Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • High-set seats leave driver feeling a little perched
  • No reach adjustment to steering wheel
  • Interior quality not up there with the best

If you're tall and like to sit low, getting comfortable 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. Shorter drivers will find the driving position better, though, as it affords a great view through the windscreen.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that the steering wheel only adjusts for rake and not reach, so if you like your wheel particularly close - or far away - you may struggle with these limited options. These are all problems that wouldn’t have been a big deal a few years ago, but there’s really no reason why a current SUV has to have them.

2019 MG ZS EV interior

The good 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 some of the plastics are hard and unforgiving, the dashboard feels well-built, and most of the buttons and controls don’t feel 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 once you figure out how to use it (it's not that intuitive) 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

MG ZS EV (2020) front seats

The first impression is one of a car that's biased towards comfort – and it's no worse for that. The ride quality really is surprisingly good on lumpy roads, with only the worst potholes disturbing its equilibrium. In the main, it feels dynamically fairly similar to its petrol-powered sibling. That is it's unusually comfortable but lacks the handling precision you get with the best petrol-powered SUVs.

And while SUV rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and SEAT Arona drive brilliantly, the electric equivalents – such as the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona Electric – aren’t exactly sports cars either, meaning the ZS EV’s easygoing nature fits in with the general standards of the EV class. Not bad considering it's so much cheaper than those rivals.

On the motorway, it's perfectly acceptable, but on more challenging roads some of that polish falls away. The car handles rough surfaces fairly well, but has a tendency to bounce after an impact with larger obstacles, such as potholes, and can skitter across tougher surfaces. It certainly doesn’t feel as planted as the best petrol and diesel opposition.

MG ZS EV (2020) rear seats