Comet EV by MG: Bold Design, Unconventional Aesthetics, a New Segment in the Indian Automotive Market
Creation of a new segment in the automotive market is a daunting task. It’s not something that can be achieved easily. Over the past 15 years, EMs have attempted to break into this market with varying degrees of success. Despite their efforts, none of them have been able to make a significant impact. And success has been elusive. Reva kicked up a storm but when the dust settled, there were none to be seen. Add to this the lack of infrastructure and government support in the early days.
Today, the market poses new challenges. And we’re excited to see that MG has decided to make a serious attempt by introducing Comet to the Indian market. I had a chance to get behind the wheel during the media drive, and could sense the excitement building up within me as I took the Comet through City streets.
MG Comet EV: The Quirky Electric small car with Smart Features
The Comet is a unique vehicle that can be categorised as a 3-door mini hatchback, kei-car, micro car, micro EV, or quadricycle-like. In my experience, when I first saw it, I couldn’t help but compare it to the compact cars in Japan, Kei cars. It had a similar vibe, but with a fully modern tech upgrade. In the Indian market, the Comet’s dimensions may remind one of dated cars like Tata Nano and Mahindra e2O. Despite its small size, it boasts seating capacity for 4 adults, which is impressive. The Comet draws power from a 17.3 kWh battery pack and claims to offer a range of 230kms, which works well for daily city commutes.
Along with its small dimensions, Comet has a highly polarizing design. Some might find it cute, stylish or clutter-breaking, while others may not appreciate its unconventional aesthetics. In my experience, the young are excited by its unique design and expressed their interest in driving one. On the other hand, older folks were genuinely curious. The design may appeal more to Millennials or GenZ customers, while an older audience might ask more questions due to its size. This makes sense as the older gen had fewer car owners, and the only car in the family had to be a family car that was to occupy the garage for years. Times have changed.
In my experience, I found the Comet to be quite visually appealing. Its functional tall boy design and neo-modern design theme stand out. The horizontal light bars at the front and rear are eye-catching and add a unique touch to the car’s overall look. Additionally, the illuminated MG logo at the bonnet is a nice touch that adds to the car’s stylish appearance.
MG Comet EV: A Micro Car that Seats Four
MG Comet is a 3-door mini hatchback/car, featuring two wide doors on each side. The car’s neo-modern design is carried over into the interiors, with a white and light grey color scheme that gives the cabin a spacious appearance. The generous glass panels allow ample natural light to enter the cabin, creating an airy and open feel despite the car’s compact size. However, the light colors used in the interior might require regular cleaning and maintenance, especially in polluted and dusty city environments.
Comet offers a decent seating capacity with front seats spacious enough to accommodate regular-sized adults. However, in my personal experience, I found the seats lacking in comfort and could have benefited from better upholstery. On the positive side, Comet provides steering rake adjustment to tailor to one’s comfort, although there is no reach setting available.
To access the rear seats, one needs to fold down the front seats and climb in. The co-passenger seat has a one-touch tumble and movement functionality, although it takes around 2-3 inputs. Getting in from the driver’s side is a bit more challenging, though. The back seats can comfortably accommodate two adults for short drives of around 30-40 minutes. However, anything beyond an hour could be a little difficult, as the lack of thigh support might make it uncomfortable for longer journeys. As for the boot space, it is almost non-existent. The rear seats have a 50:50 split and can be folded down to create room for two large suitcases.
In terms of features, as expected from an MG, Comet comes with a decent list of creature comforts. It boasts a 10-inch all-digital instrument cluster, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility), i-Smart functionality, and much more.
Some key call-outs would be the unique Apple iPod Shuffle inspired steering mounted controls, which caught my attention and added a touch of quirkiness to the overall design. The voice command feature is a great addition, as it is not only tuned for English but also Hinglish, making it more user-friendly for the Indian market. The manual AC is decently powerful and does the job of keeping the cabin cool in most weather conditions.
MG Comet EV: The Urban Car That’s Fun to Drive
Comet is a perfect fit for city commutes, and MG is not shy about calling it one. The electric hatchback is equipped with three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sports, with each mode providing a faster acceleration than the previous one. However, even the Eco mode provides enough power for most in-city maneuvers, and switching to Sports mode may not be necessary for overtaking other vehicles. The Comet’s electric motor generates 42 PS of power and 110 Nm of torque, which is impressive for its size and intended use.
The Comet is stable when driven in a straight line, but it can feel a bit shaky when pushed to its limits due to the small 12-inch wheels. It’s best to adopt a cautious driving style and avoid any sudden or aggressive maneuvers. The steering feedback is decent, and the brakes have good bite and stopping power.
When it comes to the NVH levels, you may find yourself wishing for better insulation, particularly from a well-known brand like MG. The road noise can be considerable, and the whirring of the electric motor is also clearly audible. Moreover, the horn feels as if it’s placed right inside the cabin, which is partly true since the car’s compact design practically leaves no space for a long bonnet.
MG Comet compact car: The Perfect Fit for City Commutes
MG claims that Comet has a certified range of 230kms. However, as with most range claims, they come with an ideal conditions disclaimer, and we don’t think that the practical range will go beyond 160-180 kms. In our driving experience, we managed a range of around 120 kms, which included considerable idling (stopping to film and shoot with AC on during the not yet peak Delhi summer heat), and generous use of the Sports mode.
The range itself may not be much of an issue as Comet is being marketed as a regular city EV. However, the lack of fast charging capability is a major drawback. MG is offering a 3.3 kW charger, which can take the battery from 10 to 80 percent in 5 hours, while a full charge takes 7 hours. With public fast charging infrastructure coming up in key cities, the absence of fast charging functionality could be a disadvantage for Comet owners.
The Comet offers dual front airbags, ABS + EBD, ISOFIX mounts, TPMS, and an IP67 rated battery, which are all good safety features. However, we should note that as of now, there are no crash test reports available for the Comet.
MG Comet EV: The Stylish Micro Car that everyone’s talking about
There are several positives about the Comet, although there are also some areas where it falls short. Firstly, the indicated range of the car doesn’t seem to vary much when switching between different drive modes. Additionally, the NVH levels could be improved with better insulation. The lack of fast charging capability is questionable, especially considering the current availability of public fast charging infrastructure. Lastly, the 12-inch wheels don’t inspire much confidence in the driver.
Despite the mentioned shortcomings, the Comet is a practical urban car that can be a suitable option as a second vehicle in a household with a larger ICE sedan or SUV. It may be a choice as a first or only car for younger folks who prefer a comfy and practical ride over a 2W.
In my opinion, the Comet from MG is an excellent option for those who typically drive solo (drives to office daily) or with just one passenger (school run) and have a daily driving route of around 40-50 km. This could take care of a quick round for daily chores too. When I was in the market for a new car, I was specifically looking for something that was affordable and practical, and the Comet seemed to tick all the boxes.
It’s impressive that the introductory starting price point of approximately 8 lakhs is going to attract many. As someone who prioritises cost-effectiveness, has a preference for electric cars, and doesn’t require a large vehicle, the Comet from MG could be a choice.
MG Comet has the potential to change the way we view cars in India, emphasising practicality, affordability, and convenience of a smart and small electric car for city driving. As someone who priorities efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, I think the Comet is an excellent choice for anyone who shares these values.
Source: Electric - rushlane.com