MG HS Plus EV review: Taking it on the road
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MG HS +EV (PHEV)
Clean Car Rebate
- Lots of space
- Feels luxurious
- Good 360 cameras
- Integrated headrests uncomfortable for short people
- Struggles up hill
- Clunky infotainment system
The real test of a family vehicle in Aotearoa: how does it fare on a road trip?
It’s just shy of 400km from my house in Auckland to New Plymouth, which with the many stops you need to make with a baby under one, means a five-to-seven-hour journey. The main requirements for a journey of this length are: space, comfort, and a good infotainment system.
While the MG HS +EV does do a good job at ticking those boxes, there is room for improvement.
Let’s start with packing the car. Space is something this vehicle doesn’t lack. It was our first weekend away with our 10-month-old, which meant we had a lot of gear to lug around. Think pushchair, high chair, baby bath, port-a-cot, nappies, luggage... the list goes on. But believe it or not, there was actually room to spare. With the seats up, the boot has a generous 451-litre capacity.
In terms of comfort, the MG has some pros and cons. With a new PHEV rebate of $5,750, the car comes in just under the $50k mark at $49,240. For that price, you certainly don’t expect to be sitting inside a luxury vehicle. And while I definitely wouldn’t put that label on this car, the interior does feel somewhat luxurious.
Interestingly, the front two seats have integrated headrests. And while they are somewhat comfortable for some, I – as a 5”2 female – found myself too short for them, and the un-adjustable headrest pushed my head forwards in an awkward position. The heated seats were a nice feature and would feel even better in the colder months. But it would be nice if there was a cooling function too.
The main infotainment screen is 10.1 inches and features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Some of the functional elements of the system I found to be a little confusing at first. I spent far too long looking for the home button, which was sitting below the air vents, disjointed from the actual screen. But once you get to know the car, it becomes easy to use.
A good perk was the 360-degree parking camera. It makes reversing into tight spaces much easier, especially when you have a boot-full.
Auckland | Manukau
$280.24 p/w $1,120.96 p/m
The actual drive of the vehicle was not bad either. Impressively, it offers 52km of pure electric driving. As I was heading on a long journey, I mainly used the car as a petrol vehicle. The ability to choose petrol or electricity is the beauty of driving a PHEV. But interestingly, unlike most PHEVs, this car prioritises using petrol and drives more like a hybrid. It also uses the petrol engine to warm the battery components before enabling EV mode.
The car has a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, that, in combination with the EV motor, can reach 100km/h in 6.9 seconds. The car works best when using both petrol and electric power together. But when using one or the other, performance is impacted. Driving up Mount Messenger on just petrol power, the car struggled more than I expected. Although bear in mind that the car was also full to the brim.
There were plenty of other features that made the road trip that little bit sweeter, like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and the large panoramic sunroof.
With the seven-year unlimited-km car and battery warranty that MG offers, it’s not a bad deal.