MG HS Review
The MG HS is is a good-value SUV that’s available with petrol or plug-in hybrid power
Strengths & weaknesses
The MG HS is a medium-sized SUV that’s available with a normal petrol engine or as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It sits in one of the most competitive and popular classes of car, so there’s lots of strong competition.
Rivals for the MG HS include the Skoda Karoq, Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca, Renault Kadjar and Peugeot 3008. These are some of the most impressive and big-selling family cars around, so the MG HS has a lot to live up to - and it does, in some ways.
The main reason to consider an HS is that it’s good value for money. It has all the modern tech you would expect from a family car, but it’s cheaper than many of its rivals. Depreciation means that used examples are particularly cheap, too - the MG isn’t as upmarket as its rivals, so it loses value faster.
The MG HS uses either a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 162hp or a plug-in hybrid set-up that has the same engine but adds an electric motor that increases total power to 258hp. The petrol model is manual or automatic, while the PHEV is auto-only - and it uses a ten-speed gearbox, so it’s pretty efficient.
The PHEV returns a claimed 155mpg, but to achieve that you will need to maximise use of the 32 miles of electric range by charging the battery up at home. The normal petrol is a lot less efficient, managing about 38mpg.
The MG HS is relatively comfortable, although it’s quite dull to drive and it’s not as practical as many of its rivals. However, it has loads of standard equipment, it’s good value and has enough space for family life, so it’s worth considering if you have a limited budget or just want to get the most car for your cash.
Read on to find out more about the MG HS and which model is right for you.
Should I get an MG HS?
✔ Cheap to buy
✔ Long warranty
✘ Not very good to drive
✘ Not as practical as rivals
✘ Dull interior and exterior looks
The MG HS is a budget car, but thanks to its long list of standard kit and comfortable ride, it doesn’t feel like a bargain basement special. It’s competitive enough with more expensive rivals to feel like a good-value purchase, especially on the used market where the long warranty plays a big part in its appeal.
It’s roomy enough for most, although rivals have more space, and there’s all the modern tech you need included even on lower-spec models. The HS looks dull inside and out, and it isn’t exciting to drive either, but it’s a pragmatic choice for those with a lower budget - especially the plug-in hybrid model, which is cheap to buy and run.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Hybrid/Plug-in hybrid
- Batteries and range
- Charge time
- Best MG HS for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The MG HS is a mid-size SUV, so it’s a similar size to a Nissan Qashqai. It’s available with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, either on its own or with a plug-in hybrid set-up that adds an electric motor as well, plus a 16.6kWh battery. The petrol model has either a manual or automatic gearbox, while the PHEV is auto-only.
Expect similar MPG figures from both models - around 38mpg - if you never plug in the hybrid version. However, keep it topped up at home overnight and you could see 155mpg, according to official figures. The 258hp output of this model means it’s quite fast too: 0-62mph takes 7.1 seconds.
|From £12,850: Entry-level models come with a 10.1-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav, a reversing camera and Apple CarPlay. If you choose the PHEV model the camera is upgraded to a 360-degree unit, plus you get heated seats in the front as well.
|From £14,300: The higher-spec versions of the HS come with dual-zone air-conditioning, heated seats and an upgraded six-speaker stereo. PHEV models get leather seats, upgraded pedals, and LED indicator lights.
There are two power options here, a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 162hp or the plug-in hybrid model with the same engine plus an electric motor (for a total of 258hp). This version comes with a 16.6kWh battery that can be charged up to provide 32 miles of electric driving without needing the engine at all. See below for charging times.
The plug-in model is good value next to other PHEV SUVs, but it’s the more expensive option to buy. Low running costs will offset that to some extent, but if you don’t do a lot of miles then it will take a long time to make back the savings by going for the normal petrol engine.
The MG HS Plug-in has a 16.6kWh battery so charging up doesn’t take too long. At a home wallbox it will take three hours to charge up fully, which is as fast as it gets. It’s a short time for the decent 30-mile range provided by the small battery pack.
There are two power options for the MG HS and two trim levels in each form, plus manual or auto options for the petrol model. Here we’ll pick out some of the best models in the range for a variety of situations.
|MG HS 1.5 T-GDI Excite: Even the most basic MG HS is good value, since it comes with comforts such as sat-nav and Apple CarPlay as standard. The manual model is the best value and it’s more efficient than the automatic as well.
|MG HS 1.5 T-GDI Exclusive DCT: If you are driving in traffic a lot, you can choose the automatic model. Moving up to Exclusive trim adds heated seats, a must for winter school runs, and dual-zone air-conditioning.
|MG HS 1.5 PHEV Excite: The plug-in hybrid model has 258hp and can go from 0-62mph in just 7.1 seconds, so it’s quite fast. It’s not much fun to drive, though, so if performance is a priority then we’d skip the HS overall.
|MG HS PHEV Exclusive: We’d avoid the most expensive model in the range, because with the plug-in model you get all the kit you need in the lower Excite trim level, including heated seats and a 360-degree camera.
Rivals for the normal MG HS are not in short supply. The Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008, Seat Ateca, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Renault Kadjar and Vauxhall Grandland X are just some examples, and all are better than the MG in one way or another - except they are also more expensive to buy.
The plug-in model has fewer rivals, but there’s the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, Ford Kuga PHEV and Vauxhall Grandland Hybrid. All are significantly more expensive than the MG, but offer similar efficiency and range on electric power alone.
MG HS practicality: dimensions and boot space
The MG HS is 4.6m long, 1.7m high and 1.9m wide, so it’s longer than the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai but not as long as a Ford Kuga. It’s a fairly average size for a family SUV, though - it’s not a significant amount longer or wider than other cars of its type.
There’s enough space in the back seats for adults to get comfortable, as there’s plenty of legroom and headroom is good too. There’s plenty of light in the cabin so it doesn’t feel dark and dingy inside. There’s no adjustment for the front passenger seat vertically, so it’s a little high up, but for passengers the MG is good.
|Weight 1,539kg - 1,775kg
The MG HS has different boot sizes depending on which version you choose. There’s 463 litres available in the petrol model but the battery in the PHEV model reduces this to 448 litres. With the rear seats folded, this increases to 1,454 litres in total in the petrol version and 1,375 litres in the plug-in.
This drop is actually not too bad, and you might not even notice the difference unless you directly compare the two. The seats don’t fold down completely flat, though, so it’s not the most useful shape for larger items. Also, most rivals in this class have well over 500 litres of boot space, some over 600 litres, so the MG is a little tight for luggage space.
|Seats up 448-463 litres
|Seats down 1,375-1,454 litres
The MG HS did not appear in the latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but its little brother - the MG ZS - finished 61st overall, which was a decent result. However, MG came in a very poor 28th out of 29 manufacturers, so it’s likely that the ownership experience won’t be as good as with other carmakers. It does have a long warranty, though - see below.
The MG HS comes with a warranty covering it for seven years or 80,000 miles, much better than the normal warranty of three years or 60,000 miles offered by most car makers. Only Kia and Toyota offer a longer warranty from the factory without paying extra.
This means the MG HS makes more sense as a used buy when it’s a couple of years old, or as a longer-term purchase where you aren’t planning on selling it for many years.
The MG HS makes more sense as a used car than as a new one in many ways. It has depreciated quite quickly, so it’s good value, and it comes with a long warranty so even examples that are a few years old still have lots of time left on the manufacturer cover. It’s also comfortable, well equipped and is available as a plug-in hybrid as well.
However, it’s outclassed in most ways by more mainstream models - you can find more practical, more comfortable, better-to-drive and more visually appealing models on the used market readily from makers like Skoda, Kia, Hyundai and Ford.
The MG HS petrol is good value, and in manual form it’s more efficient than the automatic. It’s really well equipped no matter which trim level you choose, and the long warranty means that even early models like this have plenty of cover left.
Choose the plug-in hybrid model if you do a short amount of daily miles and can charge up overnight. It can drive for 32 miles on electricity alone, which is great for saving fuel on daily trips.
The Excite trim level gets a different amount of kit depending on whether you choose petrol or plug-in hybrid power. The latter gets things like heated seats and a 360-degree camera, so it’s the better option in that range.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
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