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Launched at the London Motor Show earlier this year and taking on a badge made famous by MG saloons of the past, the new ZS is sits under the larger GS in the range. Joining the already successful and nippy MG3.

After driving the GS last year, it was clear to see MG was going for the market trends and hearing what customers wanted from their new cars.

The company claims to have “taken on feedback from customers” when developing the ZS and have tuned it to meet UK road demands.  Let’s see if it can really take on the Nissan Juke head-to-head.

Looking at the ZS from the front and you’ll instantly see the new MG design language coming through, with the new face.  This will feature on all new MG models going forward.

Entry-level models, the Explore, starts from £12,495 and is cheaper than the Juke, by almost £3000.

We tested the top-of-the-range model, the Exclusive, which costs £17,495.  MG has claimed the ZS will continue the brand’s plans for “affordable prices” and “customers will agree” the ZS is their “best car yet”.  So, is it?

With the ZS, there are two engines available.  The first is a 1.5-litre, 105bhp engine from the MG3 and a General Motors co-developed 1.0-litre, which we tested here, with 109bhp.  This is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.    The automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive.

The ZS has been tuned for UK roads and has three driving modes to choose from – Urban, Normal and Dynamic.  MG claim it’s like having “three cars in one”.  But, unless you really want to try them all, the Normal mode will suit all driving tastes.

Handling is good, but it’s not the best.   The MG ZS rides well and the body is under control at high speeds.   Wind noise is a problem, but it isn’t unbearable.

MG are making big claims about the car’s interior quality and space, with an aim of doubling sales by “attracting new customers”.

Load space inside of the MG is good, and claims to be “class-leading”.  With 448 litres of boot space with the seats in place, it has a split-level boot, which means the seats can be folded, to enjoy 1,375 litres of boot space.

The interior from the drivers view, isn’t all that bad.  There are some nice design touches in the cabin, but the steering wheel can become uncomfortable at times, due to there being no reach adjustment.  Some of the interior quality is questionable, but it is a step-up from the MG6 and showcases the brands future.

The new ZS gives customers a new option to consider, alongside the ‘run of the mill’ models, which they seem to just add to their lists.

Prices start at £12,495 for the Explore model, £13,995 for the Excite and topping off at £15,495 for the Exclusive.  The ZS is £2,000 more for the automatic option.

The car also features a seven-year/80,000 mile warranty, which is an industry-first and should keep Kia awake at night.

MG ZS goes on sales tomorrow (1st November)

CB Online