MG Comet Review: This zippy little electric car is not for everyone

The MG Comet EV has been launched at a starting price of Rs 7.98 lakh, but it is not a car for all. It’s special.

MG Comet EV review
MG Comet EV is India's most affordable electric car.

It’s not often that one starts a review of a car by telling people that not everyone should buy it. Hey, it’s not just me, but even the folks at MG agree that the Comet EV is not a car for everyone. It takes a very different mindset to put this electric car on your consideration set. Here’s why.

mg comet ev

I got to drive the MG Comet EV a few days ahead of its launch in the Indian market. I must commend MG Motor India for sticking its neck out and launching a new concept in urban mobility – a 2.97 metre-long, two-door, four-seat car that’s just about 34 centimetres or a little over a foot longer than a Bajaj RE autorickshaw. Yes, and it has almost the same wheelbase – so it takes up about the same space on the road!

Watch Video | MG Comet EV Review:

Talk about pre-conceived notions, I was skeptical when I first saw it. Indian automotive history has some prime examples to offer such as the Reva and Mahindra E2O which tried this format with little success. Can MG pull it off? The initial sticker price of Rs 7.98 lakh ex-showroom makes the MG Comet EV the lowest-priced electric car in the Indian market, about Rs 1 lakh cheaper than the Tata Tiago EV, which is a proper four-door electric hatchback. That’s a good thing.

Before we get into how it looks, performs and what features it has, let’s talk about who should probably consider the MG Comet EV.

mg comet rear

Who should buy the MG Comet EV

1.     The MG Comet EV will appeal to those looking for a second or third car in the household to use as a city runabout.

2.     The MG Comet EV will suit young people looking for a relatively safer, all-weather mode of transport compared to a two-wheeler.

3.     It will appeal to buyers who live in crowded cities and need a vehicle to travel through narrow lanes and be able to park easily.

4.     It will seem like a good choice for those who are cost-conscious and want something cheap to run. With a 17.3 kWh battery and a claimed range of 230 km/charge, the monthly charging costs would be less than Rs 600 if it’s used as a daily commuter.

5.     It will appeal to those who want to make a statement, not just about the environment with an EV, but also about their personality with the myriad customization options and its quirky design. Remember the early Apple iMacs? This has that sort of appeal – it’s a gizmo on wheels.

If you want a lot of luggage space, if you want better range, if you want easy access for a larger family, or if it’s your only car, look elsewhere.

mg comet front

Why does the MG Comet look so different?

The MG Comet EV has looks that are polarizing. Some love it, some just don’t. At 2,974 mm in length, 1,505 mm in width, and 1,650 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,010 mm, the MG Comet is fairly tall and slightly wider than the Tata Nano was, but it is not long. It’s compact and boxy, with almost the entire side profile being taken up by the long doors.

Also Read: Top 5 sportiest 125cc bikes in India: Pulsar NS125 to KTM 125 Duke

The front has LED lighting and a wraparound LED light strip, with the same design element at the rear as well. The roofline is tall and boxy, which frees up a lot of headroom inside. The battery is under the front seats, while the motor is under the rear seat, powering the rear wheels.

mg comet ev charging port

The charging port (CCS type 2) can be accessed behind the logo at the front of the car. The rear seat can be accessed by folding the front seat and can fit two adults with relatively decent legroom too. The airline-style rear windows give it good visibility all around.

Boot space: Umm, what’s that? There’s barely enough to store the charging cable and a laptop bag, but if you need luggage space, you will need to fold down the 50:50 folding rear seats, and that means telling your rear seat friends to take a hike.  

mg comet ev price

The tyres are 12 inches in diameter (remember the Maruti 800 and Omni), with 145/70 R12 tyres, and the car offers a ground clearance of 165 mm, which is more than adequate for city roads.

Any which way you look at the Comet, it looks different and as we discovered on our test drive, it does attract many curious onlookers.

mg comet ev features

How much tech does the MG Comet have?

As mentioned, the Comet is more of a mobile phone on wheels. If Apple made a car (and there are rumours it is considering it), the Comet would suit its design language. From the key fob to the drive selector knob to the controls on the steering, and the two 10.25-inch screens – one for infotainment and one for instrumentation, the Comet looks like it was built for Gen-Z and millennials.

mg comet ev screen

It has a four-speaker audio system with two tweeters, wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play, over-the-air updates, a reverse camera, three levels of regenerative braking, three drive modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, powered mirrors, windows and full keyless go.

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The AC feels effective even in 36-degree C heat and the audio quality is decent. The infotainment system felt a bit slow to react to touch and that’s something MG needs to look into.

mg comet ev seats

How safe and comfortable is the MG Comet?

When I first heard of the MG Comet EV, I didn’t think it would qualify as a car, perhaps a quadricycle. But no, it is a full-fledged car, albeit a micro-car at that. It comes with all the requisite safety features, two airbags, ABS, parking sensors, a camera and even a tyre-pressure monitoring system. In terms of ride quality, it feels fairly stable at city speeds and can handle some rough patches without getting unsettled. The tall dimensions do lend themselves to a bit of body roll if you take sudden turns. As long as you use the car for its intended purpose of commuting comfortably in the city, it delivers.

mg comet ev

How is the MG Comet’s performance?

The MG Comet comes with a 17.3 kWh battery pack delivering power to a motor on the rear axle that puts out 110 Nm of torque and 42 bhp of power. That’s about enough to propel it to a top speed of just over 100 kmph and it can get there in a shade under 10 seconds – it’s not slow, it is pretty zippy, especially in sports mode.

mg comet

The steering is electrically assisted and very light. The brakes are sharp – discs in the front and drums in the rear. Manoeuvering through traffic is super easy with the Comet, thanks to the great all-around visibility, and compact dimensions. It’s also ridiculously easy to park. With a tight turning circle of 4.2 metres, one can take U-turns or 360 turns easily to the point that it could make you dizzy! And its quick pick-up means you can fill in gaps in traffic faster much before those pesky autorickshaws have even started moving.

If you’ve driven go-karts, especially the electric ones, you’ll find the feeling familiar.

mg comet

The final word on the MG Comet

As I mentioned earlier, the MG Comet EV is not for everyone, especially if you are looking at it as a first car or your primary car. It is for those who want a compact runabout, that’s great for crowded cities, looks cool and is inexpensive to run. Of course, buyers would compare the Comet with the Tata Tiago EV, which is a proper electric hatchback with four doors, a little more range and much more space for a little more money.

However, with the ability to personalize or customize the MG Comet straight out of the showroom and its unique looks, it definitely has a personality and can make a statement. It will remain a niche car but is one to consider given the increasing congestion in Indian cities. Especially, if you want to be different.

Also Read: Top 10 cars in India under Rs 10 lakh: Baleno, Tiago, Bolero Neo & more

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First published on: 27-04-2023 at 12:20 IST