Long warranty, strong safety for new Chinese MG ZST

Chinese brand MG has revealed a new addition to its growing SUV stable.

Chinese brand MG has revealed a new addition to its growing SUV stable, with the launch of the new MG ZST. 

The new compact SUV comes in two trim levels and sits atop the existing four-model MG ZS range, which features a choice of four-cylinder petrol, turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engines, as well as a battery-electric model.

The new MG ZST Excite and MG ZST Essence models go on sale from mid-September, powered by a new 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine boasting a healthy 40% more power than the 1.0L turbo engine in the current ZS range.

With outputs of 115kW/230Nm, the engine comes mated exclusively to a third-generation AISIN six-speed automatic transmission, delivering combined-cycle fuel economy of 7.1L/100km.

MG ZST SUV

The MG ZST should also handle more keenly than its predecessor, thanks to structural changes that have increased chassis rigidity up by up to 50%, according to MG, along with the fitment of standard 17-inch alloy wheels clad with Michelin 215/55 R17 tyres.

Other changes include modest gains in length and height over the older MG ZS, which equates to more interior space, notably for rear-seat passengers, while luggage space is expanded by 23 litres to 389 litres.

But perhaps the biggest news is the fact both MG ZST models feature a full suite of advanced driver assistance systems, dubbed MG Pilot, with segment-first traffic jam assist, plus a 360-degree camera as standard fitment. 

MG Pilot incorporates nine advanced driver assistance systems, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic jam assist, intelligent cruise assist, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent headlamp control, speed assistance system, and adaptive cruise control.

MG ZST SUV

The ZST also comes standard with a 360-degree camera with integrated parking monitor that shows a simulated view in both 2D and 3D from eight different vantage points, giving an accurate reading of what the vehicle’s surroundings are at all times.
 
Both models also get LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, chrome roof rails, LED taillights with DRLs, and a rear diffuser with twin tailpipes. Inside, there’s a large 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, incorporating Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as in-built navigation.  

Standard features of the $28,490 the MG ZST Excite include black high-gloss treatment on the grille, mirrors, bumper inserts and side sill inserts; rain sensing wipers; six-speaker sound system; and a perforated leather multifunction steering wheel.

Stepping up to the top of the range MG ZST Essence at $31,490 adds a panoramic sunroof, full digital instrument cluster, red contrast stitching inserts on the doors and seats, electric driver’s seat, heated front seats, , and embossed MG Logo on the headrests. 

MG ZST SUV

Interestingly, the older-generation MG ZS will continue to sell alongside the more contemporary and expensive MG ZST for 12 months after the latter’s launch, with a reduced price of $21,990 driveaway, down from $24,990 driveaway.

The company’s Director of Product and Marketing Danny Lenartic said the idea was to create a compelling value proposition for customers by offering the option of a keenly priced MG ZS new car, in lieu of purchasing second-hand. 

MG has been one of the few winners in a COVID-impacted sales year most car makers would sooner forget, with year-to-date sales of 8074 units representing a 57% boost over its 2019 performance. 

CEO of MG Australia and NZ Peter Ciao  said the former British sports car brand was well known and recognised globally, but only relaunched here under its current Chinese owners, Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation, in 2016. 

MG ZST SUV

Speaking from a new SAIC Motor showroom in Sydney, Mr Ciao said the company has since found more than 20,000 customers in Australia and is growing in profile, with its sponsorships of the NBL and the Port Adelaide AFL club.  

MG also recently launched a new annual “show and shine” event scheduled for September, designed to tempt owners of new and older MGs to engage with the brand, with a view to raising funds for the Australian Red Cross.

With its sharp pricing, extensive safety kit and generous equipment levels, the MG ZST looks an attractive package, even more so when you take into account its seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty and seven-year roadside assist package.