Today was a day of new products for us! Firstly it was our first installation of the new Thinkware Q800 dash cam and secondly, an MG XS EV!
The Chinese MG is starting to make inroads into the UK market. Car lover’s old enough to remember will hate the idea of the beloved MG name (even if they weren’t that great in the 70’s/80’s if we’re completely honest) being used on a modern car, but, that is progress I guess.
I’m not a motoring journalist by any means but I do sometimes like to give my opinion based on a different view from most motoring journalist’s!
In our industry we view vehicle’s differently from normal motoring journalist’s (again, I’m not a journalist!). We don’t have the privilege of having a new model delivered to drive around for a month or two and give our opinion. We tend to see the build quality “under the skin”, things that most people won’t notice, so here we go..
The Thinkware Q800. This is a fantastic bit of kit, in addition to the usual features of superb image quality, motion and impact detection in parking mode it also has lane departure, collision warning, super night vision plus loads more. I particularly like the “posh” English lady that announces all alerts (as opposed to the robotic voices found on some devices!). The cable linking the rear camera is of good quality and doesn’t interfere with DAB radio reception (we have come across many other products that cause DAB “jamming”). In short, everything about this kit feels quality.
Now an “installers” review of the MG ZS EV. This review is not based on driving, handling or battery life etc (we don’t have the privilege of getting one to drive around and live with). It’s more about the build quality of the car based on taking it apart to install a Thinkware Q800 front and rear dash cam.
First impressions: Upon arrival I quite liked the look of the MG XS EV, it looked bright and smart in the light blue metallic colour with full leather. The first thing I noticed when I opened the tailgate to run the rear camera cable was the lack of trim. Most vehicles have trim that covers the whole tailgate, the MG XS EV doesn’t have this. Difficult to describe but the upper section has no trim at all, just a 5-6 inch black panel for access to the brake light.
Fortunately we were able to run the cable for the rear camera through the existing tailgate grommets to the small black panel as the tailgate was hollow enough for us to follow other cables.
Running the rear camera cable forward; We always have to be cautious when running forward, ensuring we stay away from airbags to ensure the cable does not impare the deployment of the airbag.
We always remove the “grab handles” to facilitate correct and safe running of the cable. The one thing I did notice was that the grab handles looked and felt very similar to Audi (not VW which do not use screws/bolts any longer). They were actually very good quality and we had no problems removing and refitting, they aligned perfectly.
Picking up power. The internal fuse box is a bit odd from an installer point of view. It’s on the passenger side (UK cars) and the fuses/fusebox faces downwards toward the floor so you have to lay in the footwell and look up with a torch to see the fuses! Why would anyone design it in such a way? The fusebox appears to be good quality but time will tell.
Other items of note. I’ve worked on many different cars but this one had me a little stumped from an appearance point of view. I know lots of parts are now made in China and they have a slightly different view to patents than we do but…. The steering wheel was so obviously VAG, as in flat bottom, steering wheel controls (I drive a Seat Leon) that all looked exactly the same. The gear shift was so obviously Jaguar (with the exception of not popping up with the ignition) as in a rotating knob for gear selection.
Another thing I noticed was the dash vents, they looked like they’d come straight out of an Audi, not a bad thing I guess!
In general I found the panel trims, roof lining, door seal rubbers etc to be of very high quality surprisingly.