MG’s compact SUV gets a new variant with more powerful 1.3-litre turbo three -cylinder engine and a host of extra equipment.
Driving MG’s new ZST SUV, an uprated model of its successful compact ZS – available in two 1.3-litre turbo three-cylinder six-speed automatic variants – the ZST Excite at $29,490 drive-away and the Essence at $32,490 drive-away. I drove the latter, which carries a big lift in comfort and convenience features but how does it drive – three-cylinder turbo engines have always appealed to me and this one with 230Nm of torque from 1800 revs doesn’t disappoint – drive to the front wheels smooth in a roomy cabin in a body with 50 percent increased rigidity up front over the ZS model. It feels tight, far from what you might expect as cheap and cheerful while an MG moniker gives this small SUV a lot more presence and appeal.
I was surprised by the economy of 6.8L/100km against MG’s claim of 7,1 litres. The suspension is set for ride comfort over out and out handling and with four up had a tendancy to bump out on several large potholes but more than satisfactory for a small SUV. As I said earlier, the MG ZST Essence’s convenience features and suite of active safety inclusions dubbed MG Pilot is staggering but let down by only a four-star safety rating. But throw in a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance and the value story is compelling.
I’m David Berthon
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