MG is not the first brand to have a flagship variant whose engine displacement is smaller than its lower-end siblings. But thanks to the magic of turbocharging and direct-injection, the venerable UK brand, now owned by China’s SAIC conglomerate, is rolling out a new top-of-the-line model that bristles with newfound power despite a 200cc smaller displacement and one less cylinder.
Since MG Philippines opened its doors in 2018, the ZS model line has captivated audiences with its stylish looks, modern safety and driver assist features, and surprisingly attainable price points. As MG continues to grow in relevance and strengthen its value proposition among local car buyers, the brand’s ZS crossover remains a strong crowd favorite and consistent bestseller.
“When we launched the MG brand in 2018, our goal was clear: to be part of the exciting and growing Philippine automotive market, and to provide Filipinos with stylish, modern, and safe vehicles—but at very attainable price points,” says Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, President and CEO of MG Philippines. “The local market’s reception has been very encouraging indeed. In just three years, more Filipinos have chosen MG, and there are now over 10,000 MG’s on our roads, with several of those being the ever-popular ZS crossover SUV,” he added.
The ZS model lineup gains a new stablemate in the new flagship variant ZST: a fresh take on a crowd favorite, and the first MG to enter the Philippines sporting MG’s updated (read: sharper) global design language. The ZST joins the existing roster of ZS models currently available from MG Philippines, namely the Alpha AT, Style AT, and Style MT variants. “With the new ZST by MG, what customers get is an upgrade of all the best features of the original ZS, headlined by a responsive turbocharged engine that provides power on tap when you need that extra boost on the road,” says Arcilla.
The “T” in ZST stands for “turbo,” which is responsible for the crossover’s punchy 3-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that develops 161hp and 230Nm of turbocharged torque. It’s mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission with manual sports mode, that will allow drivers to enjoy smooth, fully automatic or driver-controlled upshifts and downshifts.
The new MG ZST stands proud with its “Trophy” trim, which denotes it as the highest-spec variant of the popular crossover SUV line. With its numerous upgrades, and host of driver and safety assist features usually found in more premium segments, the ZST is primed to boost your overall driving experience.
Aside from the updated engine and powertrain, changes on the ZST are more visibly apparent to the naked eye: a new, Obsidian Matrix grille and full-LED projector headlights give the ZST an athletic countenance while 17-inch, two-tone “Tomahawk” wheels wrapped in wide, low-profile tires, and red brake calipers give the car a sporty stance. Gloss black exterior door panel accents, a widened front air dam, and reimagined body lines round up the exterior changes.
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Inside, soft touch surfaces on the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, door panels, and other high-contact areas add a premium feel. Fine red stitching on the seats and trim, and red embroidered MG monograms on the driver and front passenger headrests add a touch of sportiness.
Enhanced NVH measures ensure that noise and harshness inside the ZST is kept to a minimum, and can further be appreciated alongside the ZST’s dynamic 6-speaker system and 10.1-inch non-reflective touchscreen Apple CarPlay/Android Auto HD infotainment system. The driver can even fully monitor the ZST’s running stats with the “Goggles” virtual instrument cluster. Additional nifty interior features include rear AC vents for rear passengers, multiple storage compartments, and a dedicated USB port behind the rear view mirror for neater dashcam installations.
The MG ZST is equipped with a host of passive and active safety features. Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard equipment for the ZST, and so are electronic safeguards such as Rear Cross-Traffic Assist, Lane Change Assist, Brake Disc Wiping, Battery Charge Meter, Cornering Lamps (built into the fog lamps,) Hill Hold Control, Cornering Brake Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Parking Brake, Traction Control, and Vehicle Dynamic Control, to name a few. The ZST is also outfitted with a Blind Spot Information System paired with the car’s intelligent 360-degree vehicle view, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the car during slow-moving traffic or when slowly moving into tight parking spaces.
The ZST’s high value proposition is further supplemented by MG Philippines’ premium aftersales offers and services. These include a 5-year or 100,000km warranty (whichever comes first), and 1-year free periodic maintenance service (PMS) to set your mind at ease. Aside from that, MG owners can also download the My MG mobile app which allows them to easily schedule vehicle servicing appointments from the convenience of their smartphones. They can also use the app to book a visit from a Mobile Garage service caravan that provides MG owners with vehicle home service for major technical issues. MG HERO Services, on the other hand, provides 24/7 roadside support through the MG Philippines hotline (+632 5328 4664.)
The ZST will be available in all MG dealerships nationwide and will be available for reservations starting this month. Reservations may also be made online at BuyAnMG.com.