Gizmodo Australia’s Favourite EV of 2023

Gizmodo Australia’s Favourite EV of 2023

What a year for EVs. This year, we’ve had a tremendous run of cars from carmakers like Tesla, Polestar, Cupra, Hyundai, and BYD, from luxury people movers to budget-focused hatchbacks – but what’s the top EV of 2023?

Over the past 12 months, Gizmodo Australia has reviewed 11 electric vehicles – some being fresh entries to the market, some being performance-oriented upgrades to previously reviewed models, and some being facelifts to 2022 models, and over the course of the year, we’ve had a lot to say about each car – particularly around affordability, but also on driving comfort and battery range.

With these things in mind, we’re shining the spotlight on our favourite EV of the year, the top EV of 2023, along with a runner-up, and what we’re looking forward to in 2024.

Because it’s really just me handling the ‘Carmodo’ section of Gizmodo Australia, I need to say that I haven’t been able to drive every EV released in 2023 – and if you’ve scanned the previous reviews list, you’ve likely spotted the absence of the BYD Dolphin and the GWM Ora, two budget-oriented EVs released this year. As we’ve yet to lock in formal review periods for these vehicles, and because we can only consider cars we’ve driven for EVOTY eligibility, we sadly can’t include them on the list.

The good news is that this article isn’t as much about EVs released in 2023, and is more about the EVs we got to drive in 2023, so both the Dolphin and the Ora, along with all the other EVs we didn’t get around to, will be eligible for next year. Gizmodo Australia is primarily a tech website, and we review a lot of stuff, so our award is more of a spotlight than anything else. I’m only one guy, and everywhere I go, people are asking me, “What’s your favourite EV?” This is for you, folks!

With that out of the way, let’s reveal it already. Gizmodo Australia’s favourite EV of 2023 is…

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Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Gizmodo Australia’s top EV of 2023: the MG4

The MG4 is everything it needs to be as the top EV of 2023. Gorgeous, nice to drive, affordable with four different trims (five if you count its performance-oriented model), and with considerably good driving range across the line-up, the MG4 satisfies a much broader customer base than many other EVs in the country.

The MG4 is priced between $38,990 and $59,990 with five models. At the entry-level is a fairly competent city car that you could easily rely on for a short trek out of town, and the next three models (priced at $44,990, $47,990, and $55,990) offer fairly competitive range estimations against their closest competitors, with the most $55,990 model being the MG4 ‘Long Range’ trim. If we were to break it down by the car, our favourite would be the $47,990 ‘Essence’ model, which comes packed with some great extra features -in particular the birds-eye view camera view.

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Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

At $59,990 is a car that only tangentially relates to these other models – the MG4 XPower, an AWD hot hatch with an acceleration that’ll have you pinned to the back of your seat. I don’t consider this car to be part of our selection here as it’s more of a victory lap than a pace car, but it’s perfect if you’re a speed-craving car lover after an electric vehicle with some serious grunt.

The MG4 feels great to drive and its minimalist interior definitely gives it a premium vibe, even if it might be too basic for some drivers. . It might not have the same prestige as Teslas or Polestars, but it’s a great-feeling car on the road, with heaps of interior space, a good mix of buttons and centre-screen controls, and fairly attractive styling all around the car.

It’s a gorgeous car and it’s certainly worth considering if you’re thinking of going electric. Where last year I bemoaned that my favourite EV wasn’t affordable for someone like me, the MG4 certainly is

  • Read our review of the MG4 here, and our review of the MG4 XPower here.
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Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Gizmodo Australia’s top EV runner-up of 2023: the Hyundai Ioniq 5

In the runner-up spot this year is the Hyundai Ioniq 5’s 2023 facelift, an SUV that could easily be mistaken for a hatchback. A gorgeous car with a cyberpunk styling that you can’t help but love, the Ioniq 5 offers great battery range and a comfortable interior, held back by its slightly high entry-level price. The good news is that Hyundai’s 2024 refresh is actually cheaper, although range has taken a bit of a cut.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I’m certainly excited for Hyundai’s continued support for the ‘Ioniq’ range. I’m hoping that at some point in the near future, Hyundai will release a model that is priced competitively against BYD and MG, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

For now though, if you’re shopping in the $70-80k range, you should absolutely consider the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

  • Read our review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 here.
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

What are we excited for in 2024?

It’s a bit funny writing this section again after last year, where I said that I was excited for the Subaru Solterra and the Toyota BZ4X, but those cars are now scheduled for a 2024 release, and I feel like I can’t jot them down again, but as we move into 2024, we’ve probably got a bumpy road ahead of us.

Both Victoria and NSW decided to wrap up their EV incentive programs this year, with NSW’s set to officially end on January 2024. Without the $3,000 subsidy from the state governments, encouraging drivers to go electric is going to be a bit more difficult, especially while charging infrastructure is still terrible.

Additionally, looking at the release calendar for 2023, there’s nothing in the budget EV segment to get too excited for – certainly not like there was this year with the BYD Dolphin and the MG4.

If 2023 was anything for EVs, it was proof that the technology is scaling up to affordable levels. Chinese automakers are making a big name for themselves as budget-minded options, although there hasn’t been much price movement among more premium options – excluding some brands like BMW, which has started to bring cheaper models down under, and Hyundai, which is releasing cheaper trims in 2024.

I’m unsure if EVs will reach price parity with Australia’s cheapest cars within the next 10 years, but I’m hopeful that, as battery production is scaled up dramatically in tandem with international (and auto industry) climate goals, EV prices will soon start to go down.

For now though, I’m happy to say that the EV that impressed me the most this year was the MG4, and I’m hopeful that many EVs like it will be released over the coming years.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Want more Aussie car news? Here’s every EV we’ve reviewed in the last two years, all the EVs we can expect down under soon, and our guide to finding EV chargers across the country. Check out our dedicated Cars tab for more.

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