MG’s budget ZS EV, Australia’s second top-selling electric car after the Tesla Model 3, will get a significant update from July this year to keep the momentum up.

    Two variants will be offered this time, kicking off at $46,990 drive-away before rebates for the Excite variant, and climbing to $49,990 for the ZS EV Essence.

    The new-look version gets an overhauled interior and larger capacity 51kWh battery providing more driving range, as well as a sleeker frontal design.

    By contrast the outgoing model (with a few extra features at base level) was $44,990 drive-away.

    The 2022 car’s new battery pack uses Model 3-style lithium iron phosphate chemistry designed to maximise stability, and offers a claimed 320km of driving range – up from 263km (WLTP).

    MG has also updated the drive motor and claims to have improved the battery management electronics.

    No local figures have been offered, but overseas specs show the motor now outputs 130kW and 280Nm – up from 105kW and down from 350Nm. UK versions can take a 100kW DC charge, which we expect to carry over to this market.

    Unfortunately, the longer-range 72.6kWh version capable of a claimed 440km on the WLTP cycle won’t make it to Australia, with the company focusing on the more affordable, shorter-range model for the time being.

    Other enhancements to the new Australian-market 51kWh ZS EV include a slicker driver display, 10.1-inch touchscreen, 21-module LED headlights with auto-dimming, new LED tail lights, new 17-inch alloy wheels, and a tweaked ‘grille’ with updated Type 2 charging port.

    The revised MG ZS EV will be backed by an 80-plus site dealer network and a seven-year unlimited mileage warranty.

    MG also sells its own ChargeHub 7kW (one-phase) or 11kW (three-phase) home AC wall boxes costing $1990 to $2090, with the first 500 buyers of the new ZS getting a $500 discount.

    These boxes have open-source software so aren’t locked only on MG products.

    How does the MG ZS’s $46,990 drive-away price compare to competitors? A base Model 3 costs $60,900 drive-away, a Hyundai Kona Elite Standard Range opens at about $59,000 drive-away (varying by State), and a Nissan Leaf 40kWh kicks off at $54,000.

    MORE: MG Australia supplying up to 3000 EV chargers for rural hotels

    Fellow Chinese brand BYD gets its Australian operation underway from June/July with the Atto 3 electric SUV, which lines up neatly against the MG, starting at $44,990 on the road. That’ll be an excellent comparison test…

    On the subject of Chinese brands making inroads into the EV market, Great Wall Motor’s Ora brand launches its new Cat EV this year too.

    MG ZS EV Excite – $46,990 drive-away

    • 51kWh lithium iron phosphate battery
    • 17-inch milled alloys
    • LED headlights and tail lights
    • Reversing camera
    • MG Pilot driving assist suite (AEB, active cruise control, emergency lane-keeping)
    • 10.1-inch touchscreen
    • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Satellite-navigation

    MG ZS EV Essence – $49,990 drive-away

    Added features include:

    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Wireless phone charger
    • Rear cross-traffic alert (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)
    • Panoramic sunroof (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)
    • Synthetic leather trim (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)
    • Six-speaker sound system (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)
    • Heated front seats (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)
    • Power driver’s seat (was on old, single-spec ZS EV)

    MORE: Electric car sales surging in Australia
    MORE: What stock shortages? A ship full of MGs just landed
    MORE: MG breaks sales record, cracks Australian top 10

    MORE: 2021 MG ZS EV awarded five-star ANCAP rating
    MORE: 2021 MG ZS EV v Nissan Leaf 40kWh comparison

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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