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16 Mar 2023

Facelift (What's New)
Battery capacity now 50.3kWh (compared to 44.5kWh) with 320km of rated range
Power output revised to 174bhp and 280Nm of torque
Refreshed exterior, including new 'grille-less' front end
New 7.0-inch digital driver's display
New 10.1-inch infotainment screen, with new layer of buttons

A strong mid-life refresh adds welcome polish to the MG ZS EV's approachable electric template - but it now also carries a bigger price tag.

Whether planned with scalpel-sharp precision, or simply the coincidental confluence of favourable conditions, the MG ZS EV's first arrival in Singapore felt strategically timed on many levels. It landed as the surge in governmental support for EVs was picking up speed, struck a sweet spot between performance, range and fast charging capability, yet was also served up in the crossover form today's buyers are generally gravitating towards. 

Above all, however, it promised to make all of the above affordable - even with the Category B COE it was tagged to (it was only after revisions for EVs later on in March 2022 that it slipped into Category A). Overhauled significantly for the 2023 model year, the ZS EV now makes a valiant effort to move upmarket with its mid-life refresh, and succeeds - on most fronts - in our view. 

A welcome visual EV-olution

Sheathed in a more explicitly EV-esque skin, the ZS EV feels more interesting to look at than before
A keener eye would have been required to separate the pre-facelifted ZS EV from the normal ZS (not sold in Singapore) - which is to say, the car would not have been immediately distinguishable as an electric car to the non-discerning observer.

This refresh almost entirely removes that ambiguity. A significantly redesigned front end now drops any pretence of a grille, giving the new car a sealed-off fascia. Despite the patterned indentations and lingering creases, the impression created is that of a blunt nose (for reasons I cannot trace, I am reminded of a friendly beluga whale, or a dugong).

To be clear, this isn't a swipe at the car's newly-tailored suit. Strangely, said bluntness gives the ZS EV some visual edge - helping it to look less anonymous in today's crowd of family crossovers - likely because it makes its lack of combustion power more obvious. Riding on the same 17-inch wheels (tacked on with sleek 'propeller' alloy aero covers), the car's height and stature continue to give it good presence on the road.

Stepping in: Polished and sized up

The extra digital real estate goes a long way in refreshing the car's dash for a more modern look 
Step inside the ZS EV and the refreshments will likewise be quite instantly apparent.

Model facelifts always bring with them the question of "What's changed?", but here, it doesn't feel wrong to also pose the converse question of "What's remained?".

To answer the latter, the previous steering wheel and centre console have been carried over - but given that they are sensibly indicated and nicely laid out, these aren't unwelcome retentions.

Just beyond it, however, the analogue gauge clusters have been replaced by a snazzy 7.0-inch driver's display, bordered by two circular digital clusters.

The new, all-digital virtual cluster displays information in a manner that is pleasantly commensurate to the car's drivetrain 
What is perhaps most praiseworthy about the new display is that it presents information in a style befitting of the car's electric drivetrain. The right circular cluster, in particular, indicates the intensity of acceleration using a percentage value from 0 to 100; dipping below that indicates the level of regenerative braking at any given moment. 

The ZS EV now also gets a more attractive 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen paired to a new layer of buttons right below, while a wireless phone charging tray has been introduced for the first time to the model further underneath. Admittedly, issues remain in terms of how responsive and intuitive the user experience is, and Android and Apple fanboys alike will still have to pack a cable to connect their phones - but there's no denying solid improvements have been made over the previous car. 

Adults should find themselves quite comfortable in the car's rear, despite that panoramic sunroof 
The enhancements are capped off with a racier aesthetic thanks to a new 'carbon-fibre' trim covering the dash, sides of the seats, and door cards (it's actually a soft plastic material), which also flows over into the rear quarters and is tied together with red stitching. This is somewhat misleading considering the car's actual demeanour, but the design is ultimately cohesive and very easy on the eyes. 

It's more of the same in the rear - save for the small yet vital addition of rear air-con vents. While the nicely tinted panoramic sunroof does eat into headroom slightly, passengers shouldn't be struggling for space unless they're well above 1.75m. As a passenger carrier, the ZS still offers an environment that is comfortable and welcoming.

Extra range, extra performance…?

Despite the dip in torque, the ZS EV feels in no lack of power on our roads 
The ZS EV's single electric motor is now rated at 130kW (174bhp) and 280Nm - which makes for a bit of a mixed bag in terms of what has changed in performance when stacked against the pre-facelifted car's 141bhp and 353Nm of torque. (Crucially, it now floats back into Cat B with the extra power.) Another major difference is that the car now comes with a larger battery pack of 50.3kWh, compared to the previous car's 44.5kWh.

MG says that the car will now complete the century sprint in 8.6 seconds - or 0.5 seconds slower than before - but the ZS EV doesn't feel in lack of power.

The instant torque means that when huddled among Vezels, Civics or Altises at the lights, you'll still be the first off the line (zipping to 50km/h takes just 3.6 seconds), while the car will cruise along and overtake effortlessly when on the CTE. At this speed, you'll also still get to enjoy the relatively well-insulated cabin with only minimal intrusion of road noise. 

The car's virtual cluster is even able to detect and display motorcycles when MG Pilot is in operation
More spirited drivers may take issue with the fact that the ZS EV's steering could use some added weight and sharpness, and that body roll is quite evident with the car's suspension geared towards softness and comfort. Finding an ideal driving position remains slightly out of reach, too, since the steering column cannot be adjusted for, well, reach. 

Having said that, these are perfectly acceptable by the standards of a family-oriented car. Its lightness also means that your arms are not put through a workout in MSCPs, and when winding through city traffic - which is where the car will spend most of its time.

With a 100kW DC charger (widely available today), a 10 to 80% recharge takes just 45 minutes
Furthermore, the raised seating position gives the driver a good view out onto the road, while the car's regenerative brakes are gentle and easy to play with even at their highest setting. Rounded off with its cushy suspension and full suite of safety assistance features (dubbed 'MG Pilot' by the firm), the driving experience undoubtedly skews towards relaxing and comfortable, rather than engaging and fun. 

By the same WLTP-standard, the ZS EV's rated range has gone up by over 50km to 320km on a full charge. Our driving habits would have reaped a commendable 300km - easily sufficient for a full week of work commutes - and besides, getting the car's battery charged up on the go is relatively fuss-free because it supports DC fast charging at 100kW.

Enduring electric appeal - for the mass market 

The ZS EV confidently inches upmarket with its mid-life refresh - but it also has extra competitors and market headwinds to contend with today
Despite being an objectively younger player in EV-making, it's clear that the reincarnated MG has been quick to take notes and implement improvements. The MG 4 EV we recently tested is testament to that with its bespoke platform and superb drive - and the new ZS EV reinforces the argument that good things are to come still with the firm.

While bridging electric performance and practicality in an approachable and appealing form, the car persists in punching above its weight in terms of value. Features like its panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, and even powered tailgate are not what one expects as standard for a car in its segment. On the inside and out, it also feels more sophisticated than before, slightly softening out the rougher edges of its predecessor.

Nonetheless, cars like the ZS EV are ultimately clear on the fact that they rise and fall based on one dominating metric: Price. Debuting under Category B, then ducking down into Category A, then re-emerging in Category B once more with its revised powertrain (at least for now - we hear a Category A-eligible variant is set to arrive in Q2), it feels like the model has a tougher fight ahead of it today, even though it charges in packing more firepower.

Here are a few other all-electric compact electric crossovers which may interest you! 

Eccentric on the surface, but docile underneath, the Atto 3 serves as a promising taster of what's next for BYD

The Kia Niro Electric offers up standout styling, alongside a drive that ensures it will likewise standout from the rest of Kia's range and its rivals

Hyundai has facelifted the Kona Electric by providing it with a sharper look and ample additional equipment, augmenting a capable and usable electric SUV
Car Information
MG ZS EV Trophy Sport 51kWh (A)
Rate it


: $82,888 (w/o COE)

Engine Type


Permanent magnet synchronous motor

Engine Cap





130kW (174 bhp)



280 Nm



Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Energy consumption



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mg  zs ev  evs  bevs  electric car