Took Dad to Brisbane for a few days to relive old times (he used to live there). It was cheaper to fly in to an airport on the QLD and NSW border, then drive the hour to Brisbane.
We stayed with an old friend of his, who was willing to drive us around while we were there, but I didn't really want to be dependent on her 24/7.
So, using a 20% discount through my roadside service, I booked a rental car; hoping to have enough room for Dad, his wheelchair, walking frame, the friend, and our two bags.
Ended up with an MG ZS.
Ride height was good for Dad, and no side steps (which is what he hates about the X5). Seats were firm and supportive. Side bolsters were snug, though lacked adjustable lumbar support for longer trips.
Boot space was a let down, as the back seat had to be split-folded to allow the chair to fit. No cargo cover, leaving the chair and anything in the boot exposed while parked.
Bags had to be loaded in the back seat, while the frame was folded up on top of the chair. Overall, it felt like the cheap 2008 Toyota Corolla hatchback we have at home, actually had more cargo space.
18,530km on the car when I collected it, and I put a whisker under 300km on it in the three days I had it.
Things I liked:
CarPlay was quick - once I figured out the cable I was using was damaged, which made it keep disconnecting. It left me completely without a paddle in the middle of Brisbane CBD at one point, and Dad had to fumble with it more than once to get it reconnected. A different cable sorted out the issue.
The road noise was almost completely blocked out. Very quiet ride.
It's not a bad looking car. A little bland, sure. Could be anything, doesn't stand out in the current crop of Mazdas, Toyotas, etc. It was parked next to a CX3 each night, and they’re exactly the same size.
Things I disliked:
The console buttons. Much like the Mustang switches. There were about 8 for different things. Figuring out which was which while on the move wasn't that easy, even with illuminated icons above.
No back button onscreen, so at certain points to get out of menus you have to go back to "home" via the button and start again.
Ride was quite stiff. Potholes and speed bumps were mildly uncomfortable even at very low speeds.
The auto gearbox. Absolutely, hideously, awful. Changes from a standing start were savage, and very clunky, even while trying to smoothly apply throttle. Trying different approaches with throttle didn't help. It was determined to get to at least 5th gear, ASAP, even when it was never asked to do so. Might have been solved by using "sports mode", and changing gears manually, but I couldn't be bothered.
At one point, I tried using it to assist with a long downhill run, but not being a diesel, there wasn't enough compression to make much of a difference, so that was quickly given up on as well.
The entertainment screen. It was set to "auto dim", as the lights came on, but even that was way too bright at night. Especially when out on rural roads with no street lighting, and when CarPlay had disconnected it was worse, as the screen defaulted to "Home", which had three brightly coloured backgrounds for each available menu.
It got us where we needed to be, AC was lovely, even if everything over fan speed 3 was deafening, and it looked decent doing it's thing.
Do I want one? Nope. Not a chance. Not even if it was a gift.
I'll keep my X cars, thanks.