MG HS, a budget flagship SUV

In Car Reviews, MG by Matthew Macconnell

The MG HS, a budget SUV that’s doing its darndest to cover all bases

Car Reviewed: MG HS Trophy

The MG5 EV makes a decent argument for those looking to step into the world of EVs. The MG4 XPOWER is a £36,000 electric supercar slayer, and then there’s the model tested, the HS—MG’s flagship SUV with a petrol engine. There are two trims: SE and Trophy. Both are available with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto box. If you’re willing to part with a bit more cash, you can now also have a hybrid guise.

Buy the Trophy, and your HS will come with dual-zone air conditioning, a powered tailgate, rear privacy glass, a six-speaker stereo system and heated sports seats.

My test car was the Trophy equipped with the £545 Urban Gray paintwork and the £1,500 seven-speed auto transmission, bringing the total to £28,540.

Depending on your views, the MG HS is quite attractive. The front gave me Maserati Levante vibes, while the back blends in with other modern SUVs. Inside, things are hot hatch-like. There are hugging leather and half Alcantara sports seats, plenty of red piping, and a ‘Super Sport’ button between one of the steering wheel spokes.

Both trim levels are well-equipped, but by poking and prodding, you’ll soon find where MG has saved money; the switchgear feels very budget and scratchy plastics are never too far away.

Heading out, it was time to test the big red button mentioned earlier, which releases all 159bhp and 250Nm. With it pressed, the HS lurched forward before picking up, although I found it did this to be the case in any mode without the button. After some hard acceleration, my hair was still attached, I didn’t need to retrieve my belongings from the boot, and I was left questioning: why bother? I wasn’t expecting it to tear my face apart, but surely there was some notable difference.

Without the button active, the car was timed from 0-62mph in its ‘Sport’ setting, which resulted in 9.1 seconds. With the button pressed in the same conditions, it managed 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. 30-70mph without the button arrived in 8.2 sec; with the button, it was 8.5 sec. So, there you have it. MG claims that the button sharpens throttle response and makes everything a bit livelier, but you’re probably better off keeping it in ‘Sport’ for any spirited driving.

There’s enough power to have a bit of fun on a twisty road, but the gearbox, yet again, raises its ugly head as the car is never sure which gear it should be in.

We often hop in the car to escape the four walls of our home office, which can quickly become a jail cell when we sit for the entire week working. The HS takes four 5” 10 passengers well, and there’s plenty of rear space; it might not have the largest boot at 463 litres, but a medium-sized dog will fit with room to move around.

Heading towards Perth, we set off on a 78.6-mile round trip; the car was in eco mode and the temperature readout showed 0 °C. The front seats were toasty: the cabin temperature was set to a cushy 23.5 degrees.

Arriving home, the accumulated MPG total was 32.1mpg. The car hovered around 30-31mpg for quite some time before climbing. Unfortunately, this was quite off MG’s claimed 36.6mpg figure. Throughout the week, I struggled to come close, although a 7-mile drive to town and back resulted in 34.9mpg.

Budget flagship—it’s almost an oxymoron. It’s a budget SUV that’s doing its darndest to cover all bases. Sure, it has questionable interior quality in some places and a rather sloshy automatic ‘box. However, the HS is standing up to the Mazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage, rivals that’ll leave you with a fair bit less in your bank account upon initial purchase.

Author Rating 3.8/5

Car reviewed: MG HS Trophy

on the road price £26,495 as tested £28,540

  • 0-62mph 9.1secs (as tested)
  • Top speed 118mph
  • Engine 1.5-litre turbo 4 cylinder unleaded
  • Fuel Economy Combined 32.1 (as tested)
  • Max Power 159hp@5500rpm
  • Torque 250Nm@1500rpm
  • Dimensions MM 4610 L/1876 W/1685 H
  • CO2 emissions 174g/km WLTP combined
  • Transmission 7-speed automatic
  • Bootspace 463 / 1454 1itres (seats folded)

Matthew MacConnell


A motoring journalist from Central Scotland with a Diploma in Freelance and Feature Writing from the London School of Journalism, contributing to various online and print automotive publications. Matthew covers features, news and car reviews and enjoys the fast-paced environment of the motoring world with a strong coffee in hand. From a Honda Jazz to a Lamborghini Reventón there’s nothing off limits.

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