Who Has Purchased The MG ZS?

I’m looking at the new MG essence ZS and wondering if anyone has purchased it; how much you ended up getting it for; and experience so far?
Any help appreciated. This will be my first new car purchase, so out of comfort zone.
Cheers and thanks in advance.


  • +55 votes

    Do not buy this car. It's a Chinese made piece of junk. There are many better cars for the money.

    • +21 votes

      There is a 999cc engine under the bonnet trying to push 1300kg. This must be a joke.

      • +6 votes

        That can't be right…

        Holy hell, that's right.

      • +5 votes

        As a counterpoint to that, Ford's 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine has won Engine of the Year 6 years straight and is a little gem.

        • +5 votes

          Engine of the year? Who gives out these awards? Ford?

          Guess they didn’t get one for the Ford Focus RS and Mustang ecoBoost engines with their “open deck” design…


          judged by a panel of automobile journalists

          Hahaha… so essentially a pointless award. Not engineers or scientists. Not judged by its peers, but judged by a group of people with degrees in writing stories for a living. :D


            @pegaxs: Pity the suckers who have that turbo turd from Ford. They couldn't even get the head gasket part numbers right!
            Numbers. Similar heads. Bit confusing for the once-mighty blue oval <cough powershit trans>


          I can see why, had one in a rental. Once that little turbo spools up and you hit overboast you feel like your in a V6 or something, there is a quite a bit of torque steer, but not enough to upset the driving, just need to be aware of it. BUT with a few people it struggles to accelerate and you find yourself shifting down to get it to move. So a nice engine, but if you drive it like a rental it drinks, and while it's got torque, it's got mis-matched power. 92kW/200Nm is a little weird, it drives more like on/off, i.e. you're either hooning or not moving.

          As a side note, it not the most balanced engine and you can see the lengths Ford went to to get vibration at idle not to resonate throughout the car. The turbo is about the size of a fist and the engine you could fit in carry-on!! f**king amazing!

          Still, better then my s**tbox!

        • +1 vote

          Eh. Engines need a few years in the field before they can really be judged. You can have the greatest performing, most efficient, engine on the market - but if it involves putting a lot of extra stresses on the engine block/components that lead to it crapping itself within 10 years? Not such a great engine after all.

          That's why Toyotas and Hondas do so well - they've mostly stuck (until recently?) to naturally aspirated, bigger volume engines that might put out less power than they could if turbo'd, etc, but which stress the components a lot less and so not only helps engine life, but also why some of them can be tuned so bloody crazily and not blow up - because there's just so much headroom available.

    • +12 votes

      Put it this way, Toyota from Jan-August sold 148k cars. Mazda sold 79k and Hyundai comes third with 65k cars.

      MG has sold 1584 total.


      The age old question: Can quality products come from China?

      • +1 vote

        Yes, with oversight from companies that have good engineering practices and a strict QA process etc. Generally not for locally engineered and manufactured goods especially when it's copied knock-offs although some exceptions apply.

        • +2 votes

          Not so easy. There is still an issue of changing consumer perceptions. Even their citizens don't trust companies doing business in China. A company tried to go and capture demand for baby formula, but had to shut down their Chinese operations because people preferred the cans from stockpilers.

      • +1 vote

        I love my Ducky Keyboard, and Lenovo laptops are pretty ok given the price.

      • +3 votes

        Yes. It's more QA/QC which gives Chinese made products a bad rep. After all, iPhones (to use the most obvious example) come from China.

        On the other hand - this isn't just a matter of Chinese manufacturing, but also Chinese R&D, which depends on whether they kept on the original MG designers and/or if they made good hiring choices.

        As examples - Volvo has done better under Geely ownership than under Ford ownership, and Jaguar has done better under Tata (Indian) ownership than…. whoever owned them before.

      • +1 vote

        Almost everything you buy from clothes to iPhones to Shampoo to laptops is made in China. Quality can be good or bad.

      • +2 votes

        The answer is no. Because if you can't trust their food don't bother trusting their car safety.

        China only good for smartphone and IT gadgets

        This is because of industrial standards and high competition, with global market and demand, plus Apple leading the way with very high manufacturing and QA standards. Companies then followed at the factories.

        However the same cannot be said for cars or food or medication. There has been quality issues, fakes, food poisoning, all sort of nasty stuff including vaccines that don't work injected to people ripping off government and citizens

        Why do you think they keep buying our agricultural products? Or winery, land, farms, medicine, vitamins, milk powder? Not to mention those middle class who can afford would trust overseas products more than their own

        Stay away if quality and safety is your concern

        There are so many scum bags out there making a buck or two by skimming on quality and safety of their products. They can actually get away with it even lied to communist government

  • +24 votes


  • +13 votes

    check out caradvice for some reviews, not people who's never bought the car, let alone ridden in one.

  • +8 votes

    MG is chinese owned and manufactured now - basically a 'great wall' like level of manufacturing.

    If you value your money and want quality, please don't buy this car.

  • +9 votes

    Taking the bus is arguably better than buying an MG

  • +2 votes

    Unless you plan to keep the car beyond five years, your biggest concern should resale value.
    At the five year mark there's still two years warranty remaining. That's your best resale opportunity.

    • +1 vote

      The assumption you made here is that MG will still exist in 7 years time. People didn't want them in the UK, can't imagine demand for a revived Chinese variant.

      • +8 votes

        The earth can swallow MG and their Chinese owners whole. If it's sold here, the ACCC will make a ruling on third-party warranty provision. Should there be zero spare parts (highly unlikely) and cars can't be rectified under warranty, owners should get refunds or replacements.

        Besides, the badge has been around 90+ years. Do you seriously believe the Chinese can mismanage the automotive sector better than Brits (BL) or Aussies (take your pick).

        Besides #2, They're certainly not mismanaging Volvo. Oh look, the Volvo XC60 was Wheels COTY 2018…


            @whooah1979: Thanks for the link.
            Cadogan is a polarising figure. I happen to like his no BS approach.

            However, he specified the MY15 XC60 of a certain spec, and was having a go at the expensive options and subsequent resale. Option-loading may help with quicker resale, but it's usually unwise to over-capitalise in any new car.

            A common tip is to buy the entry or lowest tolerable variant of a given car. That's where they make the least margin.

          • +1 vote

            @whooah1979: Beat me to it.
            A must see for any new car buyer.

        • +5 votes

          Please don't use Wheels awards as any reference for credibility of a car. Volvo's have pour resale, and subsequently depreciation, poor build quality, are over priced.

          • +3 votes

            @Dedbny: Or to mention that COTY is usually based on nothing more than how much money a particular car maker spends on advertising with that magazine or website. It has nothing more to do with how good the car is, but how much money a manufacturer is willing to spend to buy the award.

            And really, Wheels magazine? Couldn’t scrape any lower in that barrel, hey Jim?

            • +2 votes

              @pegaxs: A quick Google reveals it was also awarded a 2018 World Car of the Year gong.

              Wheels? A panel of six or so automotive journalists with 100+ years combined experience. Sound reasoning in the whole 20+ page COTY article. Yeah, I'll disregard a well-respected and loved Aussie mag that's been around much longer than you or I.

              Instead, I'll go to your websites for entertaining and informative reading on all things cars. Could you post your URLs please?

              Oh, and since you've accused them of impropriety, a link to proof of that too.

              • +4 votes

                @Speckled Jim: The last group on earth that I would entrust to give me unbiased reviews on anything, is from a company thats primary existence is based on ad revenue.

                Car makers are known to throw backhanders and put on lavish junkets for automotive review magazines and their “journalists” and then swiftly remove those pleasures should any review site give an honest and/or damning review.

                And I have never been a fan of the adding up of experience. No, sorry, six old, opinionated, paid off, junket receiving, biased reviewers does not make up “over 100 years of experience.” There is no way that this “group” has anywhere near the experience of someone who would have been doing it alone for 100 years. At best, they are only as good as the longest serving member.

                And again, most modern motoring journalists (and I use that term very loosely) are just paid off shills. They have a degree in how to write things that make people want to read them and seldom have any actual, hands on experience in the industry that they so often write about. (Food critics are a great example of this. Seldom are they chefs themselves.)

                And back to your COTY “gong” (You’ve been reading a little too much hype.) It all comes back to who pays for it. Who has spent the most throughout the year on advertising, who threw on the best junkets and who gave out the most freebies and lent the most long term loan cars. That’s it.

                I spent a number of years working for a dealer that was very cosy with the manufacturer. I was often involved in prepping the cars that go out to “journalists”. These were hardly the same cars nor the same treatment that you got as a regular buyer. I also became aware of how and why certain reviewers were treated like kings and others were blacklisted from even test driving a vehicle. Wheels magazine was on top of the king list, because they knew that Wheels could easily be bought off to give glowing reviews, even on shit box products.

                Oh and the “herp derp, I want links or it’s not true…” tantrum thing, start with Google. All I could come up with was logical fallacies. Burden of proof and appeal to authority comes to mind…

                As for my recommendation for “journalistic integrity” when it comes to reviews. I find that independent reviewers on YouTube do a much better job, as they are not supported by being shills to big car companies and can say what they really think. Try out “Regular Car Reviews” if you need a bit of a chuckle.

                (For extra giggles, type in “are motoring journalists biased” into Google and nearly every link is a motoring website or magazine frantically trying to justify that they aren’t…)

                • -1 vote

                  @pegaxs: So you tar them ALL with the brush of corruption? There must be mountains of evidence then!

                  If you're suggesting good hospitality, decent service, a clean vehicle, a serviced vehicle, professional courtesy etc has corrupted the motoring press? That's on the manufacturers attempting to entrap journalists. Their job is to accept what's reasonable, filter out all the noisy hype and judge a product on its merits.

                  I'm well aware that magazines and all print media are dying a slow death. You've admitted — without any real proof — who keeps handing them the poison chalice.


                    @Speckled Jim: *yawn* Ok. I’ll break the crayons out to explain it some more…

                    Yes. I tar ALL reviewers that rely on paid advertising to keep their ventures afloat as being corrupt. They exist to do the bidding of their renters. How long do you think these motoring sites would last if they started telling readers their unbiased thoughts? Car companies would stop plying these reviewers with free lavishments the moment they read a bad review of their vehicles.

                    Good reviews pay the bills and get advertisers. Bad reviews get the opposite. It is in review publications best interests to suck hole to the big players and rag on car makers that don’t advertise with them. Pouring bad reviews on non-advertising companies has the placebo effect of making reviewers look un-biased and can ha ve the knock on effect of making the smaller player come to the table with more advertising and freebies for more favourable reviews in the future.

                    And the reason print media is dying is that they did it to themselves. There are so many more “independent” people coming and going and forums like this that exist that give consumers a much more unbiased opinion from people are actual owners or have realistic hands on experience with the products in question.

                    Anyway, you keep reading Wheels magazine for their “un-biased” reviews.

                    But this conversation has run its course. You are not going to convince me or most others on here that advertising supplemented review outlets are honest, and I’m not going to convince you that they are outright corrupt, biased lieing shitbags. So, for that reason, I’m out. :)

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for your advice !

  • +5 votes

    Thanks for your opinion. I’m guessing no one has actually bought the car? I’ve test drove it, and it drives really well. I’ve also read a lot of reviews and they all sit at the 8.5/10. So that’s better then most. I’m really after the opinion of those who have bought it or know of those who have. I do appreciate everyone’s opinions though and thank you for them.

    • +5 votes

      I’m guessing no one has actually bought the car?

      There are compelling reasons for this.

      Here is review Mazda CX-3 Maxx v MG ZS Essence comparison review
      Spoiler alert: Mazda is much better in the areas which are the most important.

      Have you got links to the reviews you have seen?


        I’ve read reviews on car sales/guide/advice, guardian and drive.
        Thanks for the link. The Mazda is another 6+K, so out of my price range.
        I’ll keep looking and test driving other cars till I find one that suits my price range/needs.

        • +7 votes

          Remember the true 'net' cost of the car is not the purchase price, it is the amount you paid minus what you sell it for when you are finished with it.

          This WILL be SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive in total cost of ownership than ANY mainstream US/Japanese/Korean brand.

          If you go to an auction it is not unusual for 1~3 year old Chinese vehicles to sell at an 80% discount to their new price. And that is while they are still under warranty…

          Buy Chinese pay $20k, sell for $4k 3 years later vs buy Japanese/Korean, pay $24k and sell for $14k 3 years later. The Chinese car cost you $6k more, for something worth less, that is less reliable. It is not a good deal.

          If a new Japanese or Korean car is out of your budget buy one or two year old, you will still have warranty and now that equation above becomes more like pay $18k, sell $10k… HALF the price of buying Chinese.

    • +5 votes

      Be cautious of positive reviews for this car. If its carsguide or one of those Aussie reviewer its probably sponsored. As Baysew has noted. There's a reason why were are not recommending this car to you. Use your head rather than your heart. You are already putting yourself in a bad position for buying it new with any new car as soon as you walk out the door you will lose 5K just for the pleasure of a new car. Worse over time with this as well.

      If your willing to look at demos try those, but just not any of these Chinese brands.

    • +4 votes

      the problem on asking here is you get everyone commenting who's an 'expert' on cars. They do it for everything though because anything to do with spending money is sacreligious to them. They seem to be experts on holiday destinations they have never been, experts on careers they have never done, experts on law lol … jack of all trades.. master of none

    • +12 votes

      I’ve also read a lot of reviews and they all sit at the 8.5/10.

      No they don't?


      Carsguide: 6.5/10
      Caradvice: 7.1/10
      Exhaust Notes: 3.5/5
      Motoring: 60/100
      Car Conversation: 7.5/10
      Drive: 6.5/10
      Car Review Central: 3.8/5

      So ~6.9/10 on average and nothing above 7.6/10.


      I think it's reliability, support and resale that are the biggest unknowns when it comes to this car.

  • +3 votes

    Do not buy. This is as far as you should take it. Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Mazda should be your brands to start with for first new car.

      • +1 vote

        The advice is likely based on the distribution channels of the brands.

        MG basically doesn't have one in Australia. I'd be pretty surprised if they sell 500 of any of their vehicles a month in Australia. It sells so few vehicles that there's a tiny local infrastructure unlikely to be able to provide good service.

        Toyota is the market leader in Australia generally taking almost 20% of all vehicle sales. Mazda comes in second around 10%. Hyundai a point or two behind those two. They are the top three brands in Australia and have the biggest infrastructure and supply chains along with relatively good reputations for service. Hyundai is the parent company of Kia and many/most of their vehicles share many/most of their components with Hyundai.

  • +18 votes

    Mechanic by trade here, 30 years' experience in the automotive industry. Steer clear of anything Chinese, including these MG shitboxes. Only consider Japanese or Korean except Daewoos with Holden badges.

  • +1 vote

    Please tell me that this is not just a cheap Chinese knock off of a Mazda CX3? It doesn’t look like a re-badging, but just a really bad knockoff…

    MG cars have been garbage for years. I would argue that MG cars have always been garbage, but a few old, grey haired codgers on here will get butt hurt and pile on the neg votes.


      No, you're right. They've been rubbish for decades.


        I still have nightmares about working on the early 2000’s models and their K series engines. Damn they were a shitbox car. Or even further back with the “rubber nose”. Gawd awful cars. Typical poor Pommy build quality of the era. And they sold it to the Chinese. Oh well, at least they will keep the true marquee value of the brand, “trash tier engineering and construction”, so these new MGs may still feel like they are Pommy built. :D


    "I’ve also read a lot of reviews and they all sit at the 8.5/10."

    So what? Most wines have won "medals" at "wineshows" and carry more than 90 out 100 Halliday or Hooke "points". You need to get a better/smarter criteria.

    Get the specs and compare from there. All new cars "drive well".

  • +5 votes

    Seems like OP wants people to 'Validate their choice' as oppose to 'changing their minds'

    • -2 votes

      Incorrect. I am after genuine opinions from those who have purchased the MG or have had experience with this car.

      • +4 votes

        save yourself the headache and purchase a jap or korean made vehicle. stay away from british chinese made tin boxes.



        • -4 votes

          If you're gonna use the word Jap, then hey, why don't you say Gook while you're at it. Oh and Chink tin boxes too…it's only a word, right?

          • +1 vote

            @manbearpig: One is a valid abbreviation of the word "Japanese". The others are intentional derogatory words.

            The context above was clearly not derogatory where they're in fact recommending them. It's no different to calling someone a Brit or Arab etc.

            • -2 votes

              @Hybroid: Your comment speaks nothing but ignorance. It's not simply just an abbreviation. Do you not know anything about history? Try saying it to a Japanese person's face.

              Even if it's not used intentionally as a derogative term, you can't just use it and say 'no offense'. It's like me calling someone a nigger and saying 'oh, I don't mean to offend'. The word is connected with history in a bad way, just as 'Jap' is.


                @manbearpig: Except that every reference you've used is a slang word. Jap is a shortening of Japanese obviously. What about Thai?

                Aussies (hey there's another one) shorten. We call New Zealanders kiwis.

                There's no way it was meant to offend

                • -1 vote

                  @Spackbace: I'm not saying it was meant to offend. But whether it was meant to offend or not is completely irrelevant.

                  It may look like a simple shortening of the word, but it's the connotation and historical meaning that it carries that is why it's not appropriate. It has historically been used derogatively. If people can't understand this fact, then it just shows how ignorant people in this country are. My God. Thai, kiwi, Aussie—these have NEVER been used as an ethnic slur in history. That's why they are not derogative. Jap was used as an ethnic slur in WW2 by the Allies which is why it's offensive.


      • +3 votes

        If you are on ozbargain then money matters to you and presumably, you don't like wasting it. I think that's basically what posters here are trying to save you from, irrespective of whether they own one or not.

  • +7 votes

    No one with a brain would buy one. I've driven one and it drives and feels like an econobox from 10 years ago would (e.g like a 1st gen Yaris or 2nd gen Rio). Not bad, but definitely nowhere near the competition today, not to mention its not put together with any sort of precision with quality varying greatly between cars… and at 23k you're much better off avoiding the whole SUV fad and going with something like the new gen Cerato or Corolla. When you compare on price alone to one of those, you'd be insane to choose the MG over it or anything else for that sort of price.

  • +8 votes

    First brand new car, so wants to avoid pitfalls, yet won't listen to advice to avoid the brand sigh

    OP - the car isn't going to be reliable or a pleasure to own, and you'll forever think "god if only I spent a bit more". All reviews say the drive is average, and the car lacks the modern safety features which you'd find in the competition (lane departure, radar cruise etc).

    Long warranties are pointless to rely on if the car is constantly in getting fixed, meaning time off the road and added hassle.

    There's also no mention of capped price servicing on their site, which means your cost of ownership could be high because of the cheap purchase price.

    Look at Mazda and Toyota for reliability. Hell even a 1yo ex-rental ASX would be a better option.

  • +3 votes

    First car? Skip the MG - I have read nothing but average (at best) reviews on this car. From a safety point of view, chinese made cars often perform poorly so better check out the ANCAP rating for more due diligence.

    That say, for a first car, why not go for something good value & reliable like a Toyota Corolla. The new model came out a few months ago so the car will look up to date for the next two or so years before they do some minor upgrades to it.


    A guy at work, who i sat near got a Great Wall X240 or something.

    I haven't spoken to him in 5 years.

  • +15 votes

    I used to have an MG - it was one of the best cars I've ever had. Really a lot of fun to drive and relatively cheap to own - yes it had its issues and bits would fail, but it was easy to get parts for, and simple to repair. Thing is, it was an MGA from 1960. The MG-ZS is a car that happens to be made by the company that bought the brand name but otherwise has no connection with the original company.

    Firstly, let's get over the whole made in China thing. A lot of really well made goods come from there - such as, for example, the iPhone. Yes, iPhones can have manufacturing issues but that's only to be expected given how many are made and you don't hear of people saying 'don't buy an iPhone - it's made in China so must be rubbish'. Heck, I'm writing this on my Chinese made Macbook which is probably one of the best computers I've ever had.

    Now, the car itself. From face value the MG ZS looks good - the price is good, and it looks the part. Close up though it shows that it has sadly been "made to a price". The finish is not anywhere near as good as the competitors, and (although I will admit to not having bothered driving one) the word is that it's not competitive there either. Ignoring the drive, I'll just look at the cost of ownership. It's slightly cheaper than most to purchase, but it is very likely that they will depreciate faster - the MG is a relatively niche car brand so most second hand buyers will probably go for a second hand Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, etc which means resale prices will be comparatively low. It has a decent warranty, but the car needs to be serviced every 10,000km or 6 months - whichever comes first. Yes, 6 months (https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-reviews/mg-zs-68419). This is the biggest warning sign that the car is not designed to last. If you miss one of those 6 month services, that will impact on your ability to claim a warranty repair. From the T's and C's "Note: Failure to perform maintenance promptly and in accordance with MG specified service intervals will invalidate warranty coverage on the parts effected."

    So, would I consider one? Maybe, if the price was significantly cheaper than the opposition to balance out the possible issues with quality, usability, and resale value. Thing is, there are alternatives. The cheapest ZS is $22,490 drive away (in Melbourne). The Suzuki Vitara is $21,990 drive away. The Mazda CX-3 and Mitusbishi ASX start at $23,990 drive away. Renault Captur $24,490. Ford Ecosport $24,596. Hyundai Kona $25,990. Keep in mind that if you go to a dealer and make it clear that you are willing to buy immediately for the right price, you could negotiate a better deal - either cheaper or a few extras thrown in for free. You can also get cheaper if you're willing to pickup a demo car. If you're willing to consider second hand, then you will save a lot more by getting a 2 or 3 year old car that may still have a decent amount of warranty left whilst skipping the initial depreciation pain.

    In short, as much as I would love to see the MG brand back on the roads in strength, this car does not seem close to being competitive. They need to either up the quality to make those service periods 12 months, or reduce the price significantly.

    • +1 vote

      Chinese cars will be perceived as "dodgy" for now and many years to come. IN the past few years, from a safety point of view, some cars made in China were getting 3 stars for safety, then in the last 12 months, they are trying to "improve" their game … that said, it is still not good enough.

      According to ANCAP, MG ZS is only rated 4 stars.


      Whilst all the other cars in the Small SUV class have 5 stars.



        Just for some insights on this perception : LDV D90 is ANCAP 5 stars.

        But yes, MG is shitbox.


          But yes, how many prior of its kind prior to this were no stars?

          So in late 2017 SAIC managed to finalise a ute/SUV (T60/D90) to withstand a front-end crash test. I'd like to see either attempting this:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoHbn8-ROiQ. Let alone handle some other more dynamic real world situations.

          No doubt the MG would make it look positively safe on the tarmac <sarcasm>. Without having to turn a corner, it achieved only 3 stars in the EuroNCAP. In the various clips on the web (yet to see one that is not clearly amateur/corrupted) it understeers like a a supertanker and relies entirely on active controls that come into play when things get too far out of shape.

          All that aside… this alone would do it for me: Fr/ Whichcar article:

          "… the engine lacks refinement and quickly runs out of puff beyond 5000rpm. The six-speed auto wants for calibration finesse, hunting up hills and suffering from low-speed lurching" I'd hate to imagine how the MG would be to drive after a few years. Def better even with a Mitsu 'Shitsu" or a Shanghai GM

          Also noticed in some reviews how the interior plastics were already scratching/showing serious wear on the demo models!

    • +1 vote

      Plasticspaceman, thank you for your comment. I really appreciate your opinion. !


      So sad.

      MGs were such a great fun part of the 1960s.

      One of my favorite cars was a mate's TF.

      Had a little bit to do with the MG Car Club back then.
      Averel McCandless was their President or Secretary.Real gentleman.


    There's a reason why a majority of people are telling you not to buy this car. You're asking for peoples experience?… this IS their experience.

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