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MG HS Review

7 / 10
12 December 2023

The MG HS is a bit of an SUV bargain, undercutting nearly every other mid-size rival on price. 

Despite its affordable price, the MG HS offers plenty of in-car infotainment and safety technology, a big bright digital dashboard and lots of safety kit. The rear seats are roomy, the boot is average for the class but it's all let down by a jerky automatic gearbox and wobbly suspension that never truly settles down.

What we like:
  • Lots of car for the money
  • Excellent rear-seat space
  • Seven-year warranty from new
What we don't like:
  • Inefficient petrol engine
  • Jerky automatic gearbox
  • Boot smaller than rivals

Should I buy an MG HS?

Chinese-owned MG has designed the HS SUV to steal you away from all the other mid-size family SUVs – such as the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan – and to undercut them significantly on price. 

The result is one of the most affordable mid-size family SUVs on the market, yet one that also has all the mod-cons, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and plenty more. 

Heck, the MG HS even has a cabin that, at first glance, looks reasonably posh thanks to leather seats on all models. Start prodding and poking, however, and you’ll realise the materials don’t feel as nice as they look.

The HS has a choice of a petrol or plug-in hybrid drivetrains. The latter adds significantly to the car’s cost, and the former is pretty powerful but also thirsty – expect about 38mpg on a long trip. The HS’s automatic gearbox is also jerky at slow speeds and the suspension never really settles down on bumpy British roads, so the HS doesn’t drive as well as its rivals.

In short, you should consider an MG HS if you’re after excellent value, good rear-seat space and an acceptable boot, along with all the tech you could realistically want. Just be aware that rivals drive more comfortably and use less fuel.

Interior and technology

MG’s not been shy filling the HS’s cabin with high-tech features. You get a bright, colourful 10.1-inch colour touchscreen with sat-nav on all models, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. You also get ‘leather-style’ upholstery even on entry-level SE models, which looks nice but feels a little bit too plasticky for our liking.

Rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are also standard, as is adaptive cruise control.

While the cabin certainly looks nicely designed, there are some cheap-feeling plastics if you look hard enough, and the leather covering the dashboard feels like a flimsy veneer glued over hard plastics. You also have to prod too many buttons to adjust things like the air temperature and heated seats in top-spec models.


Given that the MG HS is about the same length as a Volkswagen Tiguan at just under 4.6m, you’d expect it to have roomy rear seats – and it does. There’s plenty of room for tall passengers to stretch out, and the seats are pretty comfortable too.

The story in the boot isn’t quite so good – the 463-litre space (less in hybrid models) is reasonable, but nowhere near class-leading. It’ll still be big enough for most family duties, however.

Engines and performance

There’s one regular engine choice for the MG HS. It’s a 1.5-litre petrol with 163hp and comes with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. We’d normally recommend an automatic gearbox for relaxed driving, but the MG HS’s automatic gearbox is so jerky at low speeds you’ll swear you’ve forgotten how to drive. There are also times when it feels as though the car will stall – not good for an auto! Our recommendation is, unusually, to go for the manual option.

The engine itself is more than powerful enough, but fuel economy of around 38mpg isn’t particularly great, and the bright red Super Sport button on the steering wheel simply engages a driving mode that turns the accelerator into a passenger-annoying hair trigger.

Over on the plug-in hybrid side of things, the 1.5-litre petrol engine is mated to an electric motor for a seriously punchy 260hp. This version can travel up to 32 miles on electric power alone and will dash from 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds, but it adds £7,600 to the HS’s price. The saving grace is that the electric motor smooths out the driving experience, making it the most pleasant HS to drive.

Driving and comfort

It’s easy to get comfortable behind the HS's wheel thanks to a decent range of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, and you get a good view out.

On the motorway, it’s a comfortable and reasonably quiet cruiser but, when you head on to twisty and bumpy roads, it feels noticeably more wayward than its rivals. It never truly settles on its jelly-like suspension, and the light steering takes some getting used to. On a twisty road, you’ll feel much more confident behind the wheel of a Skoda Karoq or a Nissan Qashqai.

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