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By Jonathan Crouch
The HS is the largest and most sophisticated MG we've seen. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the revised version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 68
HS here doesn't designate a super-fast rail route but MG's largest SUV, which is offered in both conventionally-engined and PHEV plug-in forms and here features now-smarter exterior styling. As before, it's one of the most spacious mid-sized SUVs you could choose, yet it retails for thousands less than you'd pay for comparably-shaped rivals. The usual MG formula in other words, backed up by the normal lengthy brand warranty.
Backgroundword count: 104
MG is one of the market's fastest growing brands, with almost all its sales currently being of its compact ZS SUV. This HS model was launched here in 2019 to slot in above that car, enabling the brand to hold on to family buyers who might have out-grown its smaller models. And to target new customers who previously would never have considered MG in this segment. These people are going to want a higher standard of luxury and sophistication than anything the brand has previously offered - and the HS range sets out to provide just that, especially in this lightly revised sleeker-looking form.
Driving Experienceword count: 294
As before, the mainstream engine is a 162PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol unit that only drives through the front wheels. It's a reasonably willing thing, capable of 0-62 miles per hour in 9.6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 118mph. Customers have the choice of either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT auto gearbox, which on top versions can also be manually controlled using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles. DCT versions also feature a series of drive modes including Eco, Normal, Sport and a driver customisable option. A steering wheel mounted 'Super Sport' button allows the driver to quickly engage Sport mode and it also illuminates the interior's red ambient lighting. You might worry about a petrol engine's relative lack of torque being insufficient for towing duties. This MG's unit develops 250Nm of pulling power, enough to allow it to tug along a braked trailer of up to 1,750kgs in weight - which should be enough for owners to haul medium-sized trailers, caravans, or boats. Because this is a front driven-only model, you shouldn't expect to be able to engage in any serious off road shenanigans - the relatively restricted ground clearance doesn't allow for that anyway. And you shouldn't expect ride and handling to be cutting-edge, though typical family buyers will probably be quite satisfied. The alternative powerplant is a PHEV version of this same engine mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. In this Plug-in model, this unit works with a 90KW electric motor hitched to a four-speed drive unit and powered by a 16.6kWh battery pack. The combined power output is 258PS. When the battery pack is fully charged, a WLTP-rated pure electric range of 32 miles is apparently possible, which in urban conditions MG says can be stretched as far as 43 miles.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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