2023 MG HS Review

By Alexi Falson on 02 Nov 2023
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OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Value for money
  • Comprehensive safety equipment list for base model
  • Interior styling and layout
  • Entry-level HS Vibe comes well-equipped
  • Long warranty coverage
  • Ride quality lacks the versatility and comfort of rivals
  • Numerous controls via infotainment display, only
  • Short service intervals
  • Thirsty range-topping engine
    • 55L
    • 170
    • 5600 / 1700
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
The MG HS is currently one of the cheapest midsize SUVs you can get your hands on, giving price-conscious buyers some serious food for thought.

What the company lacks in long-term sales history here in Australia, it makes up for with seriously competitive pricing and generous feature lists to win over prospective midsize SUV buyers.

Just what sacrifices, if any, will you be making while switching over to the MG HS range over its more established rivals? Let’s take a closer look to find out before the updated HS touches down at the end of the year.

MG HS Competition


Mazda CX-5
GWM Haval H6
Toyota RAV4
Nissan X-Trail
Hyundai Tucson
Honda CR-V
Kia Sportage
Mitsubishi Outlander

Starting Price: $32,990

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for the MG HS range kick off from $32,990 for the entry-level HS Vibe, rising up to $35,990 for the HS Excite, up again to $38,990 for the HS Essence and up to $42,990 for the range-topping Essence X.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by letting one of our car specialists help you find the best value model for you.

MG HS (VIBE) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make MG
Model HS
Series SAS23 MY23
Variant VIBE
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
CO2 170
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the MG HS Have?

MG’s entry-level HS Vibe comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys and receives halogen headlights with LED running lamps and tail lights, keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, leatherette upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, four USB ports and a 10.1-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Step up to the HS Excite and you’ll pick up LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, a powered boot lift, metallic driving pedals and sequential rear indicators.

Opting for the Essence and the Essence X adds leather upholstery with sports seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated, power-adjustable front seats and LED ambient lighting, with the Essence X picking up a more powerful engine.

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • Halogen headlights with LED running lamps & tail lights 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Leatherette upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel 

  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors 

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

  • LED headlights (Excite) 

  • Powered boot lift (Excite)

  • Leather upholstery (Essence) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (Essence)

  • LED ambient lighting (Essence)

  • Engine upgrade (Essence X)

Is the MG HS Comfortable to Drive?

While the HS has come seriously close to par for the midsize SUV course, MG is still closing the gap with the HS to its rivals from Japan and Korea.

Having said that, once you take into account the HS’ attractive price tag, that gap doesn’t seem to hold as much importance, especially considering just how easy it is to drive around town.

Power for the majority of the MG HS range comes supplied by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque, which is thrown to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

This gives it some decent poke off the line, though the turbocharger takes a little while to kick into action, with snappy shifts from the DCT unit while picking up speed, though it can have its moments at slower speeds around town.

Step up to the Essence X and you’ll pick up a larger 2.0-litre turbocharged engine pushing out 168kW of power and 360Nm of torque, giving it far more abilities off the line, though the upgrade isn’t necessary for price-conscious buyers.

In terms of user-friendliness, the MG HS is right on the mark, ticking one of the most important boxes for a midsize SUV.

It’s happy to change directions and squeeze into car parks with ease thanks to its featherweight steering rack, though the lag between forward and reverse can be a bit frustrating when you’re acclimatising to the transmission.

The ride quality is decent, offering some smooth handling around town and some padding on rougher country B-roads, though there is a noticeable lack of refinement over its major rivals.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

MG’s 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powering the majority of the HS range is rated at 7.3L/100km on a combined cycle, while the larger 2.0-litre unit powering the Essence X is rated at 9.5L/100km.

This puts the base model somewhere in the middle of the fuel-efficiency rankings for the midsize SUV segment, while the power upgrades moving to the Essence X come at a significant fuel premium.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

While it might be one of the most affordable midsize SUVs on sale today, there’s not much giving that fact away in the front of the HS’ cabin, even in the base model.

Up front, the driver and front passenger pick up a set of leatherette seats and a decent amount of headroom that is happy to accommodate tall drivers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for that added touch of luxury.

The design is straightforward and relatively uncluttered, with a few physical buttons topped by air vents and the very sizable 10.1-inch infotainment display that puts most of its entry-level rivals to shame on the technology front.

The centre console houses a covered storage area behind the gear lever, a pair of cup holders with a narrow tray for smartphones and added storage inside the folding armrest, once again putting it on par with key rivals.

Move to the second row of the cabin and there’s more than enough room for adults in the rear, so no complaints from teenagers sitting back there, with the added bonus of air vents, USB ports and a folding armrest with cup holders.

The second row picks up a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats, while the HS’ boot space figures total 463L, expanding to 1287L with the seats folded down, meaning it doesn’t have the largest boot in the midsize SUV segment, but there’s enough space for a family’s worth of bags and groceries.

Is it Safe?

The MG HS has picked up a five-star ANCAP safety rating, scoring 92% for adult protection, 83% for child protection, 64% for pedestrian protection and 77% for safety assist.

As standard, every member of the MG HS lineup picks up autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance and rear cross-traffic alerts.

This is a particularly generous approach from MG, which gives buyers the full suite of active safety tech without needing to step up higher in the range for features otherwise reserved in some rivals.

Our Verdict: Is the MG HS Worth it?

The MG HS is a mighty impressive midsize SUV, particularly for buyers looking to get as much entertainment and safety equipment in a base model.

It ticks all the important boxes that families demand from a midsize SUV, and while it lacks the overall refinement of major rivals, we can report there’s no major deal-breaking sacrifices in terms of the driving experience.

We’d steer clear of upgrading to the range-topping Essence X solely for the engine upgrade, and if you’re wondering which is the perfect variant for you, be sure to get in touch with one of our Car Buying Specialists.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. 463L boot space 

  4. 7.3L - 9.5L/100km fuel economy figures 

  5. 12-month/10,000km service intervals 


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.

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