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'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208 / '22 ID.3 Family
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I’ve currently got an i3 (42 kWh version), via Onto and I’m considering switching to a ZS EV via Elmo Drive (most likely an Excite model).

Has anyone made the switch from an i3 to a ZS and if so are you able to offer any thoughts on how it turned out, like/dislikes, regrets, benefits etc?

Clearly they are quite different cars so most differences are fairly obvious without having driven the ZS, but just curious as to whether anyone would recommend the switch, or not and why. Thinking in terms of things like real world range, performance, charging performance, how they drive, how they make you feel etc

Any insights most welcome even if you haven’t had an i3 before!

Cheers
 

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Have you driven a FWD EV before? The wheelspin when sharply pulling away may come as a bit of a shock coming from the i3. Depending on the road surface expect the traction control to come on pretty easily if you try and dart out from a junction/roundabout. I'd definitely recommend getting a test drive before committing to the switch. The ZS seems slightly less prone to this than my e-Golf, but even 109HP Leaf and Souls had the same issue.

ZS likes a warm battery to charge quickly on a rapid, yesterday I got just over 20kWh speed on a 50kW charger (gaining just over 9kWh in 30 minutes while I was shopping), now my battery was cold and at 40% so this wasn't optimal conditions, but just be warned that can be annoying. You can now request to have the battery heater update applied to a car (its non-reversible) this allows you to manually turn on / turn off the heater to hopefully improve charge speeds (but at the moment we don't know what effect that has on efficiency and range while running / how long it needs to run to get up to speed).

Windows: No thermal protection, most owners end up tinting them, if not tinted, you cook in the summer. Sun roof does have a tint.

That's the main negatives, positives (and this comes from someone who has been a passenger in an i3 a few times), the ZS handles crosswinds much better, its larger, if you go for the exclusive the glass roof is great, works well as a family car (we switched from two cars down to the ZS due to now working from home full time and the restriction on weekend mobility that we don't need any bigger range EV).
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208 / '22 ID.3 Family
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that @shikoku14. No, the only full EV I’ve ever driven is the i3, but I’ve had powerful / torquey FWD cars before and the traction issues are not something I’m keen on at all...so that’s definitely something to give more thought to and test out.

Re. crosswinds with the i3, I think I’ve only really experienced that once or twice in a significant way, but the overall sensitivity of the steering at motorway speeds is definitely not ideal, especially with the lack of any lane keeping assistance...so that would definitely be a benefit of the ZS.

The charging characteristics of the ZS do concern me a bit as I’ve probably been spoilt a bit by the i3 which charges really well (given its age and the 50kW limitation).
 

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The ZS feels like you’re sitting in a car - the i3 always felt more like some crazy eco spaceship on the occasions I drove one. Depends what kind of experience you want.

ZS feels much slower than the i3 (but is still no slouch).

Wheelspin is a sh*t, as with every FWD EV.

Make sure the Comfort Update is done or it’ll drive you nuts with the noises.

The Pilot stuff is truly excellent on motorways. Darkness, rain, whatever and I haven’t had a single disengage or intervention yet (except lane changes ofc). Catches cut ins and merge outs nicely. Will follow traffic in the absence of lines.

Range seems to be 140 in winter in mixed driving IME, including ACC @ 70.

Body roll is noticeable - the suspension is very soft. But it is a family SUV designed for motorways and town driving, after all.

Charging seems reliable (ish), like any EV it's not guaranteed but it’s certainly not a fussy Zoe. It comes with a granny lead but you’ll need to buy a type 2.

I would definitely have got mine on Elmo, had it been a thing back in August.

I’d recommend it. Excellent value, decent range, all the toys you need inc level 2 autonomy, heated seats, a snazzy sun roof and CarPlay.
 
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i3 94AH
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Hi all,

I’ve currently got an i3 (42 kWh version), via Onto and I’m considering switching to a ZS EV via Elmo Drive (most likely an Excite model).

Has anyone made the switch from an i3 to a ZS and if so are you able to offer any thoughts on how it turned out, like/dislikes, regrets, benefits etc?

Clearly they are quite different cars so most differences are fairly obvious without having driven the ZS, but just curious as to whether anyone would recommend the switch, or not and why. Thinking in terms of things like real world range, performance, charging performance, how they drive, how they make you feel etc

Any insights most welcome even if you haven’t had an i3 before!

Cheers
Hi Bill
I had an i3 for 4 years before changing to MG ZS EV this September. Main reason for changing was ride comfort and slightly better range. There are things I miss about the i3 like faster charging rate and the pre-conditioning/timed charging. I much preferred the satnav too rather than the MG but no regrets from changing. Now I no longer rely on the car for work these elements are not so important. I regarded the i3 as a 2 seater car having the rear seats folded down most of the time. I like the panoramic roof on the MG and the steering wheel shape. As far as performance and handling goes there is no doubt the i3 felt quicker but a bit more fidgety with narrow tyres. I find the MG is plenty quick enough and even though there is body roll it never fells unsafe and is very predictable. The obvious advantage is conventional rear doors and far more space for rear passengers which is becoming more desirable in retirement.

I would say the BMW i3 is the best car I have ever owned (amongst more than 60) and was at the time of purchase very good value retaining about half its original cost after 4 years. The MG will certainly not take over best car title but I am pleased with the purchase and enjoying the comfort. If you are considering another i3 at current prices you will be looking at paying more than half again over the MG offers. If you don't need the extra space/seating then switching may be a disappointment. If cost is no object then I always reckon you get what you pay for but VFM I don't think the MG can be beaten at the moment.

Happy decision making. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask. By the way we don't have motorways in Sussex so I have lane keep assist permanently switched off as the display and bongs were driving me nuts.
 

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If you considering the ZS EV then I suggest that you study the spec’s between the Excite and Exclusive models very closely !.
They do differ a little in price, but I consider the Exclusive to be well worth the extra cost.
The full length electric sun roof is a great feature which is only available on the Exclusive model, just to name one extra.
The Exclusive has roof bars, that can not be added later on the Excite model.
Compare both models closely before you choose.
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208 / '22 ID.3 Family
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much indeed for the input so far - really helpful. I need at some point to go and see one in the metal as, to be honest, but based only on pictures/videos, I’m not completely sold on the looks, and in particular the small looking wheels.

One of my key wants in whichever EV is next is adaptive cruise control (that is at least as good as the i3’s - not very good!). How is everyone finding the ACC now, and MG Pilot more generally? For eg., does it still only use the friction brakes to regulate the speed downhill, or has a software update been able to do anything about that?
 

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MG Pilot is absolutely brilliant, aside from it doesn't use regen when slowing down. Turn off lane keeping in the car (Pilot still uses it, so you have it when you need it), driving up and down the motorway (in my limited experience thanks to COVID) is a breeze.

The wheels look better in person, thanks to the likes of the i3 and ID.3 oversized wheels (on the side, not on width on the i3) have become more en-vogue, but even the MG 17"'s are expensive if you need to replace / swap them out. Around £100 a corner for a decent brand fitted. If you are leasing, this probably isn't a concern, but as an owner it is.
 

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I’m not completely sold on the looks, and in particular the small looking wheels.
I don't really think many SUV / Cross Over is even going to be the best looking car on the block.
If you want an attractive / stand out car, then your looking in the wrong place with respect.
The SUV / Cross Over has taken over from what was once the family 5 door family hatch back in many aspects.
They are the shape they are, purely on a practical basis.
Young families with children absolutely love them and it is easy to see why.
To be honest, comparing the rather small / low ride hight of i3 to the space / high ride height of the ZS EV has to offer as a family size car, is a bit of a "Chalk and Cheese" situation if you don't mind me saying so.
The i3 was a future leading style when it first came out and it still is today.
So, any tall average looking "Run Of The Mill" - SUV / Cross over is not going to fit the bill in the looks department that's for sure !.
Regarding the wheels, when I first seen the car my first thoughts where that the wheels looked "Lost" in the large wheel arches.
Yes you could increase the wheel size to reduce this affect if it bothered you that much, but what I would say is this.
Take a good look at a brand new ZS EV and then some how ( take a photo ) compare this to a ZS EV that is about 12 months old.
Why do I say this ?.
Because my car is almost 12 months old in Jan 21 and has covered 8,500 miles, my brother on the other hand has the very same model, but his car is only 6 weeks old and only covered 300 miles.
When looking at both cars from the side, you can see that my car now sits lower than his brand new car.
This should come as no surprise really, because the suspension has clearly settled down over the last year, many due to the weight of the battery pack I may suggest.
I think your best option is to test drive the car first and then decide if you like / need that extra room and the higher ride height.
My wife loves the feeling of riding much higher in the ZS EV than our previous low and sporty Golf GTE.
Horse's for course I guess ?.
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208 / '22 ID.3 Family
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I actually think the shape is quite alright - there’s just something about the overall stance that looks a bit off (at least on a screen), and I think it’s mainly just that it’s 'under-wheeled'.

Ride height isn’t something I’d yet given any thought to (as it’s not a major concern either way) but the i3 definitely isn’t what I’d call low. I recently had a new Corsa as a courtesy car and it was immediately noticeable how much lower something like a standard hatchback is than the i3.
 

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I used to think the i3 was quite high ride height but have found the MG to be even higher with greater visibility. I too did not like the wheels on the MG at first but they are growing on me. Even more so now I have had a ceramic coating applied. You really need to see the car in the flesh and definitely test drive before you dismiss it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The wheels look better in person, thanks to the likes of the i3 and ID.3 oversized wheels (on the side, not on width on the i3) have become more en-vogue
With the i3, as I understand it, in its case the wheel diameter wasn’t a stylistic thing but a necessity to ensure a sufficiently sized tyre contact patch given the narrow tyres, which were apparently chosen primarily to benefit aerodynamic efficiency and aid aquaplaning resistance. Not sure anyone would have chosen the i3 tyre set up to try and make it look trendy! 🤣
 

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As said before, you need to see one in the flesh first and then take a test drive.
Your mind will be at rest within 10 minutes if the ZS EV is for you, or not.
The comparison between both cars will almost be instant, purely because they are two completely different types of cars.
The only thing they generally have in common, is they are both electric ?.
Regarding the wheels / feel of the ride, the i3 is fitted with tyres of a low profile and therefore the ride will be a little on the hard side.
Wait until you drive the ZS EV for yourself - it feels more like a soft comfy arm chair.
The suspension on the ZS EV is at the opposite end of the scale to the BMW.
I have owned about four BMW's "Back in the Day" and the BMW ride set up is always set on the firm side.
You will see where I am coming from, as soon as you drive the ZS EV.
It will be an instant "Love / Hate" thing - depends what you are looking for really.
Everybody wants / needs different things from different cars, otherwise would be all driving the same car !.
Remember, the perfect car is yet to be built.
TEST DRIVE - TEST DRIVE.
Then it will be very easy to decide, job done - move on !.
 

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I had an i3 from Evezy (Onto) before the zsev. Loved the i3 my wife hated it. The zs is, as said before, is completely different. It feels like a normal car, but the cruise control on the i3 just doesnt work where the zs is perfect.
Look at the exclusive the extra bits are well worth the money.
Dynamic driving the i3 beat it hands down, faster, less wheel spin, less corner lean.
But i found the ZS beats the i3 in every other department
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Regarding the wheels / feel of the ride, the i3 is fitted with tyres of a low profile and therefore the ride will be a little on the hard side.
Interestingly, the sidewall of the tyres fitted to the 19 inch i3 wheels is actually slightly taller than that of the standard ZS EV tyre (unless I’ve made a mistake with either tyre size).

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Apparently, a lot of the hardness and brittleness of the ride in the i3 (which I do find annoying occasionally due to our atrociously maintained roads - it was completely fine on a recent trip in Germany) is to do with the inherent stiffness of the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic construction. Either way... a softer ride wouldn’t go amiss, unless something miraculous happens with the state of our roads!
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had an i3 from Evezy (Onto) before the zsev. Loved the i3 my wife hated it. The zs is, as said before, is completely different. It feels like a normal car, but the cruise control on the i3 just doesnt work where the zs is perfect.
Look at the exclusive the extra bits are well worth the money.
Dynamic driving the i3 beat it hands down, faster, less wheel spin, less corner lean.
But i found the ZS beats the i3 in every other department
Thanks - that’s useful. The i3 ACC is definitely a weak point, but on the other hand I’m just glad it at least has something that can work ok in good conditions! This is the thing that actually led me to the ZS, as most other cars actually available via Onto now don’t have ACC at all unbelievably.

I think the driving dynamics bit might be something that I struggle with, but could get used to, and could be sort of compensated for by the amount of kit, MG Pilot etc.

What are the headlights like? As you will know, the i3 has really good headlights and I do value that as I’m starting to find driving in the dark more tricky than when I was a younger man!
 

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Interestingly, the sidewall of the tyres fitted to the 19 inch i3 wheels is actually slightly taller than that of the standard ZS EV tyre (unless I’ve made a mistake with either tyre size).

View attachment 138426 View attachment 138427

Apparently, a lot of the hardness and brittleness of the ride in the i3 (which I do find annoying occasionally due to our atrociously maintained roads - it was completely fine on a recent trip in Germany) is to do with the inherent stiffness of the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic construction. Either way... a softer ride wouldn’t go amiss, unless something miraculous happens with the state of our roads!
You totally correct regarding tyre profile rating, I must say I am really surprised by that !.
Which only goes to prove that’s looks can be deceiving.
I think the problem is, that where as the ZS EV could be accused of being “Under Wheeled” the i3 is totally the opposite - maybe ?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You totally correct regarding tyre profile rating, I must say I am really surprised by that !.
Which only goes to prove that’s looks can be deceiving.
I think the problem is, that where as the ZS EV could be accused of being “Under Wheeled” the i3 is totally the opposite - maybe ?.
I don’t know about that TBH - personally, I think that from a looks perspective they got it right with the wheel diameter on the i3 (plus of course the diameter was apparently a technical requirement following on from the engineering decision to go with a narrow section).

First to admit though that the section looks, er, 'challenging' from any angle or when the front wheels have a lot of lock on!
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Yeah - it’s a strange one really.
Looking from the side view, the wheel size on the i3 fits the wheel arches just fine, but when you turn the wheel out, or travel from behind they do not look right some how ?.
They just look to thin to offer any decent grip ?.
Looks can be very deceptive of course !.
Good in the snow I would suspect ?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good in the snow I would suspect ?
Yet to have any decent snow down here during my time with it but I’ve read that it is supposedly quite capable - especially with winter tyres of course. Also good in the rain and dealing with any standing water, as you’d expect really.
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But yeah, decidedly unusual from the rear especially. In a way that can add to the fun though as I suspect a lot of people maybe don’t expect something that looks so weird in front of them to bugger off quite so quickly!
 
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