2023 MG VS HEV debuts in Thailand

The MG ZS is one of the British-Chinese marque's bestsellers in the country, and you could tell that by the crossover being a common sight on our roads.

While they are doing great in selling gas-powered vehicles locally, they have not really started offering hybrids yet. Well here's a new model that could very well kickstart the MG electrified revolution in the country – the MG VS HEV.

MG wants to fight Kicks e-Power, Corolla Cross with 2023 VS HEV image

Recently launched in Thailand, the 2023 VS HEV is based on the ZS. It's only longer than the original at 4370 mm, but its 1809mm width, 1653 mm height, and 2585 mm wheelbase are shared with the ZS. MG, however, made sure to give the electrified crossover its own identity, with its front fascia called the “electrified matrix grille design”.

MG wants to fight Kicks e-Power, Corolla Cross with 2023 VS HEV image

The upper part reminds us how Volkswagen did it with the third-generation Scirocco, except this one has Bi-LED projector headlights and LED daytime running lights. Below it is a frameless mesh grille with huge faux side intakes, while the lower grille with a blue garnish accent finishes off a rather busy look for the crossover.

Meanwhile, the sides and the back are right at home with MG's design language, as the LED taillights and the side kink line is pretty much taken from the ZS, together with the rear bumper. To complete the crossover's exterior, the VS HEV rolls on two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels.

MG wants to fight Kicks e-Power, Corolla Cross with 2023 VS HEV image

Inside, the MG VS HEV is feature-rich. For starters, it has two 12.3-inch displays – one is a multi-information display for the driver and the other is an infotainment system that's Apple CarPlay supported. Furthermore, it features the i-SMART intelligent operating system which has voice command, smartphone app integration, and vehicle status monitoring among its list of features. In addition, in-car amenities consist of things like wireless charging, four USB ports, a surround-view monitor, a panoramic roof, and a six-way electrically-adjustable driver seat, among others.

Powering the MG VS HEV is a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder VTi-TECH engine with 109 PS at 6000 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. It's accompanied by a 2.1 kW lithium-ion-powered electric motor that develops 95 PS and 200 Nm. When combined, the system output is rated at 177 PS and 350 Nm of torque, and is sent to the front wheels via an e-CVT transmission.

The hybrid system also features Kinetic Energy Recovery System or KERS, which basically charges the electric motor's batteries using regenerative braking. It's available in three modes of energy recovery – Eco, Normal, and Sport.

MG wants to fight Kicks e-Power, Corolla Cross with 2023 VS HEV image

In terms of safety features, the MG VS HEV is equipped with six airbags. ABS and EBD are standard, along with traction and stability control, hill start assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

MG Thailand is selling the VS HEV for 859,000-919,000 baht (PHP 1.3 to 1.4-million), which sits right in between the Nissan Kicks e-Power and the Toyota Corolla Cross that's priced locally at PHP 1.209-million and PHP 1.665-million, respectively.

As to if or when will the MG VS HEV will arrive here is still anyone's guess. But given that introducing a hybrid is a more viable option than a fully-electric model in the country, the VS HEV may have a good chance of appearing in MG Philippines' showrooms soon.