2022 MG ZS EV Road Test Review – Longer Range Green Runner

Electric Vehicles are the current trending topic but MG Motor was the first car maker to infact start manufacturing a Electric Car here in India back in 2018 with the ZS EV. Now MG has facelifted the ZS that now gets loads of changes on the outside, inside and also a longer range to it. We drive the updated 2022 MG ZS EV to get you all on it in our detailed road test review right here.

Food for Thought

MG launched the ZS initially in 2017 at the London Motor Show which was earlier announced at the 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show in China. The ZS is manufactured both with the IC engine and in Electric by MG Motors. The ZS is the highest selling model from MG Motor. The ZS with IC engine is sold as the Astor in India which was launched last year.

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Exteriors

The ZS EV shares the underpinnings with the Astor hence you see a lot of similarities in the two. In terms of exteriors the 2022 ZS EV comes with a strikingly different looking face that looks a lot like the Teslas. You get this covered grille, similar to what we have seen on conventional EVs. Also, the charging socket on the current model is housed behind the MG logo on the grille, but on the facelifted version it has been moved to the left of the MG logo where you have a openable flap which houses the charge ports. The headlamps are also from the Astor and come with sharp angular design DRL with projector beam and jewel effect inlay highlighting the style. The lower section of the new sharp design bumper comes with a neat looking chrome insert strip that defines the blacked out lower section and houses the wider air intake.

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The sides is highlighted with the 17inch Tomahawk hub design that come in dual color finish and are aerodynamically designed for the EV.  Wheel arches get black cladding and the fenders get large ‘ELECTRIC’ branding on them. Under body also get black cladding just like the Astor. The glass area comes with chrome garnish and blacked out pillars with a fixed quarter glass.

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Wing mirrors get body colored housing with LED turn lamps while the roof gets an electric panoramic sun roof along with roof rails and the radio antenna. Like the front the rear profile Is also all new. Here you get all LED tail lamps again shared with the Astor, all new rear bumper with neat looking black inserts, integrated spoiler and all new ZS EV logo plonked on the tail gate. The boot lid opens by uniquely twisting up the MG logo just like the VW Polo.

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Interiors

Like the outsides the ZS EV shares a lot with the Astor in terms of the interiors too. MG has used fresher elements on the cabin area to enhance its feel. Along with an all new dashboard made of soft material styled with red hand stitch design coming from the Astor you also get the 7 inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1 inch touch screen AVN system with all the connectivity option and more than 75 connected car features, Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof, Digital Bluetooth Key.  ZS EV also gets wireless charging, 5 USB charge ports including 2 USB C type ports, PM 2.5 air filter, auto climate control centre armrest for the rear seats, individual cup-holders, centre headrest, and rear AC vents, premium leather wrapped steering. The centre console gets the drive mode dial to shift between reverse, neutral and drive. Just above it are the control knobs for the drive modes (eco, normal, and sport), KERS (engine regeneration) and the battery info button. You also get the electro mechanical hand brake and auto hold buttons placed behind the drive dial.

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The space and comfort is identical to that on the Astor. Driver’s seat comes with electric adjust while the front passenger seat gets manual adjust. Seats miss out on ventilation feature but never the less are very comfortable and supportive.

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Rear seats also offer very good seating angle and comfort with lots of leg, knee and head room on offer. The foldable centre arm rest does add to the comfort factor in a big way along with the rear AC vents.

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Electric Motor – Battery – Drive

The biggest update and highlight on the 2022 MG ZS EV is the updated longer range battery. This is a 50.3kWh weather sealed battery pack powering the motor which generates 177PS of power and 280Nm of torque. MG claims 461kms of total range on this battery on single charge which 419kms on the older ZS EV. This motor can do 0 to 100kmph in 8.5 seconds in the sport mode.

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How is it to drive?

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Being an electric vehicle the drive feel is different as there is no engine noise and only noise you hear is the tyre roll and the electric motor whine at times. The drive is excellent and super smooth within city drivability being too good. We drove in the Eco mode and that’s where the ZS EV gives you maximum rage with good enough power. Shift to normal mode and you feel the surge of power and it is when you drive in the sport mode that you feel the full potential of this EV. This EV has some break neck power delivery from the word go and that’s the key hall mark of Electric Vehicles.

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The ride quality is also good with the suspension tuned for a cushiony drive for the occupants. You have the KERS toggle switch in the centre console that is used to adjust the amount of regenerative braking applied when a driver lifts off the throttle. There are three settings that range from no regeneration to the strongest which almost offers enough to enable one-pedal driving.

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The steering feels extra light and that further aids in an effortless drive feel. As for running costs, the MG ZS’s should be very low thanks to the relative simplicity of an electric motor compared to petrol or diesel engines and regenerative braking helping to reduce the wear and tear on brake rotors and brake discs. The new updated battery with long range of 461kms does help a lot in reducing the range anxiety which was heavier on the driver on the earlier ZS EV. The all wheel disc brake setup on the ZS EV does get it to halt with a reassuring feel offering just the right amount of bite to the braking.

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The ZS EV takes 60 minutes to charge from 0 to 80% using the 50kW CCS Charger while using the standard 7.4kW charge takes 8.5 to 9hrs from 0 to 100%. There is also MG’s long ownership package which is 5 years unlimited Kms, 5 years roadside assistance and 5 years labor free service.

Safety

In terms of safety the 2022 ZS EV comes with 6 air bags, 360 degree camera, electronic stability control, hill assist, ABS with EBD, hill descent control, tyre pressure monitor. You don’t get the full fledged ADAS system like the Astor on the ZS but what you do get is Rear Drive Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, front and rear seat belt warning.

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Competition Check

The 2022 MG ZS EV goes up against the Tata Nexon and the Hyundai Kona both of which are also due for a major update soon.

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Verdict

The MG ZS EV with this update becomes a long range gunner with the updated battery which ultimately does give a huge relief to the occupants in terms of range anxiety. Other timely updates on the cosmetic front outside and inside also make the EV much more appealing with the time. Safety and comfort are also key hallmarks of this car making it a very handsome package if you are out there wanting a Electric Vehicle packed with features and safety for today’s time.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography, Video & Edits – Govind Gadekar

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