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Seven-year warranty for new MG ZS

Forthcoming MG ZS SUV range to start at £12,495

MG has announced that its Nissan-Juke-rivalling SUV will start at £12,495 at launch – and that a seven-year/80,000-mile warranty will be included in the price.

After a little confusion over the name of the new model – the car was badged XS at its London Motor Show unveiling – the ZS is scheduled for launch on 1 November and will sit below the MG GS in the former British marque's line-up, where it'll compete with the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.

After some press speculation, MG has also revealed that the ZS range will start at £12,495, significantly undercutting some of its strongest rivals, while coming with a seven-year warranty. That's close to what you get with a Kia – although the South Korean carmaker allows a 100,000-mile limit, eclipsing the 80,000 maximum on the MG policy.

Two engines will be offered for the MG ZS and manual or automatic gearboxes can be chosen. The ZS will be built in China, MG having now ceased production at its Longbridge, Birmingham plant. The octagon-badged company's design and engineering teams still occupy part of the famous factory, though.

Styling

MG claims the ZS is the first car to carry its new 'design language' and that it provides clues about the design of forthcoming MG models. According to the company, "emotional dynamism" accentuates "the car's desirability, accessibility and dynamic stance".

Off-road prowess is hinted at by the skid plate mounted under the ZS' nose, although there's no word on whether four-wheel drive will be offered. It complies with all the expected crossover styling tropes of bulky, muscular wheelarches, plastic body cladding and roof rails, while a large mesh grille and prominent badge hint at its MG heritage. A wide range of colour-co-ordinated interior and exterior styling options are expected, which should prove popular with buyers who expect to make their mark on a new car.

Carl Gotham, who heads up MG's parent company's European design centre, said: “It’s a really exciting time for MG as it starts to roll out its new brand identity. Emotional Dynamism brings to the fore a premium feel to the new Compact-SUV with exceptional attention to detail throughout, such as the distinctive detailing on the ‘eye’ headlights and signature tail lights. It has a level of detailing and range of impressive features you would not expect to find on a car of this size or price.”

Engines

The ZS will sit beneath the existing MG GS SUV in the range and shares many components with that car, including its 1.5-litre petrol engine. Although it isn’t yet known if it’ll be available in the UK, the ZS is also being designed to accommodate a 1.0-litre petrol engine with three cylinders – a setup already seen in the Ford EcoSport, with its excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine.

MG’s 1.0-litre even offers a claimed 123bhp – an identical figure to the Ford – along with the 1.5-litre producing 118 or 164bhp. A six-speed manual gearbox and automatic seven-speed twin-clutch transmission are likely to be offered, while there’s currently no word on a diesel engine. The larger MG GS is currently only available with a petrol engine.

MG says the architecture used by the ZS could also support a larger model in the future, so a seven-seat model that would rival the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail could be in the pipeline.

Price

While this could woo some customers, the biggest selling point should be the MG ZS' low price. Starting at £12,495 the ZS is set to undercut the comparable Nissan Qashqai by around £6,000, and the smaller Nissan Juke by almost £2,000. This makes it one of the most affordable crossovers available, with only the Dacia Duster being available for less.

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