The MG ZS mini compact crossover was a resounding success when it was first introduced to our market in 2018. It offered tremendous comprehensive value and good looks at very attainable pricing. The MG ZS did have its set of compromises to maximize retail sales but it soldiered on successfully. The heavily updated version seen here in Saint Moritz Blue not just addressed the shortcomings of its predecessor, it exceeded it exponentially.
The new MG ZS-T Trophy has a slightly longer sensual body by 9 mm mostly because of its new front end, has the same width, and stands 5 mm taller on the same 2585 mm wheelbase. However, much has changed everywhere. Aside from the obvious exterior and interior redesign with new signature full-LED lighting on both ends, the MG ZS-T has a profoundly more powerful and more efficient engine (161 bhp with 170 lb-ft of torque from a trick turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-3 compared to 113 bhp and 111 lb-ft from a normally aspirated 1.5-liter inline-4 engine), a dynamically better and smoother 6-speed automatic transmission compared to the old 4-speed, the front vented disc brake size are the same at 280 mm but the rear solid discs are larger from 255 mm to 280 mm (with a new Electronic Parking Brake in place of the traditional manual emergency brake lever) managed by attractively painted red brake calipers combined with better pad compounds and managed with a more comprehensive safety suite.
The suspension setup is the same, MacPherson struts up front with a rear torsion beam, but the tuning has been recalibrated for better handling and improved ride comfort. The new aggressive Tomahawk 17” x 7J alloys are wrapped with taller and better performing 215/55R17 94V Michelin Primacy 3 ST tires (the old units were 50-series on 91V-rated Maxxis M3 Bravo HP tires) to contribute to the tangibly increased overall ride/drive performance.
In the cabin, the Volkswagen-esque sport steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, front turbine-designed climate control side vents and center vents are the only obvious interior carryovers from before. The new front seats feel and look great while being highlighted with embossed red stitched MG branding on the headrests. The red contrasting stitching is very generously applied throughout the cabin. And the applied materials and extra insulation are also leveled up. The next most obvious upgrade is the infotainment system that not only has a larger and even crisper screen from 8-inches to 10-inches, but it now has a 360-degree vehicle view for even easier parking, updated graphics and interface, as well as both Android Auto™ and Apple Carplay® connectivity.
The only update that I am indifferent with though is with the new Goggles Virtual Instrument cluster, the colors and clarity are fairly good but I wish it had more user-selectable design options, as it is presented now even in Sport mode, I actually prefer the old analog design from the outgoing model. My final gripe is with the rear exhaust system which could have finally looked appropriately good and function better using the exact locations of the dual faux trim bezels on the new rear bumper.
Aesthetically and dynamically, the new MG ZS-T Trophy is exceedingly superior to its predecessor, and now it is punching well over its size and segment. The MG ZS-T Trophy subcompact crossover offers very strong everyday performance and passenger comfort when driven normally, while it can genuinely entertain too now when driven with enthusiasm.
Specification – 2022 MG ZS-T Trophy
Location: Front, Transverse
Displacement: 1349 cc
Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum
Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection: Dual-Port Injection Intercooled Turbo
Max power: 161 bhp @ 5200-5600 rpm
Max torque: 170 lb-ft @ 1800-4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic with Manual Mode, Front Wheel Drive
Front suspension: Independent MacPherson struts with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers, and stabilizer bar.
Rear suspension: Torsion-Beam with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers.
Fuel Capacity: 48 liters (12.7 gallons)
Ground Clearance: 145 mm
Load Capacity: 359 liters with rear seat fixed, 1166 liters with rear seats folded
L x W x H: 4323 mm x 1809 mm x 1653 mm
Wheelbase: 2585 mm
Brakes: Front 11.1-inch (280 mm) ventilated discs 1-piston red calipers / Rear 11.1-inch (280 mm) solid discs with red 1-piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, Dynamic Stability & Traction Controls, Brake Disc Wiping, Hill Hold Control, EBD, Cornering Brake Control.
Wheels: 17”x 7J Tomahawk Two-tone Alloys
Tires: P215/55R17 94V Michelin Primacy 3 ST
Weight: (kerb) 1318 kg. (2900 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.4 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 196 km/h (122 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 6.6 L/100 kms. Overall
Price as tested: PhP 1,158,888.00
C! RATING 10/10
+A monumental level up from the MG ZS, excellent embossed front seats, rear vents with USB ports, comprehensive packaging, tremendous value, very peppy, elastic power, and great looking.
–Non-telescopic steering adjustment, wish it had more instrument GUI driver configuration options, and genuine dual exhausts.