MG HS Review & Prices

The MG HS is good value and has a decent interior, but it’s not great to drive and has quite a small boot

Buy or lease the MG HS at a price you’ll love
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RRP £24,030 - £33,595 Avg. Carwow saving £2,606 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£22,195
Monthly
£285*
Used
£12,357
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wowscore
5/10
Reviewed by Darren Cassey after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Good value
  • Comfortable suspension
  • Interior looks good...

What's not so good

  • ...but quality falls short
  • Dim-witted gearbox
  • Alternatives have bigger boots

Find out more about the MG HS

Is the MG HS a good car?

If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of a new SUV for as little money as possible, the MG HS will not have failed to escape your attention. Nothing else is as spacious inside for the same money, and this used to work in the MG’s favour, but it’s no longer the only option for budget-conscious buyers.

For example, the Dacia Jogger won the Smart Spender Award at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards and is a great alternative (if you can forgive its odd half-estate, half-SUV proportions), while the Citroen C5 Aircross is another option and was the winner of the Family Values Award.

There are plenty of other excellent alternatives that aren’t hugely pricier than the MG HS too, such as the (admittedly smaller) Volkswagen T-Cross, Peugeot 2008 and, if you’re able to stretch your budget a bit, the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca.

The thing is, the MG HS is a bit like packing your house full of IKEA furniture. It costs less than other options and looks fine, but if you really start poking and prodding, you find out where cost savings have been made.

And the MG HS really does look fine. Updated for 2023, there’s a smart new front end with a big imposing grille, LED headlights and a lower bumper that’s designed to look like it has sporty air intakes. It’s not exactly exciting, but it certainly doesn’t scream cheap when parked on your driveway.

Jump inside and first impressions are good, too. Sure, the design is pretty basic, but everything looks fairly upmarket and you get an infotainment touchscreen in the centre and a digital driver’s display. It lacks the visual drama of the Peugeot 2008, though.

It lacks the fit and finish of that car, too. All of the stuff you touch regularly is solid, and the material across the centre of the dashboard looks pretty plush, but scratchy plastics are never far away and some of the chunky buttons feel a bit cheap and flimsy.

The MG HS is really cheap and has a great warranty, but there are plenty of better alternatives

The infotainment isn’t the slickest either, but once you’re plugged into the standard-fit Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, things become less laggy. It’s good that you get this smartphone connectivity included at this price, which is true of a lot of tech on the HS – standard kit includes cruise control (adaptive on hybrid and automatic models), rear parking sensors and automatic headlights and wipers.

Being bigger than similar cars at this price has advantages for space in the cabin, as you sit tall and have great visibility, and you can stretch your legs out in the front and back. The boot is less impressive, being a bit bigger than the Peugeot 2008 but well down on the Dacia Jogger, Citroen C5 Aircross, and the pricier, similarly sized SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.

There are a few redeeming features when you get out on the road, because the MG HS is comfortable around town, soaking up potholes well, and the light steering means it’s no workout to get out of a tight spot.

However, the 1.5-litre petrol engine is pretty noisy when you get higher in the rev range, making hard acceleration something to avoid. Unfortunately the automatic gearbox has a tendency to hold onto gears too long or shuffle between gears unnecessarily, which makes it feel rather unrefined. There’s also a plug-in hybrid which should offer better economy at least.

Overall, the MG HS is an interesting option for those who consider price the be all and end all, but if that’s the case the Dacia Jogger is more practical and better to drive. The Citroen C5 Aircross is a touch pricier but still offers great value, style and a big boot. Plenty of similarly priced cars, such as the Peugeot 2008, aren’t as spacious but are nicer to drive with more upmarket cabins, and if you can stretch your budget, the likes of the Nissan Qashqai are much better all-rounders at a similar size.

Still fancy yourself this budget SUV? See how much you could save with Carwow’s MG HS deals. You can also get a great price on a used HS as well as other used MGs. When it’s time to sell your car, Carwow’s trusted dealers will make sure you get a great price.

How much is the MG HS?

The MG HS has a RRP range of £24,030 to £33,595. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,606. Prices start at £22,195 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £285. The price of a used MG HS on Carwow starts at £12,357.

Our most popular versions of the MG HS are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5 T-GDI SE 5dr £22,195 Compare offers

There’s no getting away from the fact that the MG HS is good value. The basics are pretty simple: prices start around £24,000 with a manual gearbox, and rise to around £27,000 for the top-spec Trophy model with an automatic. Plug-in hybrids are a bit pricier, ranging from £31,000 to £33,000.

That’s pretty good for an SUV of this size, with the Nissan Qashqai starting around the same price as a fully loaded non-hybrid MG. It’s a similar story with the SEAT Ateca and Skoda Karoq. But they’re all better cars with bigger boots.

Looking at similarly priced SUVs they’re generally smaller in size and boot space, but particularly in the case of the Peugeot 2008, there’s not much in it, and that car is much nicer inside and better to drive.

The Dacia Jogger and Citroen C5 Aircross rather break the system by being such fantastic value. The Dacia’s looks are rather challenging, but it’s cheaper than the MG and has seven seats or, if you remove the third row, a massive boot. The Citroen is a lovely thing and, at a similar price to the MG, feels like the obvious alternative.

Performance and drive comfort

The MG HS is pretty comfortable, but it’s not particularly enjoyable to drive

In town

The MG HS is at its best driving around town. The light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre and you sit high with good visibility so it's relatively easy to thread through tight spots despite its size.

Tackle typical inner-city Tarmac, scarred by road repairs and pesky potholes, and the HS’s soft suspension comes up trumps. Combined with the comfortable seats, it’s a fairly relaxing thing to potter around in.

Or at least it is most of the time. The automatic gearbox is easily confused and works with the engine to shatter the peace, so you have to learn to be gentle with the throttle to avoid the engine shouting about what it’s up to.

You do benefit from useful kit as standard here though, with automatic models getting a traffic jam assistant that means you don’t have to touch the pedals in stop-start traffic, and all versions have rear parking sensors.

On the motorway

Again, when accelerating up to speed, the petrol engine is rather noisy, but it does settle down to a background thrum once you’re maintaining a steady 70mph. There’s enough power to pull off overtakes, but the gearbox can take a moment to shift to the required gear before giving you that power, so takes a bit of forward planning.

The soft suspension is also useful on the motorway, soaking up bumps pretty well so you’re not jiggling about all over the place, but you do get a bit of wind and road noise so it’s not quite as quiet and refined as most alternatives.

MG Pilot driver assistance is fitted to all models, which includes blind spot detection, lane-keeping assistance and intelligent high beam. Automatic and hybrid models get adaptive cruise control while manual versions get regular cruise control.

On a twisty road

Twisty roads prove the HS’s undoing. The engine and automatic gearbox combination raise their ugly head once again – there’s enough power to have fun but the car is never sure which gear it should be in, which gets in the way of your enjoyment. It’s better if you use the wheel-mounted paddles to shift yourself, but only just.

Even if all that worked well, the light steering provides little feedback from the tyres so you’re never really sure how much grip you have, while the soft suspension that makes the HS comfortable everywhere else makes the body lean in turns, which can be unnerving.

Space and practicality

Space in the cabin is decent, but it comes at the expense of a big boot

One of the main benefits of the MG HS being bigger than other cars at a similar price is that there’s plenty of space inside. For those in the front that means it’s easy to get a comfortable driving position, and you sit high with a good view of the road ahead.

Storage is good too, with large door bins that can take a one-litre bottle, a pair of cupholders in the centre console, a small space within the armrest and another cubby hole beneath a sliding door ahead of the gear selector.

Phone charging comes from a pair of USB slots, while you also get a 12V power socket.

Space in the back seats

Space is pretty good in the back too, with plenty of legroom and headroom. A six-footer can sit comfortably behind another six-footer. Shoulder room is pretty good too, and while it’s not too cramped for three, the person in the middle will feel hard done by because they get a harder, raised seat. A Skoda Karoq is the only alternative that’s more spacious, and the other advantage that car has is a rear bench that can be slid back to prioritise legroom or forwards for more boot space.

Practicality is decent but not quite as useful as it is up front, with reasonably good door bins, small seat-back pockets and an armrest that folds down to reveal two more cupholders. Two more USB slots can be found between the front seats.

Spaciousness also makes it easy to fit a child seat, and the ISOFIX mounting points aren’t too tricky to find between the cushions. The doors open fairly wide so unless you have a huge child seat you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it in.

Boot space

All that cabin space does come at the expense of boot space somewhat. At 463 litres (or 448 litres in the plug-in hybrid) there should be enough space for most, but the MG HS has one of the smallest boots of similarly sized alternatives. The Volkswagen T-Roc has less at 445 litres, but a Nissan Qashqai has 503 litres and a Skoda Karoq gets between 521 and 588 litres depending on the seat position.

The HS performs more favourably among cars at its price point, but the Citroen C5 Aircross beats all. Thanks to its sliding rear bench, you get between 580 and 720 litres of space. The Dacia Jogger is another option, with 700 litres if you remove the third row of seats.

You can fold the rear seats in the MG HS for more space and open up the full 1,454-litre capacity, which is, again, less than most alternatives. You’ll have to fold the seats through the rear door, or reach into the boot, which could prove a bit tricky if you’re short because the bumper is quite high.

The square shape makes it easy to make the most of the space on offer though, and there’s some under-floor storage if you need it (or want somewhere to put the hybrid’s charging cables). Power tailgates are only included on top-spec automatic models.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The interior looks good quality, but it feels a bit cheap and the infotainment isn’t great

Jump aboard the MG HS and first impressions are that the interior is better than you might expect from a budget car. The design is quite simple but the materials, particularly in high-spec versions, look pretty good.

It doesn’t quite stand up to tougher scrutiny, though. The steering wheel and dashboard topping are pretty good quality, but everything else feels like cheaper plastics have been used. The buttons and switches are flimsy too, and don’t have a satisfying robustness when you use them. That said, it’s generally acceptable given the price.

Infotainment systems have long been the weak point in many cars, because they can feel slow and cumbersome compared with the phones and tablets you use every day. That’s particularly true in the MG HS. All models get a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash, which has been upgraded compared with pre-2023 models. It is a bit on the small side, but the main problem is that, despite improvements, it’s still low-resolution, a bit slow to respond to inputs, and annoyingly contains the climate controls, which makes them fiddly to use on the move.

Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard-fit, so you can stream music and set your navigation easily. It’s a bit of a pain jumping in and out of these menus to change the temperature, though, some actual switches would have been nicer.

A few other things to know include the fact that base models get regular air conditioning, but upgrading to top-spec Trophy introduces a dual-zone setup so you and your passenger can select your preferred temperature individually. Top-spec models also get ambient lighting, which makes the cabin feel a bit fancier at night.

MPG, emissions and tax

The MG HS comes with the option of a petrol engine or a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The petrol is the less expensive of the two, and is available with the choice of a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic. It uses a 1.5-litre engine that makes 162hp and returns a respectable 0-60mph time of 9.6 seconds. Fuel economy is slightly better with the manual, registering 37.9mpg on the official test, with CO2 emissions of 168g/km. The auto returns 36.6mpg and 174g/km.

Opt for the plug-in hybrid and you get the same engine paired with a battery-powered electric motor and 10-speed gearbox. This increases power to 258hp and reduces the 0-60mph time to 6.9 seconds, with official figures putting fuel economy at 155mpg and CO2 emissions at 43g/km. You’ll only hit that economy figure if you can keep the batteries topped up and make the most of the 32-mile electric-only range, though.

You’ll pay about £6,000 extra for the plug-in hybrid, but making the most of the battery to reduce fuel costs will help offset that. However, the petrol model will be better for most in the long run, with the hybrid mainly aimed at company car buyers who will enjoy much lower benefit-in-kind rates.

It’s also worth noting that the petrol model’s first-year tax payment is fairly high, compared with nothing for the hybrid, before both fall into the regular annual Vehicle Excise Duty payment from year two.

Safety and security

The MG HS underwent Euro NCAP safety testing in 2019, before the latest update. However, the 2023-onwards model is largely identical beneath the metal so the five-out-of-five rating still applies. The HS performed particularly well in the adult occupant section, with a 92% score.

All versions get the safety kit you would expect and some you might not, including anti rolling protection, hill launch assistance and hill descent control, which controls the car’s speed on a steep descent. You also get decent assistance tech, such as adaptive cruise control (regular cruise control is fitted to manual models), blind spot detection and traffic jam assistance (though this is not fitted to manual transmission cars).

Reliability and problems

Although the MG HS is reassuringly safe in the event of a crash, MG owners generally rate their cars quite poorly in terms of reliability. Despite this, value for money scores are high, indicating the cost of repairs isn’t enough to impact its reputation for being a decent budget option.

Much of that is likely to come from the excellent warranty that’s included with all new MGs. You get seven years of cover, with unlimited mileage in the first year or up to 80,000 miles to year seven. This is beaten only by Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile offering, and Toyota’s 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Buy or lease the MG HS at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £24,030 - £33,595 Avg. Carwow saving £2,606 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£22,195
Monthly
£285*
Used
£12,357
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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