match of urban SUVs at friendly prices

Until now, the MG ZS was only sold with us in electric. A new 100% thermal version is coming, and intends to steal some of its customers from the Dacia Duster.

The Sino-British brand MG relaunched in Europe in 2020 with several electrified models including the ZS EV. This 100% electric model is off to a good start, since it is already in the top 10 of electric vehicle sales with us. But the brand does not stop there, and announces the arrival in France of a thermal version of the urban SUV. This is proven, since it is already offered in other markets such as the United Kingdom, Spain or Italy.

Like the other models in the MG range, the thermal ZS therefore has a very advantageous quality-price-equipment ratio. To do this, the model is available from €16,990 at the entry level, and contains its prices at less than €20,500 for the most upscale version. What to mark with a target the Dacia Duster which has made it its hobbyhorse since its launch and is selling like hot cakes. First static game.

Style: two distinct personalities

In terms of dimensions, the two models are marked in the panties: 4.34 m for the Romanian, 4.32 m for the Chinese. Well in their time, the vehicles each have recourse to the attributes of SUVs, which are very fashionable: protections in raw plastic or aluminum, roof bars… The lines of the Duster are a little more “square” and rustic than those of the ZS, with a rounder and more streamlined design. Both models can opt for sparkling colors such as orange or blue, or the more classic grey, black or white. As standard, the MG has 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Duster offers 16-inch steel wheels on the entry-level Essential, and 16-17-inch alloy wheels depending on the finish.

Same observation on board. The Duster looks a bit dated, with needle dials and a smaller center display (simple bluetooth system with orange monochrome screen on Essential and 8-inch panel from Comfort on the Dacia, against 10.1 inches as standard for the MG). The materials are basic on the dashboard, even if an effort was made during the transition to the second generation with more qualitative air conditioning controls, shared with the Renault range. At MG, the perceived quality was enhanced during the restyling in 2021 with materials that are more pleasing to the eye and to the touch, and 100% digital 7-inch instrumentation (standard on Luxury finish).

Engines: more choice at Dacia

The thermal MG ZS offers two very similar petrol engines: a naturally aspirated 106 bhp 1.5, and a slightly more torquey 111 bhp 1.0 turbo (160 Nm against 141 Nm). The largest block is associated with a six-speed manual transmission, compared to five for the 1.5 VTI-Tech. The model does not have an automatic gearbox at the moment. Nevertheless, the 1.5 reaches 100 km/h a little faster, with 10.9 s required against 11.2 s for the 1.0 of 111 hp. On the consumption side, MG announces 6.6 l/100 km and 149 g of CO2 in both cases.

For its part, the Duster has a wider range of engines. Unlike the MG, it still trusts the diesel, with a 1.5 Blue dCi block of 115 hp available in 4×2 or 4×4. In essence, it is the four-cylinder 1.3 TCe which officiates, with 130 or 150 hp. A LPG bi-fuel engine is also in the catalog, offering 100 hp. Due to shortages, it is temporarily unavailable, but should return as soon as possible since it provides a large share of sales, especially since the soaring fuel prices.

Equipment: MG advantage

Dacia’s strong point is its price-equipment ratio. But the brand is increasingly supplanted by MG, which offers even more, for even less. The thermal MG ZS is yet another example, since it is displayed from €16,990 in Comfort finish, already well equipped. This automatically includes 17-inch alloy wheels, reversing radar, cruise control, electric and heated mirrors, LED headlights, a 10.1-inch touch screen with CarPlay and Android Auto and Bluetooth, front and rear electric windows, air conditioning and a light sensor for automatic lighting of the headlights. On the Luxury finish (from €18,990), the 360° camera, blind spot or rear traffic monitoring, front fog lamps or even leatherette upholstery with heated front seats and electrically adjustable driver’s seat are added.

For its part, the Duster starts at €17,990 with the 115 hp diesel and the Essential finish, much less equipped: sheet metal rims, electric windows at the front only, simple audio system without touch screen, exterior mirrors with manual adjustment from the interior… To have a more correct endowment, and closer to that of the MG, it is necessary to switch to the Comfort version (from 20,350 €), or even to the Prestige version (21,600 €). The Extreme special series (from €22,800) is for its part facing the top of the range from MG, with equipment such as the Multiview camera or the hands-free card.

Photos : DR

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