Why would I buy it
Increased claimed range
Why would I avoid it
Pricey top-end version
Limited charging stations
Engine and Performance
The highlight of the 2022 ZS EV update, of course, is the bigger battery and subsequently more range that it promises. You now get a 50.3 kwh battery pack instead of 44.5 kwh in the old ZS EV. As for the claimed range on a single charge, the ZS EV offers a certified range of 461 kilometers but that’s under controlled testing facilities. In the real world, the new ZS EV should comfortably do over 320 kilometers before you need to plug it in again. Speaking of which, this car can be charged from zero to 80 per cent in sixty minutes but that’s only possible with a fast charger. Plug it to any regular AC home charging port and you will need to wait for at least eight to nine hours for a full charge.
A bigger battery pack also means more power output than before. Not like the ZS EV ever felt slow but now with 176 horsepower and 353Nm of torque, the ZS EV is in a class of its own. The way it just takes off and gains speed under legal limit is just phenomenal and that’s purely down to the instantaneous torque delivery from the electric motor. Although you may not feel the extra 33bhp all the time, this 2022 model just feels more effortless at highway speeds and the severe drop in acceleration that plagues mass market EVs is hardly felt in here.
Ride and Handling
The ride quality on the 2022 ZS remains good over broken surfaces. There’s a nice balance between stiffness and comfort and it can take in even the sharpest of road creases without letting in the noise and vibrations from the road. As the speed increases, it remains flat and even over undulations, there's not much vertical movement. There is a lot of tire noise at high speeds but then again we are only nitpicking here since there is no engine noise intruding into the cabin and the latter is otherwise a hushed place to be in at city speeds.
Basically, the ZS EV now looks a lot like the Astor but with a few details that you will only find in EVs. Stuff like this flat concealed grille since you don’t need any air flowing in there because there is no engine. Then you also get a charging port besides the huge MG logo and lastly MG seems to have cleaned up the lines and creases on this bumper to make the whole front look like a single piece unit. Other changes include headlights and taillights which have been taken from the Astor and if you look closely you will notice a new, energy efficient design for the 17-inch alloys.
Comfort, Convenience and Features
There are two variants for the ZS EV and the more expensive trim that you see here comes with all the new-age features that are expected from a 25 lakh rupee crossover. You get a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera view, connected car features, leather layered dash electric driver’s seat and some more. In this updated MG seems to have concentered on improving the back seat experience because all-new features include a rear center headrest, armrest with cup holders and rear AC vents. What’s also new are the displays for the infotainment system and the instrument cluster.
The main 10.1-inch screen is the same that we have seen in the Astor and it gets all the bells and whistles including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 7-inch LCD screen for the instrument cluster is also from the Astor and we are glad it’s here because the old analogue dials on the earlier model looked way too basic for an EV.
For safety, the ZS EV gets six airbags, hill descent control, a tire pressure monitoring system and ESC. Now although it misses out on certain high-end ADAS features, the ZS EV does get blind spot monitoring, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. The latter feature helps in detecting cars that might be approaching from the rear left or right but are outside the range of the reverse camera and parking sensors.
The new MG ZS EV is available in two variants – Excite and Exclusive with ex-showroom prices ranging between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 25.88 lakh respectively. While the bookings for exclusive variant have already started, MG will start taking orders for the base excite variant from July onwards. At these prices, the new ZS EV comes in at a slight premium over the old model. For an extra 70,000 rupees for this top-spec variant you are getting pretty much more of everything. More range, more performance, more features and more importantly, better safety equipment. Now I know a lot of you might be eager to know about the improvement in real world range if any but unfortunately we had the car only for a couple of hours and we will be calling for it real soon to do a proper range and charging test.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi