Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • High-set seats leave driver feeling a little perched
  • No reach adjustment to steering wheel
  • Interior quality not up there with the best

Getting comfy in the MG ZS EV isn’t as easy as it could be – a trait it shares with the standard ZS. That’s mainly due to the seats, which feel overstuffed and high-set. Even in their lowest position, tall drivers will feel perched. The issue’s worse for front-seat passengers, who don’t get any height adjustment at all.

Worse yet, the steering wheel only adjusts for rake and not reach. These are all problems that wouldn’t have been a big deal a few years ago, but there’s really no reason why a 2019 SUV has to have them.

The slightly better news is that while the ZS EV does feel built down to a price, it’s slightly more forgivable considering the car’s positioning at the budget end of the market. Though the plastics are all hard and unforgiving, the dashboard feels well-built, and most of the buttons and controls don’t feel too cheap and nasty.

Central touchscreen feels up-to-date

The ZS EV’s main functions are controlled through its centrally-mounted, 8.0-inch colour touchscreen. This is positioned quite low on the dashboard, and it’s quite reflective making it difficult to see in some situations, but the software used feels responsive and easy to use.

Smartphone connectivity is offered, through both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – previous versions of this system have only offered the former. But the built-in sat-nav is decent enough that you won’t necessarily need to use your smartphone all the time.

Some curious equipment omissions

Whether you opt for entry-level Excite or top-spec Exclusive trim, the ZS EV is well equipped, but there are a couple of items that are conspicuous by their absence. Chief among these is climate control – instead, there’s only a crude hot/cold dial, so you’ll need to adjust the air-conditioning yourself on the move.

There’s little adjustment to the seating, with even the electric driver’s seat on top-spec cars capable of moving only six ways. There are also a couple of convenience features missing, such as an electric tailgate or wireless charging pad – though you’re really not likely to miss these unless downsizing to the ZS EV from a luxury model.

Comfort

  • ZS EV is biased towards a comfortable ride
  • Soaks up bumps well…
  • … but feels a little flustered doing so

Disclaimer time – our test drive of the ZS EV took place entirely within central London. As a result, we’re unable to comment on its high-speed comfort or stability just yet. However, the car feels dynamically fairly similar to its petrol-powered sibling. That is to say, it’s far from class-leading, but not so far off the pace of rivals that it’s a huge reason not to buy the car. And while SUV rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and SEAT Arona drive brilliantly, the electric competition – such as the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona Electric – aren’t exactly sports cars, meaning the ZS EV’s easygoing nature feels more suitable than perhaps dynamism would.

Our test route took in plenty of potholed and pockmarked roads, and even more speed bumps. The car takes them all fairly well, but has a tendency to bounce after impact and skitter across tough surfaces. It certainly doesn’t feel as planted as it could.