2018 MG ZS Review | Asian Car Guide
November 15, 2019

2018 MG ZS Review

2018 mg zs suv

The Morris Group, MG, produced its first car in 1924, and the MGA in 1955, MGB in 1962, and hard top MGB GT in 1965, but then after various problems, mergers and ownership changes it was finally purchased in 2005 to be revitalised by the Chinese Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, SAIC group.

Its cars are now designed and developed in Longbridge England, and manufactured in China.

In another take over story, other long time parts of British motoring, Jaguar and Land/Range Rover have been pretty successful under the ownership of the Indian Tata Group.

MG is looking to have similar success, and re-establish and build its own presence and reputation in the minds of motorists.

This has already been happening overseas, and now is undergoing serious effort in Australia, with dealerships appearing initially in more rural centres, establishing a presence and gaining attention, to then develop wider distribution.

Under SAIC, MG has already had success with its MG 3 and 6 sedan/hatches, and in May 2016 launched its large GS SUV in the UK.

In November 2017 MG Motor Australia unveiled the all-new MG ZS compact SUV, with seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist.

Designed by a team under SAIC design director, Carl Gotham, it is a good looking mid-sized compact five seater front-wheel-drive SUV.

It sits in the Mazda CX-3 type sector, but is larger sized than the class average.

The eye catching ZS has business-like diagonal-mesh sports grille and sleek LED headlights, shoulder line extending over arches and along doors, and sculptured door lines.

2018 mg zs interiorThe tailgate has good boot access with low floor (aided by space saver spare tyre). The interior is large, stylish, spacious and pleasant, with generous shoulder, leg and headroom, front and back (for this six footer), the rear seats fold down in 60/40 split (no central arm rest though).

The good looking circular side air vents easily rotate and central slat type ones work well.

The entry level ZS ‘Soul’ has an efficient 84kW/150Nm 4 cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine with four-speed Auto.

Standard features include 17-inch alloys, space saver spare, front /rear fog lights, electrically adjusted side mirrors, roof rails, a large 8-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, (not Android however), multi-function digital info display between the tacho and speedo, Bluetooth, Yamaha 3D AM/FM 6 speaker audio, 1×12 volt and 1xUSB outlets, bottle holders in doors and centre console, synthetic leather seats, tyre pressure monitoring, rear view cam with guidelines, rear parking sensors, remote central locking.

Urban, Normal, or Dynamic steering modes give lighter quicker low speed, or weightier more stable higher speed responses.

The top level ZS ‘Essence’ has a more economic, but higher torqued 82kW/160Nm NetBlue 1.0-litre 3 cylinder turbo engine and six-speed Auto, with electronic multipoint direct injection.

Its additional standard features include keyless start and large panoramic sunroof with electric sunshade. Although well-equipped, for now the ZS misses out on such items as Android auto, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, but these would increase the cost.

We took the Essence model for a spin around Melbourne’s Dandenong Hills Tourist Road, and found that the economical 3 cylinder is zippy with two people aboard, getting around pretty nicely.

Not super powerful, but great fun to drive, and does the job so that you feel nothing is lacking going up and down hills and around tight-elbow curves.

You feel very comfortable, enjoying the drive through the beautiful surroundings, with the large sun-roof open to really take in and appreciate the fern trees and towering gums.

We, of course, stopped for coffee and scones in Olinda.

Steering and suspension feel well behaved, with a performance oriented tight feeling, the suspension especially so over a rutted surface, where you might want to take it easy!

2018 MG ZS specs

  • Soul  – 1.5-litre 4 cylinder petrol,
  • 84kW @ 6000rpm / 150Nm @ 4500rpm, with 4 speed auto
  • Essence – 1.0-litre 3 cylinder turbo petrol,
  • 82kW @ 5200rpm / 160Nm @ 1800-4700rpm, with 6 speed auto
  • Suspension: Macpherson Strut -front, Torsion Beam -rear
  • Fuel, Combined L/100km:  7.1/6.7 (Soul/Essence)
  • CO2 emissions g/km: 165/157
  • Weight kg: 1,255 / 1,245
  • Dimensions mm: L 4,314 / W 1,809 / H 1,620 / 1,644 with roof rails / WB 2,585
  • Turning: 11.1 metres
  • Colours: metallic – red, blue, non-metallic – white, black. Regal Blue
  • Price: $20,990 / $23,990 plus on-road costs    (Soul/Essence)
  • Warranty: 7 years /unlimited km, with 7 year roadside assist for private buyers