Express & Star

Eye-catching design – The MG HS Exclusive PHEV

Is there a better value SUV on the road than this plug-in hybrid?

MG HS Exclusive PHEV

It’s a serious question, and yes there are some brilliant candidates, but in terms of sheer value for money, HS takes some beating.

Price – well it speaks for itself and starts at just over £31k and still comes with the market leading or matching seven-year warranty and features MG Pilot, a raft of safety measures usually seen as an optional extra on rival brands.

The HS is the largest of the SUVs coming in just above the equally stylish ZS. There are two models, the Excite and the Exclusive, driven here.

MG’s first plug-in hybrid, it combines a 90kW electric motor with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

This delivers a combined power output of 258PS and an electric-only range of 32 miles.

The power unit is mated with a 10-speed auto transmission to deliver rapid pace, allowing it to hit the 60mph mark in 6.9 seconds. Economy is a theoretical 155.8mpg, but I found it to be quite thirsty when the electric range was exhausted, with an estimated mid-40s mpg.

At just over £33k for the range-topper, it has thrown down the gauntlet to more established and much more expensive competitors.

The eye-catching design features the iconic MG badge dominating the deep grille, flanked by LED headlight clusters and large air scoop.

Sitting on smart, 18-inch alloys, the muscular lines slope to the rear where the twin tailpipes and an aluminium lower bumper give it a sporty finish.

The large interior has good head and legroom all round and this model has comfortable electrically operated leather seats giving the driver a commanding view of the road.

It features an array of soft-touch finish to dash and sports seats, with fewer of the harsher solid plastics.

Standard kit includes keyless entry with push button start, a 10.1 inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and electric folding and heated door mirrors and 360-degree camera.

There is also a leather finish to the multi-function steering wheel, while the central touchscreen infotainment system controls with sat nav, DAB radio/CD/aux and phone connectivity.

The goodies get better as you move up the range and this range-topper adds front and rear LED sequential indicators, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting and panoramic sunroof and electronic opening tailgate.

Rear seat passengers are catered for too with the reclining seats.

On the road the ride is comfortable while handling is decent enough apart from the occasional wallow on corners.

It delivers plenty of pace for a car of the size, while emissions of 43g/km make it cheap to tax and puts it in a low category for benefit-in-kind taxation.

The size of the car is matched by the boot space with an impressive 448 litres of luggage space. Folding the rear seats flat extends the total capacity to 1,375 litres. There’s also a dual height boot floor.

Safety kit is impressive with the MG Pilot set up offering safety aids, including Active Emergency Braking, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning System and Rear Cross Traffic alert.

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