2021 MG ZST Essence: Owner Review

July 20, 2022

Chloe Mawass is a woman on the go. After having the MG ZST Essence in her possession for a few weeks, we checked in to see if this small SUV suited her lifestyle.

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As a real estate agent, boot space is essential for Chloe – often travelling with pointer signs and flags. She’s also continuously taking work calls on the go so Bluetooth connectivity and technology are essential.

Currently driving a smaller European car, Chloe enjoyed being behind the wheel of an SUV. She was also pleasantly surprised with its comfort, price-tag and inclusions.

Drive: You’ve driven the car for a while now, what do you think?

Chloe Mawass: I loved it. It was comfortable, easy to drive, smooth and zippy. I liked the sunroof in particular and the size of the infotainment screen and got the hang of all of the features as soon as I jumped in.

I drive a smaller car at the moment so I enjoyed the feeling of being higher up, and in a sense, I probably felt a bit safer – there’s greater visibility, whereas I’ve typically driven cars that sit a lot lower to the ground. 

Drive: How did it fit into your everyday life?

CM: I do a lot of driving for work so it worked well for me in terms of practicality. 

I’m always carrying a lot around with me – not just my everyday bag and gym bag but as a real estate agent I’ve always got those pointer signs, flags and open house kits which are large so the boot was perfectly sized for my everyday necessities. The boot was undoubtedly one of the highlights for me. 

Again, sitting higher up was great. Visiting properties we are always having to drive up and down driveways which can be unpredictable at times, but I didn’t have to worry about scraping the bottom of the car.

Drive: What were your first impressions in terms of the styling?

CM: For me, I don’t like cars to look too busy, and that also ticked that box. It had clean lines and wasn’t overdone. They weren’t trying to overstate it, in a sense. And inside there weren’t too an overwhelming amount of buttons and dials. It was just simple, which is what I like. 

Drive: How did it work in terms of features you want?

CM: The sunroof was a great addition and I used it often or even just had it open for light. Bluetooth is probably the biggest ticket item for me – I need to be able to make calls and drive and that works easily on the go. Aircon was also great. 

Also the navigation system, because obviously I travel daily to a lot of appointments so this is a necessity for me.

Drive: Is safety important to you and how did you find the features?

CM: For sure. My current car is equipped with a lot of safety so I guess I expected the reversing camera but for such a well-priced vehicle I appreciated this inclusion – a massive plus. Also the lane assist. It was subtle. I don’t rely on it too much in my current car but, again good to know that it came fitted.

Drive: Is it economical to run?

CM: It was. I did a lot of short trips during my time with the car and thankfully never needed to fill up in the five days that I had it – all urban driving. 

Drive: What was your favourite thing about the car?

CM: I would have to say its value overall. I currently own a European car and to get everything this car has would be so expensive. Typically you’d have to pick or choose one or two items but It had everything you needed in terms of features and everyday practicality.

Drive: Would you recommend it to a friend?

CM: I would recommend the ZST to friends that are about to start families and want a versatile, family-friendly car. I did take one of my colleagues for a drive and he really liked it, actually. He has a kid and thought it was family-friendly and well-sized.

He also liked the look and finishes inside too. I had no preconceived ideas around an MG and didn’t know too much about the brand but I was overall pleasantly surprised with its offering. 

Drive: What didn’t you like about the car?

CM: I wouldn’t personally choose the colour, it’s probably a bit too standout-ish for me, but that’s very small. Also just coming from what I drive now to this is that there was a noticeable difference in my leather. That would be it, but otherwise, for somebody else that might not be a factor.

Mostly though, I was so impressed with the price. This costs the same brand new as my current car was second-hand, and you get more gadgets, the big sunroof and a warranty. It’s a really smart buy. I’d like to see a black one!

Owners rating: 8/10

  • Performance & Economy | 7.8
  • Price & Features | 8.2
  • Ride & Handling | 7.9
  • Cabin Space & Comfort | 8.0
  • Technology & Connectivity | 8.1

The MG ZS range (including ZS, ZST and ZS EV) received the 2021 Drive Car of the Year – Best overall value award.

This article is originally featured on drive.com.au and can be viewed here.