Parkers overall rating: 2.8 out of 5 2.8
  • Cabin feels cheap but relatively solid
  • Responsive touchscreen is a highlight…
  • But lack of steering wheel reach adjustment is poor

Cheap-feeling interior, yet feels solid-enough

Hop behind the wheel of the ZS and it’s a case of you get what you pay for. Save for a couple of soft-touch materials the majority of the cabin is filled with hard, dark plastics. Not the end of the world given the price, but nowhere near high-quality enough to make you feel you’ve nabbed a premium product for a bargain price.

Most buttons and switches felt pretty well-built when we had a prod around the car at the launch, though, and even if something does break that seven-year/80,000-mile warranty should cover the cost.

Basic ergonomics are fine but could be improved

Most drivers should be able to get into the ZS and feel relatively comfortable straight away thanks to some decent seats and the usual high-up SUV driving position. However, the lack of reach (forwards and back) adjustment on the ZS’s steering wheel is disappointing and is one of the most obvious signs of cost-cutting within the cabin.

Good touchscreen, other gadgets less impressive

Both Excite and Exclusive models come as standard with an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen. It’s easy to use and responds well to inputs, plus the on-screen menus are thoughtfully colour coded and easy to identify on the move.

Sadly, MG hasn’t carried this level of intuitiveness through to other areas of the car. The cruise control for example can be unpredictable in its functionality, sometimes neglecting to change the set speed when commanded (although it never refused to cancel).

Also, the air-conditioning switches on models with the touchscreen fitted don’t give any indication as to what setting they’re on, with the driver (or passenger) having to toggle the dials for an onscreen read-out to appear. 

  • Inconsistent ride quality
  • High levels of road and wind noise
  • Decent seats, but steering wheel lacks reach adjustment

Inconsistent ride disappoints

The MG ZS’s ride works best at high speed over smooth, wide open motorways. Take it onto cracked, potholed urban roads and it struggles to iron out surface imperfections, while a foray onto faster – yet still uneven – rural roads brings about lots of vertical hopping movement in the suspension.

This gives the ride an unsettled quality that can be felt from both the back and front seats of the car.

Again, it’s a sign of the cost-cutting undertaken on the car and while some drivers may be able to put up with the lack of comfort, the ZS’s rivals make a far better fist of it.

Decent seats and loads of room, but refinement is poor

The leather-style upholstery seats in the ZS are respectably-comfortable and give a nice, commanding position. However, some will struggle to get comfortable thanks to the lack of reach adjustment in the steering wheel. Nobody should be short of space in the MG however, with both front and rear passengers benefitting from bags of room.

Road noise is also very noticeable over most road surfaces, while wind noise is higher than the class average when travelling at speed. The 1.0-litre engine is fairly vocal, but still beats its 1.5-litre equivalent that becomes overbearing when worked hard.