MG ZS SUV facelifted for 2020

MG ZS gets updates inside and out; entry-level model dropped

Both models get LED headlightsOnly one engine offeredOn sale now starting from £15,495

The MG ZS has been given a midlife update with new styling and extra kit. Despite being bigger than many of its rivals, including the SEAT Arona, Nissan Juke and Hyundai Kona, the ZS is one of the cheapest SUVs on sale, even now that the entry-level model has been discontinued. The updated ZS is available to order with prices starting from £15,495 for the Excite trim, rising to £17,795 for the range-topping Exclusive model.

2020 MG ZS styling

The ZS ushered in MG’s new family face when it launched in the UK in late 2017, and it still looks smart - if slightly bland. Facelifted models get a reshaped grille that’s bigger than before, with a stylish black surround on top-spec Exclusive. All models now feature LED headlights as standard, with a more angular design similar to the one seen on the Mercedes A-Class.

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At the rear, the tail-lights are much more intricate than before, and are LED as standard. A reworked rear bumper now includes two fake exhaust pipes. Buyers can order the new MG ZS in one of six colour shades, including a new ‘Battersea Blue’ paint finish.

Two new wheel designs are also available, with both Excite and Exclusive trim cars getting their own specific set of 17-inch alloy wheels.

Interior and technology

Every version of the facelifted MG ZS gets a new 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, which features a new streamlined design. It boasts a vast array of functionality, including a DAB radio, Bluetooth telephone and music streaming, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Exclusive spec cars get a digital dial cluster, sat nav, a 360-degree reversing camera and automatic windscreen wipers.

As well as a number of new soft touch materials throughout the interior, the new ZS features a redesigned set of physical buttons mounted beneath the infotainment screen, which are used to control the climate functions. Excite cars get cloth-trimmed seats, while the range-topping Exclusive trim level gets leather-style upholstery.

Engine

At launch, the facelifted MG ZS SUV models are only available with the 1.5-litre petrol engine from the carried over from the old car, although it has been tweaked to improve acceleration and economy. MG quotes a 0-62mph time of 10.9 seconds (about a second quicker than before) and 41.4mpg, while CO2 emissions of 155g/km mean it’s in one of the higher tax bands for company-car drivers. The engine lacks a turbocharger so often needs to be worked hard to make progress, while the five-speed gearbox is unconvincing and the lack of a sixth gear makes it a little unrefined on the motorway.

A turbocharged 1.0-litre engine mated to an automatic gearbox was previously available, and it was a much more modern-feeling powertrain. We’ll have to see whether MG will re-introduce this at a later date. The electric MG ZS EV SUV improves the driving experience considerably, and is good value compared to other electric SUVs.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The new MG ZS looks smarter and more upmarket than before, while the facelift also seems to have improved the feel of the interior. Extra standard equipment is welcome, and the ZS is still good value despite a price rise. Our initial impression is that the updates make the ZS a more attractive family SUV, and not just a car you’d buy for its low price. We just hope the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine returns, as the 1.5-litre engine is the weakest part of the package.

See where the pre-facelift MG ZS features on our list of the best cars for £150 per month.

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