MG ZS Review

The new MG ZS is affordable and practical – should it be on your shopping list?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below now to watch my video of the MG ZS Review

MG – or Morris Garages – is an illustrious British marque that dates back to 1924. It later went to what was British Leyland, then Austin Rover, then Rover Group and finally MG Rover until that went bust in 2005.

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The Chinese then scooped up the brand and it’s now owned by SAIC Motor Corporation, which itself was formerly Shanghai Automotive, which is a State-owned company. Previously they’ve been involved in joint ventures with Volkswagen and General Motors.

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Now this particular MG ZS, which I took the opportunity to review over the summer in the UK, was equipped with a three-cylinder 1.0-litre Turbo putting out 111bhp, giving a 0-100kph time of 12.4seconds, a top speed of 180kph and 6.3L/100km.

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However we get the 1.5-litre four-cylinder in our region – that has 119bhp, 115lb ft of torque, reaches 100kph in 10.9seconds, 175kph and achieves 5.8L/100km with a four-speed automatic.

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Prices start at AED44,000 ($12k), and this compact crossover-style SUV is targeting big sales globally, aimed specifically at younger families and female drivers. The design language on this is the template for all such MGs going forward, and it gets a five star crash test rating, though that is on the Chinese NCAP tests.

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The boot is a decent size with a movable floor that can be lowered for more room, and the rear seats split and fold for more versatility. In the back it actually has very decent room even for taller passengers although this model was missing a central armrest and any rear USB plugs.

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Up front it’s equally comfortable and all the controls are very intuitive and easy to use. I particularly like the nice big bold – and quite colourful – layout of the new Infotainment system in the centre screen. It’s called Inkalink – which does sound like something out of a kids storybook. Decent stereo too.

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MG claims 80% of the exposed surfaces are soft-touch – I’m not entirely convinced it’s as much as that, but with the Audi-style vents, effective design, and carbon-style trim bits, it’s quite a pleasant environment.

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The steering has three modes for weight, and whilst it’s too light in the lower mode, I much preferred keeping in it dynamic where it was heaviest but still perfectly manageable. No feel, and this is not sports car, so there is a bit of body roll. However the ride is very comfortable and passengers are unlikely to complain over long journeys.

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In terms of Quality, each new model seems to be better put-together and feels more in-line with the global standard of fit and finish than before, and the ZS does raise MG’s game yet again. So at the money this car is definitely worth putting on your shopping list as a possible contender.

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