MG Comet EV first drive, review - Urban mobility solved?
It's no secret that Indian roads are currently dominated by SUVs everywhere and while that is the current trend, we overlook the fact that that's not very logical when it comes to being stuck in traffic or hunting for a parking spot in the city. Squirming its way through this pool of SUVs is the new MG Comet EV. Modern-day problems require modern-day solutions. That's exactly what MG Motors India is attempting with the Comet, to make urban mobility not feel like a punishment but rather remind us that big surprises come in small packages.
The Comet is quite a cute and compelling sight to behold. At just 2,974mm the car is ridiculously tiny. Not exaggerating. Tiny means tiny. To share some perspective, the Tata Nano which we all fondly remember, stretched up to 3,099mm. The car isn't that tall either. So at 1,640mm you better learn to crouch while getting in.
The LED strip running the whole width of the Comet at the front is the highlight of all the quirky design characteristics. It might seem like it wraps up to the wing mirrors but that's just the chrome strip misleading you. The headlights sit pretty much at the bottom and have a cool design pattern. With the MG logo at the front doubling up as the cover for the charging port, it's all very funky to look at and deviates far from convention.
The large vertical windows for the rear occupants will immediately grab your attention and that's for all the right reasons. Although the door handles are neatly tucked away and lie flush with the design, team them up with those big doors, and you kind of get the sense you're opening your refrigerator.
The rear takes inspiration from the face and has an end-to-end LED strip. Even the brake lights look like direct siblings to the headlights up front. We would prefer if MG took down that "Internet Inside" badging from the back of the EV. It just seems like they're trying too hard to fill in those blank spaces.
MG has seriously put some work into the Comet's cabin and it shows. Firstly, while the car does feel its size, visibility hasn't been compromised in any manner. A big windscreen and large windows don't make you feel cramped or claustrophobic. Secondly, the twin 10.25-inch screens take centre stage and give the car a premium touch. Both screens are quite intuitive to use. You would most likely end up using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay only as it is wireless and has a fullscreen display. The operating system otherwise is pretty fast and the screen is quite responsive. But just like the ZS EV, the battery percentage is in very fine print on the digital instrument cluster. So you better not leave your glasses at home before running errands in the Comet.
The light grey colour across the cabin does liven it up, going all the way to the 2-spoke steering wheel. MG has also made good use of the flat floor and added some hooks under the air-conditioning controls for grocery bags. In the smallest way, that does make up some ground for not offering any boot space whatsoever. While there is no glovebox in the Comet, the big cup holders as well as the pretty massive door pockets give you adequate cubby spaces.
Hope into the back seats and once again you start to feel the size of the vehicle. For small kids, it's quite doable but for carrying adults, definitely not. The large vertical rear windows with their low sill do help but the lack of headroom and under-thigh support makes life just that little difficult. On the safety front, there are 2 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, TPMS and a speed alert system. Even the reverse parking camera is a pretty high-resolution unit.
You do miss out on USB-C ports though as both ports onboard are USB-A. The biggest miss though is any form of boot space as there just isn't any behind the rear seats. So the next time you have to haul 3 other passengers in the Comet just hope that none of them have any carry-ons. We also don't really understand why MG took away the glovebox. The seat isn't height adjustable either so finding the perfect driving position is not an option.
Battery and Charging
A 17.3kWh battery pack is tucked under the Comet and MG states that it is good for 230 km on the ARAI cycle. Nevertheless, in the real world, we expect you to see up to 140 km. MG has highlighted the fact that this is a town car and the range is more than enough to fulfil that job. The onboard charger is at a 3.3kW capacity and even if you do have a faster charger at hand, it won't do any good because the Comet is strictly capable of accepting only an AC charging.
The Comet's small size does it massive favours when it comes to being on busy roads. It's very easy to manoeuvre in and around the city and that big windscreen just makes it easier. With a turning radius of just 4.2m, MG wasn't kidding when they said driving the Comet is a breeze. All you gotta do is get in double-tap the break and you're off.
Although we would have preferred if the seats offered more support, as there is quite a bit of body roll in this boxy-shaped hatch. The steering too doesn't help with the confidence as it doesn't re-centre perfectly leaving you scrambling around u-turns and the like. Put your foot down that 42PS and 110 Nm do kick in all at once and do so in pure silence.
All these don't seem like major issues with the car as you will mostly be cruising between 40kmph to 70kmph in the city and the Comet will get you through perfectly. Just don't try flatlining it around a bend, cause then there could be problems.
Getting into the Comet, we honestly thought the ride quality would be on the mediocre side owing to those tiny wheels. Safe to say we were proven otherwise. The suspension does a fair job on uneven surfaces and while you would expect shivers through the cabin, it's actually not all that much. Only big speed bumps and large potholes crash through, probably due to there being not a whole lot of suspension travel.
Don't look at the MG Comet EV as a new electric hatchback on the market. Instead, try to see it as a whole new solution to urban mobility. It doesn't serve the ones who are looking for practicality. Instead, it caters to the busy life of the Metros. It will take you from where you are to where you want to be effortlessly. We wish MG did offer the bigger battery pack which is available in the Wuling Air EV (which is what the Comet is based on) but at 7.98 lakhs (ex-showroom) the Comet is a fabulous deal keeping all parameters mentioned above in mind.
Starts Rs 22 Lakhs