MG ZS Exclusive

MGZS, 2021, side
MGZS, 2021, nose
MGZS, 2021, front
MGZS, 2021, rear
MGZS, 2021, tail
MGZS, 2021, boot
MGZS, 2021, rear seats
MGZS, 2021, interior
MGZS, 2021, front, upright

THE MG ZS is a compact family SUV that is inexpensive to buy, practical and boasts lots of on-board technology as standard.

It is available in two trim levels - Excite and Exclusive - and we opted for the range-topping Exclusive version. This car was powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine delivering 111ps and 160Nm of torque and that resulted in a 0-62mph sprint time of 12.1 seconds and top speed of 112mph.

Those performance stats may not sound that inspiring, especially when you factor in the combined 39.0mpg and carbon emissions of 163g/km, but it is worth remembering that the car costs just £20,805.

The five-door MG ZS looks modern and attractive with silver roof rails, LED headlights, a sculpted bonnet, chunky bumpers, a blacked-out grille and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is spacious with plenty of room for a couple of back seat passengers to stretch out. And up front, there is a wealth of kit to explore. Creature comforts include full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat nav, Bluetooth connection, a 10.1-inch floating touchscreen, heated seats, a DAB radio and a six-speaker sound system.

There are soft-touch surfaces that give the vehicle a premium feel, along with quick access keys to the air conditioning settings so you don't have to go fiddling around with drop-down touchscreen menus on the fly.

When it comes to performance, the MG ZS pulls away smoothly and accelerates nicely through the six-speed automatic gearbox. It's not a particularly pacey car, but can hold its own on motorways cruising at 70mph. The cruise control set-up is easy to use and adjust making longer journeys more enjoyable.

In town centres, the driver benefits from good all-round visibility and there are rear parking sensors along with a 360-degree camera to make squeezing into narrow spaces easier.

The three-pot engine delivers ample zip out on the country lanes too although tighter curves need to be approached with a degree of caution to avoid any loss of grip.

That aside though, with its agile handling and pretty light steering, this MG is a budget car with lots of appeal.

It may not be the most refined with a little engine and road surface noise filtering into the cabin at higher speeds, but that is a small price to pay for a compact crossover model that is easy on the eye and pleasant to drive.

And it's practical too with a boot that can swallow 448 litres of kit - a limit that increases to a very respectable 1,375 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

Elsewhere there is a glovebox, central cubby, door bins and seat back pockets to stash bits and bobs. Be careful of the front cup holders though as they are tiny and too shallow, so a hot coffee cup could topple over as you turn a corner.

The only other issue that the MG ZS faces is its Euro NCAP safety rating. Unfortunately there is no automatic emergency braking system or lane keep support so it was only awarded three out of five stars when tested.

However, the car does feature lots of other safety kit, such as blind spot monitoring, hill launch assist, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, a full suite of airbags and lots more besides.

FAST FACTS

MG ZS Exclusive

Price:£20,805

Mechanical: 111PS, 999cc, 3-cylinder, petrol-driven engine with 6-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 12.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.0

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 163g/km

Bik rating: 36%

Warranty: 7yrs/80,000 miles

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