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In-depth reviews

MG HS SUV review

"The MG HS SUV is an affordable, practical and well-equipped family car, but rivals are better to drive"

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Best MG interior yet
  • Seven-year warranty

Cons

  • Unrefined petrol engine
  • High running costs
  • Reliability concerns

Verdict - Is the MG HS a good car?

The MG HS won’t be remembered for reinventing the mid-size SUV, and even following its facelift it feels dated in some respects; its petrol engine is rather thirsty if you don’t go for the plug-in hybrid version. However, the HS does represent impressive value for money without skimping on practicality, comfort or safety, so for families on a budget it could still hold appeal.

MG HS models, specs and alternatives

The MG HS is the largest model in the brand’s range and of a similar size to popular SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008. It’s available with electric power (this version is called the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid) or with a normal 1.5-litre petrol engine.

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Like most modern MG cars, the HS is smart-looking if not particularly eye-catching. It has a typical SUV look with a big, imposing grille at the front, tall sides, roof rails and plastic cladding around the wheel arches to make it look like an off-roader, although it’s very much a road car and isn’t available with four-wheel drive at all.

A facelift in 2023 helped to keep the HS looking fresh, with a new grille, headlights and bumper at the front, along with replaced LED rear lights, twin exhaust tips and a new design of 18-inch alloy wheels that are fitted across both trim levels.

best mid size suvsTop 10 best mid-size SUVs 2024

The inside of the HS is very much like the outside – it’s good enough that the car feels like good value, but doesn’t go above and beyond. There’s a simple trim line-up of two specifications, first called Excite or Exclusive, but switching to SE and Trophy for the facelift. All models have a 10.1-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so tech is decent too. Its resolution looks okay, but there is some lag if you try and change its settings too quickly. The HS is cheap, so most will go for the higher-spec model, which brings heated seats and climate control.

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There’s lots of room inside the MG HS, with plenty of headroom and legroom even in the back seats. There’s a 463-litre boot and thanks to the 1,750kg towing capacity, the HS is a good choice for people who need to tow a caravan or trailer too.

The HS is good enough to drive, although it’s a little stiff on some roads and many of its rivals are both more fun and more comfortable. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine is noisy and not particularly powerful, especially with the automatic gearbox fitted, which makes it feel even more lethargic than the manual version. The MG is also quite a bit less efficient than many of its rivals  – the petrol model feels quite old-fashioned as a result.

A more modern-feeling alternative is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the HS. It has much more power (255bhp) so it’s much quicker and more relaxing when overtaking. The mediocre handling isn’t much better, but the HS PHEV will manage around 30 miles of fully electric driving. It looks expensive compared to the petrol one, but it’s considerably cheaper than other similarly sized plug-in SUVs.

Some SUV owners will be more impressed by the MG's seven-year warranty and won't be too concerned about its handling. It's also covered for up to 80,000 miles (whichever comes first) and, thanks to safety kit like standard autonomous emergency braking, it was awarded a five-star safety score by Euro NCAP.

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