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All-new MG HS priced from $29,990

MG set to better tackle vital mid-size SUV class with sharply priced, higher-tech HS

21 Nov 2019

MG MOTOR Australia pulled the covers off its all-new HS SUV in Sydney this week, with the view of building on its strong sales momentum over the past 18 months.


Priced from a competitive $29,990 plus on-road costs (or $30,990 driveaway) for the HS Vibe and $3000 more for the HS Excite, this Chinese-built, British-engineered mid-sizer is the first MG model to offer a full suite of active safety features (dubbed ‘MG Pilot’) while paying attention to improving the perceived quality of its cabin and overall design.


According to MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao, the HS represents a new chapter for the brand since it strives to combine both quality and value for money.


“MG is learning and growing, and the HS is a good example,” Mr Ciao told Australian and New Zealand journalists at the HS’s reveal in MG’s new flagship metro store in Sydney.


“(It) will have a broad appeal to customers who are seeking premium features and design at an attainable price point.”


Replacing the slightly smaller MG GS – which will continue in other markets – the HS’s headline hook centres around the amount of equipment it offers for the money.


Both variants include new advanced driver-assist systems, such as adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-change assist, traffic-jam assist and speed-limit assist – as well as auto high beam and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines and parking sensors.


Other high-grade features include LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, keyless entry/start, a multifunction steering wheel, centre-front armrest/bin with chilled storage, climate control with rear-seat air vents, four-position rear backrest rake, a centre-rear armrest and leatherette (vinyl) upholstery with exposed stitching.


Multimedia-wise, the Vibe features a 10.1-inch centre touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, four USB slots and six speakers, whereas the Excite expands that to include embedded satellite navigation.


The Excite also gains 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Primacy 235/50R18 tyres – a step up from the Vibe’s 17s with 215/60R17 Maxxis Bravo tyres – as well as full-LED headlights with sequential indicators (front and rear), welcome lights, rain-sensing wipers, an electric tailgate, ambient LED cabin lighting, dual-zone climate control, steering wheel paddle shifters, metal pedals and a red Porsche/Ferrari-inspired ‘Super Sport’ button on the steering wheel that changes the instrument colour and sharpens throttle response.


Stylistically, the HS is inspired by, though is far less radical than, MG’s X-Motion concept SUV that appeared at the Beijing motor show in 2018.


Riding on a 2720mm wheelbase (70mm longer than GS), the HS measures 4574mm long, 1876mm wide and 1664mm tall – placing it right at the heart Australia’s most popular SUV category in terms of size.


That is 74mm more length, 21mm extra width and 20mm less height than the outgoing GS, which effectively straddled the small/medium SUV divide, much like a Nissan Qashqai, rather than aiming for the family wagon jugular.


The HS increases cargo space to 463 litres below the luggage cover and 1287 litres with the rear backrests folded. A space-saver spare sits in a large cavity under the rear boot floor, along with a small amount of storage, though MG says there are currently no plans to offer a full-size spare wheel alternative.


What the HS shares with the GS is its drivetrain – an updated 1.5-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol four now producing 124kW of power at 5600rpm (up 5kW) and 250Nm of torque from 1700-4300rpm.


Driving the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, this will be the sole drivetrain on offer until the HS range is expanded in 2020. Unlike the GS, the HS will not be sold with a manual transmission in Australia.


MG claims the dual-clutch HS is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds, on to a top speed of 190km/h.


According to Chinese measurements, the HS’s combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is 6.6L/100km, meaning a theoretical range of 833km from its 55-litre tank.


Despite the absence of all-wheel drive (for now), as well as the larger 2.0-litre engine offered in the top-spec GS (again, for now), MG says the HS is capable of towing 750kg unbraked and 1750kg with a braked trailer.


The outgoing GS never quite hit the sales highs of its stablemates, in spite of MG’s considerable growth this year.


While a year-to-date gain of 18 per cent appears decent in isolation, the GS’s total volume of just 314 units (to the end of October) pales in comparison to the 3051 year-to-date sales of the ZS and 3265 sales of the MG3.


It is also a far cry from the near-22,000 CX-5s Mazda shifted over the same period.


MG Motor Australia is placing high hopes on the HS achieving similar numbers to its ZS and MG3 compatriots, though nobody within the company would reveal exact volume expectations.


All three models are covered by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty with seven years’ roadside assistance.


MG air-freighted both HS models in from China for the event, prior to the first shipment of cars arriving at MG’s 47 Australian dealerships around the middle of December


2020 MG HS recommended retail pricing*:

Vibe (a) $29,990
Excite (a) $32,990

*Not including on-road costs

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