MG’s refreshed ZG EV goes the extra mile

by Mayank Dhingra 19 Apr 2022


The MG ZS EV is the No. 2 best-selling four-wheeler EV in India, after the Tata Nexon with the crossover clocking 2,539 units in FY22, an average of around 200 units every month in FY2022.

Launched in January 2020, customer interest rose during the pandemic when buyers in the metros began considering an EV, considering its low running costs and environmental benefits. This encouraged MG Motor India to introduce an updated version a year later in February 2021, increasing the certified range to 419km by virtue of a revised ‘Hi-tech’ 44.5kWh battery pack.

The 2022 model now gets significant changes both over and under the skin, the most significant of which includes a bigger 50.3kWh battery pack and an ICAT-certified range of 461km. The 2022 ZS EV now comes priced between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 25.88 lakh, ex-showroom, making it more expensive by up to Rs 70,000, depending upon variant.

The key changes on the outside are the revamped face that is more in tune with an EV’s design, considering its completely sealed-off grille. The charging port too, neatly concealed behind the MG logo upfront in the outgoing model, has been placed next to it in this latest avatar. Several changes have been made to the head lights and the tail lights, which now are a slimmer pair borrowed from the ZS’s petrol-powered counterpart, Astor. It also gets a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels as well.

The raft of changes continues to the cabin of the new ZS, wherein it gets a completely-new dashboard with soft-touch materials and contrast red stitching as in the Astor. The infotainment screen is now larger with a 10.1-inch unit replacing the erstwhile 8.0-inch system. The analogue dials on the instrument cluster makes way for an 8-inch digital instrument cluster which has several information displays such as driving range, power delivery and kinetic energy recuperation to the driver.

Though the car’s battery pack is under the floor, the ZS EV offers good cabin room. Features such as seat height adjustment, which is electronic in case of the driver, as well as positioning of controls in an ergonomic fashion, give the car a comfy interior.

The refreshed ZS EV also gets a 360-degree camera and advanced driver-assistance functions such as blind-spot detection, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert for enhanced safety. Additional on-board safety features include six airbags, ESC, a tyre-pressure monitoring system and hill-descent control.

Green drive

The updated crossover comes powered by a front-axle-mounted single motor setup which produces 176hp - a 33hp increment over the outgoing model. MG Motor India claims an 8.5 seconds sprint to the ton, which, as we experienced, is possible in the Sport mode.

The new ZS EV offers a pleasant driving experience with its smooth power delivery, good NVH levels and an upmarket cabin experience. There are three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – which demonstrate a perceptible difference in the crossover’s driving dynamics.  While Eco mode makes the steering wheel extremely light, and best suited for city driving, the Sport mode lends an artificial weight to complement high-speed driving and fast manoeuvres. However, the steering feedback from the road feels more disconnected which takes away the charm on corners and winding roads.

The ZS feels at home in the Normal mode for most day-to-day driving scenarios, aided well by its linear acceleration, but there is a noticeable sharpness to acceleration when switched to the Sport mode. While throttle response is muted in the Eco and Normal modes, the ZS moves forward with greater aggression in the Sport mode.

The electric crossover also offers three levels of settings for the Kinetic Energy Recuperation System (KERS) through a toggle switch positioned on the centre console, right ahead of the rotary gear selector knob. With the KERS set in its highest position, one is able to derive the maximum range from this EV in the city, as well as enjoy the convenience of single-pedal driving, with the car gradually coming to a complete halt when stepping off the accelerator.

The suspension setup, however, on the refreshed ZS EV, is softly sprung to offer comfort over bad patches as well as speed humps in the city. The ride quality is mature and most shocks are kept at bay from the occupants. The overall experience of being in the ZS EV is further augmented by the airier feeling inside the cabin, thanks to large windows and a big panoramic sunroof.

The new 50.3kWh capacity battery pack on the refreshed ZS EV takes up to nine hours to fully charge from zero to 100 percent from a 7.4kW AC wall-box charger that MG Motor India is bundling along with this all-electric crossover. The car can also recharge from zero to 80 percent in 60 minutes from a 50kW DC charger.

With a raft of functional changes, the updated ZS EV takes the game forward for MG Motor India, which says it got 1,500 bookings in March itself. In that case, the 2022 ZS EV is all poised to set a new record for the carmaker, which is targeting a bigger chunk of the EV market with a sub-Rs-20-lakh offering in 2023.