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    Tata Nexon EV Max vs MG ZS EV — Real-World Performance and Range

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    Ninad Ambre

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    Introduction

    It's indeed the electric version of the Tata Nexon that popularised mass-market electric SUVs. Then, with the need for an enhanced range, the EV Max was also introduced. Today, many EVs are available in the market, and one such electric SUV that was updated this year is the MG ZS EV. Yes, it's slightly up the ladder and falls into another segment with a higher price. But then again, it's an SUV that is also an EV and offers a similar range. So, in the battle of these SUV EVs, it's crucial whether to save money or rather give that premium and get an even better-rounded package. Here we help you decide by telling how the compact Tata Nexon sizes up amidst the growing EV segment including the mid-size SUV —MG ZS EV. We'll be detailing real-world performance and range, ride quality, charging options, and finally, a perspective on the pricing.

    Tata Nexon EV Max Left Rear Three Quarter

    Performance and range

    The Nexon Max gets a bigger 40.5kWh battery pack as against the 30.2kWh seen in the standard Nexon EV. Here, the power and torque figures are higher at 141bhp and 250Nm, which is up from the regular power output of 127bhp and 245Nm. The difference is quite apparent in the way it moves ahead in any mode. Now, there are three driving modes — Eco, City, and Sport. In the Eco mode, you can see the lethargic response as compared to the instantaneous throttle response in Sport mode. City mode is the default mode and still responds well to throttle inputs.

    Tata Nexon EV Max

    Besides, the Nexon Max gets three levels of regen settings but actually, they call it four levels, with the fourth one being the option to switch the regen off completely. These settings are quite nice, provide differentiation, and are moderate in terms of one-pedal driving. All of this is in a bid to recharge the battery pack while braking or cruising. In the normal 'city' driving mode, we achieved 308km on a full charge.

    Tata Nexon EV Max Instrument Cluster

    Now, whether this SUV is driven within the city or out on the highway, sprinting it ahead is always fun. The claimed figures of 0-100kmph sprint stand at 8.9 seconds. We also tested it on our V-Box and achieved 9.43 seconds. Even the roll-on figures are impressive with 20-80kmph in 5.69 seconds and 40-100kmph in 6.81 seconds.

    TMG ZS EV Left Front Three Quarter

    The MG ZS, on the other hand, gets a slightly longer driving range, thanks to its larger 50.3kW battery pack. Also, the power output is higher at 174bhp and 280Nm of torque. So, when it comes to its performance, 100kmph from a standstill was achieved in just 7.87 seconds. Even the roll-on figures are quick with the 20-80kmph sprint achieved in 4.77 seconds and the 40-100kmph run in 5.83 seconds. The throttle response is good in any mode but feels evidently quicker in the sport mode. Even this one gets three regen modes but doesn't allow the car to come to a quick halt upon releasing the gas pedal on the highest regen.

    MG ZS EV Instrument Cluster

    Now for testing the range, we followed Carwale's testing cycle and drove it around the same circuit we usually do in actual driving conditions. In the Nexon EV Max, the default driving mode is City and regen 1, and air-con controls are set to standard with the music system on. We drove it in the city and the highway till the complete charge was depleted. Following this cycle, we achieved a range of 308km, which is close to what was expected practically. It should only get better in the Eco mode but still, it will struggle to get to the claimed range of 437km. The MG ZS EV, with a claimed 461km range might raise hopes. And indeed, in our real-world tests, it achieved a range of 341km, which, in fact, is good enough for a return trip between Mumbai-Pune.

    Tata Nexon EV Max and MG ZS EV Left Front Three Quarter

    Ride and Handling

    In the Nexon, you won't hear the suspension work and it can smother bad roads. The shock absorption is good and offers a very relaxed ride. The Nexon uses independent McPherson struts with coil springs in the front and a rear twist beam shock absorber set-up. The springs and the dampers articulate well over speed breakers or uneven roads. Then, a ground clearance of close to 200mm helps clear most obstacles. Yes, the Nexon's steering is a little heavy, but it doesn’t make you put in a lot of effort at slow speeds. Just above two-and-a-half turns lock to lock isn’t too much for this compact SUV.

    Tata Nexon EV Max

    Moving to our long-term MG ZS that has done more than 8,000km. So, it doesn’t feel as new and silent as the Nexon. But it sTata Nexon EV Max Right Rear Three Quartertill manages to take bad roads nicely. Another thing that I appreciate ZS EV for is that it offers better visibility. The A-pillar isn’t very thick, the dashboard is relatively low, and lighter steering adds to the ease of driving. Although I wish the steering assist, automatic braking, and such features from the Astor were available on the ZS to give it an edge over all other EVs.

    MG ZS EV

    Charging options

    Tata Motors offers multiple charging options – AC regular/AC fast/DC fast charging as per one’s suitability. Many new charging points with quick charging options have also been opened. Similar is the case with MG.

    Price and conclusion

    Priced between Rs 22.58-26.59 lakh (ex-showroom), the MG ZS belongs to a higher segment. So as a result you get a bigger car, few more features, better performance and a slightly better range too. But for all this extra you also pay a pretty hefty Rs 7.35 lakh.

    The Tata Nexon has been the most popular electric SUV for a while now and not without reason. With the new EV Max, Tata has just added even more feathers in its cap.

    Priced at Rs 17.74 lakh for the XZ+ variant and going up to Rs 19.24 lakh for this top-spec Max XZ+ Lux, the Nexon EV Max now makes for an even more sensible purchase in the Electric SUV segment.

    Tata Nexon EV Max and the MG ZS EV

    Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

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