MG HS PHEV Review

The MG HS Plug-in Hybrid offers an electric driving range of up to 32 miles in a practical SUV body style and it’s competitively priced.

  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
  • MG HS PHEV
Green Car Guide Rating: 7/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  MG HS PHEV Exclusive
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  155.8 mpg

Summary

  • Practical body style
  • 32 mile electric driving range
  • Good value
  • Powertrain switches from electric to petrol too easily

Background

Yes MG may still be best known to many people as a sports car brand from the 1960’s and ‘70’s, but the company is now at the forefront of offering affordable electric cars to consumers; as well as two all-electric offerings, the MG ZS EV and the MG5 EV Estate, there’s also the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid, so is this worthy of your consideration?

MG HS PHEVMG HS PHEV

Design & Engineering

The MG HS PHEV has a 1.5-litre petrol engine combined with a 90kW electric motor powered by a 16.6kWh battery, a 10-speed – yes, that’s right a 10-speed – automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

The MG HS has a compact SUV body style, and an interior that’s evidently benefited from some design input (with a Mercedes-like style to some of the controls). There’s even lots of rear legroom.

MG HS PHEVMG HS PHEV

MG HS PHEV Driving Experience

As soon as you drive off in the MG HS in electric mode it feels responsive, this is likely to be due in part to the 90kW electric motor (the much larger Kia Sorento PHEV only has a 67kW electric motor, and it feels less responsive).

Overall the HS, which is front-wheel drive, is good to drive, with decent primary ride quality around town, on the motorway and on country roads – ie. all the places where the MG HS was tested. However the car can be bouncy over speed bumps and it also feels as though it crashes into potholes. The brakes could also benefit from more feel.

The only controls for the plug-in hybrid system consist of one EV button. The biggest issue for us was that the car starts on the petrol engine rather than on electric power, and when driving in electric mode the car frequently decided for itself to switch to run on the petrol engine, with no provocation from the driver such as heavy acceleration. Pressing the EV button did nothing to remedy the situation. This is not ideal if you’re trying to drive with zero tailpipe emissions for the maximum amount of time, for instance on the school run.

There are no drive modes and there’s also no way to select increased levels of brake recuperation. However there is a hill descent control feature.

You can’t adjust the driver’s seat to go very low, so the driving position may not be ideal for many drivers. And watch out for the lever to adjust the steering wheel which can stick into your leg when driving.

Although the car is basically quiet in EV mode, it does generate a loud noise at low speeds. It’s then reasonably quiet up to around 60mph, but then becomes noisy at around 70mph.

When using the touchscreen, if you’re viewing the satnav and you want to change the radio station, you firstly have to reach to the bottom of the screen to press the home button, then the radio button, and you can end up having to delve into various sub-menus, all of which means that there’s too much button-pressing. The home button is also the third button from the left in a row of buttons under the screen – we’re wondering why the home button isn’t instead in the centre?

MG HS PHEVMG HS PHEV

MG HS PHEV Economy and Emissions

The MG HS PHEV has an official electric range of 32 miles, which is reasonable, and it was managing 32 miles in real-world driving, but the real-world range on the petrol engine was very poor: 247 miles (many modern pure EVs have a longer range than this). The HS PHEV’s official combined economy figure is 155.8 mpg; after a week of mixed driving the average real-world economy was 42.6mpg, which certainly isn’t outstanding for a plug-in hybrid.

The MG HS PHEV should take around 3 hours for a full charge using a 7kW home charger.

MG HS PHEVMG HS PHEV

Price and Model Range

The MG HS PHEV Exclusive costs £32,495, which is good value. There are two trim levels, Excite (from £29,940) and Exclusive, as tested.

MG HS PHEVMG HS PHEV

Conclusion

The MG HS PHEV is basically a decent car and it’s good value. However in return for it being good value there are a few issues. Chief amongst these is the lack of control of the plug-in hybrid system. We like the PHEV control system on cars such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Toyota RAV4 PHEV because they have clear buttons for EV, Save, etc. We don’t like PHEVs that have all the PHEV controls hidden away in a touchscreen. However the MG HS just has one ‘EV’ button, and when in EV mode, the car frequently switched to running on the petrol engine. The overall driving range was poor, and the overall economy wasn’t particularly impressive. And the infotainment system could also be improved to be more user-friendly. Overall the MG HS PHEV gains a Green Car Guide rating of 7 out of 10.

Car facts and figures MG HS PHEV Review

  • Test economy: 42.6 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 43 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  £0 first year
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2021/22): 10%
  • Price:  £32,495
  • Insurance group:  TBC
  • Power:  258 PS
  • Torque:  370 Nm
  • Max speed:  118 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  7.1 seconds
  • Weight:  1775 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor