By Nigel Wigmore
I HAVE to say that after driving MG’s new, large sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Chinese- owned carmaker should definitely make its pres- ence felt in the global car market.
The MG HS is after all a rather good car. It is comfortable, economical and roomy and, of course, it comes to market at an attractive price (starting at £17,995 on the road. The top spec Exclusive is available from £22,995).
The question is can this grand old British marque, now unrecognisable with regard to its history (except for the inimitable badge), make enough of an impact to thrive?
Going on the evidence of this drive in the MG HS, I think MG has a very good chance of giving its competitors a run for their money.
And money, after all, when it comes to new car buying, is really what it is all about.
There are plenty of cars out there that motorists
would love to see themselves in if they had the money.
But if your sights are set on a larger SUV you soon realise that the so-called prestige models are expensive buys.
Not for nothing has MG been named as the Best Value Brand 2020, according to a consumer vote featuring the views of more than 181,000 car owners for the fourth annual Auto Trader New Car Awards.
So what can the MG HS offer potential buyers? The car is good looking for a start and if a carmaker gets the design right, and makes the model desirable, then half the battle is won.
There are so-called “soft- touch materials” used throughout a spacious cabin, and the look outside the car is sporty and attractive.
A new 162PS turbo petrol engine and high-tech MG Pilot driver assistance suite are fitted as standard across all versions.
Also standard is the fact the new MG HS is backed by MG’s seven-year warranty.
MG has thought about the interior space. There is good shoulder and headroom so that you don’t feel hemmed in.
Rear seat passengers are catered for with reclining seats. There are twin air vents, two USBs and a
foldout arm rest, which reveal storage space and twin cup holders.
MG’s latest turbo petrol engine powers all three versions of this car; entry level Explore; mid-level Excite and top level Exclusive.
All versions are available with six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed DCT transmission is available as an option on Excite and Exclusive versions.
Exclusive DCT versions also include a steering wheel-mounted “Super Sport” button, which engages the car’s Sport mode and illuminates the interior’s red ambient lighting.
MG Pilot comprises Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Intelligent Headlight Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and Door Opening Warning.
You can see clearly with the arrival of the MG HS that MG earns its title of best value brand for this year.
The entry level Explore model starts from just £17,995 on the road. Standard features include 17in alloy wheels, keyless entry with push button start, a 10.1in colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and electric folding and heated door mirrors.
The mid-level Explore version is available from £20,495 on the road and adds rear parking camera, 18in alloys, rain sensing wipers and sat-nav.
Top spec Exclusive is available from £22,995 with a choice of two leather interiors (black or red and black), front and rear LED sequential indicators, electrically adjustable heated sports front seats, dual zone climate control, ambient lighting and a stunning panoramic opening Skyroof. DCT versions also include driving modes including Super
Sport and a customisable electronic opening tailgate.
The MG HS becomes the fourth car in MG’s range alongside the MG3 hatchback, MG ZS compact SUV and the all-electric MG ZS EV.
Exclusive versions have a choice of a black leather or a red and black leather interior scheme. Ambient lighting also runs throughout the interior on Exclusive versions, creating a warm and inviting social space. I really liked the simplicity of the graphics
and detail of the large infotainment screen situated front-and-centre of the dashboard.
Featuring the 10.1in colour touchscreen, the system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for good connectivity and integration with your phone, apps and music.
A six-speaker sound system (four-speaker system in Explore and Excite trims) provides drivers and passengers with an excellent sounds system.