It’s easy to mistake the MG Comet as a mass market EV. At first glance it fulfils the criteria for that — small, economical, well priced, feature loaded, has a good service and dealership network, etc. But it’s not really a mass market car. Not even close! MG Motor has identified a very small niche of customers for the Comet EV, and it fulfils a very particular criteria. But despite a smaller customer base, the Comet EV still has a case to make, especially since there are two strong competitors in the same segment — the Tata Tiago EV, and Citroen eC3. So, how practical is the MG Comet EV? How is it to drive? And should you buy one over its rivals? We find out in our review.
Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it. There’s no better way to sum up Comet’s design. It is polarising, and attracts attention. The Comet EV has a definitive tall-boy design, which makes it look like a box on wheels, which looks quirky. It gets LED light bars on both ends, a backlit MG logo up front, and even faux fog lamps, which are just LED DRLs. But while the rest of the lighting is pretty attractive, the headlight and taillight designs — in my opinion — do not go well with the design language of the Comet and they compromise the overall boxy look. It would’ve been nice if the lights also had a squared-off design.
The boxy theme is even more evident along the sides, where the whole design looks like a collage of different sized rectangles. Since it has a 3-door design, MG has designed the doors to be wide, which helps accessing the second row. The doors themselves are pretty heavy, and close with a reassuring thud. Since the doors — and consequently the front windows — are pretty large, the rear windows are quite narrow. However, instead of awkward, small windows that open, MG has given the Comet EV fixed tall rear windows. This design choice, though impractical, results in a much better appearance from the outside and makes the cabin feel airy on the inside. However, while the doors and windows are quite large, the wheels are comically small. They add character but at the cost of practicality.
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In contrast to the quirky exterior design, the interiors of the Comet EV are cleanly laid out. Almost every element is squared off. The rectangular AC vents, squared cupholders, fabric inserts on the doors, twin screens on the dashboard, everything complies with the design language. The design of the dashboard is modern and interesting as well. There are glossy plastics and chrome elements, with good fit and finish. The presence of two 10.25-inch screens also add to its cause, and makes it feel like an expensive car. The interiors are finished in different shades of light grey and white, and given that the seats and door panels are finished in fabric and not leatherette, keeping them clean could prove to be a task. Having said that, the lighter shades give the impression of a sense of space despite the small dimensions.
There are some clever, practical touches as well. For example, it gets cupholders in front of the AC vents to keep your drinks cool on hot days. Door pockets are also sizable, and you can stow loose objects like water bottles, umbrellas, etc. there. However, there are no closed storage spaces in the cabin, not even a glove box. With all the seats up, the boot space is also negligible and can hold a couple of laptop bags at best. But fold the seats down and you can open up enough space for a month’s groceries.
Judging from the outside, you’d think the Comet EV will be cramped on the inside. But you’d be wrong! Four average sized adults won’t have much trouble finding enough space in the Comet EV. For anyone taller than 5 feet 10 inches, the rear seats fall short on knee room and under thigh support. The seating position of the driver is also not the most comfortable for taller individuals, since the pedals are too close, and the seat doesn’t have height adjustment, which results in the inside rear view mirror blocking the view out. Interestingly, there’s loads of leg room for the front passenger seat, and even someone who’s 6 feet 2 inches would be comfortable. So if you are a party of four, you may have to resort to some mix and match before all four individuals find a comfortable seating position. All the seats have a soft cushioning, and while there’s a lack of bolstering, the comfort at city speeds is good enough.
The first thing you notice inside the Comet EV are the two 10.25-inch displays, one for the infotainment system and one for the instrument cluster. Both screens are high resolution displays with adequate brightness, and are easy to use even under direct sunlight. The infotainment system is also equipped with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Comet EV also gets MG Motor’s connected car suite, with over 55 connected car features. One big negative is that the infotainment is paired with a two-speaker setup which doesn’t sound the best.
The instrument cluster lacks customizability and features. You get the speed reading on one side and some other readouts like trip computer and battery stats on the other. In the centre, there’s just an image of the Comet EV to show when you have your headlights, brake lights, or turn indicators on. The same display would’ve made sense if the Comet EV had ADAS features, and the display could then also show street hazards or lane markings. However, since that is not the case, MG should’ve utilised this screen better, perhaps to include some customisable backgrounds or support for navigation to be shown.
Also Read: Best MG Electric Cars in India
The MG Comet EV is powered by a 41 bhp electric motor, which puts out 110 Nm of instantaneous torque. While these figures may sound small, they translate much better in reality. Accelerating to 60 kmph is brisk, and the Comet feels very zippy to drive in the urban environment. It also gets three driving modes – Eco, City, and Sports. While there’s a perceivable difference in every mode, even Eco mode is enough for most city commutes.
You can take the Comet EV out on a small highway cruise too, and it would handle itself well in a straight line. If pushed, the MG Comet EV can get to early triple digit speeds in Sports mode relatively quickly. However, changing directions at high speeds isn’t confidence inspiring, thanks to the tall-boy design and soft suspension, and the latter does a respectable job of rounding off potholes. However, because the Comet EV has tiny 12-inch wheels, it dips its feet in almost every pothole along its way. Small speed breakers — the kind you’d find in parking lots — are its worst enemy, since it hops over them.
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Powering the MG Comet EV’s motor is a 17.3 kWh Li-ion battery pack. The battery is rated to deliver a claimed range of up to 230 km on a full charge as per the ARAI test cycle. The instrument cluster, however, displays a max range of 200 km even when the battery is full, and doesn’t adapt to your driving style or rate of power consumption. We expect the Comet EV to deliver a range of around 160-180 km on a full charge if not driven spiritedly. The figure is one of the lowest in the EV market, but it should suffice for a daily commute. And since you are not expected to take the Comet EV out of the city anyway, range anxiety shouldn’t be a concern.
For the same reason, MG Motor has also skipped adding DC fast charging to the Comet EV. It takes about seven hours for a full charge on a 3.3 kW home charger. MG Motor justifies this by saying that around 90% of the Indian EV consumers prefer charging their cars at home, so the Comet EV doesn’t need fast charging. However, since the platform itself is compatible with fast charging, I wish that MG had included this, at least as an optional extra in the top end variant.
|Drivetrain||Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor|
|Maximum Power||41 bhp|
|Maximum Torque||110 Nm|
|Battery||17.3 kWh Li-ion battery pack|
|Charging (0-100%)||7 hours (on 3.3 kW AC charger)|
|Claimed Range||230 km|
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The MG Comet EV feels like a solidly built car. The doors have a heft to them, and the quality of materials used also feels robust. There is no crash test rating yet, but the Comet EV gets all the basic safety features like ABS, EBD, dual airbags, and 3-point seatbelts for all four passengers. Additionally, it also gets features like a tyre pressure monitoring system, reverse parking camera and sensors, and ISOFIX child seat mounts. The battery pack also gets an IP67 water & dust resistance rating, and an 8 year/1.2 lakh km warranty.
Also Read: Must-Have Safety Features For Your Car
|With running costs less than a rupee per km, it’s very economical||External design is polarising|
|Compact dimensions make parking and navigating traffic a breeze||Driving position is suited for shorter individuals; anyone above 5’ 9” will have an awkward driving position|
|It’s zippy! Instantaneous torque makes life easy when making a dash at low speeds||The 17.3 kWh battery doesn’t support fast charging, and a full charge takes 7 hours|
|Real world range of 160-180 km is sufficient for daily commutes||Tiny 12 inch wheels mean every little bump is felt|
|Premium features and good interior design|
Also Read: Pros and Cons of Electric Cars
The MG Comet EV is not trying to be the first car in your garage. The tiny dimensions, small range, and lack of fast charging is evidence of that. Instead, it is aimed at buyers specifically looking for a second, city-friendly car. It is priced starting at ₹7.98 lakh, going up to ₹9.98 lakh for the top end variant. And for its price, the Comet EV has one of the most premium and well-built interiors. It also gets features you’d need everyday, like a large touchscreen and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. At less than a rupee per km, the Comet EV has very low running costs, and the dimensions mean that driving it in traffic is easier than other small hatchbacks. For this particular purpose of being a secondary commute specific vehicle, there aren’t many other vehicles that do the job better than the MG Comet EV.
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