our opinion on the Chinese SUV for 20,000 €

Although the MG ZS is only known in Europe in the electric version, it is actually powered by a petrol engine that it first appeared in China in 2017. Comforted by its thousands of sales of electrified models that allow it to play well which student in the face of the CO quota2 imposed on the Old Continent, the manufacturer is able to introduce it to us. A way to take advantage of the departure of European manufacturers from the field of cars under €20,000.

After its launch in the electric version, the MG ZS switched to a petrol engine. It differs from the battery version by its open grille and its low price of… €12,000 before the bonus-malus rule.

Sold from €16,990, the ZS has the luxury of offering the favorite formula of French buyers, that of an SUV the size of a Peugeot 2008, and even offering a choice between two engines : a four- 106 bhp 1.5 naturally aspirated cylinders and a new 111 bhp 1.0 three-cylinder. It was the supercharged direct injection engine that we decided to test. More modern, it is only accessible in the most exclusive of the two finishes available and is therefore presented as the “top of the range” thermal ZS… for only 20,000 €.

MG ZS fuel price

Even in its lofty sense, the MG ZS 1.0 Luxury, priced at €20,490, sports the velvet. This price corresponds to that of the truly versatile mid-range city cars in Europe and appears to be 4,300 € lower than the much smaller Peugeot 2008 PureTech 100 Style. The Chinese SUV actually offers standard equipment related to the name of its finish: panoramic roof, 360-degree camera, digital instrumentation, keyless start access, electric and heated seats or even leatherette upholstery. All that is missing is automatic air conditioning, still not available on this model, and modern driving aids.

2022 thermal MG ZS seat
Equipment MG ZS 1.0 Luxury 2022

The equipment-price ratio of the petrol MG ZS is therefore unbeatable, despite its CO2 emissions.2 149 g/km. A high figure that carries a significant ecological penalty of 898 €. There is nothing questionable about its advantage, however, especially since it offers a 7 years, 150,000 km warranty which only found the equivalent of Korean manufacturers. Finally, for good mouth, note that the price of this gasoline model is 12,500 € lower than the “first price” electric ZS, not including the ecological bonus.

On the gas tire MG ZS

The first contact with MG ZS is very positive, because the cabin is welcoming. The driving position however suffers due to the absence of a depth-adjustable steering wheel, while the first turn of the wheel can result in the engine stopping. The clutch is actually difficult to adjust, the skating zone is almost impossible to “feel”. In town, we really appreciated the 360-degree camera, which systematically shows the sides at low speeds, for example when approaching a red light. This is especially good to see at a time when cyclists and scooters abound in all directions. On the other hand, the whip antenna, poorly placed on the roof and too high, proved annoying in all closed car parks. The noise it makes when it accelerates raises the fear of being hit by a car.

2022 MG ZS petrol review
The MG ZS offers two gasoline engines that are close in power: the 1.0 (111 hp) here in the test offers only 5 more horsepower than the 1.5 (106 hp).

On the other hand, we have tasted the silence of the small three-cylinder, which never screams, even if it is fully demanded. This is particularly fortunate as the lack of torque at low revs coupled with a rather tall transmission requires constant reminders. This engine, although designed with GM, does not shine with its smooth operation. It does feel micro jolts throughout the speed range when accelerating, revealing a sloppy boost. The performance was nothing short of dazzling, and the 0 to 100 km / h shot in 11.2 s does not reflect the fact of the lack of enthusiasm of this SUV handicapped by its long transmission. This is good because the thermal ZS is less sporty than its electric counterpart, despite the lower mass.

2022 thermal MG ZS performance
Data sheet MG ZS 1.0 2022

Equipped with a very flexible suspension and high sidewall tires, the ZS suffers from poor damping that certainly absorbs well on small irregularities but ends up pumping on bumpy roads. To this must be added considerable body roll and a complete lack of steering feel. At high highway speeds, it turns out to be average directional stability, requiring constant small corrections. Finally, in terms of consumption, the ZS blows hot and cold. On the road, where he makes the most of his long gearbox, it can be sober by needing only 6.3 l/100 km. On the other hand, in the city, the gauge flies and the car can exceed in some cases 10 l/100 km even when starting and stopping especially shaky and unpleasant.

Competition

As we said, models priced below €20,000 have become rare. So there is only one direct competitor to the MG ZS: the Dacia Duster, which finds its first real competitor to the ZS. We’ll get back to that shortly. Especially in terms of equipment the Chinese are likely to make a difference against the Duster Eco-G 100 Journey charged at € 19,900 by offering particular electric seats, the panoramic sunroof and imitation upholstery. The Romanian SUV retains the advantage of LPG and a stronger engine that allows it to escape the ecological malus. So it remains more convenient, even if its interior presentation is less attractive. Finally, given the relative housing of the ZS, some SUVs in the urban category can face it, such as the Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Avantage, which in September 2022 benefits from a promotion of € 3,000, which allows it to show at € 21,490.

MG ZS petrol test results

It’s a done deal, the MG ZS offers a unique price-to-equipment ratio, by offering many modern technological refinements in an SUV format recognized by customers. Behind this flattering appearance and this undeniable generosity, its true benefits however appear less conclusive. Its handling, fuel consumption and its performance are clearly below what is provided by all manufacturers, including specialists in cheap cars. Therefore, it is not positioned in the market like its electric twin brother, until now there is still no direct competition.
The proportions of the MG ZS are those of a small urban SUV.  However, the car is one of the tallest and widest in the class.

WE are in love

  • Equipment-price ratio
  • Satisfying comfort
  • Silent operation

We are sorry

  • Hollow and uncomfortable machine
  • The box is very tall
  • High consumption in the city

Technical page MG ZS gasoline

Dimensions and weight
Height 4.32m
Wide mirrorless 1.81 m
Height 1.65 m
Wheelbase 2.58m
The number of trees 448 – 1,166 liters
Tank capacity 45 liters
Test model tires 215/55 R17
Unladen weight 1259kg
Power and performance
Engine type gasoline, 3 cylinders
moving On 999 cm3
great 111 hp at 5,200 rpm
COUPLES 160 Nm at 1,800 rpm
passing to the front wheels
gearbox 6-speed manual
0 to 100 km/h 11.2s
Maximum speed 180 km/h
Consumption – CO2 – Punishment
Mixed WLTP 6.6L/100km
CO emissions2 149g/km
Malus CO2 – 2022 898 to 2,726 €
Weight penalty – 2022 nothing
Financial power 6 HP
Warranty 7 years – 150,000 km
country of production China

Prices and equipment MG ZS Luxury 1.0

  • MG ZS Luxury 1.0: €20,490
Automatic lighting of lights. Keyless entry and start. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 360° camera. Electric front windows. GPS navigation. Digital instruments. Folding and electrically adjustable mirrors. Faux upholstery. Electric and heated seats. Height adjustable steering wheel. Panoramic sunroof

Metallic paint: €650

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