In-depth reviews

MG HS Plug-In review

The MG HS Plug-In is a good-value hybrid family SUV, although it lacks the polish of many of its rivals in certain areas

MG HS Plug-In
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Interior space
  • Standard equipment
  • Low company-car tax

Cons

  • Bland styling
  • Not great to drive
  • Refinement could be better
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid32 miles156mpg43g/km

The MG brand is now well into its 'second life' as part of the Chinese conglomerate SAIC, with a range of several models on sale in the UK. While the ZS EV and 5 SW EV take care of the fully electric side of things, and you can still buy some purely petrol-engined MGs, the brand also offers a large plug-in hybrid SUV in the shape of this HS Plug-In.

It's the largest model in MG's range right now – and arguably the best-looking, too. Yes, it's very much of a case of 'generic family SUV' styling, yet it's smart and well proportioned enough to hold its own next to rivals from more established brands. But visual appeal is often some way down the list of priorities when it comes to cars like this. Practicality and running costs are key for family buyers, so how does the HS stack up in those respects?

The answer is pretty well – it's very spacious inside (for both passengers and their luggage) and its plug-in hybrid drivetrain ensures it'll be very cheap to run, as long as you have the ability to keep the battery topped up and do most of your shorter local journeys on electric power alone.

And it's an absolute steal for company-car drivers compared to a purely petrol or diesel-engined alternative, thanks to the government keeping Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rates for cars like this at a very low level for the time being, in order to encourage take-up.

However, MG reckons that the HS Plug-In's reasonable list price of under £30,000 means it should also hold appeal for private buyers, who are usually put off by the pretty chunky list prices of plug-in hybrid SUVs from even mainstream family-car brands. For comparison, the Vauxhall Grandland Hybrid starts at nearly £35,000, the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid at over £36,000 and the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid at over £37,000. The MG compares reasonably well with those models when it comes to emissions, electric range and standard equipment, too.

So, if you can get over the fact it has a less familiar badge than you might be used to on the nose and can't quite match those rivals we mentioned when it comes to style and driving experience, the HS Plug-In has the potential to be a very savvy choice indeed. For a more detailed look at the car, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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