No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the MG reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Why does the auto transmission in my 2019 MG GS have a delay on take-off when it's cold?
Dual-clutch transmissions continue to haunt some manufacturers with poor reliability and short lifespans. I’m not going to categorically say that your gearbox is showing signs of premature wear, but the symptoms you’ve listed – harsh shifting, engagement delays and general harshness – are classic signs that a dual-clutch is not well.
There are many causes of this; wear in the clutch packs can cause shuddering and harsh shifting, while worn internals and iffy electronics can cause delays in the unit selecting gears. Either way, it’s straight back to the dealer for your car, but at least it’s still within the factory warranty period, so it shouldn’t cost you a cent to have it put right.
This type of transmission works beautifully when it’s in tip-top condition, but – speaking very generally – they have been known to give problems early in life and some manufacturers have moved away from this tech to a more conventional style of automatic transmission.
Does MG's warranty cover the electrics?
Not sure where you heard that rumour, but it’s definitely not true. Car makers have to warrant the whole of a brand-new vehicle against any faults caused by either poor workmanship or faulty parts used to create the vehicle. The only way a manufacturer might be able to avoid that is if the vehicle had been modified and that modification could be shown to have caused the fault. An example would be where the car’s owner modified the wiring to add extra lights and had managed to damage the car’s wiring in the process, leading to an electrical failure. The other caveat is that you need to maintain a new vehicle according to the manufacturer’s official schedule. Without this preventative maintenance, a car company can be within its rights to deny a warranty claim. But again, it would need to be shown that the lack of maintenance was the cause of the particular failure.
Perhaps the rumour-mill created this as an incorrect response to the fact that MG in Australia warrants its conventionally-powered cars for seven years/unlimited kilometres while the brand’s hybrid and fully-electric models carry just a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. To balance that, MG hybrids and EVs carry an eight-year/160,000km warranty on the actual battery unit.
What are the pros and cons of a 2018 MG ZS?
ZS pros include cheap pricing, an easy driving experience and a comparatively spacious interior compared to other direct rivals like a Mazda CX-3. The dash is pleasant, there is a decent amount of equipment and the controls are all simple to use. It should also be fairly inexpensive to run and service, though earlier ZSs like yours require six-monthly rather than 12-monthly service intervals.
There are two engine options - a 1.5-litre four-cylinder model with a four-speed auto on the base Excite, or a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder version on higher-specification Excite Plus and Essence grades with a six-speed auto. Note that the latter powertrain is more expensive to service.
Additionally, the ZS's suspension is on the firm side in terms of dealing with road bumps, which might upset some occupants, yet there is not much of the 'fun factor' in regards to steering and handling finesse that rivals like the CX-3, Suzuki Vitara, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Venue, Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Kona offer in spades.
We've also heard complaints about the interior's perceived quality being sub-par, cabin storage isn't generous and Android Auto isn't supported (though Apple CarPlay is).
Finally, the ZS' resale value trails all of the aforementioned competitors by a significant margin, meaning it's on track to be worth less when the time comes to on-sell it.
What electric car should I buy?
We can understand your feelings about the centrally-mounted screen in the Tesla, though you do get used to it surprisingly quickly.
As for the other models you’ve mentioned, we’ve had to get the crystal ball out to attempt to answer you!
The Polestar 2 will be on sale by the end of 2020, if all goes to plan. The company will be pushing hard to make that happen.
The VW ID3 is likely not going to be here until 2021, likely the mid or latter part of that year. It certainly has a lot of potential, and with pricing set to start below $50,000, it could well be The People’s (Electric) Car.
There are other options coming, though it depends on your diary and your budget.
You could consider the Tesla Model S, which may have been around for a while, but that also means it has a more traceable reliability history. It has a digital instrument cluster in the regular spot as well.
Have you looked at the Jaguar i-Pace? It has a claimed range of 470 kilometres, though it is on the pricey side of the equation, starting from about $125,000.
Indeed, a high price tag is a common theme among those EVs with big battery capacity and expansive driving range, because you’re basically covering the cost of the batteries with your money.
For instance, there’s the Audi e-tron quattro, which is due here in early 2020. That model will have a range of “more than 400 kilometres”, and - we suspect - a price tag above $120,000.
If 2021 isn’t too long to wait, there’s the Volvo XC40 Recharge coming then. Based on our previous experience with Volvo XC40s, it’ll be a great small SUV, with predicted range of 400km - though we think that’s understating it, because it has a 78kWh battery pack, and it has AWD too.
At the more affordable end - though admittedly still not quite meeting your expectations for range - there’s the very impressive Hyundai Kona Electric, which has a WLTP range of 449km, and a price tag of around $65k. It isn’t all-wheel drive though.
The Mini Cooper SE will also arrive in mid-2020, with pricing set to be less than $60k. But again, a range of 270km will likely rule it out for your needs, and its 2WD as well.
Another new small EV due next year is the Mazda MX-30. Pricing is still to be confirmed, and range isn’t great at about 300km. It’s FWD too.
In short, at this point in time - and out towards the end of 2020 - it looks like you’ll either need to spend a big amount of money on a premium EV to get the best range possible, or you’ll have to get used to the Model 3’s screen. You could always get an aftermarket head-up display fitted…
Where are MG cars made?
Previously MG cars were produced out of Longbridge in the UK. Some of MG's research, development and design still takes place out of the Longbridge site but since 2016 MG cars have been manufactured in China and Thailand.
Who owns MG?
Chinese automotive giant SAIC Motor own MG. Other SAIC motor affiliates include SAIC MAXUS, SAIC Volkswagen, SAIC-GM, Shanghai General Motors Wuling, NAVECO, SAIC-IVECO Hongyan and Shanghai Sunwin Bus Corp.
Who makes MG cars?
SAIC motors, who own MG, make MG cars out of China and Thailand. Until its collapse in 2005, MG Rover Group had been manufacturing the cars.
What does MG stand for?
MG stands for Morris Garages - the initials pay homage to car magnate William Morris. Morris owned the garages where MG's founder Cecil Kimber worked, and Kimber started the MG brand in order to make faster and sportier Morris cars.
MG F 1998: Fitting A/C
Air conditioning was a $2000 option on the MGF, but that was when new. I wouldn’t expect it to add that to the value of a used example now. Try and negotiate the asking price of the car down.
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