The new MG ZS is described by its maker as the next chapter in its history, and it's probably its most important.
You see, MG has been in the automotive wilderness for some time. The once-great British manufacturer was taken over by China's SAIC Motor in 2005 and its development has been slow since. Models delivered under the new owner have flattered to deceive, although there has been a much-needed upward trend in sales since 2014, followed by the launch of its GS small SUV.
MG is now pinning its hopes on this new model: the ZS.
It’s a small SUV with a big task, since it enters a booming class teeming with rivals – if not outright quality. Among them are the Citroën C3 Aircross, Kia Stonic, Renault Captur, Seat Arona and Vauxhall Crossland X, to name but a few. To stand out, the ZS gets a starting price that undercuts those rivals by a couple of thousand pounds.
There's a choice of three trims: Explore, Excite and Exclusive, with the majority of buyers expected to go for the top spec. The engine choice is nice and simple, too, with just two petrols to choose from: a 105bhp four-cylinder 1.5-litre unit and a 109bhp turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre motor.
Read on to find out if the ZS is a credible, bargain alternative to those rivals.