When I set out to take the new MG HS for a spin, I knew it would be a significant leap from my old hatchback. And when I first climbed into the latest MG HS SUV with the Exclusive trim, it had me feeling like I had moved from a simple apartment to a fully connected smart house. From the easy-to-adjust electrical seat to the ambient lighting under the dashboard, it didn’t take long for me to feel right at home.
Even at a glance, the new MG HS is big, bold and beautiful. At the front, the first thing you’re drawn to is the MG badge. Its sleek LED headlights, together with its stellar field grille, give the new HS serious presence. Then, when you factor in the creases on the bonnet and body combined with the twin tailpipes and aluminium lower bumper, you’ll be left with the overall impression that the whole thing’s rather sporty.
Move beyond its athletic good looks and you’ll discover a family-friendly interior, making it the ideal car for the school run and weekend adventures. Whether you’re driving or a passenger, there’s plenty of room, too. The HS has a 643-litre boot. That’s not the biggest for a large SUV, but rest assured, there’s more than enough room to fit all your shopping and luggage. Throughout the car, you’ll find plenty of thought has been given to all the creature comforts a driver and passengers could possibly need.
In the driver’s seat, the cockpit is designed to make driving as convenient as possible. Plus, MG have given you all the gadgets you’d want at your fingertips, from the perfectly positioned 10-inch infotainment system to heated seats and piano-styled shortcut switches. These switches will come in handy – especially when you want quick access to things like the volume and climate control.
There’s a variety of storage spaces, cup holders and USB slots for both driver and passengers. In the back, there are even thoughtfully placed reading lights on either side of the seat row. So, whether they’re reading or playing on the iPad, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained and less chance of you hearing ‘Are we there yet?’
It’s the impressive interior finishes and generous high-tech features that are standard across the trims that make you feel like you are getting a lot for your money. Regardless of the trim, you’ll get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, smartphone mirroring and the MG Pilot suite. The MG Pilot suite includes a vast range of useful high-tech driver aids. These include:
Initially, I was startled when warning lights flashed and bleeping started for the intelligent speed limit assist. This is most likely because my current car doesn’t come with fancy features to help me, but after a while, I enjoyed having the MG’s driving aids to hand.
When I got behind the wheel, I was surprised by how luxurious the HS felt. From the leather-covered dashboard, seats and steering to the brushed steel finishes, MG’s attention to detail has paid off.
And as someone who has a car with an old-school handbrake, there’s a lot to adjust to – like the electric handbrake and Hill Start Assist, but both features certainly make driving a dream.
On my test-drive, I was eager to properly put the SUV through its paces to find out how it handled common driving scenarios. From the moment I pulled off, the HS was smooth when moving and the gear changes were seamless.
During my start-stop driving around the city, I really enjoyed the electronic parking brake’s auto-hold function. This gave me a moment to relax while sitting in traffic as my feet didn’t have to be on the pedals. On the motorway, it was quick to get in the fast lane. When I put my foot down, I could really feel the HS power. The ten seconds it took to get to 60mph was around about how long it took MG’s new SUV to put a smile on my face. My test drive wouldn’t have been complete without a good old country road. The HS’s sharp steering was welcome – and it comfortably handled all the curves and sharp corners the road threw at us.
The MG HS is the ideal large SUV to take you from A to B. Aside from a comfortable ride, MG has brought real value for money with the new HS. From its significant size to all the great tech that comes as standard, the HS successfully undercuts quite a few smaller SUVs at a similar price point. For most of us, buying a car is one of the biggest purchases we’ll ever make, so if getting more bang for your buck is your top priority, the new MG HS SUV is a seriously strong contender.