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MG HS 2020 review: Excite

The MG HS looks modern and fresh in this mid-size SUV segment.

The mid-size SUV market has a number of good cars in it, so to enter, you need to be competitive in every area to get a look in. The new MG HS has a lot of bases covered and with a starting price of $30,990 for the base model ($34,790 for the top level Excite which I drove),  and it’s also good value. It’s competing against cars like the Mazda CX-5, the Hyundai Tucson and the Honda CR-V, and with that low entry price, it’s certainly going to turn heads. 

Here’s how it did over a week with my family of four. 

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✅ What does it look like?

The HS is definitely a step above the last MG SUV I tested, the smaller ZS. This HS is bigger and feels much more finished and refined than its smaller sister. It’s not particularly sleek or sporty but fits well into the boxy mid-size SUV typical shape that is reassuringly familiar. One look at it and you know that it’s going to work for your family and won’t date quickly either.

This HS is bigger and feels much more finished and refined than its smaller sister. This HS is bigger and feels much more finished and refined than its smaller sister.

The interior boasts a clean, stylish design that makes you feel good while driving. The finishes aren’t luxury but seem high quality and it doesn’t look cheap at all (like the ZS can). The faux-leather seats still look and feel good, the steering wheel is leather and has a flat-ish bottom which always feels more premium and the MG badge certainly helps. 

There are brushed metal accents throughout, and both round and rectangular air vents which lend a stylish edge. The centre console area is well designed with a simple, sleek finish and it’s all quite functional.

✅ How spacious is it?

There’s enough room in the front row for taller passengers to comfortably fit  without feeling cramped, and there’s a good amount of space in between the front passengers too. 

The kids were happy to climb into the back seats and at ages six and eight had plenty of room for little legs. I can easily fit into the second row at 161cm, and would be happy back there for long journeys. There’s enough room between my knees and the seat in front of me that those with longer legs should be comfortable too. 

  • There’s enough room in the front row for taller passengers to comfortably fit  without feeling cramped. There’s enough room in the front row for taller passengers to comfortably fit  without feeling cramped.
  • Those with longer legs should be comfortable in the back. Those with longer legs should be comfortable in the back.
  • The boot is a decent size at 463L. The boot is a decent size at 463L.

You can fit a third child seat in the back row but it’s a tight fit, and it will depend on your particular child seats. I did it with two boosters and a baby capsule. There’s not a whole lot of room for three seats but if you really needed to do it, you can get away with it. 

The boot is a decent size at 463L, making it a similar size to the Kia Sportage (466L) and slightly larger than the Mazda CX-5 (442L).

✅ How does it drive?

There’s a 1.5L turbocharged, 4cyl engine, which I found fairly good to drive. It wasn’t remarkable but that’s to be expected in a car in this price bracket. You might find the steering turns too much when you only turn it slightly, which is a bit more like a sports car.  I did get used to this over the week though and just adjusted my driving style to compensate.

There’s a 1.5L turbocharged, 4cyl engine. There’s a 1.5L turbocharged, 4cyl engine.

I definitely found it better to drive than the smaller ZS, however according to my CarsGuide colleague Tom White’s experience, it sounds like he had a similar time to what I had in the ZS, which points to an inconsistent drive between different vehicles. Still, speaking from my own experience I enjoyed driving the HS this week. 

Parking is good with a decent reverse parking camera and the size of the car means it will fit into most average parking spots.

You might find the steering turns too much when you only turn it slightly. You might find the steering turns too much when you only turn it slightly.

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

It’s a good height off the ground so kids are able to climb in on their own and it’s high enough that you can do up children’s seat belts with ease. 

The front seats are manually adjustable, but there is keyless entry and a button to close the boot. Unfortunately there is no physical knob for the air conditioning. You need to get into the touchscreen to use it and those are always more annoying than a simple old-school knob to adjust the air. 

There are two cupholders in the front and a space for keys and a phone. There are two cupholders in the front and a space for keys and a phone.

There are two cupholders in the front, a space for keys and a phone, bottle holders in each door and a centre storage area. Rear passengers get cupholders their own air vents, and there are four USB ports in total in the car which makes it great for charging devices over long journeys.

✅ How safe is it?

✅ What’s the tech like?

There’s a 10.1 inch multimedia screen and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which syncs to your phone so the tech is seamless and easy to use from the get go.

It has its own multimedia system with Bluetooth connectivity  but I would just go straight to CarPlay or Auto for a better navigation experience with your maps app. 

There’s a 10.1 inch multimedia screen and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a 10.1 inch multimedia screen and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The MG HS Excite costs $34,790 which is good value for all the inclusions and places it in a competitive spot in this category. The price makes it hard not to at least have a look at it. 

The MG HS Excite costs $34,790 which is good value for all the inclusions. The MG HS Excite costs $34,790 which is good value for all the inclusions.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.3L/100km and you need premium 95RON petrol which is more expensive than regular 91 unleaded. It’s covered by MG’s seven year/unlimited km warranty which is excellent. Servicing is required every 10,000 kms or 12months, whichever comes first.


The Wrap

The MG HS looks good and is a more impressive car than the first MG SUV release in Australia, the ZS. 

The HS has enough space for a family, with a decent size boot, it looks good and it drove well enough for me. Still, it has all the safety you’d be after for a family and the tech is good too. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.3 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same. They like the air vents in the back seat. 

Likes

Interior design
Comprehensive safety

Dislikes

Sensitive steering

Scores

Nedahl:

3.7

The Kids:

3.7

$32,990

Based on new car retail price

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