Motoring Writer IAN LAMMING discovers the perfect SUV is proud to wear the MG moniker
WALK into any room, look around and without even realising you will make a judgement, in between five and 11 seconds, according to the experts.
We can’t help it. It’s the way we are wired and we will be drawn towards those folk who catch our eye. Ask any psychologist and you will be told it is primordial, a sixth sense, to be ignored at our peril.
Guess what? It’s the same with cars and I have to say, with MG’s latest SUV, it’s definitely five seconds, or possibly even less.
Approaching the HS, I’m already smiling. Slip inside it wonderful interior and it is time to beam – I love it. Job done. Game over. I don’t even need to drive it – but I do, one because it’s my job, two for affirmation. Yup. Just as I thought. Cracking!
HS is the latest in a line-up of new and staggeringly capable vehicles from China-backed MG. HS carries the biggest ever badge and why not, HS is certainly something to shout about.
It is bigger than the amiable ZS – one of my favourite cars at any price, by the way – and boasts class-leading internal dimensions.
This may contribute to its overall greatness but is not necessarily the main thing which leaps off the pad. No, THE thing which absolutely blows your mind is the sheer, utter and unquestionable quality that jumps off every soft-touch surface, from every stitch-hole, from every wonderful touch-screen graphic. OMG this interior is absolutely brilliant.
Neither is it just gloss and glitz designed to deceive. HS comes with a seven year warranty, so confident is MG in its stupendous build.
Quality also extends to the way the MG drives. The ride is exemplary and has a quality feel which belies its very modest price tag. HS corners beautifully, grips tenaciously and has impressively positive steering, transmission and brakes. Drivers are going to love it.
The 1.5 litre petrol motor is smooth and willing, with great performance thanks to the turbo. It’s a spirited little mover.
One look at the spec sheet and it’s difficult to see how they manage to keep the price down. HS starts from under £18k and even the top of the range is just over £22,500.
Where to start? Well, on the outside you have bi-function LED headlights with auto-dipping high beam and LED day running lights; 18in diamond cut alloys, panoramic, opening sky roof (notice the ‘sky’ as oppose to ‘sun’, what does that tell you about our weather?); electrically adjustable, folding, heated, body colour door mirrors; rear parking sensors and camera.
Inside, the cabin is second to none and luxurious in every way, from the soft-touch, high quality materials, including leather and brushed alloy, to the intuitive, attractive dash and easy to use colour touchscreen. The chunky leather steering wheel is uber-tactile as well. It really is splendid.
Invisible to the eye is all the radar gubbins – MG Pilot – which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot detection, then the other ‘assists’, such as intelligent high-beam, traffic jam, intelligent speed limit and active emergency braking.
So all in all HS is a stunning SUV in every way, even more so for its bargain price tag and amazing seven year warranty. It really can’t fail to make its mark the second you set your eyes on it – and you don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to work that out.
Engine: MG HS 1.5T
0-60mph: 9.6 secs
Top speed: 118mph
Combined MPG: 37.2
Transmission: Six-speed manual
CO2 g/km: 148