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MG HS 2022: popular midsize SUV lineup grows with new AWD grades

John Law

The MG HS grew in popularity in Australia in 2021, showing that low prices and plenty of standard inclusions is still equates to a package that resonates

Chinese car manufacturer MG has kept prices low and specification levels high since launching the HS locally in February 2020 – and in 2022 this midsize SUV now offers a less expensive entry grade and a bigger range.

Initially, the HS was offered in three trim levels: Vibe, Excite and Essence. That has now grown to seven with the addition of the Core base variant ($29,990 driveaway) as well as AWD Excite and Essence X grades. 

Additionally, a 187kW/370Nm plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain was added as an option for the flagship HS Essence trim in March 2021, priced at $47,990 driveaway, meaning the SUV now offers a greener alternative and a rival for the forthcoming Ford Escape plug-in hybrid and updated Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

MG sells a plug-in hybrid HS in Australia

A larger range and generally affordable pricing helped the HS find more buyers in 2021, with 6828 HS SUVs finding homes – a fair way off the segment-leading Toyota RAV4 (35,751), but clearly ahead of the Haval H6 (3635) and even the familiar Volkswagen Tiguan (3772).

With the HS sitting alongside the ZS small SUV and MG3 light hatch in dealerships, MG managed to sell 39,025 new vehicles in Australia last year, representing a sales increase of 160 percent over 2020.

This result was strong enough to see MG rank 9th among new car brands in Australia by sales volume in 2021.

What equipment is included on the various MG HS models?

The base model HS Core starts from $29,990 driveaway with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cloth upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels.

This midsize SUV offers a cheap entry price of $29,990 driveaway

Jumping up to the $30,990 (driveaway) Vibe adds synthetic leather upholstery, climate control, fog lights and keyless entry. 

The Excite ($34,990) gains 18-inch alloy wheels, an electric tailgate, ‘super sports’ drive mode, sequential indicators and satellite navigation.

In terms of core HS models, the Essence is the range-topper priced at $38,990 driveaway with the 119kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and FWD powertrain found on the other variants. 

The Essence also gets heated sports front seats with six-way electric adjustment for the driver (four for the passenger), ‘stargazer’ panoramic sunroof and a 360-degree camera.

An Anfield package can be added to the Essence – referencing MG’s partnership with Liverpool Football Club –  and brings the price up to $40,690 driveaway with the addition of red leather upholstery and black metallic paint (normally $700).

MG HS 2021 touchscreen

Both the Excite X ($37,990 driveaway) and Essence X ($42,990) build on their spec levels with AWD and a 168kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder.

Finally, the range-topping MG HS Essence Plus EV teams the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with an electric motor boosting outputs to 187kW/370Nm for $47,990 driveaway.

With a 16.7kWh lithium-ion battery on board, the PHEV MG HS achieved 63km of zero-emissions range according to NEDC testing and you also get extra niceties like heated leather-appointed front seats, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and additional soft-touch cabin materials. 

How safe is the MG HS 2022?

Importantly for its success in Australia, the MG HS range was awarded five stars in Ancap’s safety testing procedure in December 2019, scoring 92 percent for adult occupant protection, 83 percent for child protection and 77 percent for its safety assistance systems. 

That is where MG’s approach differs to other budget-focused brands globally. Romanian carmaker Dacia, for example, only achieved a three-star Euro NCAP rating for its Duster small SUV that preferences low prices over equipment levels.

The whole HS range is equipped with MG’s Pilot safety suite with adaptive cruise control, front AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keep assistant, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

MG HS 2022: prices in Australia

National driveaway prices are listed below.

  • Core FWD: $29,990
  • Vibe FWD: $30,990
  • Excite FWD: $34,990
  • Excite X AWD: $37,990
  • Essence FWD: $38,990
  • Essence Anfield FWD: $40,690
  • Essence X AWD: $42,990
  • Essence Plus EV AWD PHEV: $47,990