Why I booked an MG ZS EV

Why I booked an MG ZS EV

11/11/2021

Once we hit more open roads, I tried the Normal mode, and I was floored by the acceleration. Instant torque in EVs was something I have only read about and I experienced it for the first time here. My previous cars were the Vento TSI and the Cruze which weren’t slouches, but this car was far superior even in Normal mode.

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I have booked the Excite version. The main things I wanted in the car was that it should be an EV, a minimum range of 240 kms, great acceleration, room to fit my family and a decent sized trunk. I don’t drive more than 100 kph regularly, but I love getting to that speed as quickly as possible.

They have quoted a waiting period of 4 to 5 months. For the Exclusive variant it was 3 to 4 months. The reason for the long delay is because of a semiconductor shortage. They also said the blue colour was not available on the Excite version even though this wasn’t mentioned on the brochure. We are not too particular about the colour so we weren’t too bothered. The salesperson also mentioned that they have had very good inquiries for the car and someone test drives the car almost every day. They have had good bookings too.

There are no discounts on offer but they offered to discuss free accessories, and also try and match online insurance quotes during time of final payment. I am not holding up too much hope for big discounts especially because of the waiting periods.

I had almost decided on the Nexon EV, but thanks to the reviews on this thread and also Tata’s unwillingness to provide a test drive vehicle after several requests helped us make the decision. Also, the other threads about making longer trips and charging stations availability in and around Tamilnadu really helped.

While comparing the Nexon EV and ZS EV, we found that comparing both isn’t really fair as this is clearly a segment above. While the Nexon is really good value for money, I need a minimum of 240 kms range as I make a round trip of 240 kms every week to my work place in Ranipet. I like using cruise control on highways, which isn’t available on the Nexon. I also hated the idea of hyper milling, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a car then always have to drive it slowly with range anxiety since I do the 240 km round trip every week.

The reason to book the Excite version was because we live in Chennai and items like the sunroof and leather seats are actually a deterrent due to very hot and humid weather for most of the year. Creature comforts like electrical seat adjustment were not too important as they are used rarely. It was really nice to see that safety equipment across both variants are virtually the same, hats off to MG for that.

We have a Venue DCT where we never ever use Blue Link or the sunroof. I understand that the connected features in the MG offer a lot of information regarding trip details and charging, but it wasn’t worth the incremental Rs. 3.5 lakhs for us.

For our usage, we will save on fuel bills for about Rs.10,000 a month which will really help paying the EMI and environmental benefits are a big plus too.

Below is a short description of our test drive experience.

The salesperson from MG OMR was actually quite good. He brought the car home to us on time, and explained the features well. When I explained I am a Team BHP member, he smiled knowingly and said I should already know all there is to know about the car.

The car was clean despite having several dents on it. It had run for more than 2000 kms, but still looked new and the inside of the car was clean and well maintained.

The car itself was quite large, though it didn’t look like it from the outside. Seating for our family was more than sufficient. My mother in law and two daughters sat quite comfortably in the back and the trunk was certainly large enough for our trips out of Chennai. The front seats were more than wide enough for my wife and me to sit without brushing elbows.

Interior fit and finish was much better than I am used to since I drive the Vento TSI, and also better than my wife’s Venue DCT. The sound quality was really good for my ears, I am not an audiophile and mostly listen to podcasts when driving alone.

The car was eerily silent and really well insulated from outside noise. It was such a refreshing experience. This can’t be said enough about EVs. I realize people still pay more for a louder car (i20 N line) but its not for me.

The drive really impressed me. We drove on ECR, which is quite empty past Neelangarai. The car was on Eco+ mode and KERS on 3 when I started driving. I really loved the regen mode slowing down the car every time I lifted my foot off the gas. I think this will be my go to mode on city roads, I regularly downshift on my TSI manually for engine breaking and this felt a lot like that without the noise.

I also really liked their hold function which when the car is brought to a stand still holds it to a stop until we press the accelerator again. This is useful in traffic lights because we don’t need to keep pressing the brake, or engage neutral and engage the parking brake. However this will be a little bit of a pain in bumper to bumper traffic as it will negate crawl mode. I live on the outskirts of Chennai and almost never face bumper to bumper traffic.

The acceleration in Eco+ mode was really more than sufficient for me in the city, it easily closed the gaps between cars in front of me without much effort. It felt like driving my TSI in the city. Braking gave me confidence, it was never too strong or light.

Once we hit more open roads, I tried the Normal mode, and I was floored by the acceleration. Instant torque in EVs was something I have only read about and I experienced it for the first time here. My previous cars were the Vento TSI and the Cruze which weren’t slouches, but this car was far superior even in Normal mode. Perhaps 0-100 numbers may not reflect this feeling, but EVs I think are really nice to drive. I don’t doubt that the Nexon EV would be a hoot to drive.

I then engaged the Sports mode and when I accelerated, I had to fight not to panic. It was the stuff of dreams! It became evident that this is the future of automobiles. No more gear changes or waiting for the engine to be in the RPM sweet zone. IC engines cannot hold a candle to EVs when it comes to acceleration. I remember reading about CVT gearboxes and how we need to prepare the car for overtaking, there is simply no preparation here. Floor the accelerator and I think this car can pretty much over take anything in its sight. I own two DCTs which are apparently the quickest at changing gears and even the much touted DSG in my TSI is just no comparison because there are simply no gear changes in EVs.

This is when I noticed the seats were really good. It hugged me nicely as I was pushed back to my seat. Finding the ideal seating position was also easy for me. Even upon hard acceleration the car behaved well, I didn’t cross 3 figures, but the suspension was really settled. I don’t think I will engage Sports mode unless I am on empty highways and even then only for short bursts just to have fun.

I drove over some speed breakers and some potholes, and the car behaved just fine. Since the Cruze and Vento have fairly sporty suspension, I liked this setup.

Finally it came to the charger installation at home. I have a 3 phase 5KW setup in my independent house. On causal inquiry with TNEB, it looked like it will cost upwards of Rs. 50,000 to enhance the load (charges plus you know what). This mirrored what docelectric2020 also said. It just didn’t feel like it was worth it. So we have decided to install it in our factory in Ranipet which has more than sufficient load sanction. I will use that for my weekly top up and use a normal 16 amp plug at home for my city needs. MG said they will install the charger at our factory for free despite delivering the car in Chennai.

This will need some planning at home, like remembering to plug in the car over night if the charge is low but there is no way around it. It is really unfortunate. This was really the only minus point about purchasing the car.

Overall we loved the car, and hope they don’t increase the price before we get delivery.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading.

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