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MG ZS interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

You could say that the exterior styling is inspired by many of its rivals, and there’s a similar feel inside. It’s quite generic, but that at least means everything is where you’d expect it to be.

All ZSes have a touchscreen mounted in the centre of the dashboard, although the facelift – from July 2020 – brought a more modern-looking display that sits just a little proud of the dash. In earlier cars, the screen looks a little like an aftermarket unit that you’d buy from a car parts store.

With lots of carbon-fibre-effect trim across the dash and, in later cars, red stitching and houndstooth upholstery, the MG gives a slight feeling of sportiness inside. It’s nice, it lifts the cabin ambiance and stops it feeling dour and cheap.

The perceived quality is better than the actual quality, however. This is a cheap car and the materials reflect that – the plastics are hard and scratchy, but should be durable.

With large windows all around, visibility is pretty good. Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard, and top-spec cars also get a camera.

Standard equipment

When the MG ZS was launched, it was offered in basic Explore trim. If you stumble across one of these rare models on the used market, it’ll come with LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, chrome detailing and cruise control.

The more popular Excite adds alloy wheels, a touchscreen, parking sensors and air conditioning. Post-2020 models also feature LED headlights, auto-folding door mirrors, hill-start assist and DAB radio.

Top-spec Exclusive gets built-in sat nav and a parking camera, plus blind-spot monitoring, auto wipers and leather-effect seats if you buy a newer model.

The MG ZS EV comes in SE and Trophy versions. SE comes with keyless entry and start, sat nav, a 360-degree parking camera and a host of driver assistance tech. Trophy largely matches Exclusive spec, but also adds heated front seats and wireless phone charging.

Infotainment and audio

If you simply want to connect your phone and scroll through a bunch of radio stations, you’ll get on okay with the ZS’ touchscreen. There’s Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay on all cars with a touchscreen, and Android Auto on newer cars, so you can swerve MG’s system for your most-used apps, if you prefer.

With its coloured tiles and slightly fuzzy graphics, it feels a bit like ‘my first touchscreen’. It lacks the sophistication and polish of some rival systems, but you should at least find it easy to navigate round.

Electric models come with a completely different screen, which is bigger and runs different infotainment software. This 10.1-inch screen is crisper, quicker to load and looks more modern. You also get access to MG’s iSmart phone app, which syncs with the car and lets you schedule charging start and finish times, preheat the cabin on cold mornings and more.

Rear seat space

As long as your rear passengers don’t mind sitting fairly upright, they’ve got lots of space to stretch out in. Considering the ZS is quite a compact SUV, there’s plenty of legroom and headroom unless you’re a lot taller than average, and that translates to generous space for both teenagers and younger children in bulky car seats.

If child seats are a consideration, you’ll appreciate the large doors that open quite wide and the easily accessible Isofix points. Getting a toddler in and out should be pretty easy – well, as easy as getting a toddler in and out can be…

The transmission tunnel isn’t very big at all and the seats are quite flat, so you can fit three adults across the back if they’re close friends. It won’t be super comfortable for three, but it’s doable for short journeys.

There are big door bins, and many cars get seatback pockets and USBs to make life more comfortable for those in the back.

Boot space

A few rivals have sliding rear seats, which means they can quote huge boot space figures, but that comes at the expense of rear-seat space. The MG ZS offers both great rear-seat space and a big 448-litre boot, which is more than you get in many small SUVs such as the Nissan Juke, Skoda Kamiq, Vauxhall Crossland and SEAT Arona.

The boot is wide and long, and there’s only a small lip to haul your shopping over, so it’s a really usable space. There are a couple of nets that can secure smaller items, and a false floor that allows you to maximise boot space or create a flat floor when the rear seats are folded.

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