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Australia's cheapest Plug-in Hybrid SUV launched: MG HS PHEV touches down to take on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The MG HS PHEV has arrived in Australia.

Australia has a new entry point to the world of plug-in SUVs, with the MG HS PHEV touching down to take on vehicles like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Unlike the Toyota, though, the MG can be plugged into mains power, essentially transforming it into an all-electric SUV when being used around town, with the back-up of a petrol motor for longer trips.

That's the pitch, at least, with cars like the MG and Outlander PHEV acting as a stepping stone between the petrol-powered and all-electric worlds.

The Chinese car company is offering tidy drive-away pricing on its new model, too, with the mid-size SUV being offered at $46,990 with no more to pay. It's closest competitor, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, starts at $47,990 plus on-roads, while Toyota's cheapest electrified RAV4 is yours for $37,070 plus on-roads for the cheapest GX model.

There is a catch, though. While most MGs are covered by an impressive seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, the HS PHEV (and the ZS EV, for that matter) cop a five-year warrant. There's no reason for it, says MG, other than the fact the brand describes its electrified cars as a "different business", and so they get a different warranty.

The batteries on board, however, are covered for an eight-year, 160,000-kilometre warranty, with MG guaranteeing 70 per cent remaining capacity at the end of the warranty period.

Powering the HS PHEV is 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, which combines with an electric motor for a total system output of 209kW and 480Nm. It's enough, says MG, to knock off the sprint to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds, and push on to a top speed of 190km/h.

On board is a 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery, which MG says will give you a 52km pure driving range, but it's only set up for AC charging (which means you plug it in at home), with a full recharge taking around seven hours.

Outside, you'll find 18-inch alloys, LED DRLs, and a "Stargazer" sunroof, while inside, you'll find leather-trimmed seats that are heated up front, as well as keyless entry system, a 10.1-inch screen with nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker stereo system. Adding a premium touch is the 12.3-inch Virtual Instrument Cluster, which replaces the traditional dials in the driver's binnacle.

On the safety front, expect MG Pilot, which includes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot detection, as well as a 360-degree parking camera.