2021 MG ZS EV price and specs: $43,990 drive-away pricing announced

Australia’s latest electric vehicle offering is finally on its way, with appealing pricing attached.

UPDATE, November 10 2020: The new 2021 MG ZS EV will be offered in Australia from a lower-than-expected $40,990 before on-road costs, with a national drive-away price of $43,990.

That price marks a $3000 saving on the pre-order drive-away price offered in November last year, and those earlier buyers will be offered the same new price.

Interestingly, the ZS EV will be offered only with a five-year (but still unlimited-kilometre) warranty, falling short of the seven years offered on other MG models.

An eight-year / 160,000km warranty is standard on the battery pack, however – and, according to SAIC Motor Australia boss CEO Peter Ciao, that is the bigger point for EV buyers.

Speaking with CarAdvice managing editor Trent Nikolic at today’s national media launch for the ZS EV, Ciao said the company “would like” to sell around 3000 examples of the electric SUV in 2021 – and the company believes its pricing is sharp enough to make that happen.

As an additional incentive, the company is also working to introduce free charging – which would likely come through a partnership with a supplier like ChargeFox – although details for that program are still to be finalised.

MG Australia Product Development Director, Danny Lenartic added: “We launched this (electric ZS project) five years ago, collaborated with retailers, energy providers, and undertook many kilometres of testing to get to where we are today. Business partners will help us go forward, bring more EVs and more PHEVs (plug-in hybrid EVs) to Australia. EVs for everyone, boldly and proudly.”

Catch the rest of our story below for more details, and watch for CarAdvice’s Australian launch review to come this week.

October 8, 2020: The all-electric 2021 MG ZS EV will make its Australian debut in either November or December – a full year since pre-order pricing was announced and two years since its global unveiling.

A limited run of 100 pre-order slots were made available in November last year, with drive-away pricing set at $46,990. MG says it has now sold its initial allotment, although it is not clear how quickly those places were taken.

At this stage, it’s also unclear what price the Chinese-made MG ZS EV SUV will carry when it arrives, although the company says it will reveal those details in November.

Whatever the case, the ZS EV’s arrival will be encouraging for electric vehicle fans, debuting here as only the second small electric SUV on the local market – but with a price point well below the $65,290 (before on-roads) sticker worn by the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Power in the ZS EV is provided by a 105kW/353Nm electric motor and a 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a WLTP-certified driving range of up to 263 kilometres.

In terms of acceleration, MG’s Australian release quotes only a 0-60km/h time, listed at 3.1 seconds. Overseas sources list a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds.

That range falls well short of the 64kWh Kona Electric’s 450km range, but for buyers keen on an electric vehicle – and with a reasonable awareness of their most likely travel needs – the dramatically more affordable ZS EV could hit the sweet spot. (And, for at least 100 buyers, it clearly has.)

It could also, depending on the ZS EV’s success, motivate Hyundai to bring Europe’s 39kWh variant of the Kona Electric to Australia – if such an option is available to the local arm.

If the SUV body style isn’t a must-have, the ZS EV is just slightly outdone on range by the 38.3kWh Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 40kWh Nissan Leaf – offering driving ranges of 311km and 270km respectively. But, pricing of $48,970 and $49,990 – both before on-road costs – means the Hyundai and Nissan rivals remain a pricier alternative to the ZS EV.

MG says the ZS EV will charge to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes on a 50kW fast charger, or full capacity in seven hours with the 7kW home charge unit. (The Kona Electric gets an 11kW home charger.)

Standard features for the MG ZS EV include an 8.0-inch main display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker surround sound audio, and satellite navigation. There’s also keyless entry and a ‘Panoramic Stargazer Sunroof’ covering 90 per cent of the roof.

With the rear seats folded flat, cargo space is listed at 1166 litres, matching the regular ZS.

A local figure for the seats-up space has not yet been offered, but overseas sources list it at 470 litres – although this figure is well beyond the 359 litres listed for the regular ZS, so we are seeking clarification. (The difference may simply be in regional measurement practices, such as VDA (up to the cargo cover) and SAE (up to the roof) standards.)

Standard safety features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Speed Assist and Lane Departure warnings – all forming part of the MG Pilot suite.

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