Review: 2020 MG ZST banner

Review: 2020 MG ZST

Posted in Vehicle Reviews

Review: 2020 MG ZST

Though it seems the new MG ZST is just an MG ZS with a T added to the end, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. The changes on the outside might me minor, but it's under the hood where the magic happens. Let's see what has improved on the new 2020 MG ZST.


With striking LED headlights and the iconic MG grille, the ZST offers a sportier front design than its predecessor - the MG ZS. The dynamic style accents follow through the entire exterior, with sleek lines and chrome touches that make MG's new compact SUV an exciting package. Adding a T at the end of the name is therefore more than meets the eye.  A redesigned gloss-black grille and some gloss-black accents, like the mirror caps jumps to mind. There are new front and rear bumpers too, but it's under the hood where the biggest changes took place. A new engine, with more rigid structure providing a much improved ride.


It's impressive how much MG managed to put into this compact ZST for the price point. The ZST now boosts the same MG Pilot that big brother, the HS, already was equipped with.  It now has adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent headlight assist, as well as traffic jam assist. That's a big list of safety features by any standard.

Another great improvement compared to its predecessor is the new engine: a 1.3-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol. It now produces 115kW and 230Nm, which is 40 per cent more - a significant power and torque bump, and one that pays dividends on the road. You control the power through the smooth 6-speed automatic, and you won't have any trouble getting off the line at the traffic light anymore. You don't even have to make a sacrifice in regards to fuel efficiency, with an indicated use of 7.1L/100km.


The interior of the ZS T proves to be spacious and comfortable, with the synthetic leather trim and contrast stitched front seats giving the driver and passenger ample support, while the rear seats have enough leg space even for grown adults. The second-row passengers also get to use two USB points to keep devices topped up. That’s on top of the three USB points in the front row. Everything in the cabin is intuitively laid out and within easy reach.  Storage options include a cubby ahead of the gear lever, and a central storage bin. Plus the door pockets are big enough for 600ml bottles, always a plus.

The 10.1 inch colour touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and looks smart together with its all-digital instrument pack in the top-of-the-line Essence model.  Behind the second row is 359L of boot space, which is good for this size car.  Fold the second row away and there’s 1187L, again about the standard for similar sized cars in the class.


Of course the major draw card for the MG ZST is its price tag. Starting with the Excite for under $30k, you get the whole MG Pilot driver safety suite, the 10.1-inch multi-function colour touch screen with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, Navigation, Keyless entry & push button start, Rain sensing wipers, Synthetic leather interior trim with contrast stitching, LED headlights and taillights, 17” Two-tone machined alloy wheels and more.

Add $3000 and you'll be seated in the Essence model, which boasts a panoramic stargazer sunroof, full digital instrument cluster, 6-way electric driver front seat and front seat heating. That's a lot for very little. Plus all new MG's come with a comprehensive 7-year unlimited kilometre manufacturer warranty as standard, plus you'll receive MG Motor Roadside Assist.


You cannot deny that the MG ZST looks fresh, from front to back. It comes with a badge that boasts a long history, yet fits with the modern lifestyle many young Australian have and need an affordable car to match.

It's the price that will attract most buyers. There is very little competition out there offering a similar package for a the same - let alone, less - money. The ZST is a value proposition you must put on your shopping list.

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