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MG ZS gets a turbocharged version

And a sporty facelift to match the improved performance

The MG ZS T's fancy new turbo engine is efficient and powerful. PHOTO FROM MG

When it was first introduced (or reintroduced) in 2018, the MG ZS was a bit of a revelation. It was a way for budget-conscious consumers to get themselves a stylish crossover for about the same money as a typical subcompact car. The ZS remains a strong seller because of its attractive price and generous list of standard equipment.

But with buyers being spoilt for crossover choices these days, the model is now facing some serious competition. And MG Philippines has responded to that by giving its cash cow a little bit more muscle.

The exterior design matches the increased muscle. PHOTOS FROM MG

The aptly called ZS T now has a turbocharged 1.3-liter three-cylinder engine. More important than the increased output of 160hp is the torque figure of 230Nm—ideal for hauling a fully-laden crossover. And because this is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain no longer has to be worked hard which results to better fuel efficiency.

As for the styling, the ZS T has updated front and rear light clusters. The daytime running lights now sport a different design, as does the radiator grille. MG seems to have a penchant for two-tone wheels, and the vehicle gets sporty 17-inch rims.

The 17-inch wheels will give the ZS T slightly better handling. PHOTO FROM MG

The ZS’s cabin remains largely the same. Passengers will still have access to the generous legroom that this crossover is known for. But road trips will be made more fun thanks to the new 10.1-inch infotainment system that now supports both Apple and Android connectivity. Drivers will get to enjoy the all-singing, all-dancing fully digital instrument cluster.

Aside from the usual stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes, the ZS T comes equipped with an electronic parking brake, a blind-spot monitoring system, and a 360° camera.

The infotainment system finally has Apple and Android compatibility. PHOTOS FROM MG

There is only one variant (Trophy) and it will retail for P1,158,888. MG Philippines will still be offering the naturally aspirated version of the ZS, and the automaker is now accepting reservations for the ZS T in all of its authorized dealerships nationwide.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.