Last updated on April 8th, 2020 at 07:54 pm
MG ZS EV review: Exterior aesthetics
From the exterior, the MG ZS EV doesn't look like a ‘budget' option; if anything, the SUV has an eye-catching design – from the vehicle's front grille and angel headlights to the five-spoke 17″ alloys that give the car a fresh, modern look.
The Exclusive model adds a panoramic sunroof, which brings in a lot of additional light inside the vehicle's cabin; if you'd prefer to block out sunlight, there's an electronically adjustable sunshade and furthermore, if you want to open the glass window, you can do so at the press of a button. As for the top-mounted rails, they facilitate the use of roof racks, so you can transport additional goods or equipment.
Elsewhere, the Type 2 (plus CCS) charging port resides underneath the front-mounted MG badge. It's easily accessible, although, if you're using a public charger, you'll want to ensure your cable can stretch from the side of the road to the front of the vehicle; most EVs have their charging port located by the C-pillar, instead.
MG ZS EV review: Interior and features
The interior of the vehicle is similarily impressive – despite the SUV's price, there's nothing obnoxious or that incites a negative feeling. In fact, the ZS EV's cabin design is well thought out. For example, the steering wheel has media controls on the left and buttons to interact with the instrument cluster on the right. While this might sound logical, other manufacturers seem to mix and match these controls, making things a little more cumbersome when used on a daily basis.
The analogue instrument cluster is equally effective: there's a speedometer on the left; an LCD display at the centre which displays key information such as remaining range or can be used to visualise safety features such as Active Cruise Control (ACC); while on the right, there's a power efficiency indicator, and under it, a battery level. It's all logical.
The same could be said about the centre console, where there's a rotary gear selector – press it to put the vehicle in park, rotate it left or right to access reverse, neutral and drive. As a result, three-point turns are extremely easy to execute.
In front of the dial are three levers: one to flick through the driving mode (Eco, Normal and Sport), the next one is dedicated to regenerative braking (Level 1, 2 and 3) – it's denoted with KERS, which stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System; and the third one is to quickly check the SUV's remaining charge through the instrument cluster.
Above these levers, you'll find physical temperature controls; in the Exclusive model, there's a button to turn on the heated front seats – unlike other vehicles, however, it's only an on or off switch, there aren't different levels of heat available.
When the vehicle's climate controls are adjusted, the speed of the fan and temperature are indicated through the 8″ infotainment system. Unfortunately, the display and its operating system are excruciatingly slow to respond; there's a delay between adjusting the physical knobs and the visuals appearing on-screen.
The entire infotainment system needs a rethink, as there are no quick-access buttons, touch sensitivity is poor where it often requires you to press quite hard, while accessing certain sub-menus, such as your smartphone's media seem illogical.
On the plus side, the system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while in the Exclusive model, the 8″ display also shows the rear parking camera; this only triggers when you've put the ZS EV in reverse. Elsewhere, there's a five-band equaliser, which can be used to alter the vehicle's sound signature. As standard, the Excite comes with a four-speaker audio system, while the Exclusive adds two additional speakers and integrates a virtual 3D surround sound.
Read our detailed review of the audio system, here.
MG ZS EV review: Comfort and storage space
If you're looking to connect your smartphone to access Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you'll find two USB Type-A ports under the centre console (directly under the physical temperature controls). A 5V cigarette lighter port also resides here, and a non-slip pad makes it convenient to store your valuables.
There's also a smaller storage area located between the gear selector and the temperature controls. Unfortunately, the pad is too small, where if you wish to place a smartphone vertically or want it plugged in, you'll find your phone won't fit properly.
By the vehicle's centre armrest, there's a small storage department and two cup holder spaces, which are concealed by a drawable plastic cover. As for storage space, each of the vehicle's four doors will fit a 500 ml bottle with ease.
At the back, there's 448 litres of storage capacity and a separate compartment in the boot where you can store your cables and tyre repair kit. Fold-down the rear seats and there's 1,375 litres of space at your disposal. That's enough for several large-sized luggage or two mountain bikes. There's no frunk (front-loading trunk) compartment, rather, the vehicle's motor. By comparison, the VW e-Golf has 341 litres of space and 1,231 litres with the seats folded down.
On the whole, the MG ZS EV is spacious, where tall individuals won't have any issues getting in or out of the vehicle. There's plenty of legroom and the seats are comfortable, too.
Read next: Volkswagen e-Golf audio review