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Time for a crossover |

Modern Living

Time for a crossover

MISS TECH - Kathy Moran - The Philippine Star
Time for a crossover
I am ready: The MG ZST came in red and I was ready to drive this oh, so good looker.
STAR / File

It was time for a turbo-charged drive, time for fun and stepping on the gas, that is, and the MG ZST Crossover SUV was up for the challenge.

The Covenant Car Company Inc. (TCCCI)-MG Philippines’ has been around since 2018 and its ZS model line has caught the eye of SUV lovers, I was told.

It was with much anticipation that I got behind the wheel of the MG ZST, which was launched October 2021 (pandemic time), and is part of MG Philippines’ roster of modern, safe, stylish, British heritage cars.

Stitches and color count: I loved the interiors, which gave me the feel of a real car driver, not just a Sunday driver. The MG was a performer and looker, no matter the traffic and road conditions ahead of or behind me.

Start the drive

It has been months into a life of driving on the traffic-laden streets of Manila and a whiff of fresh air is what the MG ZST offers. I loved the 1.3-liter, three-cylinder engine that means efficient gas consumption at a time when the price of fuel is quite high. And with a new 6-speed automatic transmission with manual sports mode, I enjoyed the smooth, efficient delivery of power to the wheels.

A good engine kept the motor running but the refreshed exterior and interior features were what made this SUV a joy to be seen in and to drive.

As I wove through the city streets and the many crazy and under-construction roads that the city of Manila is loaded with, I was a happy camper in the modern driver assist systems of this cute-looking and tough MG ZST.

“When we launched the MG brand in 2018, our goal was clear: to be part of the exciting and growing Philippine automotive market, and to provide Filipinos with stylish, modern, and safe vehicles — but at very attainable price points,” said Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, president and CEO of MG Philippines. “The local market’s reception has been very encouraging. In just three years, more Filipinos have chosen MG, and there are now over 10,000 MG’s on our roads, with several of those being the ever-popular ZS Crossover SUV.”

The MG ZST is a fresh take on a crowd favorite, which sports MG’s updated global design language. The ZST joins the existing roster of ZS models currently available from MG Philippines, namely the Alpha AT, Style AT, and Core MT variants. 

Turbo-charged drive

The “T” stands for “Trophy,” as the ZST is the highest variant of the popular crossover SUV line. With its numerous upgrades, and host of driver and safety assists usually found in more premium segments, the ZST is primed to boost your overall driving experience.

And great engine aside, changes on the ZST are visible in the new, Obsidian Matrix grille and full-LED projector headlights give it an athletic countenance, while its 17-inch, two-tone “Tomahawk” wheels wrapped in wide, low- profile tires, and red brake calipers give the car a sporty stance. Glossy black exterior door panel accents, a widened front air dam, and reimagined bodylines convey speed and power. With these, among other features, the ZST conveys a presence that is both striking and impressive, with a youthful spirit, to boot.

As I was stuck in a lot of traffic, I got a good look at the car’s modern interiors. There are the carefully placed soft-touch surfaces on the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, door panels, and other high-contact areas add a premium touch. To add a splash of color, fine red stitching on the seats and trim, and red embroidered MG monograms on the driver and front passenger headrests keep the interiors looking fresh.

I was also given much time to think, too, as the improved noise vibration and harshness (NVH) kept the cabin noise to a minimum at standstills.  I liked the ZST’s dynamic six-speaker system and 10.1-inch non-reflective touchscreen HD infotainment system. I was able to mirror my smartphone by Apple Carplay (but it also accepts Android Auto), so I was sure that my maps and other visuals were easily visible and free from glare.

As a last stop when I got home and was safely parked in the garage, I took a good look at the SUV’s safety features. There are front, side, and curtain airbags that are standard equipment for the ZST. Likewise, electronic safeguards such as Rear Cross-Traffic Assist, Lane Change Assist, Cornering Lamps (built into the fog lamps,) are new features on the ZST.

I must add that when I was driving into parking position, I noticed that the ZST is also outfitted with a Blind Spot Information System paired with the car’s intelligent 360-degree vehicle view, which gave me a bird’s-eye view of the car when slowly moving into tight parking spaces. Just great.

Drive on.

* * *

The Covenant Car Company Incorporated is the exclusive importer and distributor of MG automobiles and parts in the Philippines. MG Philippines is located at the G/F, ALCO Building, 391 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, 1209 Makati City. Book a test drive now at

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