9 February 2021

MG ZST 2020 Car Review

Towards the back end of last year, we started seeing model year 2021 vehicles make their way into New Zealand. These included some great vehicles like the MG ZS EV, GWM Cannon ute and the LDV Deliver 9 van, which were all available at competitive prices.

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MG ZST 2020
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MG ZST 2020
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MG ZST 2020
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MG ZST 2020

Another MG vehicle - the ZST - was also launched, adding yet another reasonably priced SUV to our roads. Set to enhance the already available ZS range, the ZST offers a more premium choice compared to the other SUVs that MG offer. Comprising of just two variants – Excite ($30,990 + ORC) and Essence ($33,990 + ORC) - both feature a powerful 1.3-litre turbocharged engine with automatic transmission.


The fit and finish in our Diamond Red Essence test model was impressive, with the black gloss trimmings providing a hint of sportiness and luxury to the exterior. The interior of the car is brimming with soft-touch materials, including synthetic leather upholstery and seats, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The top-spec Essence model adds heated seats for the two occupants in the front and also an electronically adjustable seat on the driver’s side. To top it off there is a 1.19m² panoramic stargazer sunroof. In an MG first, the Essence also features a seven-inch digital dashboard inside the full virtual instrument cluster, which seats neatly alongside a 10.1-inch touch screen infotainment system, which is quite basic but easy to use.


The drive and handling of the ZST is in line with its looks – both refined and sporty. Of course, it’s by no means a powerhouse but the 115kW output from the little 1.3-litre turbo engine is enough for the everyday drive, and the six-speed transmission is a welcomed addition over the five-speed found in the standard ZS. The overall vibe in the car is one of satisfaction; it has the looks, the drive, and all the features that you’re bound to love. The MG ZST is an attractive new car option at a very competitive price and is up against the likes of the Renault Duster, Haval H2 and Kia Seltos in the budget SUV category.

An enviable safety suite

The ZST adopts safety features not previously found in MG ZS vehicles - the MG Pilot.  This safety suite includes advanced driver assistance systems as standard, which represents excellent value for money in a vehicle of this size. A great range of standard features also include rain sensing wipers, LED headlights and tail lamps, a 360 degree camera, satellite navigation and keyless entry, just to name a few.

Why buy one?

The new MG ZST provides a compelling new option for customers and joins the expanding MG vehicle range which includes the popular MG3 small hatchback, the compact MG ZS SUV, the premium MG HS, as well as the all-electric MG ZS EV.

MG Motor, under the guidance of SAIC Motor, has established itself as a global brand which represents great value, impressive design, and decent build quality, all packed with innovative safety and driver technology. An impressive package.

At a glance

Model tested



1.3-litre turbo


From $30,990

ANCAP safety rating

Not yet rated


115kW, 230Nm


Six speed auto

Fuel economy


Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

359L (seats up)

Safety systems

  • Six airbags
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

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