MG ZS EV interior
The MG ZS EV’s cabin looks pretty smart and it comes with a pretty impressive amount of kit, but it feels cheap in places and the infotainment system is very fiddly to use.
Unlike some electric cars, the MG ZS EV looks pretty much identical inside to its petrol-powered counterpart. The simple dashboard design comes with the same touchscreen infotainment system, metal-effect air vent surrounds and uncluttered heating and ventilation controls, and everything’s laid out sensibly within easy reach.
The deeply recessed analogue dials look a little dated compared with the digital driver’s displays you get in the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric, but at least they’re easy to read and come with a small portrait display on which you can see the car’s remaining range.
Both the Hyundai and the Kia have the edge over the MG in the quality stakes. The ZS EV comes with a few soft materials on top of the dashboard, above the armrests on the doors and beside the centre console, but there are plenty of hard, scratchy plastics on the top of the doors and beside the central touchscreen.
You do get a leather steering wheel as standard in entry-level Excite models, but you’ll have to pay extra for an Exclusive version if you want matching leather trim on the front seats. These higher-spec cars also come with contrasting stitching and a panoramic glass roof to make the ZS EV’s cabin feel a bit airier, but you can’t spruce up the cabin with any brightly coloured trims as in plenty of other SUVs.
The MG ZS EV’s interior makes a good first impression, but spend a little time living with it and you’ll find it lags behind alternatives in the user-friendly stakes.
Every MG ZS EV comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard. This unit is mounted reasonably high up – so it’s easy to glance at while you’re driving – but it doesn’t look like someone’s abandoned an iPad on the dashboard like in some SUVs.
The screen is fairly bright, but its glossy finish means it produces quite a bit of glare in bright sunlight. The system’s displays also take a bit of getting used to. Sure, the colourful menu tiles are a refreshing change from the monochrome icons you get in alternatives, but the tiny white text is pretty tricky to read.
At least you get some physical buttons for adjusting the stereo tuning and volume, which is handy because the fiddly touchscreen controls look like they were inspired by a late-90s Sony Walkman.
The standard sat-nav system isn’t much to write home about, either. It takes a while to enter an address, longer to calculate a route, and the screen doesn’t respond all that quickly if you swipe to pan and preview your route ahead.
Thankfully, the MG ZS EV comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard, so you can completely ignore the car’s built-in infotainment system and use your favourite navigation and music-streaming apps through the touchscreen.
Don’t expect to be blasting out any particularly powerful basslines on your way to work, though – the MG ZS EV’s standard four-speaker stereo sounds pretty weedy and the upgraded six-speaker unit in Exclusive models isn’t a massive improvement.