The new MG ZST Crossover SUV comes with a turbo-powered engine and all the niceties
Just like a catchy song with lyrics that hit the spot, set on a melody that changed an entire genre.
That was the MG ZS back in 2018 when it was first introduced to a local market that’s jaded and almost traumatized with automobiles that originate from a certain country in Eastern Asia. People intrigued with its smart looks drove it, loved it, and discovered that it’s really deserving of that iconic English badge it proudly carried.
To make a brief story short, it was a hit.
The MG ZS in its Alpha top tier edition mainly paved the way for its other MG siblings to be recognized and widely accepted by Filipinos (yes even those who have no clue of the brand’s British roots) to its current 10,000+ units-strong loyal following.
Just recently though, Morris Garages (yep, that’s what it stands for, young ‘uns) rolled out a remake of that hit without losing even a bit of its magic. In fact, its new arrangement seems really attuned with the times, it’s more than ready to take on the tracks of its original version without skipping a beat. I’m glad to have been asked to plug-in ahead of my colleagues to check out the new MG ZST.
The “T”on the ZST first and foremost, stands for Turbo. You know, that metal donut looking thing that sucks in air and forces it into the engine for a more explosive internal combustion, to make it churn out more power, give it a peppy and punchy zing, effectively making a smaller engine equipped with it, more powerful and fuel efficient than a bigger one that isn’t. The MG ZST is powered by a 1.3-liter gasoline engine that delivers 160hp and 230Nm of torque. It’s like your favorite song with beefed-up percussions and a thumpier bass line, that in effect speeds up the tempo. The “T” also stands for Trophy, which indicates that it’s the top spec variant in the ZS model line, so stemming from a well upgraded powerplant, the ZST has been considerably dialed up all around as well.
Bold two tone 17-inch alloy rims are stuffed into wider low-profile tires. The front and rear disc brake calipers are also in bright Red, clearly hinting its sporty intent. Its redesigned headlamps that now are full-LED projector equipped, flank the new Obsidian Matrix grille that complement a wider front air dam. Those, along with gloss black accents and re-sculpted body lines amount to more than just a makeover. But that’s the intro and the verses, wait ‘til you hear the Chorus.
Inside, the leather clad seats were given Red stitching and embroidered MG monograms. Their virtual instrument cluster they call “Goggles” display crisp and clear infographics, which leads us to its large 10.1-inch non-reflective HD infotainment display, that of course is Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible, which is then hooked up to a well-tuned 6-speaker audio system that they had me test in an… um, unconventional but “hella-fun” way: Carpool Karaoke style! The hip dudes from MG picked me up and had me belting out a couple of my fave “British Invasion” new wave songs as we drove around (after we all tested negative from you know what, of course) my neighborhood.
The music from the speakers sounded great and pretty well-balanced, especially with the improved noise, vibration and (NVH) harshness levels! We would’ve jammed some more, had they not needed to squeeze a few songs from Meds Marfil, vocalist of the band True Faith, on their next carpool. Hah, like me, he too had a blast in the ZST, saying it’s “Perfect”.
So, I’d say the MG ZST is much more than a rehash, a remix, or mere reissue. It’s a major rearrangement that plays back all of the magic of its original version, but embellishes it with serious upgrades that’d certainly be music to one’s ears and senses! At P1,158,888 it definitely is worth a listen. Er, a good look. Or jam.