2022 MG ZS EV ownership review: Here's why it replaced our Kia Seltos

The ZS has become our daily driver. It is subject to daily 50 km duties which means that it has to be charged about every weekend.

BHPian Arnav612 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The electric car market sentiment has been on the rise and how! Carmakers have committed themselves to bringing about the switch with much more advanced, sorted and well-packaged EVs. Gone are the days when EVs meant compromise with cars like the Mahindra E2O and Reva, and we are now witnessing the onset of contemporary electric vehicles with advanced blends of form and function.

It all started off with the Hyundai's Kona EV in 2019 where it was the first time we as a market witnessed a well-rounded fully electric vehicle. Despite its shortcomings and recalls, and tales alike, it did take to impress a lot of early adopters and converts and joined garages with much fancier cars too. The establishment of the Hyundai Kona only made way for MG's ZS EV later in 2020. The ZS EV had globally been around for much longer than the Kona, and it was easily noticeable how much more sorted it was. Better looks (subjective), better space packaging and cheaper (back then) only worked better in its favour.

Moreover, the nominal costs of charging and running an EV as a factor made a chunk of the incentive for most of the early adopters and made their way as secondary/tertiary cars into a lot of garages.

Now back to what things looked like at home around the first quarter of 2021. We had a pair of Kia Seltos' GTX+, one Grey and one White (White being older by 9 months), and our garage queen, a W205 C Class. One of our family friends showed up to a carpool in a white MG ZS EV, and so the story goes.

On stepping in things only got better. Chilled AC (even without rear vents), acceptable amounts of space, panoramic sunroof, and most of the bells and whistles. What was kinda amusing was how quiet everything was, except for that nice go-kart-like whine, as compared to other cars, and that's when the soundlessness shone. On further banter, we learned how cheap it was to charge and maintain this thing. They had their Innova Crysta replaced with this for daily runabouts and one charge would easily suffice for two weeks or so. I obviously wasn't doing any math in my head back then, but it was intriguing nonetheless.

Took the entire scene home and placed it in front of dad over dinner. As intrigued as we were, neither of our cars was suitable for sale honestly. The Seltos were too new and we weren't replacing the Mercedes with an MG. And we gulped down the conversation with curry.

But in another day or two, we ended up with a test drive. The first impressions were good. We particularly liked how it blended in with the rest of the traffic with the traditional front grille, unlike the alien-ish Kona. Dad took the wheel and honestly had the time of his life. EV Acceleration is much more adrenaline-inducing than we think it is. And honestly, experience Korean DCTs, and two of them at that. anything's better. The rear seat was adequate, the suspension was good too. We quickly checked the meter room and our garage and turned out we were good to go.

The real problem was which car to sell. Both the Seltos were hypothecated and breaking would mean a hit not worth enough for the ZS (or is it). And hence the topic died down again.

Covid's Second Wave came and went, and fuel prices were soaring high up. (I myself started cycling even more XD) Somewhere around October, the same friend met dad again. And this time dad was set on it. He said he'd sell the white Seltos (January 2020) and do whatever it takes to get the ZS. And so it happened, we went ahead and booked a ZS EV Exclusive in Ferris White. They had however stopped production for 2021 and the next lot was for January 2022, and that was fair, we agreed.

In the meantime, we got on to selling the White Seltos before the year changed. An individual buyer from OLX, although after a series of negotiations and test drives, settled for a respectable price of 17.5L. You aren't the only one finding this entire sale illogical. But now the heart and mind want what it wants.

Meet and wave goodbye to FJ

It was indeed a little saddening that it went too soon, especially given that there was a lot of time until January till we could potentially get the EV. Right after, we went ahead with the survey for the charger/meter installation and got to the society's NOC paperwork and the like. And then we were all set to wait.

However, the January 2022 timeline was deemed delusional. On a good day in January, we are called to understand that there is a facelift coming in and all 2021 pending bookings are being transferred to that car. It wasn't very surprising to me given the launch of the Astor honestly. But on the other hand, I was kinda disappointed to see leaked pictures without the front grille (THAT'S WHAT I REALLY LIKED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!). We tried pulling some strings to get our hands on a 2021 car but that ended in vain. There was no clue about when the facelift would launch and we were made to wait endlessly. We still generously kept April as an acceptable target.

An idle mind is a devil's workshop. We figured we slowly started losing interest in the ZS and also were dreading the price bump to outweigh the credibility and merit of the car. It came down to analysis, we're going to be having 3 cars, but not 1 with acceptable boot space for a family of 4. And one morning I involuntarily opened OLX to look out for pre-owned Skoda Superbs in the same price range as the ZS. And boy, there were dime a dozen.

The Skoda Superb has been a car I've admired all my life for how it "punches above its weight" and I felt there was nothing better to complete our garage at this point. A very clean December 2018 example in the drool-worthy Business Grey shade came our way. It had driven just 24000 kms and everything seemed good. The warranty was extendable for 2 years more to accommodate at least one DQ200 failure. Dad took a test drive and he really enjoyed it too. But subsequently, our bubble burst. If we had to buy another petrol car why did we waste one Seltos anyway? It would be the same story or probably even more expensive given the guzzler the Superb can otherwise prove to be. And back to square one, we waited on for MG. Till the story goes on, check out this Superb!

7th March 2022. Gods played on our team and the car launched after what felt like a lightyear of waiting. Went to check out the car in person and immediately shifted my booking from white to black. Here are my initial impressions

Now it's kind of obvious that we were expecting the end of the entire saga to be real soon. We tried our luck for March 2022 allotment to avail of tax deduction before April, but apparently, a lot of cars had been allotted for TD/Demo/Media and very few for customers, and we would get our car allotted in April. Acceptable.

Now, this is where things start getting uglier. Come 10th April (usually the day for allotments to go out) and our SA says that they haven't been given enough Black cars for us. 4 Black cars were given out and we were 5th in line. And so on and so forth. All condolences and excuses started cooking. We were then promised May allotment and delivery. By the first week of May, we get an allotment and then our SA stops responding. On further inquiry turns out he left MG to move to Kia. All that's ok. But where's the communication beyond cutting calls? 2 days later we get in touch with a new SA and moved ahead with the disbursement and other formalities. However, there was still no clarity on when the car would move from the stockyard and it was only until 26th May that we had a fair idea of a delivery date in mind.

Delivery was scheduled for 9th June 2022, and charger work started from 7th June onwards. One day for the charger, one day for meter wiring. However, the meter is yet to come and should happen tomorrow (12th June).

Take a look at the charger proudly up on the wall to catch eyeballs and intuition.

The delivery day started early. We had it scheduled for 3 pm because of dad's work commitments later that day. But the car would only be able to roll out at 4:30, with number plates installed. We agreed since mom could drive it out too. Our SA sent us app links (iSmart/My MG/ParkPlus) earlier that day.

I had a late night the night before and happily woke up late. LATE. so that I could avoid the entire T minus goosebump situation by a margin. A friend of mine picked us up and we headed to the showroom. The car was being cleaned and paperwork was being completed. The traditional ceremonious pleasantries took place and we lastly checked all the accessories and papers in order.

Here are some pictures!

Rolled out and how! Already caught a tonne of eyeballs on our Prabhadevi to Bandra excursion. (I personally think it was the FU on the number plates)

Since Team-BHP has already officially reviewed the ZS EV facelift, I will only touch upon where my personal opinions come into play and give a brief summary of the charging and driving experience so far.

Things to like:

  • Design. It finally looks contemporary unlike the pre-facelift. And trust me, the black really does enhance this effect. The colour scheme on the aero caps looks in sync and the car in totality looks really sleek.
  • Built with love. No uneven panels, or flexing sheet whatsoever. Even interior components are of soft touch or good-to-touch materials for the most part.
  • F-A-S-T. put the pedal to the metal and get pinned to your seat in no time. Instant torque is really addictive.
  • Well equipped. ICE is of really good quality and response. The screen is way more legible than before.
  • Regeneration is a boon. We have kept it at level 3 consistently and on good days it reduces the effort to single-pedal driving.
  • LARGE sunroof. Even the glass area opens more than most cars out there. Overall a great touch for a rainy day
  • Carbon fibre texture and the red stitching really accentuate the entire experience on the inside.
  • Front seats are very well bolstered.
  • Spare wheel is a full-size alloy this time around.
  • Fantastic Air Conditioning. Cools the cabin in no time.
  • Minimal cost of running. Over two full charges to date, we were billed a mere 580 rupees.

Things to loathe:

  • Price!! At around 27.5 big ones on the road, it merely capitalises on the tech, not the package.
  • Rear seat. Average at best, but the backrest is too upright for my liking. The seat itself is comfortable though.
  • Boot Space. But it's just about two sides of the same coin. You lose the boot, you get the spare wheel. It's decently usable, but just way smaller than the pre-facelift.
  • Below average camera displays. The Seltos' cameras in comparison are a million times crisper. The MG looks like Minecraft.
  • 215 section tyres are a lil' skinny for the kind of torque delivery. They often almost spin flat out off the line.
  • The steering wheel is often deemed a little excessively vague.

Continue reading BHPian Arnav612's 2022 MG ZS EV review for more insights and information.

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