In the new ZS EV, MG Motors has a perfect example of urban mobility solution.
The 2022 MG ZS EV starts at Rs 21.99 lakh and goes up to Rs 25.88 lakh.
In a relatively uncultivated electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, a slightly more expensive alternative to fossil fuel combustion, the first-generation ZS EV manages to stand up to ease.
It had a lot of work to do — a compact but spacious fit and a surprisingly zippy performance. But by the time the product entered the Indian market, it was somewhat dated. The cabin was poor, like most EV designs the design didn’t scream “Mobile of the Future of the New Age” and the range might be fine, though.
But none of this flaw prevented ZS from becoming a hot-seller right away, prompting MG to ask himself “What if we took the ZS EV and made everything about it significantly better?”
Behold, 2022 MG ZS EV. It’s got a body-colored grill, fresh bumpers and new alloys. It’s all great but the big talking point here is the new battery has increased its size by a solid 5.8 kWh.
On the inside, the ZS gets a few more features, including a large 10.1-inch touchscreen, blind spot monitor, wireless charging, and a 360-degree camera – all sophisticated consumers without modern-day staples.
Battery, range and performance
For EVs, it boils down to three words – battery, range and performance. The new ZS EV ejects the old 44.5 kWh battery for a 50.3 kWh unit.
This is an impressive-enough increase when you consider that the average “performance” e-scooter in the country packs about 3kWh of battery power.
This is great when you consider that its other close competitor, the Hyundai Kona, does with a 39.2 kWh battery. And the newly released Mini Cooper Electric? The nominal 32.6 kWh.
The great thing about EVs is that a good range comes with more power, essentially the opposite of ICE vehicles.
For Kona, that means 461km (a solid 42km range increase over the previous) ICAT (International Center for Automotive Technology) range.
In the real world, this means more than 360 km. Although I didn’t drive long enough to completely empty the battery, the time I spent with the car revealed the trusty character of the battery. At one point, after a distance of more than 10km, the charge loss was 1 percent.
The ZS has revealed a number of expensive EVs I have driven in the recent past that have the great ability to recover battery power through its KERS system. The only car that came close was the Jaguar i-Pace, which was significantly more expensive.
The 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster is now more informative, clearly displaying all the necessary telematics without crowding on the screen.
While driving the rear-gen ZS, I was surprised to experience a slight wheel spin when I squeezed the throttle. The new one adds to that surge of energy, though not dramatically.
Like all EVs, there is an initial surge of energy after an imperceptible ascent to triple digit speeds. The regenerative braking on the ZS is absolutely amazing, the momentum of the car is curtailed the moment you lift your foot from the throttle. This helps to make the car’s substantial weight more manageable during braking, as it builds on all the braking and gives the weight of EVs.
As with the previous ZS, the intensity of regenerative braking can be tweaked with three presets.
The ZS was never designed to be a fast-paced, fast-corner machine, but like most EVs with inherently lower heights, the lower center of gravity allows the ZS to be significantly flattened, making its ICE-powered competitors unfamiliar.
EV performance and drive are significantly different from the equally-powered ICE counterpart and are no different when it comes to the ZS.
Lifting the throttle and crawling through traffic will take a little remodeling of your foot because there is so much weight, with enough power, that 173.5 bhp specifically tries to escape.
Perhaps for this reason (and for increasing scope), MG dialed the new ZS with 70Nm of torque with a total of 280 Nm of torque.
The ZS has a voice-activated function that is easy to use but humorously robotic. The AI voice greets you, tells you to have a great day, and throws in some totally unsolicited exclamations with MG, reminding you that this is another “inside the internet” offering.
Most, if not all, prompts have a robotic monotone and it doesn’t take the car’s appeal, but it does get you a laugh or two. The finale that AI says “goodbye” has a chilling effect.
With prices starting at Rs 21.99 lakh (and rising to Rs 25.88 lakh), the ZS is definitely not an affordable EV to revolutionize the segment. But given its dazzling abilities, scope, power and dynamism, it is incompetent. In fact, I am going to say that this is a proper bargain, the larger the battery comes as a standard so the lower variant delivers the same performance.
Yes, it is regrettable that ZS customers will not be able to get any subsidy other than a waiver road tax, but somehow you slice it, the 2022 ZS is a very streamlined product that will make MG one of the country’s top EV-makers. ZS is the winner in and out.
As: Excellent range of performance, performance and functionality, technology features.
Not Like: A little more charging time, awkward AI
Sources: MG ZS