New MG ZS a bargain

all round

MGZS, 2017, nose, action
MGZS, 2017, front, static
MGZS, 2017, rear, action
MGZS, 2017, side, static
MGZS, 2017, interior
MGZS, 2017, boot

THE latest car from MG comes with an excellent seven year, 80,000 mile warranty, which is only matched by one other car maker.

And looking at the power and specification against all the other smaller SUVs, the MG ZS is incredible value for money too.

The only downside for some may be that it's available only with a choice of two petrol engines

That said, the 1.5 manual I've been driving has a combined figure of 49mpg, which with careful driving, means it will do around 40 on a longer run.

And it's big plus is the fantastic ride even over very rough country roads at speed, and when driving around town.

It simply soaked up everything I could throw at it - including speed humps - with tremendous ease, and that will help it appeal to a wide range of owners.

Too many car makers stiffen the suspension of their cars in a bid to make them more sporty, but this almost inevitably spoils the comfort.

MG has chosen to keep the quality of the ride and I applaud them for not falling into the same trap as some of the opposition.

Softer suspension can affect the handling and roadholding, but again, the MG designers have managed to maintain a good level of body control without too much roll, and this gives very good roadholding, with high levels of grip.

As well as the smooth and quiet 1.5-litre, there is also a slightly more powerful 1.0-litre turbo, but it only comes with a six speed automatic gearbox, and so the performance is about the same.

But I think the 1.5 will be the biggest seller. It's a very sweet sounding engine and good to drive, with a fairly linear power delivery.

Real power comes in at higher revs, so if you want to make quicker progress it's necessary to hold lower gears for longer and change down sooner.

But few people want to do that these days because so many of today's cars have power from much lower levels.

If you don't use the revs, there is not a great deal of pulling power.

The clutch is light, the steering informative and reasonably precise, and the brakes excellent..

The whole car has a really good feel on the road, and certainly instils confidence in the driver.

Inside, there are soft touch materials all round, touches of brightwork around the cabin and an eight in touch screen for major functions.

This works very well and the rest of the dash is uncluttered and simple.

The seats are comfortable and supportive and there's plenty of room in the back, making it bigger than some of the others in the class.

The middle model in the range is the Excite that I drove and it is very well equipped coming with cruise, traction control, reach and height adjustable steering, height adjustable driver's seat, electric heated mirrors, multi-function steering wheel, four electric windows, alloys, air con and loads of airbags.

The boot is a very good size, and the rear seat folds in a 60/40 pattern to get more stuff in.

FAST FACTS

Price:£14,000

Mechanical: 106bhp, 1,498cc, 4 cylinder petrol engine driving front wheels via 5 spd manual gearbox

Max Speed:109mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 49

Insurance Group:11

C02 emissions: 129g/km

Bik rating:24%

Warranty:7 yrs/80,000 miles

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