramic sunroof (Essence)

  • Heated seats with leatherette upholstery (Essence)

  • Wireless smartphone charging (Essence)

  • Roof rails (Essence)

  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat (Essence)

  • Six-speaker sound system (Essence)

MG ZS EV Colours

The MG ZS EV is available in a choice of five colours, with Dover White & Pebble Black listed as a no-cost colour option, while Sloane Silver, Brighton Blue and Diamond Red remain a $700 optional extra.

How Far Can the MG ZS EV Travel on a Charge?

The latest generation ZS EV has seen MG update their range with a larger lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, up from 44.4kWh to 50.3kWh, which has helped to improve driving ranges across the board.

Officially, the MG ZS EV consumes energy at a claimed 17.1kWh/100km on the WLTP cycle, which means that a full charge for the 50.3kWh pack equates to a maximum driving range of 320km on a single charge.

These figures, however, are directly from the manufacturer, with real-world driving figures - particularly on high-speed stretches on the highway, for example - set to reduce the ZS EV’s driving range from that 320km claim, although they are a significant improvement over the previous 263km range of its predecessor.

How Long Does it Take to Charge the MG ZS EV?

The ZS EV’s battery pack can be fast-charged up to 50kW, if you have access to a suitable DC charger.

Using a 50kW DC fast charger, the ZS EV can be charged from 0-80 per cent in 54 minutes, while using an 11kW AC charger takes around five hours for a full charge.

2023 mg zs ev v2l charging

For those wondering, charging your MG ZS EV with a standard 240-volt outlet at home, will take upwards of 30 hours, while MG’s optional ‘ChargeHub’ - which is priced at $2,000 - offers both 7kW single-phase and 11kW three-phase configurations that drop these numbers to around eight hours.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The MG ZS has seen its electric motor changed for the latest model year, with a slight increase in power accompanied by a drop in torque, which was more than likely in the name of added driving ranges.

That means that power is up to 130kW from its single electric motor sitting over the front axle, while torque figures stand at 280Nm which gives the ZS EV a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds.

The acceleration isn’t particularly sporty, although the push off the line is immediate thanks to the electric motor’s torque, and allows you to ride a smooth wave of power up to speed in an incredibly relaxing fashion.

The update has also seen MG revise the steering and the suspension, which has improved the overall ride quality and how the ZS EV handles the added weight from the battery pack in the corners.

Having said that, the ride quality can be firm over bumps around town and on rough surfaces on the open road, which is something you’ll need to take into account on a daily drive.

2023 mg zs ev rear

Overall, though, the changes have culminated in a more refined driving experience, which retains the user-friendly hallmarks of its predecessor like the lightweight steering rack that makes driving around town and parking pleasant, with the added bonus of a regenerative braking system.

The steering offers up significantly more feedback in the corners, which makes the driving experience more engaging, and gives you a clear sense of what the front wheels are up to for a more stable ride.

All up, while the ZS EV doesn’t lead the pack, it does well to keep up with its main rivals and doesn’t ask its owners to make too many sacrifices, considering its price tag.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Sharing its platform with the standard ZS, the ZS EV offers a familiar cabin with a few updated features that have helped to make it a competitive offering, even if there’s some cheaper interior trim pieces making an appearance once again.

Inside, the cabin is reasonably spacious for the segment, offering a heap of headroom for tall drivers, even considering the unusually high driving position, and while the steering rack lacks reach adjustment, it’s still an approachable driving position for most shapes and sizes.

The aesthetic is clean and modern, with the updated and significantly larger 10-inch infotainment system headlining the dashboard, which sits atop a few climate control settings and a storage area that picks up a wireless phone charger in the Essence variant.

Other storage options include a pair of cupholders hiding beneath a retractable cover, a compact storage area underneath the folding armrest and a pair of large door bins on either side of the cabin that can eat up a full-sized waterbottle.

The second row of the cabin offers an impressive amount of space for the compact SUV segment, with enough legroom for adults to sit reasonably comfortable in the rear, and no real issues with headroom, other than the Essence’s sunroof adding some bulk to the roofline.

Having said that, though, you’ll hear no complaints from kids seated in the second row of the cabin, who gain a pair of USB ports and air vents, and parents benefit from a set of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts.

Finally, the MG ZS EV has a boot totalling 359L, which is the same as the previous model, with some under-floor storage also on offer to accommodate your charging cables.

Is it Safe?

The MG ZS EV has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 90 per cent for adult protection, 84 per cent for child protection, 64 per cent for pedestrian protection and 71 per cent for its safety assist technologies.

Standard safety equipment for the entry-level ZS EV Excite variant includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, a surround-view camera and traffic sign recognition.

For those looking for blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, you’ll have to upgrade to the flagship Essence variant which is one of the few downsides of the ZS EV’s otherwise impressive safety package.

Our Verdict: Is the MG ZS EV Worth it?

While it might not be the perfect all-around package, the MG ZS EV serves an important role in the Australian landscape in making battery-electric vehicles more accessible to the masses, and it’s a promising sign of what’s to come.

MG’s updates for the ZS EV have resulted in some marked improvements over the first-gen, and as it stands, it is a very attractive proposition for those in the market for an affordable electric vehicle.

To sum up, while it might not lead the pack, the ZS EV doesn’t ask you to make any major sacrifices while transitioning to electric mobility, and is therefore deserving of a spot on your EV shortlist.

On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year warranty for electric motor and battery 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. Claimed range of 320km (WLTP cycle) 

  4. 17.1kWh/100km energy efficiency rating 

  5. Five-hours for a full-charge on 11kW AC power


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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