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2023 MG ZS EV offers value for money despite some slight faults

2023 MG ZS EV offers value for money despite some slight faults
PHOTO: Motorist

MG's latest facelift for its ZS electric crossover may just be exactly what the car needed to make it the complete package.

The MG ZS was first introduced to Singapore in 2020, back when the marque was still a relatively unknown brand to our shores. As a debutante, the ZS felt like it was good enough, but not nearly there. With a new nip-and-tuck, the facelifted ZS now seems to be the well-rounded package MG intended for it to be all this while.

Sleeker all around

A new sharper full-LED headlight design, coupled with a new body-coloured grille, mark the most significant changes to the ZS exterior. Even though this is merely a facelift rather than an all-out model change, this new look really pays its dividends in making the ZS look bang up to date, compared to its predecessor, which had more than a smack of previous-generation Mazda design language about it.

The changes aren't limited to the exterior, too. On the inside, you'll find an updated 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display, as opposed to the 8-inch unit on the pre-facelift version.

It's a system that can be slightly laggy at times, although that is offset by the presence of a practical row of physical tactile hotkeys for climate and infotainment controls. In an environment where practically every manufacturer is embedding their controls within submenus upon submenus on a touchscreen, this is quite a refreshing feature to find on the ZS.

In the rear, there are air-con vents and charging ports, along with an almost fully flat floor, giving rear passengers both comfort and plenty of space. Headroom and legroom in this electric SUV are excellent, even though there is a panoramic sunroof.

An electric drive

A 99kW (133bhp) motor with 280Nm of instantaneous electric torque punches you from 0 to 100km/h in 9.9 seconds, although you wouldn't find yourself wanting to push the car hard. The suspension - MacPherson struts up front and torsion beams in the rear - is clearly tuned for comfort rather than spirited driving.

That said, bar the body roll, the ZS EV has definitely taken some etiquette classes, because it has very well-mannered handling when pushed right up to the limit. That might perhaps be the reason why MG has bothered with including a drive mode selector to toggle between Eco, Drive, and Sport in this family SUV.

Another impressive element is how quiet the ZS is while on the move. Insulation from road and wind noise is excellent, even when faced against rain and whooshing wet road surfaces. On the other hand, steering feedback is lacking though not utterly devoid of it, but there's more weight to the steering than one might expect, which is enjoyable.

There are also three selectable levels of regenerative braking — Level 1 makes the car feel like any other automatic petrol car coasting along when you let off the throttle, giving a good sense of familiarity. Setting the regenerative braking (which MG has named a sporting "KERS mode") to Level 3 gives you significant enough braking force to slow you down at speed.

Quite a bit of kit

Beyond its practical 488 litres of boot space and high specifications (it comes with the MG Pilot suite of advanced safety systems, 360-degree parking camera, wireless charging, auto headlights, auto wipers, etc). There really is a convincing level of plushness and sophistication that I did not expect from this car.

You're not going to wow anyone by telling them that you have an MG ZS EV, and the fact the interior trim materials are still a bit of a mixed bag won't help your case there, but this is a surprisingly nice car to settle into and enjoy at the end of a long day.

If I had to nitpick, the only bugbears are the lack of an auto dimming rear view mirror, and the signal indicators sound like a metronome, and are as loud as one too. But I can live with these slight faults.

The ZS is intended to be the affordable volume-seller of MG's local flock, and for that, I thought that it would simply be an affordable, mass-market good. But it turns out that the ZS has more than meets the eye.

Price (at time of publishing): $165,888 including COE  VES Band: A1

Permanent magnet 
synchronous motor

Charging Rate:
100 kW DC, 7 kW AC

Power & Torque:
99 kW (133 bhp) & 280 Nm


Driven Wheels:

5.7 km/kWh

0-100 km/h:
9.9 seconds

Top Speed:
175 km/h

Battery Capacity:
51 kWh

Dimensions (L x W x H):

4,323 mm x 1,809 mm x 1,649 mm


2,581 mm

Cargo Capacity:
488 litres

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This article was first published in Motorist.

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