In-depth reviews

MG HS Plug-In performance, engine & drive

The HS Plug-In isn't exciting or engaging to drive, but it's fairly quick and cruises on the motorway well

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

2.5 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
7.1s118mphFront254bhp

If you're considering the HS Plug-In because you want efficient and practical family transport, you may well be unconcerned that it can't match the likes of the Ford Kuga when it comes to handling. But you'll likely be disappointed that it falls short of that and other rivals in the comfort and refinement departments, too.

Some other plug-in hybrids are almost completely silent in electric mode, but in the HS there's a noticeable whine from the motor at low speeds. And when the petrol engine bursts into life, that sounds harsher than the norm as well, especially if you accelerate hard. You're not always rewarded with an instantaneous response when you do squeeze the throttle, either, as the 10-speed automatic gearbox and electric motor combination can sometimes take a second or two to work out what they're doing, leading to a momentary delay before the power comes in.

MG HS Plug-In 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

That hesitancy described above means the HS Plug-In doesn't always feel as quick as its official 0-60mph time of 7.1 seconds suggests. It's demonstrably quicker than the purely petrol-engined model, at least. Top speed is 118mph, so the car will cruise at the UK motorway limit uncomplainingly.

Handling

Ride quality is on the right side of soft for typical UK roads; but while going over speed bumps or potholes doesn't feel too crashy, the trouble is the suspension isn't terribly good at keeping the subsequent pitching and rolling motions in check. Taken together with inconsistently weighted steering, it all paints a picture of a rather unsophisticated driving experience compared with a lot of this car's rivals.

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