MG ZS 2019 long-term assessment

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What distinguishes a contemporary MG apart from the well-known badge it wears? We’re discovering out over six months

Why we’re working it: To see if reborn MG’s poster little one is as simple to dwell with because the established names within the class

Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs

Life with an MG ZS: Month 2

No surprises from the engine, however no disappointment both – 29th Might 2019

With solely 110bhp and 118lb ft on faucet, the ZS gained’t be blitzing any scorching hatches away from the lights – it’s simply not minimize out for that kind of behaviour, and I’m not a baby. However regardless of the common-or-garden output of its 1.Zero-litre engine, it’s by no means felt poor in real-world efficiency. It’s noisy beneath throttle, positive, however at velocity it’s simply high quality.

Mileage: 8550

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Consolation comes first, if not from the manufacturing unit – 15th Might 2019

I’ve purchased a cushion. The MG’s lack of adjustable lumbar assist had been making longer journeys a pressure so I splashed out on a reminiscence foam again assist and it makes an actual distinction. In different information, the rubber plugs on the underside of the parcel shelf strings have damaged off. A niggle solely – however made all of the extra niggly by being not fairly niggly sufficient to advantage a visit to the vendor.

Mileage: 5650

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It’s profitable over its photographer driver – and never only for its boot – 1st Might 2019

Earlier than turning into custodian of this MG, I’d been the (non permanent) keeper of the keys for the Autocar Ford Fiesta ST for a number of weeks. Britain’s finest inexpensive driver’s automobile was suitably spectacular and mirrored properly on its maker. Even the diesel-powered Ford Focus I’d run earlier than the ST may entertain on an honest stretch of street. So the query I’ve come again to greater than as soon as now I’m working the MG SUV is: can it provide something near the driving pleasure of Ford’s best?

And what? Although the ZS may not be notably thrilling to level down the kind of roads you employ on the way in which to the extra distant Autocar picture shoots, I’ll admit I’m warming to it. It’s not a head-over-heels sort affair by any means, but it surely’s tough to not respect what the MG can do given the truth that, even in top-spec Unique guise, it prices an inexpensive £17,495.

Get a little bit of a trot on and there’s nothing low-cost about the way in which it conducts itself. Vertical actions over crests are tidily managed and shorter, sharper compressions don’t depart me fretting about whether or not I may need inadvertently shortened my backbone. In its main trip, there’s actually not a lot that offends – useful given the period of time I spend slogging up and down motorways.

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And though it completely isn’t a Fiesta ST, the ZS can nook with a stunning quantity of enthusiasm. Once more, physique roll is mitigated tidily and there’s greater than sufficient frontend grip on provide. There are three totally different settings to change the steering weight, too: City, which makes it virtually unnaturally gentle however is useful for parking; Regular, which is, um, regular; and the heavier Sport setting.

It took me a little bit of time to determine methods to cycle between the totally different modes, as a result of there’s no bodily button to take action anyplace within the cabin. As an alternative, there’s a submenu inside the infotainment software program, which you entry through the eight.0in touchscreen. Discovering it’s a bit too convoluted for my liking and it may be fiddly on the go, although the display screen itself is impressively clear and straightforward to learn.

In any case, I’m now on the level the place I simply depart it in Sport mode. That is principally right down to the truth that I discover the heftier weight a bit extra confidence-inspiring, but in addition as a result of the faff of getting to undergo the touchscreen is a little bit of a deterrent.

I’m much less impressed by the MG’s gasoline financial system, though that is largely as a result of I acquired so used to getting about 500 miles of vary per tank within the Focus. The MG is presently averaging 36.5mpg, which admittedly isn’t horrible, however my journeys to the petrol station are extra frequent: I’m presently doing about 350 miles between fills.

That stated, the curiosity folks present in direction of the ZS on the forecourt has come as fairly a pleasant shock. It may not be the sports activities automobile that individuals have a tendency to recollect MG for, however Joe Public clearly nonetheless has some love for the marque. And that may solely be factor.

Like it:

Capacious boot I nonetheless haven’t uninterested in the sheer quantity of boot area on provide. Packing and unpacking pictures package is a breeze.

Detest it:

No fan of the fan The air-con fan could be a bit asthmatic. At instances, it fairly vocally sounds out of breath – irritating after I’m listening to the radio.


Mileage: 5435

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Life with an MG ZS: Month 1

Easy methods are an actual plus level – 10th April 2019

MG’s 8in infotainment wins huge factors for ease of use. The graphics are sharp, Apple CarPlay means I can play music straight from my telephone, whereas entry to Google Maps and Waze is useful for attending to shoots in these extra distant components of Britain. A programmable shortcut button on the steering wheel is a neat contact, too.

Mileage: 4107

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Welcoming the ZS to the fleet – 20th March 2019

To say the MG model has led a difficult existence for the previous few a long time could be to place issues fairly mildly.

It’s an organization that’s modified drastically: gone are the two-seater sports activities automobiles that, for a lot of, have been synonymous with the model; gone too are its UK manufacturing websites. In truth, have been it not for Chinese language intervention following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005, the MG marque itself may need fallen off the face of the earth solely.

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Certainly, rebuilding a model following the kind of decimation skilled by MG over time could be a activity so gargantuan that Hercules himself may pause for thought. That’s the place our newest fleet addition is available in.

Nicely, not this automobile particularly, however the brand new MG ZS mannequin vary as a complete. Billed as a low-cost, sensible compact SUV to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke, it’s already confirmed to be one thing of a miracle employee for MG because it went on sale on the finish of 2017.

In 2018, the agency managed to develop its UK gross sales by 104% to 9049 models. In fact, a big share enhance of a small quantity nonetheless quantities to a small quantity, however the prime brass will little doubt be happy by the pattern. I’d hazard a guess they might take a great deal of pleasure from the very fact it was their new compact SUV that catalysed this progress, too: the ZS accounted for 5300 of these 9049 gross sales.

Anyway, it’s this renaissance-in-a-teacup of types that’s piqued our curiosity within the MG ZS. We’re curious to find how convincing this new poster little one for the once-great marque actually is as an alternative choice to the established names within the section.

The ZS we’ve elected to run is the top-flight Unique mannequin. There are two engine selections at this stage: the primary a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol that develops 105bhp and 104lb ft; the opposite a 1.Zero-litre turbocharged three-pot able to 110bhp and 118lb ft. Admittedly, the 1.5 is cheaper (£15,495 versus £17,495 on the Unique trim stage), but it surely was the very fact the three-pot is mated to a dual-clutch automated versus the 1.5’s five-speed guide that finally swayed the choice.

It’s a automobile I’m going to be masking a number of floor in over the subsequent few months, and the thought of a torquier turbocharged engine with an auto gearbox sounded far simpler to get together with than the naturally aspirated guide. Hopefully the logic can be proved appropriate over the approaching months.

As for normal gear, there’s fairly a number of it. Within the cabin there’s leather-style upholstery, satellite tv for pc navigation, air con, an 8in color touchscreen, cruise management, and audio controls on the steering wheel. There’s additionally Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay. Unique fashions get smarter 17in Diamond Lower alloy wheels, whereas parking sensors and a rear-view digital camera will little doubt come in useful on the busy residential streets close to my north London house.

Regardless of its moderately compact proportions, the ZS has up to now proved to be a usefully sensible runabout. A latest journey to the airport with a bunch of mates made for a superb acid check. It may be a squeeze getting 5 adults right into a automobile at one of the best of instances, however the ZS was greater than as much as the duty: my three back-seat passengers didn’t complain about any lack of head or leg room. Consequence.

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I used to be equally impressed by simply how a lot baggage we have been in a position to load into the ZS’s boot. With the rear seats in place, there’s 448 litres of space for storing on provide – a determine that may be expanded to 1375 litres by folding the second row down. With a car-load of passengers, this clearly wasn’t attainable – however the ZS nonetheless managed to swallow the three massive suitcases we’d introduced together with ease.

After working a Ford Fiesta ST for a time, understanding I’ll be capable of load all of my pictures package within the MG’s boot with out having to fret about how I’m going to make all of it match goes to be an enormous aid.

Whereas the 1.Zero-litre motor doesn’t have reserves of energy and torque, the ZS hasn’t but felt as if it’s struggled by way of efficiency. The twin-clutch transmission could be a bit hesitant on kickdown, so overtaking requires a bit of additional forethought, however there’s sufficient poke right here to execute such manoeuvres in a way that gained’t result in any snickers from underwhelmed passengers.

It rides properly on the motorway, too, however I’ve noticed an inclination for it to crash greater than I’d like over pockmarked patches of street. Extra of a priority is the driving place.

The seats generally tend to go away my decrease again feeling a contact stiff; and because the steering column doesn’t alter for attain, my knees are always bent over the pedals. As I’m pretty sure I gained’t be experiencing an enormous progress spurt over the subsequent few months, I’m hoping that is one thing I’ll simply be capable of get used to. We’ll see.

On the entire, although, it’s been a (principally) constructive first acquaintance with our new MG ZS. I’m trying ahead to attending to know this automobile higher, and to discovering out what its strengths and quirks are. I’m positive there’ll be lots to find; in any case, we snappers aren’t an idle bunch.

Olgun Kordal

Second Opinion

Whereas the MG ZS is a fairly handsome-looking factor, I can’t assist however detect traces of different automobiles in its total design. Its entrance, as an illustration, bears greater than a passing resemblance to the previous-generation Mazda CX-5. Not that that’s a foul factor, thoughts. 

Simon Davis

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MG ZS Unique 1.0T automated specification

Specs: Worth New £17,495 Worth as examined £17,495 Choices none

Take a look at Knowledge: Engine Three-cylinder, 999cc turbocharged petrol Energy 109bhp at 5200rpm Torque 118lb ft at 1800-4700rpm Kerb weight 1239kg High velocity 112mph Zero-62mph 12.4sec Gas financial system 45.4mpg CO2 145g/km Faults None Bills None

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