Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


Driven: 2024 MG HS. Image by MG.

Driven: 2024 MG HS
MG’s flagship SUV has always offered value for money, but does the updated model add some more polish to proceedings than its predecessor?


<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> MG reviews

2024 MG HS

3 3 3 3 3

MG is one of the car industry’s biggest success stories of recent years, having turned itself from a dormant brand into one of the best-selling marques in the land in the space of just over a decade. The brand is built on value-orientated SUVs and hatchbacks, and the flagship of the range is the HS – a family sized SUV designed to compete with (and undercut) the likes of the VW Tiguan. For most of its life, though, it has been too unrefined to cope with the highly polished alternatives, but has its mid-life refresh changed all that?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 MG HS Trophy 1.5 T-GDi DCT
Price: HS from £24,030; £28,595 as tested
Motors: 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 162hp
Torque: 250Nm
Emissions: 174g/km
Economy: 36.6mpg
0-62mph: 9.6 seconds
Top speed: 118mph
Boot space: 463-1,454 litres


Chief among the HS’s updates is a wholesale revamp of the car’s front end, which has successfully reduced the impression that this is just a knock-off Mazda CX-5 – a car that bore significant and suspicious similarities to the old HS. In fairness, though the new nose is a bit basking shark-esque, the HS isn’t an especially ugly car, and it looks modern enough to keep pace with the market. So while it may not be the prettiest thing on the market, it has enough about it to ensure few would-be customers will be put off by the way it looks.


Although MG has made changes to the HS's exterior, the cabin has changed slightly less. The basic design and structure is the same, and there's nothing too wrong with that. The style looks modern enough, as you can see from images, but some of the plastics feel a bit cheap and olde-worlde. The leatherette is a bit cheap, too, and though the seats look cool and sporty, they don't have the support or comfort they promise.

The touchscreen housing hasn't changed, either, but the software inside has changed a bit. It looks more modern than before, but it still has issues with lag and some clunky and difficult-to-navigate menus. But it works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which are included as standard across the range.


As with the old HS, the new model favours cabin space over boot space, and the 463-litre luggage compartment feels a little compact against the 504 litres you get from a Nissan Qashqai or the 521 litres you'll find in the back of a Skoda Karoq. Yet the HS makes up for that with plenty of space in the back, including legroom that's more than generous and plenty of headroom, which means you can pack four six-foot-tall adults into the HS with no complaints whatsoever, no matter how long they'll be in there.


The HS will continue to be offered with a choice of petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, but it's the petrol-powered one we're testing here. A 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the unit produces 162hp and sends it to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic, depending on what customers choose.

Our test car came with the latter, and it is not a great match for what's otherwise a perfectly adequate, if not exceptional engine. The power output is sufficient for a 9.6-second sprint to 62mph, which is quick enough to keep up with traffic, and the gearbox is generally pretty good on the open road. It suffers somewhat when it comes to slow-moving traffic, though, with some sluggish changes and slightly clunky operation. And it doesn't like overtaking, either, with a slightly hesitant kick-down.

All told, customers are probably better with the six-speed manual gearbox, which makes the engine fractionally more economical than the seven-speed automatic. Where our test car claimed 36.6mpg on the official economy test, the manual extends that to 37.9mpg. It's a minor uplift, but it's another reason to stick with the stick-shift. For true economy, though, the plug-in hybrid will be the better option for most.

Ride & Handling

The old HS was quite old-school in the way it behaved on the road, and that theme has continued to a degree in the new model. Although the steering is quite vague and numb around the dead-ahead position, it weights up significantly in corners, to the point where it’s actually surprisingly heavy. We don’t have a problem with that – plenty of modern SUVs feel way too light these days – and it lends a little precision to proceedings. Combine that with decent body control and sufficient grip, and the HS isn’t a bad car to drive quickly. It’s hardly ‘sporty’ per se, and we wouldn’t call it encouraging or engaging, but it will cope better than most if you want to throw it around a bit.

Unfortunately, there ends our praise for the HS driving experience, which is otherwise quite disappointing. The trade-off for the body control is a ride that’s weirdly unsettled, with the HS somehow finding loads of tiny imperfections in roads that were previously thought to be quite smooth. In its defence, it does take the worst off most of the sharp bumps such as potholes, but the constant jiggle and fidget gets a little annoying. As does the lack of refinement from that twin-clutch gearbox, which makes crawling around car parks or trudging through traffic a bit of a pain in the backside.


The HS has always traded on its value for money, and the latest model continues the trend. With prices starting at a fraction over £24,000, the HS is decidedly cheap, undercutting the Tiguan by just over £10,000. Yet despite that, the basic MG still gets 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and a reversing camera housed in a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. All of which means upgrading to the Trophy model adds £2,500 to the price, but all you really get in addition is two-zone climate control, heated front seats and leatherette upholstery. Whether that’s worth it is really up to you – even the Trophy is hardly expensive – but many customers will be quite happy with a base model.


There’s no doubt that the HS offers customers a lot of car for the money, and for those with little interest in cars, driving, or image, that will be enough. But while the updated HS feels more competitive than its predecessor, it still falls short in too many areas to compete with the best in the business. There is definitely a market for cars like this – those who liked the old HS will love this one – but even though the biggest MG doesn’t handle too badly, car enthusiasts will hardly be flocking to it in their droves.

James Fossdyke - 23 May 2024

      - MG road tests
- MG news
- HS images

2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.

2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.2024 MG HS. Image by MG.


Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©