Rising to the Challenge! The All-New MG ZS
"This car is the first to show MG’s new design philosophy"
As we all work pretty hard for our pennies, the choice of a new car for the family is a big decision. We want value, reliability, decent economy, space for all, and an all-purpose car that is fun to drive.
It’s a tall order, but it does explain why SUVs have become one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the car sales industry. It’s a competitive sector – one a manufacturer needs to be outstanding in to compete. Not least, they must have absolute confidence in the brand.
The fact that MG Motors was voted fifth best manufacturer in the UK in the Auto Express Driver Power Awards last year has no doubt added to the company’s confidence. In our showrooms now, the new MG ZS is offered at an enticing starter price of £12,495 for the entry level ‘Explore’, with two consecutive rises through the spec ladder for the ‘Excite’ and ‘Exclusive’ model variants.
MG have taken a thorough and rigorous approach to developing this car; over one million hours and three million miles of strenuous structural integrity testing, plus an equally rigorous additional road test programme across Europe and the UK, to counter all possible weather conditions – ensuring the car’s driving dynamics are honed to a tee. MG calls it “a global car with a distinct British feel”. Reassuring. And the confidence is backed up by a seven year/80,000-mile warranty as standard across the range. Can’t knock that now, can you?
New by design
This car is also the first to show MG’s new design philosophy – ‘Emotional Dynamism’ – aiming to combine a premium look that is emotional, humanised and depicting agility. Greater emphasis has been given to the look of the car with the introduction of a richer, deeper, tri coat Dynamic Red paint option. It’s an additional £695, but you’ll stand out for the money. Other than that, the MG ZS will be available as standard in Arctic White, with additional metallic colour options in Black Pearl, Cosmic Silver, Spiced Orange, Laser Blue and Dynamic Red.
Cabin space and comfort levels are also amongst the best in class, providing around 55mm more rear shoulder room, and 80mm more rear headroom than the segment average. There’s 448 litres of boot space too – some 60 litres larger than the typical compact-SUV). Add to that a split-level boot and numerous storage compartments.
An industry-leading 8” touch sensitive infotainment screen sits neatly in the dash, supported by DAB radio (on the Exclusive and Excite models), while Bluetooth hands-free and remote central locking is available across the range. Cruise control is also included, while air conditioning comes as standard on Excite and Exclusive models. Satellite Navigation and a rear camera also come standard on the Exclusive.
Performance by design
The ZS comes fitted with either a 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech, four-cylinder engine fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, or a 1.0T GDI turbocharged, three-cylinder automatic. There are three power-assisted steering modes on the Excite and Exclusive models – Urban, Normal and Dynamic, allowing drivers to personalise the ride to suit their needs.
The Urban mode provides a lighter steering option that is designed for town use, parking, and low-speed driving, while the Dynamic option is designed to allow the driver to do less to maximise vehicle performance, whilst enhancing the driver experience at higher speeds. The default ‘Normal’ mode gives you the best steering response and feel in varied driving conditions.
The new MG ZS then, has responded to one of the toughest challenges to a car manufacturer on the planet: to design an affordable and sporting all-purpose family car. It’s tough because we folk are difficult to please, the competition is crazy, and manufacturers need to sell by volume to make any money.
MG have done it, and whilst the history of this company goes right back to 1924, there is no better time to have confidence in the brand than now. We hear there are highly affordable 0% finance deals too, but that’s dealer territory, not ours. Watch out for, and get all excited about our full road test early next year… it is an MG after all.
Related Articles: Seat Leon St Cupra 300 2.0 Litre TSI