The MG GS is a sporty-looking SUV with a big boot and a cabin roomy enough to carry five adults, but you can only have it with one engine and isn’t particularly comfortable to travel in.
The MG GS is a medium-sized family SUV that’s a little larger than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar, yet costs a little less. Unfortunately, some of the MG’s penny-pinching is all too obvious, such as the brittle interior plastics and second-rate infotainment system.
From the outside, the MG GS looks more like a jacked-up hatchback than most family SUVs. It sports all the black plastic bumper trims you’d expect of a chunky pseudo-off-roader, but the MG GS’ curvy bumpers, slim brake lights and raked roofline look sportier than the comparatively boxy Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.
Unfortunately, the MG GS’ interesting exterior only serves to show how dull and drab its interior is. It’s neatly laid out and all the buttons are grouped together so they’re easy to reach, but almost every surface comes with a hard plastic finish and the optional brushed-metal effect trims don’t feel anywhere near as robust as they look.
You can have contrasting inserts fitted to the dashboard and doors, but these do little to spruce up the GS’ interior. Equally middling is the touchscreen infotainment system. It’s easy to read but nowhere near as intuitive as the systems you get in most alternatives.
What it loses out in technology, the GS claws back (albeit only slightly) in terms of practicality. There’s just as much room in the front seats as you get in the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and there’s more space for carrying three adults at once in the back.
The MG GS might appeal if you’re looking for something practical and likely to stand out, but it isn’t particularly good to drive and doesn’t feel as well built as most other family SUVs.
It’s a similar story when you need to load the MG GS’ boot. It’s bigger than the Nissan’s and there’s no load lip which makes it easy to slide in heavy boxes. You can fold the back seats down if you need to carry seriously bulky stuff, such as a bike.
It’s a shame you can’t get the MG GS with a diesel engine to help you carry very heavy luggage or tow a trailer, though. Instead, it comes with a 1.5-litre 166hp petrol unit. At least it feels fairly spritely and trundles along at motorway speeds relatively quietly – if not particularly economically.
Head off the motorway and you’ll find the MG GS doesn’t feel particularly relaxing to drive. Its suspension is firmer than in the likes of the Nissan Qashqai so you’ll feel more of a thud each time you hit a pothole around town. At least you get a decent view out and the optional automatic gearbox you can get in top-spec models means you don’t have to make endless gear changes in heavy traffic.
Unlike most SUVs, you can’t get the GS with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance or driver tiredness detection. As a result, you’ll be better off looking elsewhere if safety is your number one priority. But, if you’re after a sporty-looking yet practical SUV on a shoestring budget, it could be worth a look. Check out our MG GS deals to see how much you can save on one.