MG HS Plug-In Hybrid 2021 Review

This time it’s the Chinese brand’s first PHEV powertrain, and here’s why the new MG HS plug-in hybrid is gonna be a game changer. Just as the smaller MG ZS EV sets a new price benchmark for an electric vehicle in Australia at $43,990 drive away, MG’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle becomes the cheapest plug-in model in the booming medium SUV category. Priced $1000 lower than the segment’s only other PHEV model, Mitsubishi’s pioneering Outlander, the MG HS plug-in hybrid is available in just one fully loaded variant priced at $46,990 drive away. The new MG also competes with hybrid models like the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester however, neither of those are available with a plug-in option. So until the delayed Ford Escape plug-in hybrid arrives, MG’s brand new petrol electric HS has little competition. On paper its credentials are good, and include acclaimed 0-100 kilometre an hour sprint in 6.9 seconds, as well as a combined fuel consumption rating of just 1.7 litres per 100 kilometres. But what we’re here to find out is whether it can back it up in the real-world. Power is sent to the front wheels and comes from the combination of a 1.5 litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine paired to a 90 kilowatt electric motor. That allows the plug-in MG HS to travel for up to 52 kilometres in pure electric mode at any speed, while one-stage region braking helps keep the battery topped up. And when it’s time for a recharge, the socket can be found here on the opposite side to the fuel filler. Other standard features include the MG pilot safety and driver assistance suite, which brings all the important stuff; autonomous emergency breaking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. A large sunroof comes standard, as do 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats and more. Interior fit and finish isn’t bad, but there are still a few hard touch points around the cabin, even under this softer material. The leather steering wheel feels good underhand and the leather suede seats are comfortable. And storage is good too. There’s some big door pockets down here and a few other little spaces up front for knick-knacks. In the rear seat there’s great legroom, and headroom isn’t bad either even with the sunroof fitted as standard. Two USB ports, air vents, and rear door pocket storage also come standard, while an armrest in the middle seat comes with a small storage pocket and two cup holders. The new plug-in MG HS also comes well-equipped inside the cabin with a large 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and a 10.1 inch central display which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as navigation standard. Oh, and you can find out how much EV charge it has here. Importantly, the MG HS PHEV’s battery is protected by an 8-year or 160-kilometre warranty, and the overall vehicle by a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty not seven years like most other MG models. Boot space isn’t bad, with total cargo capacity extending to 1275 litres with the rear seat folded, but there’s no spare tyre, all you get is this tyre repair kit. There aren’t any hooks or luggage nets either, but there is a fold-away cargo blind to hide items. On the move the cabin is quiet and refined with not a lot of road noise coming in, except on coarse chip services where you do get a little bit of road noise, but for the most part it’s a pretty comfortable, quiet drive. Steering is on the firm sporty side, which is a bit of a contrast to the suspension which feels quite soft and almost floaty. It feels top heavy and there’s a little bit of body roll around corners, so it could use a little bit of a firmer suspension setup, but otherwise it’s nothing that wouldn’t turn you off the car. Vision is good at every direction, except for up front where this chunky A-pillar can block a little bit of your vision. The plug-in power chain in this HS is really impressive, and it feels like there’s plenty of grunt, no matter what speed you’re going. It is, however, a little thirstier than MG says it is. After about 100 kilometres of driving on mostly highways, but also some country and suburban driving, we’ve managed to get 6.6 litres per 100 K’s out of it, so it’s not quite as fuel efficient as MG says it is. With MG’s pilot driver assist safety features on board, it’s really easy to drive. The lane assist isn’t intrusive and doesn’t cut in every five seconds unless it needs to, and the adaptive cruise control makes highway driving a breeze. The new HS also comes with one-stage regenerative breaking so you can’t adjust it, but you don’t really need to. Especially around town you hardly use the brake pedal, as you get off the throttle and it just starts braking for you. Something that makes this plug-in HS stand out is that you can drive in pure electric mode at any speed, unlike its main competitor, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which has the petrol engine kicking after a certain speed. We’ve noticed a few niggles in this test car, such as the touch screen display freezing, and some of the control buttons being pretty slow to respond, but MG says these are pre-production models, so they still need a few software updates. It’s no secret that MG wants to become the number one brand in Australia for mainstream, affordable, new, energy vehicles. Now, with its first plug-in hybrid on sale, it’s another step closer. The plug-in HS is a good package for a good price, and while it doesn’t break any new ground in terms of design or dynamics, price-savvy, medium SUV buyers looking