MG ZS EV Exclusive audio review: Impressive 3D surround sound

The MG ZS EV is among the least expensive all-electric SUVs on the market. The vehicle’s stylish exterior design combined with its spacious interior makes it perfect for those who want a practical eco-friendly vehicle.

The MG ZS EV is available in two trims: the cheaper Excite starts from £25,495 after the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG), while the more expensive Exclusive trim starts from £27,995. In this review, we’ll be talking about the latter model that features a six-speaker system with MG’s unique ‘3D Sound’ feature. The former comes with a four-speaker system, instead.

For a demo of the MG ZS EV’s audio system watch the review on our YouTube channel.

MG ZS EV Exclusive audio setup

The ZS EV’s infotainment system isn’t quite up to scratch with the rest of the vehicle. It feels clunky and is slow to respond. However, accessing the vehicle’s audio settings is straightforward – from the radio tab, an ‘Audio’ option presents itself and takes you to the general audio and EQ settings, and ‘Sound Stage’. The latter allows you to enable the ‘3D Sound’ feature and enable the ‘Virtual Subwoofer’.

MG ZS EV screen

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As for the EQ settings, MG allows for the 80 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 5 kHz and 16 kHz frequencies to be tweaked to your liking by up 12 dB. That’s not bad, given most will have only two or three generic options – for example, bass, treble and highs.

In terms of connectivity, MG has both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay built-in. Alternatively, you can connect to the ZS EV’s infotainment system wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Read next: MG ZS EV review: An affordable all-electric SUV

MG ZS EV Exclusive audio performance

For a demo of the MG ZS EV’s audio system watch the review on our YouTube channel.

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to crank the ZS EV’s speakers into life – four are located at the front and two on the rear doors. As per the ‘Virtual Subwoofer’ option, you can imagine that there’s no physical woofer present in the vehicle.

Unsurprisingly this has an impact on sub-50Hz frequencies. Here, Beyoncé’s 2006 single, ‘Upgrade U’, which has a lot of sub-bass tones sounded a little tame. Instead of being treated to a multitude of low-end rumbles, you should expect a cut-off bass response that’ll leave you longing for more.

It’s equally disheartening to find the MG ZS EV’s mid-range dipped. To counter it, we’d suggest adding a few decibels to the 1 kHz frequency through the vehicle’s EQ settings. Now while this might not be a perfect fit it will, however, yield better results and present vocals in a more positive light.

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Thankfully, that’s where the negative aspects of the MG ZS EV audio system come to an end, as the other aspects are impressive. Starting with the highs: the six speakers don’t sound overly bright and give a good sense of excitement to music. Take Ne-Yo’s ‘Closer’ (Stonebridge Remix), for example; the ZS EV delivers great cymbals and doesn’t overextend them, either.

As for the mid-bass, the six speakers produce a tight and controlled response. To achieve the best well-rounded results, we’d suggest decreasing the 500 Hz frequency by a few notches – of course, your mileage may vary depending on the amount of bass presence you’d like in your music.

Finally, onto the soundstage, we find the ZS EV’s speakers deliver near-perfect instrument separation, great width and depth, and excellent tonality. With the addition of the ‘3D Sound’ setting, you can widen the overall soundstage of the vehicle, however, this comes at the expense of a further dip in the mids. As such, you’ll want to use this option if you’re listening to live music and disable it if you’re listening to radio talk shows.

MG ZS EV review

Read next: Mini Electric audio review: An impressive audio system

TotallyEV’s verdict on the MG ZS EV Exclusive audio system

On the whole, the MG ZS EV has exceptionally good sound for an SUV of its price. The vehicle’s sub-bass and mid-range frequencies might not be its forte but the system’s mid-bass, highs and soundstage make up for lost ground.

Is the ZS EV Exclusive’s audio system alone worth the £2,500 premium over the Excite? Quite possibly. Let us know in the comments or via social media if you’d fork out on an audio system upgrade; we’re on: YouTubeInstagramFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As an owner of the MG ZS EV Exclusive, I don’t recommend the upgrade for the sound system alone. After owning the vehicle for over 6 months I’ve now reverted to switching off the Soundstage function to try and find a true unadulterated sound from the entertainment system. The virtual subwoofer with electronic music ends up with a distortion on spoke tracks so I adjust the EQ only now.

    What the £2500 price hop is worth spending money on is; the panoramic sunroof, heated front seats (which I think should be standard on all EVs anyway), the folding electrically adjustable mirrors, rear parking camera, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert (especially useful as you always have to reverse out of EV charging bays due to the charger being placed in the front grille) and the driver’s seat being electrically adjustable. But most definitely not the sound system.

    It’s a shame they didn’t add a premium entertainment package that gave the car a real subwoofer either as a upgrade for both spec or pushed the boat further with the Exclusive spec, even if it was to cost a little more. Many ZS EV owners are now adding a subwoofer through car entertainment specialists because it lacks that bottom end punch to the sound.

    • Thanks for sharing Stuart! In relation to the sound system: don’t forget you got the additional speakers in there vs the Excite.
      As for the other features included in the Exclusive, indeed, quite a few additions for the £2,500 premium.
      I’d have also liked to hear a real subwoofer, although, it does seem increasingly rare nowadays – even when companies use third-party audio specialists to tune the vehicles’ audio system.

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