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Old 4th July 2018, 17:17   #1
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Default Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

Thanks to Raaj Patel for sending these images in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP page!

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-img20180701wa0003.jpg

The first camouflaged test mule of the MG ZS has been spotted in Gujarat. The SUV was earlier showcased at dealer road shows but the carmaker never confirmed that it would be launched in India.

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-img20180701wa0004.jpg

According to the spy images, the MG ZS has a raked rear windshield with a roof spoiler on top and wraparound tail lights. The test mule has roof rails and a shark fin antenna and can be seen sporting 5-spoke alloy wheels. Further, it is equipped with disc brakes on all four wheels.

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-img20180701wa0005.jpg

The MG ZS is currently sold in the UK, where it is offered with two engine options - 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol with 105 BHP and 141 Nm of torque and a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit which makes 110 BHP and 160 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. In India, the MG ZS is likely to use a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine.

Meanwhile, MG is also evaluating the RX5, ERX5 electric SUV and Baojun 530 for India.

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-img20180701wa0002.jpg

Link to Team-BHP News
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Old 5th July 2018, 09:49   #2
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

Here's what it looks like without camo. International reviews seem to rate it between mediocre and good, but certainly not excellent like an EcoSport or Creta. Its styling already looks 4 - 5 years old to my eyes.

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-1.jpg

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-2.jpg

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-3.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 5th July 2018 at 10:16.
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Old 5th July 2018, 11:42   #3
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Here's what it looks like without camo. International reviews seem to rate it between mediocre and good, but certainly not excellent like an EcoSport or Creta. Its styling already looks 4 - 5 years old to my eyes.
Interesting how this could play out.

International reviews say that the EcoSport is not a great car either. Just about OK. Some even say that it is Ford's weakest product. However, in India, it is claimed as one of the best compact SUVs.

Its just depends on the Indian driving conditions and customer requirements. Ford India has done well to tune it to Indian conditions.

For MG, it all depends on how the car is tuned for Indian conditions, equipments on offer and price of the car. A pretty poor/mediocre car in the UK/US can actually be a hit in the Indian market.
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Old 5th July 2018, 12:41   #4
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It looks very similar to the Tucson! I mean if it is in the same segment as the Tucson and the Compass then it needs a solid USP.

But if this is up against the Creta, then it is a very good segment to be in since there is not much competition, at least not until now, except the Duster and may be the new Nissan Kicks.


But more than anything, how is MG going to build its brand in India? Iconic brands like Chevrolet, Fiat have struggled in India in spite of the legacy and the brand name itself.

MG, in relation is very unknown and there would be hardly anyone who can connect with the Morris Garage legacy.

On the other hand, a brand like Kia enjoys the backing of Hyundai and also its a far well known brand outside India in Asian and European countries.

My view is that MG has a very tough job in India, unless they have a fantastic USP, which I cannot see at least as of now.
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Old 5th July 2018, 17:43   #5
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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My view is that MG has a very tough job in India, unless they have a fantastic USP, which I cannot see at least as of now.
The interiors of some of their new cars look quite hot. Plus they are backed by some big Chinese company I think. So as long as they have got money flowing in to launch products with contemporary design and features, they shouldn't have any issue. Just see Hyundai, they are not some big prestigious brand. Yet through the same strategy of contemporary design and features, they have captured huge market share and are now even commanding a premium (Creta). As long as these new MGs are priced lower than established rivals for the first generation of products in India, I see no reason why they cannot succeed.
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Old 5th July 2018, 21:46   #6
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

If this one with the size of the Tucson and the Jeep compass engine sells for the price of a Creta, it might just sell !! Cleverly they hid the chinese DNA with British logo
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Old 6th July 2018, 08:46   #7
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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A pretty poor/mediocre car in the UK/US can actually be a hit in the Indian market.
When you are an unknown challenger, you need either an excellent car or fill a niche that no one else has presence in (e.g. Renault Duster's first mover advantage). Maruti can get away with an ordinary car (e.g. Vitara Brezza), but a relatively unknown brand couldn't. Because MG is unknown and is entering the market late, it needs cars that are better than the rest, or provide outstanding value. There really aren't any unfilled market segments today. Plus, MG has to also fight another new brand for attention - the formidable Kia.

Launching a car that's already looking 5 years old is a disadvantage. The EcoSport, on the other hand, looked funky at launch and is contemporary enough, even today.

By the way, the EcoSport has its share of fans even abroad. Most complaints - other than those pointed out by us - are against the engine's lack of power (irrelevant to India), MPG (again, irrelevant to India as we have the diesel & 3-cylinder petrol) & price (in USA, its priced against larger rivals).

Last edited by GTO : 6th July 2018 at 08:47.
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Old 6th July 2018, 10:06   #8
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Here's what it looks like without camo. International reviews seem to rate it between mediocre and good, but certainly not excellent like an EcoSport or Creta. Its styling already looks 4 - 5 years old to my eyes.
Seems to be heavily inspired by the Mazda CX 3

https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-3
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Old 13th July 2018, 23:55   #9
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

What a Shame. This is a complete rip off from Mazda SUVs'. Predominantly Mazda CX3, CX5 and CX9.

Heck, the entire Mazda design language is copied.

Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India-969512.jpg

Last edited by Soumyajit9 : 13th July 2018 at 23:59.
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Old 14th July 2018, 00:38   #10
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

And that's not a bad thing at all. I am driving a Mazda 3 rental right now and I am super impressed with the car and it's interiors. If they bring a proper automatic along with their engines and place it below the Ecosport / Creta, we'd have a good fight.

This is all about marketing. Heritage of MG, why they are in India, how well they are connected to the Indian masses all play a part. I wish them well. More choices for all of us.
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Old 14th July 2018, 09:51   #11
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
What a Shame. This is a complete rip off from Mazda SUVs'. Predominantly Mazda CX3, CX5 and CX9.

Heck, the entire Mazda design language is copied.

Attachment 1781274
Alas, they can only rip off the style, not the design integrity and the Mojo which defines Mazda
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Old 14th July 2018, 20:31   #12
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Default Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The interiors of some of their new cars look quite hot. Plus they are backed by some big Chinese company I think. So as long as they have got money flowing in to launch products with contemporary design and features, they shouldn't have any issue. Just see Hyundai, they are not some big prestigious brand. Yet through the same strategy of contemporary design and features, they have captured huge market share and are now even commanding a premium (Creta). As long as these new MGs are priced lower than established rivals for the first generation of products in India, I see no reason why they cannot succeed.

Backing has no value in India! Ask Chevrolet, VW, Fiat, Renault and Nissan! All of these companies are amongst the top manufacturers in the world and yet struggling in India to even get a 2-4% market share even after spending close to a decade. And some folks have walked away from the Indian market as well.

What Hyundai did was something else. They came in to India sometime 1997 or something like that when there was almost no one except Maruti. And they built their portfolio with good cars, year on year. At every step they offered cars at a slight premium over Maruti, but with better features. Some cars failed too. But they persisted. They were also one of the early movers in Diesel. And at the same Time their credibility and products were getting better across the world, in the Europe and in the US. Hyundai was referred in jokes in these markets about 10-15 years back. Not now. As far as I know, Hyundai enjoys similar levels of credibility same as most Japanese manufacturers now. That is a huge step from where they were. And all this helped in their development in India.

Which brings me back to MG. When well known manufacturers like Nissan and others have struggled here, how will MG go about selling their cars? Not being pessimistic here, but they have a really tough task here, especially getting the customers to connect with the brand.

Last edited by motorworks : 14th July 2018 at 20:33.
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Old 15th July 2018, 16:17   #13
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

It has been unveiled for China:

Link

It is being touted as "MG Motors' flagship and most advanced model in the global market". I suppose that'll just make it worse when it flops here.
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Old 15th July 2018, 19:29   #14
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

Australia's WhichCar compared the original (Mazda CX3) and the copy (MG GS) in an article here.

Here is the verdict:

Quote:
  • Price and Equipment - Winner: MG ZS
  • Interior and Connectivity - Tied
  • Ride and Handling - Winner: Mazda CX-3
  • Performance and Economy - Winner: Mazda CX-3
  • Warranty and Servicing - Winner: MG ZS
  • Verdict - Winner: Mazda CX-3 Maxx


Driven back-to-back, the Mazdas virtues throw some harsh light on the MGs shortfalls. The ZS is far from woeful, but theres definitely room for improvement in refinement, suspension tuning and transmission calibration. Cabin quality is also well behind that of the Mazda, and the copycat interior design is also pretty plain-Jane. That said, its a solid step up on Chinese efforts of years past.

And for many, the ZS affordability and huge warranty will get them across the line even if average servicing costs are higher than the Mazda. Between these two, its a closer race then you might expect though the CX-3 still comes out on top.
What I took note of, in this review, was, that they didn't just rubbished the MG off. They actually appreciated how MG has improved.

Now, when the ZS launches here, there is not going to be a Mazda to compete with. The ZS will have different competitors, its engines will be different, the packaging, interiors, equipment, suspension tuning, tyres, all will be different.

AutoCar India's sources say that it is expected to come with a Fiat-sourced 1.5-litre diesel engine and a 1.8-litre petrol with mild-hybrid tech. And that it is expected to take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta.

How MG tunes the engines, how well the build quality will be, how much specced will it be with the goodies and how competitive the pricing will be, all remains to be seen.

Looks are always subjective. In my opinion, it's attractive enough to make me go and check it out once it comes out.

Unlike Australia, I think more goodies at a similar price point, might not do the trick here. If it's 70% of Creta at 70% of the price, backed by a good warranty, there might be takers.
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Old 15th July 2018, 20:49   #15
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Default Re: Scoop! MG ZS SUV caught testing in India

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Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Australia's WhichCar compared the original (Mazda CX3) and the copy (MG GS)

What I took note of, in this review, was, that they didn't just rubbished the MG off. They actually appreciated how MG has improved.
I take an almost completely contrary view to such a verdict - it might reasonably be described as being damned with faint praise. Remember that this isn't a Team BHP review - it's a mainstream automag review. We all know what that means - the Australian automags are almost as bad as the Brits in terms of mincing their criticism so as not to upset manufacturers, IMO.

Quote:
If it's 70% of Creta at 70% of the price, backed by a good warranty, there might be takers.
Again, I beg to differ - my assessment of the average Indian buyer's mindset is quite different. I feel such an offering won't find many takers in the face of established competition.

Which isn't to say I've got anything against MG, or Chinese buyouts or something - I'm all for competition in fact. Also, what you point out about differences in the offering - positioning, pricing, inclusions, exclusions and above all tuning, is pertinent. The difference between the way some vehicles are received in India and Abroad is quite staggering. Others have already pointed out the Ecosport. But the Compass is an example that is so glaring it's astonishing - the reviews are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Here's hoping this thing is tuned and positioned well.
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