MG HS review
The MG HS could well hit the spot if you’re after a keenly priced family SUV with great levels of safety
With the MG HS, it’s a case of two steps forward and one back wherever you look. For instance, it undercuts the competition in the mid-size SUV segment on price, but it’ll be more expensive to run because of less-than-impressive fuel economy and relatively high insurance ratings.
The HS has received a facelift for 2023, giving it more presence than before, but the interior still lacks the functionality, technology or wow factor you get in its rivals, and practicality isn’t a strong point either.
At its core, the MG HS is good family transport and, if you can live with its obvious flaws, then its attractive pricing, seven-year warranty and generous equipment levels could just be enough to persuade you.
About the MG HS
The mid-size SUV sector is one of the most competitive areas for mainstream manufacturers. It’s certainly one of the most popular with buyers, who continue to value the affordable mix of space, style and comfort these cars offer that keeps the whole family happy.
Under Chinese ownership since 2006, MG has been working hard to make it onto UK customer shortlists and prove it’s a worthy contender. New cars such as the all-electric MG5 EV estate, ZS compact SUV and larger HS, have all been well-received and follow a practical, fit-for-purpose formula that, although lacking in flair, just about pass muster against their more well-known European, Japanese and Korean rivals.
Speaking of the opposition, customers are spoilt for choice with the accomplished Skoda Karoq, Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca all vying for attention, while the huge quality strides made by Kia and Hyundai in recent years mean that the Sportage and Tucson are more than worthy of consideration. The Peugeot 3008 and new Renault Austral are two more stylish alternatives with upmarket cabins.
You really can’t pause for breathe in this sector, with seemingly endless possibilities. The practical Vauxhall Grandland shares much of its mechanicals with the 3008, which makes it a reasonable bet, and the talented Mazda CX-5 is one of the best mid-size SUVs to drive. Then there are the similarly sized Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V. Priced from around £23,500, however, the HS undercuts the majority of these rivals by a sustainable amount and that is always going to be a key selling point for this car.
The HS was facelifted in May 2023, although when we consider MG is looking to replace it and much of its current line-up by the end of 2024, we’re not sure why it bothered. Nevertheless, the cut-price family SUV has a new look and adopted the same trim structure as the MG4 EV. That means instead of Excite or Exclusive specifications, buyers get a choice of entry-level SE spec or a range-topping Trophy model, although the base model covers everything you’re probably going to need.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.1-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus the MG Pilot suite of driver assistance systems with lane-keep assist, intelligent high-beam assist and blind-spot detection. Upgrading to the Exclusive trim then adds luxury touches such as electronically adjustable and heated front sports seats, dual-zone air conditioning, tinted rear windows and a 10-speaker stereo.
Power comes from a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 160bhp, although there is the option of either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT auto transmission. A plug-in hybrid version is also available, combining the same petrol unit with a 120bhp electric motor to produce a 254bhp in total and offer a 32-mile pure-electric driving range.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe MG HS could well hit the spot if you’re after a keenly priced family SUV with great levels of safety
- 2Engines, performance and drivePower seems reasonable enough on paper, but the 1.5-litre petrol engine is noisy and needs to be revved hard
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe MG HS offers below average day-to-day running costs, and is likely to be more expensive to insure than many key rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe updated HS has more presence than before, but its cabin and technology is no match for class leaders
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe MG HS offers plenty of passenger space, but its boot could be bigger
- 6Reliability and safetyWith a five-star safety rating, a reassuring seven-year warranty and improving customer feedback, MG HS ownership should be hassle-free