A black MG ZS driving on the road during the daytime.

The MG brand is back in the Australian markets with its new, budget-friendly MG ZS compact SUV.

In this article, we will be discussing some factors and features of the petrol variants, EXCITE, EXCITE Plus, and ESSENCE, that make them great cars for Australian families.

The Budget-Friendly MG ZS for Australian Families

Here are some of the factors and features that make these MG ZS variants excellent, budget-friendly family cars in the Australian market.

Pricing and Specs

Perhaps the key factor that carries along with everything else about the MG ZS models is their pricing. These cars are truly budget-friendly and offer great value for money. Their pricing is highly competitive, ranging between AUD 20,990 and AUD 24,990.

The base model, MG ZS EXCITE, comes with a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, whereas the EXCITE Plus variant comes with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The turbocharged engine is also present in the range-topping ESSENCE variant.

These compact SUVs are competing with the likes of Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 in the Australian markets, and we think they are some of the most value-for-money options for Australian families.

Drive Comfort

These compact SUVs from MG are targeted at families that commute in urban areas and bustling cities. The base model, EXCITE, may be considered slightly underpowered; however, it is perfectly fine as a daily family car for urban commuters.

The EXCITE Plus and ESSENSE models bring much more added power and driving comfort thanks to the turbocharged engine. Despite the apparent difference, both these engines make for great city cars. The six-speed automatic transmission handles shifting effectively, and the surprisingly nimble steering wheel makes for a very comfortable driving experience.

Even the suspension is great for city driving; however, if your family frequently commutes on B-roads, you may face some stiffness in drive quality. Overall, the MG ZS models offer good drive comfort, comparable to the competition, especially for urban families.


While you may not expect much space and practicality from a compact SUV, the MG ZS models do a great job at it. The front of the cabin can easily seat taller passengers, and everything seems ergonomically pleasing.

One minor drawback is that the steering wheel is not telescopic; however, it can be adjusted for height. The space and practicality start to show in the rear of the cabin, where there is plenty of extra legroom, even for taller passengers.

ISOFIX points and top tether points are easy to access, which is ideal for families with toddlers. These features in the rear cabin already make the MG ZS variants superior to their main rivals. However, the best feature is the boot space, which is a whopping 359 litres and can reach 1,116 litres by folding the rear seats in a 60:40 configuration.

Therefore, when it comes to practicality and spaciousness for Australian families, nothing comes close to the MG ZS variants.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency ratings are also quite decent for the MG ZS variants. The Excite variant's 1.5-litre petrol engine is rated at 7.1L per 100km, whereas the EXCITE Plus and ESSENCE variants' 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is rated at 6.7L per 100km.

While these numbers may not sufficiently compete with most rivals, we think that the extra space and practicality offered to Australian families from MG ZS variants justify them.


The MG ZS variants come with an 8-inch infotainment system that offers Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay. The sound quality is also fairly decent. However, we would have also liked Android Auto support. Regardless, families can easily make use of Bluetooth for their Android devices.

All-in-all the entertainment features are on par with competitors and make for great family drives. The ESSENCE variant also comes with satellite navigation and a panoramic sunroof for families to enjoy above-head views.

Final Thoughts

The budget-friendly price tags of the MD ZS compact SUVs make them an attractive option for Australian families. The comfort, space, and practicality that you get for your money are hard to beat. Of course, at such a price point, families must keep their expectations in check.

Despite its minor drawbacks, we can comfortably say that the MG ZS is one of the best budget-friendly compact SUV options for Australian families. Most car experts would also agree after conducting a thorough MG ZS review themselves.