The MG ZS doesn’t suffer under any fashionable ‘crossover’ bodystyle definition and so, while it’s not outwardly particularly large, it offers better interior space than some of its competitors.

This is a car that will easily transport four adults in relative comfort, offering more than enough in the way of cabin space so as to assuage any concerns about unwanted bodily contact with your fellow passenger. Our tape measure took typical rear leg room at an impressive 730mm, with second-row head room coming in at 910mm. Respectively, that’s 70mm more and 10mm less than the Kona Electric (a car we criticised for its shortage of outright passenger space), and a mere fraction behind the excellent e-Niro.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Open position for the air vent is at three o’clock, which looks a touch odd. Design feels like it’s been lifted straight from Audi, too. Or do we mean Mercedes?

Boot space is very good by class standards. With 470 litres of seats up capacity (22 more than in the regular ZS), it outstrips both the Kia and the Hyundai – the former by 19 litres and the latter by a considerable 138 litres. A split-level ‘variable’ boot floor makes a small underfloor compartment available where charging cables can be stashed, while there are also two useful cubbies in the recess behind each rear wheel arch. The cabin isn’t without its share of handy storage solutions either.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the MG Motor range

Driven this week

But while the MG makes a pretty strong case for itself with regards to purely utilitarian usability, it doesn’t set any new benchmarks in terms of visual or tactile material appeal. Superficially, its combination of glossy black and chrome-like plastic surfacing has some level of allure, but closer investigation of the car’s fixtures and fittings doesn’t yield a particularly solid feel.

While most of the MG’s interior trim feels as though it’s been put together well enough, the cabin isn’t free from creaks and groans, and much of the interior switchgear isn’t so pleasing to the touch. Admittedly, the car’s secondary controls are largely well placed within easy reach of the driver, but their predominantly hard, plasticky construction isn’t quite up to the standard of those you’d find in the Hyundai or Kia (neither of which is a benchmark for outstanding material quality). Some of this apparent cheapness might be forgiven, of course, in light of the MG’s price; some, but perhaps not all.

For the clarity of its display, the MG’s infotainment system is to be commended. On a purely visual level, there isn’t a great deal separating it from some of the more high-end tablets and smartphones.

It’s a pity, then, that where pure usability is concerned, it comes unstuck in quite dramatic fashion. The operating system is easy enough to learn and then navigate, but responsiveness is poor and the graphical slickness that’s so readily apparent when you’re not interacting with it all but goes out the window.

Still, once you’ve inputted your mapping information into the factory satellite navigation system, or selected your preferred DAB radio station, it does claw back a degree of smoothness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both look slick, too, provided you’re not constantly trying to jump between menus.

The sound quality, meanwhile, is good enough given the MG’s price point, while multiple USB ports allow a collection of devices to be charged at once.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the MG Motor range

Driven this week