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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.5

Available new from £20,995

The HS is a big step up in quality from MG, and while it isn’t as accomplished in absolute terms as many of its rivals, it’s capable enough to be very tempting, thanks to high levels of equipment, a stonking warranty and very keen pricing. Opt for an MG HS and you’ll get a lot of car for your money.

Reasons to buy

  • Low purchase price
  • Huge seven-year warranty
  • Very well-equipped

How comfortable is the MG MG HS 3/5

There’s plenty of space for adults in the back, two in comfort and three with a small squeeze, and at 463 litres the boot will swallow plenty of family gubbins. You can lower the rear seats to give even more space. However, several rivals offer more space still.

The ride is reasonable, keeping the worst of bad road surfaces out of the cabin and the handling is also entirely acceptable. Things stay pretty flat during cornering too but the steering is on the light side. While the MG HS lacks some of the clever practical features that cars like the Skoda Karoq can offer, its space is a definite plus, and it’s got a pair of cupholders between the front seats, storage under the centre armrest and in front of the gearlever and some decent sized door pockets.

Build quality is impressive, with plastics and materials that wouldn’t look out of place in more expensive rivals, and higher-end models get some nice soft leather too. The infotainment system is controlled through a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and though it’s fairly simple to use, it is rather basic and quite slow to react too. Sat-nav and DAB radio aren’t included on the entry-level Explore model, but all models include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Power for a MG MG HS 3/5

The MG HS comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that makes 162 horsepower, which sounds like a lot compared to its rivals, although you have to work it quite hard to make it feel like it’s got that much power. It lacks punch at lower revs, and while it’s got just enough oomph to make acceptable progress, less powerful rivals have faster acceleration figures. The MG’s engine is rather noisy, too. The seven-speed automatic gearbox isn’t the fastest-shifting ‘box in the world, but it’s smooth and unobtrusive most of the time. The six-speed manual gearbox is decent as well. Power goes through the front wheels, with no all-wheel drive option.

Reliability of a MG MG HS 4/5

MG sells cars in relatively small numbers, which means it doesn't shown up on most industry performance studies. However, the company’s cars have moved forward in quality dramatically in recent years and some studies have shown encouraging performances in newer models. It’s worth noting too that the company offers a massive seven-year, 80,000-mile warranty on the HS, which only Kia can better with its seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the Sportage. At the very least, that shows a confidence than its cars will last.

Safety for a MG MG HS 5/5

Impressively, all MG HS models come with the company’s MG Pilot, which is a suite of safety and driver systems. This means you get automatic emergency braking , lane keep assist and, in Excite and Exclusive trims, adaptive cruise control to automatically keep a set gap between the HS and the vehicle in front. You’ll also get a blind-spot warning system and, on automatic models, Traffic Jam Assist, which will accelerate, brake and steer for you in dense traffic. On top of that, you get front, side and curtain airbags in every model, and two Isofix child-seat mounting points on the outer rear seats.

Features of the MG MG HS 5/5

MG has loaded the HS with equipment despite its low price. The entry-level Explore model rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and has roof rails, front fog-lights and leather-effect upholstery, as well as keyless entry and start, air-con and cruise control. Not bad at all. Upgrade to the Excite and you’ll add rear parking sensors and a camera, 18-inch wheels, DAB radio and sat-nav.

The top-spec Exclusive offers a choice of black or black and red interior, super-bright LED headlights and leather-covered, heated sports-style seats with electric adjustability. You’ll also get dual-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof. Automatic models will also get paddle-shifters to change gear and an electric boot lid.

Running costs for a MG MG HS 3/5

One of the MG HS’s main selling points is its cheap purchase price. The cost to buy of a mid-to-high-spec HS is on a par or even less than rivals with far less equipment, so you can get a lot of car and kit for your money. However, the MG’s engine is relatively thirsty on fuel compared to rivals like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Mazda CX-5, and it’s unlikely to hold onto its value quite as well either, which may eat into those savings over the course of ownership. CO2 levels are higher too, which is something company car tax payers should consider even though the low purchase price will bring BIK costs down. Service, maintenance and repair costs are likely to be broadly similar to rivals. Overall, we would expect the HS to cost roughly the same or slightly more to run as its rivals when all costs are considered, but that doesn’t factor in the fact that you’ll likely have a better-equipped machine during that time.