The all New MG HS follows on from the fantastic success on the showroom floor of the MG ZS and ZS EV and continues MG’s stated aim of providing an excellent and unrivalled mix of specification, technology and price wrapped up in a thoroughly modern exterior. Indeed, the HS has taken this idea and moved it up a level with an interior that provides more shoulder, hip and head room in the front than any other car in its class. And that’s not all as the interior is a perfect balance of beauty and practicality, a mix usually expected in cars costing twice as much.
In the exclusive edition on test, the HS arrives with a stunning panoramic opening ‘sky roof’, an interior that provides soft touch trim that sweeps across the dashboard before integrating fully with the door cards and aluminium trim on the doors and centre console and also hides the subtle and changeable ambient lighting. Lighting which also allows you to set the cabin to suit your own mood and journey. Perhaps what first grabs your attention though are the superb and comfortable heated leather sports seats with their one piece back and six way adjustability. Matched with the fully adjustable steering wheel, getting yourself comfortable is simplicity itself. This interior is simply stunning the stunning.
What you also get with the all new MG HS is a striking new dashboard suitable for a top of the range SUV and designed, MG say, around the idea of style and simplicity. In front of you are your speedometer and rev-counter with a large TFT sitting centrally in between allowing you to scroll through the large amounts of vehicle information available to the driver as well as displaying the speed digitally. It works really well and soon becomes an integral tool to your driving, whether that be maximising economy or checking your progress with the new MG Pilot suite of safety and driving technologies. And lets not forget that when you scroll through the various driving modes available, economy, normal, sport and super sport, the central display switches through some cool graphics to show where you currently reside.
Dominating your eye-line though is the gorgeous 10.1″ colour touchscreen featuring DAB audio, Satellite navigation, Apple CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM, Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music streaming and access to the car’s features and settings. As with all modern cars, a few minutes going through the settings to adjust the HS to exactly how you want it is certainly time well spent and makes for an even more comfortable proposition.
And it’s through these settings that you configure the MG Pilot, a series of functions that provide you with MG’s next level MG PILOT, a suite of high-tech driver assistance technology designed to give you added confidence on the road with its selection of warning and alert features to assist the driver, maintaining safety and simplifying everyday driving. MG PILOT includes; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Active Emergency Braking (AEB), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent high beam assist, Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Intelligent speed limit assist.
The technology included in the HS Exclusive Edition on test is incredible, especially when you consider the money that you’ve spent and provides you with a confidence boosting swathe of safety equipment meaning that longer journeys become something to truly look forward to.
And out and about in the MG is where you really begin to appreciate the comfortable, well specced interior and long legged ability built into the HS.
Once the car is set to your own personal preferences, a simple task with all of the adjustability on offer, it’s foot on the brake, a press of the start button, place the premium feeling DCT 7 speed automatic gearbox into first and away you go. Simple, smooth and sophisticated. The engine itself is a 1.5T-GDI 4 cylinder unit displacing 1490cc which offers the driver 162 PS @ 5500rpm and torque of 184 lb/ft @ 1500-4400rpm meaning the HS can sprint from 0-60 in just 9.6s whilst still delivering a combined mpg of 36.2, Impressive figures for such a large SUV. As largely irrelevant as that might be, what this means on the road is that the MG can be hustled along at a fair old lick, especially if the great looking and superbly named Super Sport button is engaged allowing the revs to build relentlessly until the next gear is selected. Fantastic.
For more day to day driving, the MG HS has three distinct driving modes to chose from, each with differing power and set up specifications which combine to make the HS feel very different whether in economy, normal or sport and is great for configuring the car to best match the drive that you’re on. Around town and with economy selected, the power is dulled a little whilst the sensitivity and lightness of the steering is amplified making travelling to and from work or the shops a reason to get up and go for a change. In fact, for a larger SUV, the HS is incredibly easy to get along with out on the road as the size just shrinks away once on the move with the typical high SUV seating position and excellent views all around.
Suspension that cossets you and your passengers when necessary yet allows for decent control through the bends on your favourite twisting strip of tarmac offers up the best of both worlds being neither too harsh or too soft whilst still allowing for feel to reach your fingertips through the sporty feeling steering and wheel. Lovely. A smooth, seven speed DCT automatic gearbox does exactly what it says on the tin when keeping the car in the correct gear for optimum power or efficiency depending on how you wish to drive. An action that is almost imperceivable in day to day driving. With plenty of power and torque available in all but the most extreme situation, the MG provides the driver and passengers with an extremely relaxing drive that at a mere switch of mode, becomes something altogether more raucous and involving.
What I really like though is the feeling of completeness that the MG instils, a feeling more usually felt in cars costing far more than the HS, a feeling that only increases as the miles and your familiarisation extend over time. A car is, after all, one of the largest purchases that most people will buy so it needs to excite and inspire, whilst still offering up those practical touches that we all need for our day to day lives. And this is the area where the MG HS truly excels as the more you drive it the more your bond increases. Little touches like the adjustable ambient lighting that sweeps around the dashboard and beyond, allow you to set the car differently each day whilst the superior quality of the interior and exterior fixtures and fitting create new moments of wonder each time they catch your eye. A large boot, ample room for five adults and styling that helps the HS to stand out, particularly in MG’s striking Metallic Farringdon Red paintwork, combine to present you with an SUV that offers everything you might need for a price that will blow you away.
How does starting at £20,995 sound to you?
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