MG has changed drastically in recent times after it’s rebirth in 2006 changing from two-seater sports cars to more practical hatchbacks and SUVs. With the new ownership switching from UK manufacturing sites to Chinese production it has no doubt allowed the company to grow allowing it to once again compete with the other big brands.
The MG ZS Compact is marketed as a low-cost, practical compact SUV which sits at a price point with not a lot of competition apart from the Nissan Juke, Citroen C3 Aircross and Dacia Duster. First released in 2017 it has proved popular with the public and throughout 2018 accounted for over half of MG’s sales at 5300 cars sold.
There are three trim levels available to choose between for the MG ZS Compact from the standard Explore, to the Excite and then the highest trim Exclusive. There are two engine choices for the Excite and Exclusive with a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol that develops 105bhp or the other a 1.0-litre turbocharged capable of 110bhp while the Explore only gets the 1.5-litre as standard. Another point to note is the 1.5-litre is only available as a manual while the 1.0-litre turbo is only available as an automatic.
On the top end Exclusive there’s rather a lot of equipment with leather-style upholstery, satellite navigation, air conditioning, an 8-inch touchscreen, cruise control and audio controls on the steering wheel. There’s also Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay. Smarter 17in Diamond Cut alloy wheels add to the modern look along with parking sensors and a rear-view camera which will no doubt come in handy! Despite its reasonably compact proportions the MG ZS Compact is a usefully practical runabout able to fit five adults easily without complaints of head or leg room. In terms of luggage space there’s 448 litres of storage with the rear seats in place which rises to 1375 litres when they’re folded down.
While the 1.0-litre doesn’t have a large amount of power for a car this size it doesn’t feel like it struggles at all for performance. The ZS is surprisingly comfy inside able to soak up the majority of the bumps and throughout town and on the motorway performs well with only minor frustrations when the automatic transmission is hesitant to change down on occasion. But with manual transmission & engine options coming in cheaper than the automatics it’s certainly a tough decision to choose between them and the convenience of the auto in daily driving.
In summary the MG ZS Compact is a great option if you’re looking for a good value smaller SUV and MG have done well to catch up to the compact SUV/Crossover trend in comparison to rivals. With the modern styling, driving comfort and interior space/equipment you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Although with the still low profile of MG since it’s return there are fewer dealers and used examples so it may be slightly harder to get your hands on one
Pros ‘n’ Cons
• Styling √
• Ride Comfort √
• Price √
• Interior Feel X
• Performance X
(ZS Exclusive 1.0-Litre Automatic)
• Max speed: 112 mph
• 0-62 mph: 12.4 seconds
• Range: 45.4 MPG
• Engine layout: 1.0-Litre Turbocharged Petrol
• Max. power: 109bhp
• CO2: 145 g/km
• Price: £17,495
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