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2018 Mg ZS Essence review
OWNER RATING 8.5 /10
  • Looks amazing , MG badge, Sunroof, Apple CarPlay , Interior style
  • No centre arm rest , One USB , No LED headlight
PRICE N/A
ANCAP RATING
10

by Yianni Tranculov

Here is the MG ZS Essence with a massive sunroof and sporty elements. Stay tuned to see how it is to live with after 10,000kms in 2 months.

First thing is, yes this car is Chinese, but it’s built by a machine just like every other mainstream car. The only difference is that the machine is located in China with the biggest car manufacturer, so let’s just clear that up for the Chinese car haters.

So me and my partner decided it’s time to get a bigger car. Since our 2017 Mustang was not really suitable to pick up our 9 year old son from school, for long trips away, or to even go shopping, it was upgrade time.

After lots of test driving, price checking and feature comparisons, we decided on a brand new MG ZS in white with all the add-on options .

Alright, let’s get into this. Regarding the exterior, the first impression of this car to think it’s a little bit of Mazda with some Nissan, and let’s be honest it’s not a bad thing because they’re pretty popular cars.

The front is super sleek, with it’s beautiful daytime running lights and massive MG badge in that grille, followed by the rear end. The car is completed very nicely although a nice exhaust tip would complete the rear end off a bit nicer.

I have added side wind-deflectors, alloy pedals, chrome door handles and ZS floor mats to jazz it up a bit.

The interior is a beautiful place to be, with the dash cluster being very VW Polo from 2010 and the steering wheel screaming “VW GTI”, which makes it comfortable and something you want to hold onto.

The dash materials are pretty good on the top but everywhere else it’s pretty scratchy plastic, however it’s not any better or any worse then brands like Mazda, Honda, or Kia. The fit and finish is nice, with no rattles to complain about and everything else working as it should.

The massive sunroof is lovely, athough it can become extremely noisy inside the cabin while fully open on freeways – but I normally just tilt it so that it looks good and the hot air can get out.

Seating for 4 adults and one child is perfect. The space is much better than other cars out there so if you need room, this car has a big boot and lots of leg and headroom. I will note one thing; if you’re taller – like over 6-foot – maybe opt for no sunroof.

The seats are supportive on long drives and the material leather/vinyl is good and easy to clean.

The few things about the interior that I dislike a lot is the lack of centre armrest and the location of the (only 1) USB port. How ridiculous. I initially had to get my nine-year-old son to plug my phone in (because my hands are too fat). but I have fixed my centre armrest issue with a cheap $50 Universal console that matches the rest of the interior.

I love my music because I drive a lot, so the stereo is important to me.

The infotainment is great. The screen is responsive and feels upmarket. The Yamaha sound processing is nice. The sound quality is pretty good with deep bass, providing you set up an equaliser on your phone. The settings are really easy to use and you can turn it up full blast without distortion, however it’s not that loud (but better than rivals that don’t even offer Apple CarPlay).

Now for Safety and Convenience. Well, umm, there is not really that much. You get cruise control and speed limiter, which I love for around town. It also tells you in digital what speed you have set the limiter. It also has push-button start, and automatic headlights – these really should be LED from the factory but I have already upgraded them. It makes the car feel more upmarket over yellow-looking Halogen globes. It also features See Me Home lights – I really love when my headlights flick on when you unlock the car and when you’re walking away from it. It has a basic trip computer in the dash cluster, although a digital speed read out would be nice.

Now for driving. I have always driven powerful cars, so jumping into my 3-cylinder turbo MG SUV was a little bit of a shock. But then you realise it’s a family car, and a nice place to be. The power is there when you need it and the 6-speed auto is also very nice. The car will need to change gears at around 4000rpm to keep up with the traffic, but that’s okay because the engine sounds beautiful. There’s something about a 3-cylinder engine that I love. Getting up hills is fine, as the engine has a nice amount of torque.

The body roll is hopeless, like most other small SUVs, however this car drives very well. There are 3 modes to select to adjust the weight of the steering. I always have mine set to “Dynamic”, as I love the weighted feel. There is little oversteer and understeer – it will go where you point it. You may get thrown around a bit if you try going through a roundabout quickly or around a corner (do it when you’re alone – it’s a bit of fun).

So overall, this car is amazing value for money and I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a cheerful SUV that’s not overpriced. My best friend traded in her 2017 Honda Civic and bought the base Excite MG ZS and she is in as much love with her car as I am with mine.

If you want a car to just be a car without too many bells and whistles then the MG is really a car you won’t beat. I paid $24,990 with $1000 cash back at the time so it really was a cheap car, although it really doesn’t feel cheap. It’s our new family car for at least the next 7 years. The warranty is amazing, and it is cheap to service – $280 once a year or every 10000kms.

So please consider this beautiful MG as your next car if you want something different and want people to always tell you, “Oh wow, that’s a nice MG.”

It happens all the time when I zip down the street.

MORE: ZS news, reviews, comparisons and videos
MORE: Everything MG



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