MG HS Plus EV Essence review: MG plus electricity
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
MG HS Plus EV Essence
- Gets a rebate
- Luxurious interior
- Impressive EV range
- Infotainment system feels dated
- Doesn’t get the same quirky charging port as the ZS
- Doesn't automatically lock into EV mode
What a year 2021 was for MG. Starting out a few years ago as a very small fish in a big pond, well-priced EVs and Government incentives have seen the brand climb up the sales charts.
While it’s the ZS EV that’s been claiming headlines all over the show, the larger HS Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is also worth writing home about.
In New Zealand, MG offers the HS SUV in both petrol and PHEV forms, but it’s the latter that we’re covering here. Just one variant of the MG HS Plus EV (or just PHEV) is offered, at $54,990.
Unlike the ZS EV, which is the cheapest of its kind in NZ, the HS PHEV falls short only to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV – although the latter is a smaller SUV.
This HS gets a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine with 119kW/250Nm, working with an electric powertrain that produces 90kW/230Nm. It’s front-drive, with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and will hit 100km/h in 6.9 seconds. The 16.6kWh battery will allow it to do up to 63km on electric power alone, before the engine kicks in.
In the real world, the HS PHEV is as frugal as you’d expect. For the majority of my driving, it remained in electric mode. But every now and then, the petrol motor would kick into life at high speed.
It wasn’t until near the end of my time with the HS that I was alerted to the large “EV” button sitting beside the gear selector. This button locks it in electric mode, meaning that no matter how hard it is driven, the petrol mode won’t be bothered at all.
Though efficiency is the main point of a family-friendly PHEV, the HS’s performance is nothing to sneeze at. On paper, the 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds doesn’t look fast, but it will sprint to the 60km/h mark in impressive time. Around town, the big MG is impressively zippy for its size.
Auckland | Auckland City
$647.36 p/w $2,589.44 p/m
On the inside, it’s clear that MG has taken inspiration from Mercedes-Benz with its interior. From the dash layout and turbine style air vents, and the pair of digital displays, it’s very European-looking. The main infotainment screen is 10.1in and features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The soft-touch materials that cover the majority of the cabin are a nice surprise at this price point, and the impressive panoramic sunroof extends all the way to the rear hatch. Space in the cabin is generous for a family of four, and there’s 451 litres of luggage space with the rear seats up.
Another strange but pleasantly surprising addition in the cabin are the bolstered sports seats up front. Though they look somewhat out of place, they are very comfortable, and would probably do a good job of holding an overly eager PHEV driver in place if they decided to hit the track.
It gets all the safety bells and whistles that you’d expect from a modern SUV. These include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.
I was particularly impressed with the quality of the 360-degree parking camera. It gives an incredibly clear bird’s eye view of a parking situation and is remarkably accurate.
The MG HS is an impressive PHEV, and with a rebate of $5750 on the table, it makes a lot of sense. With the Clean Car Discount applied, you’d be looking at a $49,240 bottom line, which is less than a top-spec Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
MG HS PLUS EV ESSENCE
ENGINE: 1.5-litre turbo plug-in hybrid
GEARBOX: 10-speed automatic, FWD