MG HS PHEV (2022) review
Does MG's value-led proposition work on the mid-sized HS plug-in hybrid SUV?
Shane O' Donoghue
Shane O' Donoghue

Published on August 26, 2022

MG HS overview

The MG HS is the biggest car that's sold by the Chinese-owned British brand, and while it's very different from MG's famous sports cars, it taps into the popular compact SUV market as a larger alternative to the firm's all-electric ZS SUV. It's similar in size to cars such as the Peugeot 3008, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson, and has an inoffensive look, while competitive pricing puts the HS Plug-In model on a level with non-plug-in hybrid versions of its rivals.

The line-up is simpler, too, with just a 258hp plug-in hybrid model offered here in Ireland. It features a powerful electric motor and a 16.6kWh battery pack alongside a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, sending all its power through the front wheels. The official all-electric driving range is up to 52 kilometres.

The simplicity of the line-up stretches to the trim grades, with Excite and Exclusive as the only two versions on offer. Here we're testing the Excite model, but while it's the entry point to the line-up, it's still very well equipped.

The MG HS model range

Irish pricing for the MG HS starts at €40,900, which is some €8,000 less than you'll pay for a Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, for example. That gets you behind the wheel of an HS in Excite trim, which comes with plenty of equipment as standard. Outside, there are 18-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers and silver roof rails, while there are also rear parking sensors, an excellent 360-degree parking camera system, keyless entry, two-zone air conditioning and adaptive cruise control. There's a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, too, which includes Bluetooth and navigation, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

Synthetic leather trim is fitted as standard, there's electric adjustment for the driver and heated seats up front. ISOFIX attachments are fitted to the two outer rear seats, while there are six airbags and a full suite of electronic safety equipment, including the MG Pilot Advanced Driver Assistance System. This features lane keep assist and lane departure warning, active brake assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot detection and intelligent speed limit assist.

Move up to Exclusive trim for an extra €3,250, and LED headlights, scrolling rear indicators, a power tailgate, rear privacy glass, ambient cabin lighting and electric adjustment for the passenger seat, as well as the option of red and black leather trim are all added.

As with all MG models, the HS comes with a seven-year, 150,000km warranty, while the latest finance offers are available at the MG Ireland website.

The MG HS interior

The first Chinese-built MGs, such as the MG6 and MG3 that were never sold in Ireland, were pretty poor in terms of build quality, but the HS has seen a marked improvement in this area. The quality of the plastics and faux leather trim is decent, although the HS is a little behind the premium cars in the class. Cabin space is also generous, with plenty of room for passengers, although boot space is only reasonable, rather than stunning. It's not too bad, though, when compared to other plug-in hybrids with a battery back mounted under the car.

This Excite model is very well equipped for an entry-level machine, so much so that the higher-spec Exclusive seems like an extravagance. However, while the HS is loaded with tech (both models have the same infotainment system), the touchscreen isn't the slickest to use, even if it has lots of functionality - and a welcome set of physical shortcut buttons, which are easier to use than the sub-menu systems found in some rivals. The digital dials are more successful, and are packed with lots of information, including a very comprehensive set of read-outs showing how the hybrid system is working.

Space in the back is above average, too, with good head- and legroom, while a small hump in the floor doesn't impact on middle seat foot space too badly. However, fitting three adults across the back seat will be a little snug, and, as with most cars in the segment, you can forget about fitting three bulky child seats in there.

The MG HS Hybrid driving experience

The MG HS has the kind of high seating position that makes compact SUVs popular with buyers, and the addition of rear parking sensors and 360-degree camera views helps with low-speed manoeuvrability, too. Light controls make it a cinch to drive.

A soft suspension setup delivers comfort at low speeds and on the motorway, but the HS isn't a car for those that relish twisty roads. Take things easy, and the MG HS is perfectly acceptable, with a decent automatic gearbox keeping the car in its power band effectively.

The plug-in hybrid system seems to manage its power sources better than some rivals. There are EV and hybrid settings - the former using battery power exclusively, as long as there's enough charge in it - while the hybrid mode seems to save battery energy for when it's best to use it. You can also choose three levels of energy retention within the battery, which further affects how the hybrid system works.

Our verdict on the MG HS Hybrid

The MG HS Hybrid is a decent enough compact SUV that offers a lot of equipment at a price that undercuts some of its rivals by a significant margin. If you like the conservative styling and you're prepared to overlook a few foibles, then the HS offers excellent value for money, decent passenger space and plenty of safety equipment, while MG's seven-year warranty will be attractive to buyers in need of reliable and dependable family transport.


Tech Specs

Model testedMG HS PHEV Excite
Irish pricingfrom €40,900 as tested
Hybrid systemturbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, front-mounted 90kW electric motor plus 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery
Transmissionsix-speed automatic for engine, plus four-speed for the motor (effectively 10-speed automatic), front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions43g/km
Irish motor tax€140 per annum
Electric range52km
Fuel consumption1.8 litres/100km (155.8mpg)
Top speed190km/h
0-100km/h6.9 seconds
Max power258hp
Max torque370Nm
Boot space463-1,454 litres
Max towingup to 1,500kg of braked trailer
Rivals to the HS PHEV (2022)