The 1.0T GDI turbocharged power plant in the all-new MG ZS is a rather clever 3-cylinder turbocharged unit that, perhaps surprisingly, produces 5 more bhp than the normally aspirated 1.5 Manual at 800rpm lower with 109bhp @ 5200rpm. A more than healthy number and one which should allay any fears regarding choosing the 1.0 over the 1.5, there’s also the added benefit of an increase in torque from 104 to 118 ft/lb between 1800-4700rpm.
And on the move the 3-cylinder engine is an absolute breath of fresh air with power just where you need it. Now over here at MotorMartin we do enjoy the thrill of matching gears to road conditions and stirring an engine using a sweet manual ‘box but when you have an auto as smooth as this, with gears that slot almost imperceptibly into place, then you get the opportunity to experience a completely different thrill, that of allowing your focus to be on the drive itself and the sensations delivered.
The gearbox gives you 6 speeds over the manual’s 5 and perhaps more importantly, reduces the revs when cruising along A roads or motorways bringing about a benefit in mpg as well. A combined consumption of 44.9mpg, emissions of 144g/km and the Exclusive edition on test coming in at just £17,795 mean that this is an SUV that will not break the bank and you get a 7 year/80,000 mile warranty as well.
Other brands may save money by using a previous generation of technology but that’s certainly not the case with this all-new MG ZS. There’s the new signature grille for starters with it’s chrome touches and bold, yet traditional chrome octagonal MG badge, signature swept back headlights with their strikingly designed daytime LEDs, front fogs and superb looking 17” Diamond Cut alloy wheels. In fact, ignore the ZS’s price point and the attention to detail suggests a much more premium brand. A high waistline and sweeping rear wheel arches give a muscular appearance whilst the rear of the car provides more visual treats, especially the contemporary light clusters and again, that instantly recognisable octagonal badge, a badge that is also the boot release.
There’s plenty of bold colour choices with which to choose from but in MotorMartin’s opinion, you’ve got to go for the ‘Dynamic Red’ a colour that MG say, has been developed using a special coating technology that allows them to achieve a deep and translucent finish. Now I don’t know about all of that but in the flesh it looks absolutely superb. This is a great looking car across any price point.
Everyday motoring is as simple as you need it to be especially when you consider that the ZS has three different steering modes to choose from. There’s Urban, Normal and Dynamic Tuned with each giving a different weight and feel to the steering.
Move the gearshift into Sport and the gears are held a little longer allowing the engine to remain planted in the optimum rev range for progress to be made. The steering offers a secure feel so that changes in direction are a merely a flick away and mix that with suspension that’s specifically tuned for our roads by the clever engineers back in Birmingham, you’ve a SUV that remembers it has Sports in the title.
I’ll leave the final words to MG Motors UK who say: The MG ZS is forward-thinking motoring at its best – and the latest step in the iconic MG story.
And you can’t say fairer than that.
Where will you go?