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Initial Australian details for the upcoming 2018 MG ZS small SUV have been revealed this week ahead of its local launch in October.

A spokesperson from parent company SAIC Motor confirmed with Australian media this week that the ZS will arrive around October, complete with two engines and three trim levels – though final pricing and specifications are yet to be announced.

First of the two engine options will be a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with slightly higher outputs than the 78kW/137Nm unit in the current MG3 light hatch, though these figures are still to be confirmed.

Powering higher-grade models will be a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, developing 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque.

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All variants will send drive to the front wheels via a standard automatic transmission, with the 1.5-litre unit gets an old-school four-speed shifter and the 1.0-litre three-pot getting a six-speeder sourced from Aisin.

In Australia, three trim levels will be offered, with the base model getting the 1.5-litre engine, while the mid- and top-spec variants will both be powered by the 1.0-litre turbo.

Chinese-market versions get the swish new personal assistant from the Roewe RX5 ‘smartcar’, sourced from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Australian versions will miss out on the technology, however, as it has been primarily developed at this stage for the Chinese market.

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However, higher grades of the ZS will get an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay as standard, while the inclusion of satellite navigation on any model is still to be decided.

CarAdvice had the chance to have a quick drive of the new ZS and get a feel for the interior – and first impressions are quite promising. Read our first drive review here.

Despite being a rival to smaller SUVs like the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR, the ZS packs a spacious cabin and large luggage area that rivals models in the class above – with the maximum boot capacity quoted at 1166L (minimum to be confirmed).

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Leather trim will be offered on the mid- and top-grade models, with colour options likely to be black and black with red inserts.

The new MG face features along with the new headlight and LED daytime-running light designs, which is meant to mimic the reflection of the iconic London Eye ferris wheel on the Thames River.

Other details are still to be confirmed, so stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates in the lead-up to the ZS’s October launch.

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