The subcompact segment of crossovers in the Philippines is rife with a lot of options and littered with several rivalries that have sparked numerous debates. Which is the best value? Which is the most powerful? Which model is the most fun?
If you remember a few years ago back when the first MG ZS launched, it was a hit in the Philippine market simply because it was an affordable SUV-like experience in a very presentable package. Fast forward to today and MG believes in the nameplate so much that it fielded the ZS T, a turbocharged version of the standard ZS.
However, there is another brand that’s looking to make waves in the segment, and that is Chevrolet with its Tracker crossover. Similar in size to the ZS T, it too has a turbocharged engine and a good amount of value to be had for buyers who are willing to take a chance with the Golden Bowtie. With the two vehicles in the ring, let’s find out which one of the two will deserve your hard-earned money in this Head-to-Head comparison.
Starting out with what you see, the exterior of the Tracker looks like Chevrolet’s flagship two-door coupe, the Camaro. There are similar cuts all throughout, with sharp eyes for headlights and red accents for the top-spec variant. The Tracker is also an all-new nameplate for the country, which makes it a breath of fresh air for Chevy. We also cannot forget that Chevrolet came from the Trax, which ends up looking like just an okay car compared to the Tracker. It is without a doubt that the Tracker comes out on top compared to the Trax, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better than the ZS T.
Now, the MG ZS T is not be as cut as the Tracker, which can appeal to a lot of people. You might say that it is plainer than the Tracker, and you’d be right, but there is an air of elegance about it that just screams class in comparison. If the Tracker is younger in its design, the ZS T is a little more mature with its front grille and cleaner body lines. If you weren’t a fan of the original ZS, then perhaps the ZS T would change your mind as it comes with LED lights all around, more angular cuts on the front, and a rear that expands upon the design of the standard ZS.
Between the two, it was a bit hard to decide which one of these models had a better design. As we said, it can boil down to personal preference. If you prefer a more sedate and classy look, then the ZS T is for you, but if you want something with a bit of edge, then consider the Tracker. If you were to force us or allow us to crown a winner, it would have to be the Tracker, simply because it is an all-new design that looks good right out of the gate for the Philippine market.
Winner: Chevrolet Tracker
While the exterior of the Tracker is as different as can be from the ZS T, at a glance the interiors are largely the same. Red accents can be found on the inside of the Tracker and the ZS T, and both have leather interiors at the top of the line. However, the main difference is the shape of the dashboard and the placement of the head unit. The tracker employs a floating touchscreen display with buttons that look like they are integrated with the rest of the vehicle’s design. Then the wheel is also similarly angular, which helps tie into the rest of the vehicle’s design. You also get a black Chevy logo on the wheel if you get the Redline variant. As for other interior features, you also get a panoramic sunroof, multiple USB charging ports, a rear center armrest, and also a motorized seat for the driver.
In the MG camp, it looks like the ZS T got an iterative update over the last generation. However, it may look a little plain but MG outfitted it with a lot of features which include heated seats for the driver and front passenger, and both happen to be motorized. There is also a panoramic sunroof along with USB ports. Unfortunately, there is no center armrest, but then you get so much more in return.
If even if you sift through the rest of the specs of the Tracker and ZS T, you will find that the MG simply wins with sheer numbers. Now, don’t get us wrong, it’s not a bad-looking interior, but we prefer the design of the Chevy a bit more. However, that’s not such a big deal if you get more features. It doesn’t look half bad and MG gives you more, so with this, the win will go to the ZS T.
Winner: MG ZS T
Technology and safety
Speaking of features, the Chevrolet Tracker is well-equipped for Philippine roads and for modern drivers. Adorning the center of the dashboard is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get up to six premium speakers in the cabin, but the lower-end variant only has four speakers to work with. Other convenience features include a hands-free power liftgate with an LED logo projection light. On the front of safety, you get four airbags, ABS with EBD, and stability control as standard for both of its models. A tire pressure monitoring system and rear parking sensors along with a 130-degree reverse camera, rollover mitigation, enhanced understeer control, mini spare detection, cornering brake control, traction control, engine drag control, panic brake assist, hill start assist, low vacuum brake assist, no vacuum brake assist, fading brake assist, torque vectoring via the braking system, and ISOFIX tethers.
Meanwhile, the ZS T is still well-equipped on the tech side of things, but lacks a bit in the safety front, as it only gets four airbags, a blind spot information system, lane-change assist, hill-hold control, cornering brake control, traction control, vehicle dynamic control, and rear-cross traffic alert. However, it does much better in comparison to the Tracker because of its 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a 360-degree camera that is paired with parking sensors. It also has a tire pressure monitoring system as well.
Now, it depends on what you prioritize, however, we will say that both cars are well-equipped for the journey. In terms of infotainment and tech, the ZS T takes the cake from the Tracker, but the Chevry bites back with its safety features. Since either car comes with similar inclusions on both fronts, we have to rate this category as a tie between the two.
The Chevrolet Tracker gets its power from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo engine that produces 116 hp and 175 Nm of torque, which are rather high figures considering its displacement. The small capacity motor gets its boost from a turbocharger, which allows it to produce a sizeable amount of torque. The motor is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and just like most of the cars in its segment, it sends all its power and torque to the front wheels.
Meanwhile, the ZS T also gets a turbo upgrade. The standard MG ZS came with a naturally-aspirated mill, but the ZS T gets a sizeable bump in power thanks to its 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with 161 hp and 230 Nm of torque. The motor is also paired with a six-speed automatic transmission just like the Chevy.
It’s clear that the ZS T has a more superior engine. Chevy touts that the 1.0-liter in the Tracker is more fuel-efficient, however, and that may be the case in the real world due to the difference in power and displacement. You might not be as efficient when going up a hill since the 1.0-liter will need to be revved out higher to achieve the same figures that MG’s motor produces. As such, from a pure capability standpoint, the ZS T takes the win.
Winner: MG ZS T
Verdict and price
We’ll compare the two top-of-the-line offerings from the brand in terms of specs and price in our final consideration. The Tracker does start out at P1,142,888, but it tops out at P1,242,888, which is a decent price considering the brand and the styling of the vehicle. It also has a lot of safety features which can be quite expensive to have on a car.
However, given the number of features you get in the MG ZS T, it’s hard to ignore that it’s a bargain considering that it only costs P1,158,888 for the single variant that it has.
You simply get more for your money—at least specs-wise with the ZS T. It has more power, more convenience features, and it’s also a handsome car to the right buyer. Sure, you can get a Tracker for cheaper by getting the base model, but add P16,000, and you’ll get more features, a bigger and more powerful engine, but with a different badge.
Winner: MG ZS T
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