Review - MG HS

By Alexi Falson on 02 Nov 2021
image for Review - MG HS MG has continued to surprise Australian customers with extremely reasonable sticker prices on their new vehicles, and the HS is no exception.

With drive-away prices kicking off from just $29,990 for the HS SUV, it should come as no surprise that a number of Australians are tantalized by the attractive value for money proposition that MG has continued to pose in recent years. The question remaining, though, is whether or not the MG HS is an example of these prices being too good to be true, or if the HS is truly a hidden gem in the crowded midsize SUV category. 

Let’s find out just how well the MG HS performs as a complete package to get an idea of how well-served you and your family would be inside a HS when it comes to space, practicality, safety, fuel economy and of course, value for money in the SUV segment. 

Starting Price: $29,990

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MG HS (CORE) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Make MG
Model HS
Series SAS23 MY21
Variant CORE
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive FWD
Engine TGDi
Engine capacity 1490
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5600 / 1700
Cylinders T4
Torque 250
KW 119
Fuel tank size 55.0
Fuel usage specs 7.3 / 0.0
CO2 170
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check MG HS car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

Drive-away prices for the MG HS lineup kicks off from $29,990 for the entry-level HS Core, with prices creeping up to $31,990 for the HS Vibe. From here, the range moves to the HS Excite which is priced from $34,990, with the Excite X variant priced at $37,990. Opting for the HS Essence brings the price tag up to $38,990, while the Essence Anfield and Essence X are priced from $40,690 and $42,990 respectively. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service in Australia, you could save by using one of our car experts to help you find the best new car for you. 

What Features Does the MG HS Have? 

The entry-level MG HS Core comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, and receives LED tail lights with a set of LED daytime running lamps, cloth interior upholstery, keyless entry and push-button start, a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, electronic parking brake and a 10.1-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is paired with a four-speaker sound system. 

Opting for the HS Vibe adds a larger six-speaker sound system, a set of fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever and leatherette upholstery finish for the interior. 

The Excite and Excite X variants, on the other hand, receive a more comprehensive list of features including a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, satellite navigation system, a powered boot lift, dual zone climate control, alloy pedals, ambient interior lighting package and sports mode for the transmission. Opting for the Essence and Essence X variants add a set of premium sport seats, a surround-view camera and a large panoramic sunroof, while the range-topping Essence Anfield is packaged with a special bright red finish for the leatherette upholstery. 

Range Features: 

  • 17-inch alloys

  • LED tail lights and daytime running lamps 

  • Reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • Adaptive cruise control

  •  Cloth upholstery 

  • 10.1-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay 

  • Four speaker sound system 

  • Leatherette upholstery (Vibe) 

  • Fog lights (Vibe) 

  • Leather steering wheel and gear lever (Vibe) 

  • LED headlights (Excite & Excite X)

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (Excite & Excite X) 

  • Powered boot lift (Excite & Excite X)

  • Ambient interior lighting (Excite & Excite X)

  • Dual zone climate control (Excite & Excite X)

  • 2.0-litre turbo engine with all-wheel drive (Excite X and Essence X) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (Essence & Essence X) 

  • Surround-view camera (Essence & Essence X) 

  • Sport seats (Essence & Essence X) 

MG ZS (CORE) Colours

York White Black Pearl Metallic
Surfing Blue Metallic

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

MG’s HS SUV is a remarkably simple car to drive both around town and on the open road. It remains one of the most user-friendly SUVs to pilot, and thanks to a slick transmission, the HS manages to hold its own when compared to its main competitors. The MG HS is available with the choice of two engines, with the Excite X and Essence X receiving the more powerful of the two available powertrains. While the base model’s 124kW/250Nm is more than enough for most families to zip around town and cruise on the highway, the 168kW/360Nm on offer in the Excite X and Essence X is no doubt the pick of the powertrain bunch. 

Power is sent to either the front wheels or all four wheels via a dual-clutch transmission with seven speeds for the base model and six speeds for the more powerful engine. This transmission, however, is an extremely quality unit, and adds to the overall driving simplicity and smoothness of the HS. Typically, a dual-clutch transmission can lurch at low speeds, however the dual-clutch unit used by MG is responsive at low speeds and eliminates this from the equation altogether, which is a welcomed touch. All up, the power on offer is sent to the road in a swift, responsive and smooth manner which makes the HS a remarkably simple SUV on the road. 

In terms of driving comfort and sophistication compared to its major rivals, where cars like the Hyundai Tucson and the Mazda CX-5 no doubt lead the affordable midsize SUV pack, MG has actually done a great job in making the HS compliant and comfortable on Australian roads. Around town, the HS handles speedbumps and irregularities on the road without a fuss, with the rest of the suspension system doing an admirable job at ironing out bumps while you’re driving. 

While some of its competitors are both smooth on the road and able to avoid body roll through corners, however, the MG HS still has some catching up to do in this regard. If you enter a corner too quickly, the weight shifts to the side of the car and there’s a noticeable amount of body roll, but overall, this is forgivable considering its smooth suspension in other, potentially more important driving conditions.  

Overall, then, the MG HS is proof that MG has come leaps and bounds in addressing the key concerns that are often levelled against vehicles manufactured in China. It has a perky engine, smooth suspension system and a clever DCT transmission that makes everyday driving situations almost effortless, which is an important design consideration for a family SUV. 

It’s not the leader of the pack, but when you consider sticker prices for the entry-level variants, the MG HS provides a significant amount of driving pleasure and ease for the money. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The front cabin of the MG HS welcomes the driver and front passenger into a thoughtfully-designed cockpit, complete with a number of premium-looking appointments that look far more expensive than the sticker price might suggest. It’s a straight-foward packaging exercise, with the infotainment system sitting above a relatively clean centre console with the climate control settings; however, there are a number of practical touches for Australian families. 

Up front, there’s the usual set of door bins for water bottles, a large amount of storage underneath the arm rest, a sliding compartment housing a smartphone stash, two more cup holders, with another folding storage area and a home for your sunglasses. All up, then, you won’t have an issue finding storage for loose items in the front of the HS’ cabin. The driving position is impressive, too, with a significant amount of adjustment for the wheel and the seats, with a decent amount of headroom and width for the driver and front passenger. 

Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a comfortable bench seat with easily-accessible ISOFIX anchor points and top tether mounts for child seats, with wide door openings for the bulkiest of child seats. In terms of space for teenagers and even full-sized adult passengers in the rear of the HS’ cabin, there’s an impressive amount of legroom on offer, although taller passengers might find the cabin cramped on longer journeys. All things considered, though, there’s more than enough room on offer for growing families, and you won’t hear too many complaints from teenagers in the rear, unless they’re basketball players. 

The MG HS has a cargo storage capacity rated at 463L with the rear bench seat standing, which expands to 1,287L with the seats folded down. The boot space on offer matches a number of the HS’ key competitors like the Mazda CX-5, and is more than enough space for the usual school or sports run, large supermarket shop or a day trip out to the beach or countryside.

Is it Safe? 

The MG HS has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating when it was tested back in 2019, scoring 92% for adult and 83% for child occupant protection, 64% for road user protection and 77% for safety assist technology. As standard, every MG HS comes fitted with an adaptive cruise control system, autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision avoidance, lane-keep assistance with lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, curtain airbags and rear cross-traffic alerts, making it one of the most comprehensively-equipped midsize SUVs for the money in the context of safety equipment. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The entry-level MG HS lineup, powered by the smaller 1.5-litre engine, is officially rated at 7.3L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the larger capacity turbo-petrol in the Excite X and Essence X is officially rated at 9.5L per 100km. Admittedly, these figures are difficult to replicate in the real-world, with the smaller engine often returning figures well-above the 8L per 100km threshold and the larger of the two hitting double-digits. These economy figures are relatively unimpressive for a vehicle of this size, making the HS a significantly thirstier midsize SUV than a number of its competitors. 

Our Verdict: Is the MG HS Worth it? 

While there was initially merit in the argument that Chinese vehicles weren’t up to par even just a few years ago, the latest MG HS well and truly puts this criticism in the rear-view mirror as merely a reminder of how far it has come in recent generations. As a complete package, and with the sticker prices very much in consideration, the MG HS is a much-needed addition to the crowded SUV segment simply because the manufacturer isn’t afraid to bundle in a heap of value and features into each car, giving buyers an added sense of grabbing a bargain with each purchase. 

While it might not lead the competition in any significant way, the simple fact that it isn’t outpaced by its major rivals is reason enough to consider the MG HS as a midsize SUV addition for your family, particularly when you consider how much value for money you’re actually getting. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty 

  2. Five star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. Two turbo-petrol engine options available

  4. Fuel economy ranges between 7.3L/100km in the base model; 9.5L/100km in all-wheel drive

  5. 463L boot space available; expands to 1,287L with rear seats folded  


  • Unparalleled value for money proposition

  • Comprehensive list of safety equipment as standard 

  • Seven-year warranty 


  • Uninspiring engine in the base models

  • Fuel economy figures lag behind competitors 

  • Limited dealer and repair network for regional owners

OnlineAuto Rating: 7.5/10

MG ZS Competition


Toyota RAV4
Mazda CX-5
Honda CR-V
Haval H6
Honda HR-V


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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