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MG HS interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you first hop into the seat of an MG HS. The dashboard layout and materials all look modern and leagues above a ‘budget’ car, but they don’t really stand up to further prodding. The leather seats feel a little more like PVC than real (or even posh artificial) animal hide, but they’re plenty comfy for long drives. 

The view out is also decent, save for a large blindspot at the rear corners of the car – but that’s also true of all its mid-size SUV rivals. A standard-fit reversing camera helps mitigate the blindspot when parking, and hybrid models get a full 360-degree surround-view camera to nail that bay park.

Standard equipment

MG splits the HS range into two simple trim levels – SE and Trophy.

Entry-level MG HS SE models are so well equipped you’ll wonder why there’s a model above it. On the 2023-onward facelift models, SE versions of the HS get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and faux-leather seat upholstery, keyless entry and starting, as well as a 10.1-inch colour infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which powers a basic four-speaker sound system. On the outside, you’ll find LED headlights, silver roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a reversing camera with rear parking sensors. Standard-fit driving aids include adaptive cruise control that can stop and start in traffic jams.

Step up to a Trophy model and you get sportier front seats which are heated, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, a beefier six-speaker audio system, driving modes – including the questionable Super Sport button on the steering wheel – paddle shifters for the automatic gearbox, tinted rear windows and last but not least, an electrically powered boot lid.

Hybrid SE models get the six-speaker sound system as standard, as well as a 360-degree camera and heated front seats. 

Infotainment and audio

Every MG HS gets a duo of large screens. There’s a big digital driver’s display that shows things like fuel economy, tyre pressures and speed, while a large 10.1-inch central touchscreen infotainment system handles your media, climate control and navigation needs. This has bright colourful graphics, but it’s not without fault – it emits an annoying bong whenever you touch it, and it can be a fiddle to adjust your climate controls on the move. Thankfully you do have physical shortcut buttons under the screen for your front and rear demisters.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included in the MG HS, but you’ll need to plug your phone into one of the HS’s two USB sockets to use it.

The MG HS’s entry-level sound system doesn’t sound especially bad, but it’s not as punchy or bassy as the Trophy model’s six-speaker sound system. Neither is up there with high-end sound systems from German rivals, but then you’re not paying German-rival money.

Rear seat space

Rear seat space in the MG HS is impressive, with plenty of space for six-foot rear passengers to sit behind equally tall drivers without fear of brushing the seatback with their knees. Headroom is also decent, and the cabin’s wide enough for three people to sit together for short journeys without becoming overfamiliar. A near-flat transmission tunnel means the centre-rear passenger has more foot room than most rivals.

Best of all is the relaxed seat-back angle – you sit nice and reclined to the extent your rear-seat passengers will be nodding off before you know it. You also have the option to angle the rear seats more upright to increase boot space. Charging options come via a pair of USB-A sockets on the back of the centre console. Overall, back-seat accommodation is right up there with a Volkswagen Tiguan.

Boot space

Things aren’t quite so roomy in the boot. There’s a 463-litre load space in petrol models, which drops to 448 litres in plug-in hybrid versions – the drop in space comes about because the underfloor storage is snaffled up by batteries and space for cables. For context, the HS has a slightly smaller boot than the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Skoda Karoq.

Flip the rear seats down in a petrol model and you’ve got a useful 1,375-litre space, but again it’s slightly below average for the class.

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