The 2017 MG ZS; not to be confused with the early 2000’s MG Rover saloon cars of the same name; is a ‘compact SUV’ designed and engineered product by engineers based in Longbridge, Birmingham and also China. It is a car for world markets and the UK models are specifically honed by the Longbridge engineers to make it drive and handle like an MG should and is specifically tuned for UK roads.
All models include a traditional handbrake, ABS and EBA for the braking system, rear ‘ISOFIX’ for child seating airbags including side curtain, anti-roll protection, electronic stability control, hill launch assist, projector headlamps, selectable audible speed alarm, Superlocking and a USB socket that also provides phone charging.
The MG ZS is available in three trim levels, with a 1.5 litre four cylinder naturally aspirated engine with stop start and smart charging, mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox available on all three trim levels, with the option of 1.0 litre three cylinder turbocharged engine mated to a 6 speed DCT auto transmission available on the top two specification trim levels:
MG ZS Explore:
This is the entry level model, but has a strong level of standard equipment for its price tag of from £12,450 with LED daytime running lamps, partial LED rear lamps, cruise control, auto headlamps and 15” steel wheels fitted with 195/65x15 tyres and trimmed with plastic trim covers. Interior comes with cloth seats, radio with MP3, Bluetooth, trip computer and four way adjustable seats.
MG ZS Excite:
The ‘Excite’ is the mid-range model from £13,995 and adds to the Explore specification with 17” ‘Turbine’ silver finished alloy wheels fitted with 215/50x17 tyres, front fog lamps, three driver selectable modes for the electric power assisted steering, roof rails and driveway illumination headlamp facility. Inside it gains six way adjustment for the drivers’ seat, a leather trimmed steering wheel with controls for the radio, which now includes DAB, auto air conditioning, an 8” colour touch screen, on touch down for drivers window and ‘Apple Car Play’.
MG ZS Exclusive:
The ZS Exclusive is the top range model and starts at £15,495 and it adds to the previous equipment levels with 17” diamond cut alloy wheels with the same 215/50x17 tyres. There are rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Inside there is now ‘IGO in car’ sat nav via the 8” touch screen and leather style material for the seats.
Colour options are a standard ‘solid’ base ‘Artic White’ that is included in the price, or ‘metallic’ ‘Laser Blue, ‘Spiced Orange’, ‘Black Pearl’, or ‘Cosmic Silver’ at an extra £545, with finally what is described as a Tri Coat ‘Dynamic Red’ at an extra £695.
4 cylinder 1498cc
16 valves, chain driven twin overhead camshafts
106PS @ 6000rpm
141Nm torque @ 4500rpm
Stop start and smart charging to assist emissions.
Five speed manual transmission
0 to 60 mph 10.4 seconds with 109 mph maximum
Combined fuel economy 49.6mpg and 129 gram per km CO2
3 cylinders 999cc
12 valves, chain driven twin overhead camshafts
Turbocharged with direct fuel injection
111PS @ 5200rpm
160Nm torque between 1800 and 4700rpm
Six speed auto transmission
0 to 60 mph 12.1 seconds with 112 mph maximum
Combined fuel economy 44.9mpg and 144 gram per km CO2
Will it fit my garage?
Overall length 4314mm
Overall width including mirrors 2048mm
Height with roof rails and aerial clearance 1655mm (to aerial flexible tip 1920mm)
MG ZS EV (Electric Vehicle)
Introduced in September 2019 this full BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is the first fully electric vehicle from MG and visually little different from the petrol powered models. The car is powered by a single electric motor that replaces the petrol engine and gearbox within the engine bay and the 44.5kwh battery pack is accommodated under the passenger area floor, meaning no loss of interior space or boot luggage space so the generous space that is found in the inside of a ZS remains unaffected.
Having the battery pack located central and low also means the cars general handling is not significantly affected either, although there is a weight gain of 280kgs, but that takes the weight to just over a still not unreasonable 1500kg. Most of that weight gain is with the 44.5kw battery pack that is feeding the 141bhp electric motor, that as per all electric motors is able to deliver a very strong level of torque from zero rpm and this is a 260 lbs ft of twisting force. The result is that at the time of writing this provides the bets acceleration of any ZS model with a 0 to 62.5mph (100kph) in a claimed 8.5 seconds that is the same level as a TF 135.
Driving the ZS EV with a foot to the floor approach will deplete the battery reserve quicker than any other style and the best way to assess the range a full charge gives is to use the WLTP official measured standards that for the overall combination of urban, non-urban and motorway use has been rated at 163 miles, although you would not want to use the car until it stopped. Use the car in just an urban environment and that official WLTP range rises to 231 miles, showing how well suited an electric car is to the slower stop start of urban driving.
Recharge time to 80% on a fast charger is rated at around 40 minutes on a 50kw rapid charger, or around 6.5 hours on a 7kw rapid home charger, but to 100% battery level. Standard mains plugs would take over twenty hours to fully charge the battery, but of course that time is assessing from a battery with no charge left in it and the reality will be that that should never happen as there will be some reserve always left in the battery.
The ZS EV comes in only the two upper trim levels, Excite and Exclusive, and has a very attractive set of additional safety measures and other options not seen on the petrol versions up to that point.