MG eZS Electric SUV in CarToq’s first drive review: How does the Hyundai Kona rival perform?

The future of automobiles is predicted to be powered by electricity, which is a much cleaner form of energy. While many developed markets are moving swiftly towards the electric vehicles, the Indian market will still take some time to be a market that favours electric vehicles. MG Motors entered the well-established mid-size SUV segment in India earlier this year and has gained massive popularity in the market among the likes of Jeep Compass.

Their second vehicle will be an SUV too but it will be an electric vehicle, a segment which is yet to become popular in the Indian market. With only one rival in the view, will MG ZS EV re-create the magic of the Hector? Well, we have driven the vehicle before its launch in the Indian market next year and here is everything that you would want to know about it.

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The MG ZS EV will take on the Hyundai Kona EV in the Indian market. Being an MG, it offers a lot of features and looks pretty unique on the road too. The upcoming electric SUV is bigger in dimensions than the Hyundai Kona EV. However, the car itself is not as big as the Hector, which means that manoeuvring through the thick city traffic is not something that the drivers of the MG ZS EV will have to worry about.

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At the front, the ZS EV gets a concentric circle grille made out of chrome tips. It will remind you of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class but then the London Eye-inspired LED DRLs on either side that makes it look unique and adds an identity to the car. The charger is smartly integrated to the front grille and after unlocking the car, a gentle tap on the grille will open the charging ports to charge the vehicle. We will come back on charging in a little while.

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Moving on the side, the MG ZS EV offers windmill-inspired 17-inch alloy wheels. It gets Michelin tyres but they are not as silent as they should be. We could hear the road noise throughout our drive. The rear gets sweeping tail lamps and it looks clean without any tail lamps peeping out. Overall, the MG ZS EV looks sporty.

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The cabin of the MG ZS EV gets a simple layout and there are no loud highlights too. It gets a simple mix of leather and chrome and the cabin is very sophisticated. To start with, it gets a fake leather dashboard cover with triple stitching. It looks extremely good and upmarket in any car. The seats are made up of artificial leather and are extremely comfortable. Even the steering wheel gets leather cover and is extremely comfortable to hold. The steering wheel is a multifunctional unit with buttons to control the infotainment system. Features like cruise control can be set by a separate stalk placed on the left-hand side of the steering wheel. The indicators and the wiper stalks are placed in the reverse position like in the Right-hand-drive markets.

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There is a lot of chrome sprinkled around in the dashboard of the ZS EV. It looks sophisticated and offers an expensive feel. There is no gear lever in the vehicle. Instead, it gets a rotating-style Jaguar-inspired dial that can be used to choose between the driving modes. Around the rotating dial, various buttons are placed to operate features like an electronic parking brake, KERS, battery status, and mode of the engine. A lot of buttons will remind you of the Volkswagen Group cars including the Audis. That’s because of the partnership between SAIC and MG Motors in China.

MG ZS EV offers a pretty big cabin space. At the rear, there is ample space and it all looks quite big and feels airy due to the massive panoramic sunroof, which MG Motors calls the Skyroof. However, there are armrest or an AC vent for the rear passengers.

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The MG Motor ZS EV gets powered by a 142.7 PS generating electric motor that can generate a massive 363 Nm of torque. The motor gets power from Ultra High-Density Battery pack that is positioned on the floor of the car. The 44.5 kWh battery pack can make the ZS EV for around 340 km on a single charge range. Also, in the Sport mode, it can do 0-100km/h in just 8.5 seconds, which makes it serious fast.

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The MG ZS EV can be charged in three different ways. There is the portable charger kept in the rear boot of the vehicle. It can be plugged into any household plug and the car can be fully charged in 16-18 hours. The second charger is the AC Fast Charging. One unit of this type of charger will be supplied by MG Motors and it can be installed in the office or residential area. It will take around 6-8 hours. The fastest chargers for the ZS EV are available only a few selected showrooms in India. The DC charger can charge the vehicle from zero to 80% in just fifty minutes.

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We drive from Gurgaon to Greater Noida during the morning rush hour and the range dropped only by 15%. It is impressive since we got caught multiple times in the traffic. Driving the ZS is also very engaging. It has a stiff suspension set-up that ensures that the vehicle takes on the corners well. It sure is a great vehicle to drive around the town.

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MG Motors is offering a warranty of 5 years and has also started accepting the bookings for the ZS EV. The launch will happen in January when the price announcement will happen too. It is expected to get a long waiting period and being an MG, it will undercut the rivals by a big margin too. We expect that the base version of the ZS EV will get a price tag of Rs 22 lakhs, which is still expensive but makes it cheaper than the electric cars in the market.

MG can definitely add a few things like the rear seat armrest and the specific EV tyres that reduces the rolling resistance and increases the range of the vehicle. Apart from that, the ZS EV is like a complete package that will be a perfect city vehicle for many. It can also become a perfect highway vehicle when the charging infrastructure improves in the coming years. You can book the vehicle right now by paying Rs 50,000. The deliveries will start next year after the price announcement.