THERE can be no denying that the initial attraction of MG's ZS family SUV is the price.

It comes with a price tag of just under £16,00 for the entry-level Excite version and a little over £18,000 for the Exclusive model.

So one might presume that the ZS skimps on quality at those prices. But not a bit of it.

In fact, even though the price will certainly attract buyers, it is the attention to detail and the surprisingly high quality of the cabin that will seal many a deal. That's what has propelled MG to becoming the UK's fastest-growing car brand.

I tested the top-spec Exclusive model with a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, and on a dark night offered a lift to a couple of colleagues.

The ZS immediately attracted comments such as "this is very nice", and as they both sank into the plush leather-style seats and scanned their surroundings there were more favourable comments.

You cannot fail to be impressed by the roomy interior with its sliding and reclining rear seats, 10-inch touchscreen that handles climate control, navigation and infotainment and 360-degree parking camera. Heated seats with electric adjustment add to the feeling of well-being and there's a full suite of easy-to-use technology including a digital display for the driver.

MG has also been busy updating the exterior too. There's a new design grille with a confident, larger MG logo, full LED headlights in a sharper design and new alloy wheels. There's also an all-electric version.

Tracing its history back to 1924, MG now Chinese-owned - is the iconic British motoring brand, famous for building sporty, exciting and value-for-money cars.

The ZS may not be exciting to drive, but it does offer fantastic value. The tested 1.5-litre engine has only moderate pace and is quite noisy at motorway speeds. The alternative turbo-charged 1.0T GDI might well be a better option.

Whichever, the precise steering and lack of body roll make the ZS a very satisfactory drive about town.

MG has pulled off the trick of bringing an uplift in specification and quality to the ZS while maintaining its key value-for money positioning alongside Dacia's Duster. And it still comes with a seven-year warranty.

The ZS has become MG's biggest selling car through its value-for-money motoring that offers buyers a spacious, family-friendly car, packed with technology.

Inside, the new MG ZS features a stylish new dashboard design with more soft touch materials than ever before, finished with detail stitching. The central floating colour touchscreen is the centrepiece, featuring DABsatellite, Bluetooth telephone and music streaming, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with Exclusive versions also including satellite navigation and that very handy 360-degree reversing camera. A series of piano key buttons arranged beneath the touchscreen take care of the air conditioning and other comfort controls.

All versions come with three power assisted steering modes urban, normal and dynamic.

Available with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, the ZS has a disappointing acceleration figure of 0 to62 mph, while the combined fuel consumption figure is only reasonable at 41.4 mpg.

Where the ZS scores highly is the shoulder, leg and headroom capacities, which is the best in its segment,. In addition, there's an incredible 448 litres of boot capacity (some 60 litres larger than the typical B-SUV) plus a split-level boot that provides plenty of room for luggage.

If you are looking for a well-specified and roomy SUV offering great value and an eye-catching warranty, then the ZS should be at the top of your shopping list.


MG ZS Exclusive

Price: £18,295 (Excite version from £15,995)

Engine: Four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol, producing 106 PS

Transmission: Five-speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0 to 60mph in 10.5 seconds; top speed 109mph

Economy: 41.4mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 155 g/km


Performance: ***

Economy: ***

Ride/Handling: ***

Space/Practicality: ****

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: *****