What we have here is MG’s answer to the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX3 and Ford EcoSport amongst others, a car that MG already have supreme confidence in, so much so that it comes with a 7 year/80,000 mile warranty.
MG have used their new ‘Emotional Dynamism’ design philosophy with the ZS to create an upmarket feel to their corporate look. The front grille has been designed with MG’s heritage in mind featuring a contemporary version that impresses whilst also allowing for a larger version of their iconic badge to be displayed proudly up front.
Move around the car and the ZS displays perfect proportions front to rear with strong creases running from it’s clever front lights through to the superb, heavily accentuated rear wheel arches, a distinctive feature of the car and one that certainly catches the eye. Chrome surrounds to the high side windows, front bash plate and stylish roof rails give the ZS a distinctive look to make it stand out from the crowd, especially when combined with the 17” Diamond Cut alloy wheels on this Exclusive Edition. And that red paint, it’s stunning.
Sit inside and it’s clear that the ZS is a step forward with soft materials covering those surfaces that you regularly touch, a carbon fibre design surround on the infotainment display and even a stitched leather effect options for the seats. The thing is, the ZS interior is exactly as it needs to be with a decent specification level on even the base Explore model but upgrade to the mid spec Excite Edition, the model on test and you can enjoy: Manual or Automatic gearbox, LED daytime running lights, 8” colour touch screen, 3 steering modes, Parking sensors, Bluetooth integration, Cruise control and so on whilst the Exclusive model adds Leather style upholstery, Satellite Navigation, Reversing camera and sensors amongst other features.
Getting comfortable is simple as the MG is 179mm longer, 44mm wider and 46mm taller than it’s direct competition in the form of the Nissan Juke. With easily enough room for five, boot capacity of 448l with the seats up, 1375l with the seats folded flat and you have a vehicle that’s easily suited to the needs of the modern family.
A 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech, four-cylinder engine with smooth and responsive five-speed manual gearbox takes care of things up front, and there is an option of a 1.0 GDI turbocharged, three- cylinder version of the engine which, MG say, complements the six-speed automatic gearbox option to produce a fast-paced and dynamic ride for drivers looking to experience a little extra.
The power produced by the 1.5l power-plant on test is a decent 105bhp at 6000rpm with torque of 104 ft/lb at 4500rpm providing an engine that delivers out in the ‘real world’ with power exactly where you need it whilst still allowing for drivers to stir the receptive five speed manual gearbox as and when the need dictates giving the ZS the ability to take you through the traffic on the daily commute or to comfortably journey further afield. Impressive, especially when you consider that with a conservative driving style a combined figure of 49.6mpg is more than achievable.
There’s no doubt that the ZS is a handsome and distinctive looking car that stands out amongst the competition and yet MG have not forgotten that for most of us, our car needs to provide us with different roles and capabilities depending on the journey to be undertaken.
And in this respect, the MG ZS is destined to be the hit, especially when the ZS can be on your drive for between £12,495 and £17,495. That’s a bargain.
Where will you go?