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MG ZS SUV 2018 price and specification confirmed

New Chinese-made small SUV is spacious, attractive and well priced. What's the catch?

The all-new MG ZS small SUV has arrived on sale in Australia, launching with competitive pricing and a convincing new warranty program.

The MG ZS 2018 range consists of two variants at launch: the entry-level Soul, priced from $20,990 MSRP, and the high-spec Essence, priced at $23,990 MSRP. 

A low-grade Core model will be added at a later date, almost ensuring MG the most aggressive start price of any car in the segment - a mantel currently held by the Ford EcoSport at $20,790.

The stylish, small SUV has more than a hint of Mazda CX-3 / CX-5 design to it, and there's no doubt its appearance alone will raise a few eyebrows from potential buyers. 

  • The ZS has a hint of Mazda CX-3 / CX-5 design to it. The ZS has a hint of Mazda CX-3 / CX-5 design to it.
  • The boot has 359 litres of storage with the seats up. The boot has 359 litres of storage with the seats up.

But one other thing that will likely get people through the door is the announcement the MG ZS SUV (and the larger MG GS SUV) will now come with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty with seven-year roadside assist. MG says it’s a move that allows the brand to “back its promise of quality”.

There are five colours to choose from, four of which are premium/metallic hues. 

As for this little ZS model, all variants are purely front-wheel drive, and each comes with an automatic transmission as standard.

The Soul is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 84kW of power and 150Nm of torque. It has a four-speed automatic fitted as standard.

The Essence uses a more modern drivetrain consisting of a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The outputs are 82kW/160Nm. 

Both cars have an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay as standard, as well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity, a sound system by Yamaha, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Leather trim, a leather steering wheel and leather gear selector are standard, too.

Both trim levels of the ZS will wear 17-inch alloy wheels. Both trim levels of the ZS will wear 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Essence adds luxury items like a ‘Stargazer’ panoramic glass roof with sunshade, and keyless entry with push-button start.

All MG ZS models have three different driving modes for the power steering: there’s Urban for lighter weighting, Dynamic for more engaging driving, and Normal, an apparent blend of the two. 

The MG ZS is one of the larger small SUVs out there, spanning 4314mm long, 1809mm wide and 1611mm tall. As such, MG promises “five passengers will be in complete comfort” if you load it up - and after a quick sit in the back seat in a stationary car at the reveal, it is certainly pushing for best in class in terms of interior roominess - watch out, Honda HR-V

The boot is reasonably good, too, accounting for 359 litres with the seats up and 1166 litres with them down.

The MG ZS has six airbags fitted, and electronic stability control by Bosch, which includes cornering brake control (torque-vectoring by braking), hill-hold assist and the Mercedes-Benz-esque ‘brake wipe’ set-up. There are dual ISOFIX child-seat anchors, too.

Where it lacks in safety, though, is the latest technology we’ve come to expect: there is no auto emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control or automated high-beam lights. Apparently that kit is coming, but unlikely before the end of 2018.

Is the stylish new 2018 MG ZS SUV something you'd consider? Or is the MG brand a bit too much of a risk at this point in its infancy? Tell us what you think in the comments below.