Chinese car industry’s best effort
Driving MG’s small ZS Essence SUV, a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol six–speed automatic, reinforced my thoughts on three-cylinder engines – many car makers are now using them and they offer nice mid-range performance where you do a lot of your driving. I drove the MG ZS Essence model at $25,490 drive-away – a really pleasant driver and as I have been saying today, one of the best Chinese vehicles we’ve seen so far in terms of presence, drive-ability, features and value for money in a small SUV. With Bluetooth and USB connectivity, an 8-inch colour touchscreen, Apple CarPlay support, a large panoramic glass sunroof, faux leather, a rear view camera, three-mode power steering, emergency brake assist just to mention some of its specification this is a small SUV offering outstanding value.
Its only real minus is a four star in lieu of five star crash safety rating. Rear seat room and luggage space for a small SUV is excellent. The MG ZS Essence is good looking , in fact, at first glance you’d take it to be a Mazda. Internally the choice of materials, centre screen and general quality put this small SUV right up there with what’s on offer from others in the small SUV class. It wants for nothing, a point the Chinese obviously targeted as they position their product to take on the established Japanese and Korean competition. Without doubt the MG ZS is the best effort I’ve driven from the Chinese car industry and it’s backed by a 7-year/ unlimited kilometre warranty. I’m David Berthon
Download this podcast here