Now this is a hugely exciting part of the market for a lot of buyers, because this is not only uh the car that may form a lot of Australians. First experience with an electric vehicle, but it may be their first purchase of an electric vehicle. Our contenders this year are the updated mgzsev. Thats had a few tweaks for 2023.. Weve also got the Nissan Leaf. It has been in market for a while, but it too has been mildly refreshed for the year, but then we have a newcomer both in name and in badge the byd 803. These cars are all priced at the affordable end of the scale which one has what it takes to take. The win lets find out Music drive car of the year is our annual combination of testing hundreds of cars throughout the year. We select the best vehicles in each category based on our testing during the year and then get them together again to assess them in even more detail. Our editorially independent testing, when over these cars inside and out on the road and in test conditions, to see what theyre like in an emergency situation for electric cars under seventy thousand dollars. Our judges assess them not just as electric cars, including some from emerging Chinese Brands. But how they handle The Daily Grind and stand up to the same scrutiny as petrol powered cars from established manufacturers. Looking at our finalists for the best electric car under seventy thousand dollars, Im joined by Glenn whos, our senior judge here today, gleno mgz SCV, to kick things off.

This is a car thats familiar to a lot of Australian buyers, because it is, and has been, the most affordable entry point to electric car ownership. Absolutely mate. In fact, mg has a real value strength when it comes to this category seven year, warranty also something you should not sniff at, but its cramped inside. It also has some Dynamic compromises and some ergonomic issues that the judges have found over the testing. The mg Zs EV is one of Australias top selling electric cars in this price range, its able to limbo below fifty thousand dollars drive away because its based on an older petrol powered model rather than a clean sheet electric car platform. While this enabled the mg to be among the first movers in the affordable electric car race, its now starting to show its age in present, company judges praised the mg for its familiar and straightforward cabin controls. Relative comfort and space for this size of car Supple ride. Over bumps and its class leading 7 year warranty, however, the judges noted the mg steering was Heavy, especially during our emergency swerve tests. Theres no reach adjustment for the steering wheel and driving range is not as good as the benchmarks in this price range in isolation. The mg feels perky, but against its newer or updated Rivals. It was in fact, a touch slower than the rest of the pack. These cars are, of course, not about straight line speed, but our 0 to 100 test times illustrate their performance credentials.

The updated Nissan Leaf. Long range was the quickest of this Trio doing the zero to 100 dash in 7.5 seconds ahead of the byd 803 in 7.7 and the mg in 8.1. The mg redeemed itself, with the best emergency braking performance from 100 kilometers an hour, a highly respectable 37.2 meters versus 38.5 for the Nissan and a below average ‘.1 for the byd or second cab off the rank. Leno the Nissan Leaf its been in market for a while its now available in two battery levels got a lot to like, but hows this one performed over the testing. This was actually the dynamic surprise of this category. It is a properly quick car to drive through the slalom and the emergency swerve. Fundamentally, though, it is really starting to date. The world is leaving this car. Behind I mean it has the shortest range of our three competitors, its also the most expensive and those two issues really make it hard to love. The Nissan Leaf has been refreshed to help it take the fight to newer competition. The first generation Nissan Leaf arrived locally in 2012, and the second generation which is effectively an update of the original from a decade ago, has been in Australian showrooms. Since 2019., the most recent round of upgrades have been worthwhile. The judges noted the Nissan Leaf e plus has perky performance, impressive handling and grip, and the bigger battery pack delivers longer driving range than before, while its official name is the Nissan Leaf e Plus in automotive shorthand.

Its called the Nissan Leaf. Long range, though, to be fair, the judges noted the extra driving range has merely put it on par with the competition rather than deliver genuinely long range. The maximum claim for the standard Nissan Leaf is listed at a modest 270 kilometers, although closer to 200 and 220. In the real world, while the Nissan Leaf plus is rated at 385 kilometers or closer to 320 to 350 kilometers in our real world testing. These estimates compared to the byd 803 extended Range model claim of 420 kilometers, which was closer to 350 to 400 kilometers. In our real world, testing judges praised the Nissan Leaf for its sharp and responsive driving Dynamics and for having the zippiest acceleration. Among this Trio, the cabin is cozy and comfortable, and the controls are familiar as most are shared with Nissans petrol car range. The artificial spaceship sound when reversing inside and outside the car is a nice touch and AIDS pedestrian safety downsides for all its Merit. The judges noted the Nissan Leaf is starting to feel old, as with the mg, its based on a petrol car platform that has been electrified rather than a ground up design and that compromises, cabin space and battery capacity. In the end, price weighed heavily against the Nissan Leaf, plus its a car worthy of consideration, but be prepared to drive a bargain, in our opinion, its a fifty thousand dollar to fifty five thousand dollar car. But it has a sixty.

Seven thousand dollar Drive Away price tag, well, glenno new car who dis this is the byd 803 brand new badge brand new name brand new everything this ones been a bit of a surprise, Contender, absolutely mate, funny name: funky interior. The designers have had a red hot go inside a lot of, it is unconventional, but it works and it adds so much character to the car. I mean fundamentally, this car is actually good to drive too and thats kind of the key with EVS right. But a couple of catches that people need to be aware about the warranty there are some hidden bytes in the warranty. Different parts of the car are warranted for different amounts of time dynamically to some of the active Safety Systems. Just have a couple of areas where they need refining the byd 803 comes from one of Chinas biggest vehicle manufacturers and is new to Australia. Byd cars are sold here via a distributor which is still finding its feet and navigating its way through local vehicle regulations, which has led to some delivery delays and frustration among customers. The car itself happens to be the newest electric vehicle in a sub 70 000 segment and is based on an all new dedicated platform. The mgzsev also from China and the Nissan Leaf manufactured in the UK are starting to show their age and feel old in the company of the byd. At O3 judges noted the byd is a smooth and easy car to drive and has a comfortable and roomy cabin.

As this test was conducted, it was priced about. Fifty thousand dollars Drive Away, making it one of the most affordable electric vehicles in Australia at the time. Although the exterior styling is futuristic, judges were divided on cabin appearance. We reckon good design should also be about practicality. The byd interior looks futuristic, but the judges noted it is also roomier and more user friendly than other electric cars in this price range. Of course, no car is perfect. Judges were critical of the lane, keeping assistance system which needs better calibration. The byds tires have extremely low grip by class standards, not performance car standards, as evidenced by its poor performance in our braking and emergency swerve tests. The digital speed display is small and the instrument cluster needs a sensor to better match ambient light, and cruise control only works in five kilometer. An hour increments in this price range, the byd 803 has all the ingredients to continue to be a strong contender. Providing the company keeps making improvements while an exciting category with three exciting finalists, but there can be only one winner. So for 2023, the drive car of the year best electric vehicle under seventy thousand dollars is the byd at O3, while not perfect. The byd 803 was deemed a worthy winner among its peers. When the judges scores came in it clearly ranked ahead of the mgzse EV and the Nissan Leaf plus, the Nissan Leaf was praised for its performance in grip and would have been a chance at winning this class, if only it were 15 to 20 000 cheaper.

The mg had price on its side, but its starting to show its age. In the end, the byd 803 topped the scoreboard. Most judges had the same caveats. The lane keeping and Driver assistance technology needs more work. The tires need more grip and the infotainment screen and instrument cluster also have room for improvement, but the byd was on balance. The vehicle judges voted for in this price range of electric cars, its a worthy winner of this category, given its price, comfort, roominess and performance, and its Shone against the older competition. Byd build your dreams, funny name. Funky interior theyve really had a go inside with the design and while it all might be a bit offbeat, it all works really well as a car. The byd 803 also drives really well, and you get a good range for the price. In fact, as a first step into electric vehicles, you cant go wrong: choosing the byd. Now we see a lot of car Interiors here at drive, and I tell you what weve never seen anything like this. The byd 803 interior has gone wild and then crazy. On top of that, youve got so many funky elements here that make it interesting and fun from the crazy door handles to the guitar string map pockets on the side. Youve got blues creams, youve got wavy metallic things. Youve got really weird rings for the air vents youve got Mavericks kind of Top Gun shifter here to put it into drive everywhere.

You look, there is something interesting about the byd and its. What makes this car, so, I guess, entertaining and likable just because its different and if you want to see something, really cool check this out, youve got a landscape screen here, press the button. The screen rotates to show you your information in portrait Style Next Level. Now you may have thought a small EV with guitar strings for door. Pockets might be small in the back but check this out. I have got plenty of room back here: Ive got toe room under the seat, Ive got great knee room, Ive even got reasonable Headroom and the car has a standard panoramic sunroof here, youve got more crazy. Vents youve got USB ports, youve got a center armrest with cupholders. The seat itself is comfortable and the material is soft and supple its actually a really really nice place to spend time. So, considering that this car has an entry price, it makes it one of the cheapest EVS on the market. It really is worth a look at if youre looking for an electric city, Runabout boot size on the 803 is actually pretty good. Too youve got 440 liters like this, that expands to over 1300 liters when you fold it down, plus its got a Nifty false floor, meaning that you can fit larger items in here without having to mess around too much and fold the seats under the storage there. Youve got space for cables.

Youve got netted compartments here to stop things from rolling around so in general, its a pretty well practical layout for a beginner EV, and certainly for a city car to see what its like on the road lets put Glenn behind the wheel. Music now award hes told you all about how fun and funky this interior is. It would all count for nothing if the byd wasnt a decent car to drive on the road at least decent. If not excellent – and let me tell you its not excellent, but it is a real surprise package on the road as well. It is really comfortable. It is effortless to drive it handles Australias, often crap Road surfaces, much better than I would have thought now when it comes to powertrain. The byds got 150 kilowatt motor with a battery pack, thats good for over 400 kilometers of range and its got plenty of poke too so thats a tick in its area. But when we took it onto the dynamic testing, the emergency Lane change and the slalom a couple of deficiencies started to come through the suspension, which was very good on the road and very comfortable on the road started to fall apart a little now, I dont want That to sound harsh, because this car didnt fall into a screaming Heap. It still got through the slalom and it still did the lane change okay, but dynamically. It has a few shortcomings that you need to be aware of.

Look, I suppose its, not a sports car. Its not trying to be its just trying to be a commuter car, so if you approach it in that regard, you wont be disappointed. So when you sum up the byd 803, it is probably one of the biggest surprise packages of drive car of the year 2023. I mean its got: a really fun and funky interior, its really good value for money, its a great first step into electric vehicle ownership for a lot of people and its affordable, its good to drive dynamically. As I said, its got a couple of shortcomings and theres. Also, some question marks around warranty its a six year vehicle warranty, but there are a whole bunch of sub warranties that you need to be aware of, like this touch screen is only two years warranted, so if they can get that right and if they can actually Improve the Dynamics of touch thered be nothing holding this car back, but as it is as an overall package, the judges were impressed enough to name the byd 803 drive car of the year 2023 best EV under seventy thousand dollars head on over to