Bangkok 2023: MG ES EV wagon – EP facelift gets more power, kit, 412 km range; still below 1m baht

The good thing about Thailand’s EV market is that there are full electric models for the masses. Well, the masses who have landed home charging, but that’s another topic. While we’re looking at slightly below RM150k for the cheapest EV in Malaysia, our neighbours can buy electric cars for below one million baht, which is now RM130k for us, but something like “RM100k” for them.

The original affordable EV in Thailand was the MG EP, and I really liked the fact that it’s an unpretentious regular car that looks normal; it may be electric powered, but no one would have guessed – even the charging flap is hidden in the grille logo. Very practical too – a wagon is super rare even in the ICE market.

But perhaps the EP was a bit too plain, old fashioned even. Well, that problem is solved with this facelift, which gets a new name – MG ES. MG did its wagon a big favour by removing the EP’s Roewe “VW face” for a front end that’s contemporary. The LED lights are sharper, the grille slim, and the MG badge has been moved to the bonnet, which makes the charging flap obvious.

Bangkok 2023: MG ES EV wagon – EP facelift gets more power, kit, 412 km range; still below 1m baht

The EP’s rear end had always looked more modern than its face, and the look has been relatively untouched save for new bumpers and LED lights with a prominent signature. The wheels are now 17-inch two-tone items; all of that plus this ES’ Scarlet Red paintjob means the old EP’s work image has been dropped for good.

Another area where the EP was functional but too basic is the dashboard. The ES dashboard and centre console have been reprofiled and the overall look is much better now – the former has the contemporary horizontal wide look, while the latter is now much higher, clearly dividing the front seats and freeing up a large cubby below the gear selector. The larger 10.25-inch centre screen (from 8.0) is icing on the cake. Ditto the bigger digital instrument panel.

New look aside, the kit list has been boosted as well. We’re now looking at electric front seats (was manual), 360-degree camera system (was rear only), six airbags (from just two) and the full suite of active safety and driver assist systems. The ES is a thoroughly modern car now, which is perhaps why MG gave it a fresh name.

Bangkok 2023: MG ES EV wagon – EP facelift gets more power, kit, 412 km range; still below 1m baht

There’s more though – it’s also a better EV. The battery is now of the lithium iron phosphate variety (LFP is an improvement over the old car’s lithium ion) and capacity is up from 50.3 kWh to 51 kWh. NEDC range is up from 380 km to 412 km as a result. The wagon’s electric motor now puts out 177 hp and 280 Nm of torque, figures that are up by 14 hp/20 Nm.

With all that improvement to the design, kit and EV bits, you’d expect a big price hike. But no, the MG ES is still priced below 1m baht. At 959,000 baht (RM124,472), the RRP is higher than the 2022 revised price (EP Plus at 771,000 baht, RM100,180) but lower than the original 2020 launch price of 988,000 baht (RM128,348).

Even with the facelift, the MG ES will still perhaps be a bit boring for some, but I find its “normalness” and honesty very refreshing in a sea of EVs trying hard to look futuristic. Good car and great deal, don’t you think?


GALLERY: Pre-facelift MG EP EV