Now owned by Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor, British auto company MG is introducing its latest sports utility vehicle in the United Kingdom – the new MG XS. A little brother of the MG GS, the new MG GS compact SUV will go on sale in the UK in winter 2017, months after it was unveiled at recently concluded London Motor Show.
In case you missed it, MG is launching a new baby SUV in China, the new MG ZS. The MG XS is basically a rebadged version of the ZS, although it is expected that some changes would be made – mostly in the area of mechanicals and in the cabin – to allow this baby SUV to comply with regulations and be marketed in the UK. It will compete against the likes of Nissan Juke, SsangYong Tivoli, Dacia Duster and Suzuki Vitara.
MG – through its parent SAIC – is already selling the ZS in China. The new MG ZS is powered by 1.0 liter three-cylinder turbo engine that provides 123 bhp of max output and 125 lb.-ft. (175 Nm) of peak torque. This amount of power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, allowing the MG ZS to sprint from standstill to 62 mph is just 9.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 120 mph. Weighing 1,290 kilograms, the new MG ZS measures 4,313 mm in length, 1,809 mm in height and 1,648 mm in width.
In terms of quality, finish and design, the new MG ZS is a step ahead of the MG GS. After all, the new ZS – known in the UK as the new XS – spearheads the carmaker’s new design direction. Compared to the GS, the ZS/XS features a large front grille similar to a Jaguar and the Mazda CX-3, sleek headlights and heavily styled rear lamps. Underpinned by a shorter version of the GS platform, the new MG ZS features a wheelbase that is around 80 mm longer than the Nissan Juke, which means that it offers more interior space. As for the luggage space, the cargo boot of the MG ZS could accommodate up to 1,166 liters when the 60:40 split-fold rear seats are folded flat.
It seems that the MG ZS is created to focus on providing more convenience and more comfort, instead of providing road prowess. The UK-bound MG XS should also have the same attributes, especially that it would be available with two engine derivatives and two transmission options. Power will be provided for by the same engine that powers the ZS, and by a lower-powered naturally aspirated 1.5-liter that delivers at most 118 hp (88 kW) of output and 111 lb.-ft. (150 Nm) of torque. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic unit.