MG HS review - Interior, design and technology
The updated HS has more presence than before, but its cabin and technology is no match for class leaders
At launch, the MG HS had simple, quite anonymous SUV styling. Now, however, thanks to its facelift for 2023, the mid-size family SUV has slightly more presence with its new gaping front grille and aggressive front bumper. It also received new headlights, twin exhaust tips and LED tail-lights. The updated HS also rides on a new set of 18-inch wheels, which are standard on all versions.
However, it is worth noting that only the purely petrol-powered HS gets this updated look at the moment, with the plug-in hybrid model’s look unchanged at the time of writing.
Unfortunately, the majority of the interior design remains the same, as does the general feel and quality of materials. Compared to its rivals, the HS lacks the wow factor of the Kia Sportage’s cabin, nor does it possess the same functionality as the Skoda Karoq’s. It doesn’t take long to find some cheap-feeling plastics in the HS, either, but at least all of the common touchpoints feel solid. There are also some physical switches on the centre console, which is never a bad thing, although a lot of the heating and ventilation functions are controlled via the central touchscreen.
MG has ditched the previous Explore, Excite and Exclusive specifications on the facelifted HS, and adopted the same trim structure as the MG4 EV. That means buyers have a choice of entry-level SE or range-topping Trophy models.
Equipment levels are pleasingly high, with base cars getting 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a reversing camera, keyless entry, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, sat-nav and even hill descent control. Upgrading to Trophy trim adds electronically adjustable and heated front sports seats, dual-zone air conditioning, rear tinted windows and an upgraded sound system.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Every MG HS features a 10.1-inch central touchscreen that also received some improvements as part of the 2023 facelift. However, when we tested it ourselves the system can still lag slightly if you’re quick with your inputs, the resolution of the display itself is merely OK and the in-built sat-nav is easily bewildered. Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are both standard-fit, and we expect most drivers will rely on their favourite media and navigation apps instead.
While the simple menu layout of the HS’s infotainment system is easy to understand, the climate control settings on the touchscreen are fiddly. Although there are a few physical buttons for shortcuts to key features lower down, which help things along more smoothly.
You don’t have the option of a full digital dash for the driver in the regular HS, just analogue dials with a TFT display between showing your speed and other information. The MG HS Plug-in Hybrid does feature a digital instrument panel, albeit one with slightly cheesy graphics.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe 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 technology - currently readingThe 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