AFFORDABLE, functional and environmentally friendly. All great descriptors for the 2021 MG HS Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). With sporty looks and a long list of standard specifications, this mid-size SUV is definitely budget friendly.
The five seat SUV comes with the front two not only electronic but heated and looking like they’re out of a racing car with the high backs and ribbed leather. There’s even red MG welcome lights on the side mirrors.
A drop down cup tray features in the rear, along with 60:40 split fold seats. There’s decent leg room, two air vents and even two USB ports for those who need to plug themselves in.
Across the dash, it has quite a busy design. it almost feels like they couldn’t decide on a style, so picked them all. That said, there are refined soft touch points throughout, ribbed door sides and elegant looking circular air vents.
The 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is rather impressive, and offers a HD instrument cluster, with plenty of information. The equally good looking tablet style 10.1-inch touchscreen is the hub of control for various systems.
Below it is a suite of push down buttons which prompt the correlating function on the screen. It’s an interesting way of doing things, but can actually be quite annoying for things like air conditioning.
Adjusting the temperature wasn’t a great experience, given you have to do it on the touchscreen while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also feature, but both are quite buggy. At one stage the whole infotainment system died for approximately 10 minutes.
A fully-electric stargazer panoramic sunroof and powered tailgate completes the spacious interior. Boot space is a reasonable 451-litres with the seats up, or 1275-litres with the second row laid flat.
Built as a front-wheel drive and with only 145mm of ground clearance, it’s ideal for someone wanting a bigger car or for the family, but isn’t really an off-roader. It runs on 95 RON fuel (or higher obviously). If you can’t find it, you’ll be shelling out for premium.
While not fully electric, it has reasonable 63km available in full EV mode, before it will force you to use the 1.5-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine. In that mode, it’s perfect for local trips, or a run to work and back, depending on how far away you live.
The PHEV can be charged easily at home, taking around five hours on a 7kWh wall charger, or at any Type2 AC charger, although you’ll need to separately purchase a Type2 to Type2 charging cable for those stations where it’s BYO.
With an advertised combined range of 1.7-litres/100km, you can feel good about yourself driving this vehicle around, or ultimately even better if you continue to charge the vehicle and simply use the full EV mode available.
The battery fitted has a capacity of 16.6kWh and in unison with the petrol engine will give you 198kW of power, letting you go from 0 to 100 in 6.9 seconds. That’s pretty good for an SUV.
There’s a stack of safety features, all bundled into MG Pilot, including traffic jam and speed limit assist, rear traffic alert, lane keep assist, intelligent high beam control, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking.
In full electric mode, it features a buzzing sound designed to warn others of the presence of a silent car in their vicinity. A 360-degree camera and forward collision warning are also included.
It’s a neat little package and the former comes in very handy in tight car spaces. We did note that it kept activating when stopped during normal driving.
The intelligent high beam didn’t prove to be all that smart, blinding plenty of oncoming motorists and activating at inappropriate times. Steering feels a little heavy too, and the engine revs quite hard in the switch between EV mode and hybrid/petrol.
The 2021 MG HS PHEV is priced at $47,990 drive away. It’s available in four colours, including Clipper Blue, and comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and a similar roadside assistance period. The battery has an 8-year or 160,000km warranty.
Our test vehicle was provided by MG Motor Australia. To find out more about the 2021 MG HS PHEV, contact your local MG dealer.