MG is on the up
MG is the fastest-growing car manufacturer right now, with record sales thanks to affordable prices, and high-quality cars that suit what the market needs – particularly families.
MG’s all-electric models are playing a big part in this growth in popularity and sales, most notably the cool new MG ZS EV electric SUV, which is the cheapest electric family SUV, and also the MG5, which represents the only really affordable electric estate car in the UK. But also this value-packed PHEV – the MG HS plug-in hybrid SUV – which is the largest model that MG sells.
The MG HS was introduced in 2019 as a petrol version to rival Ford and Nissan’s mid-to-large SUV offerings, but in 2021 MG released their plug-in hybrid version, into a market that isn’t short of plug-in hybrid SUVs, and it’s been doing very well indeed, thanks to its value offering.
Fast and glorious
Rather than create a new car from scratch, MG decided to use their regular 1.5-litre HS turbocharged petrol engine as the base for the plug-in option, and combined it with a 90kW electric motor, and a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which delivers power to the front wheels.
As such, the MG HS is the brand’s most powerful car by far. With 254bhp and 370Nm torque, it’s able to reach 0-60mph in a giddy 6.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of a rather nippy 118mph.
A 16.6kWh battery is used, which offers up to 32 miles of electric driving on a full charge (however this is the official WLTP figure, so in reality 30 miles or close to that is probably more likely).
If you do most of your daily commutes in this kind of range (the UK average is 20 miles) then you’ll be able to do the majority of your journeys on electricity alone, allowing for extremely low running costs and money saving in the long-run.
Official figures say the MG HS will return 155.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 43g/km. This is hard to be accurate on, as it depends on how much you use electric charge versus petrol, but nonetheless this affordable family SUV offers much better efficiency than a petrol-only model, and it’s fuel-savings benefits put it in an affordable company car tax bracket of 11%.
And as for charging, thanks to having a smaller battery than an electric-only model, it means that it takes just three hours to fully charge using a 7kW wallbox (or seven hours with a standard three-pin socket).
High ride, good visibility
The MG HS is great to drive in so far as you’ll enjoy a high driving position and superb visibility, and the ride is pleasant enough. More expensive counterparts such as the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid offer a more polished driving experience. And the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid doesn’t particularly combine electric and petrol well, like some plugin hybrids do, meaning most of the time you’ll be running on one system or the other.
However, in reality this is totally fine, as for local drives you’ll use the battery and on the motorway this shifts to petrol. And if you favour affordability and value over dynamic ride and handling, then you’ll be more than happy with how it drives and handles.
A well-equipped SUV
While MG is great for those on a budget, the cabin of the MG HS PHEV does not feel below par. It genuinely feels upmarket, with nice materials employed along with a very generous equipment list.
The MG HS plug-in is also extremely spacious and a great choice for families. The boot measures a whopping 448 litres, and underfloor storage lets you keep the charging cables out of the way. Rear passenger space is also plentiful, with tall adults having a good amount of room in the back.
Standard equipment on the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid is generous, even in the entry-level ‘Excite’ model, which offers 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10-inch touchscreen with sat nav, and a 360-degree camera system (which is ideal for a large car). And if you upgrade to ‘Exclusive’ you’ll get upgraded LED headlights, smart leather sports seats, and an impressive panoramic sunroof.
An affordable plug-in SUV
Any plug-in hybrid – due to the addition of a battery – will command a premium over its petrol counterparts. However, the MG HS plug-in hybrid SUV is still “cheap” despite this, starting at £30,595 (which is around £7k more than the petrol option).
However, if you drive daily with a local commute and use the battery as the main source of power, then over the years you will make this premium back on the money you save on fuel.
Also, while £30k might not necessarily feel very “cheap”, for a plug-in it is, and the MG HS PHEV comes in cheaper than all of its rivals in the same class, and indeed is even cheaper than the Renault Captur Plug-in Hybrid, which sits in the class below the MG HS plug-in hybrid.
If you want a family SUV plug-in hybrid, and want one that’s affordable, and gives you the most bang for your buck, then it’s hard to beat the MG HS plug-in hybrid.
You’ll get a spacious SUV that seats five adults, with plenty of boot space, lots of great tech and features that make this affordable PHEV not feel cheap, but instead rather well-equipped, and if you mainly do local commutes, then the fuel savings over the years will really add up and justify the price premium for going for a plug-in.
Other more expensive rivals may be better to drive, and have one or two extra features, but if you want value, the MG HS plug-in hybrid offers loads of quality for its price, and is basically unbeatable in this respect, and therefore definitely worth a test drive if you’re in the market for a hybrid SUV and don’t want to spend more than you have to.