MG HS 1.5 DCT Trophy

MGHS, 2023, side
MGHS, 2023, front
MGHS, 2023, rear
MGHS, 2023, interior
MGHS, 2023, display screen
MGHS, 2022, boot

FEW surviving car brands possess the heritage, charisma and pedigree that MG boasts.

As a twenty-something I was fortunate enough to own first an MG Midget, then an MGB - in British racing green, of course.

That was a long time ago, and how times have changed. Today Chinese-owned MG is more about low priced family models rather than rakish roadsters - at least for now.

The smartly, though unexceptionally styled HS, epitomises the marque as it is today - great value, spacious and somewhat old-school, especially when powered by the turbo petrol 1.5-litre engine we sample here.

Priced to undercut its obvious rivals, some of your savings will, however, be diminished by what you must spend on fuel.

Prices start at £24,000, with the version driven here - the Trophy DCT - costing a still reasonable £27,495.

Those expecting a budget interior will be smiling as soon as they hop into the HS. There's a pleasantly up-market look to the fascia and the cabin generally with plenty of soft touch materials and some smart chrome detailing.

No shortage of space for four, or even five passengers, and decent shoulder room. The hatchback boot, however, isn't as generously proportioned as many rivals, mainly due to its shallowness. It will, however, swallow up 463 litres of luggage.

More impressive is the huge amount of legroom in rear - even tall passengers can really stretch out, a boon on long journeys.

A large - 10.1inch - touchscreen houses the infotainment system and there's a row of shortcut buttons to make life easier. We found the sat nav operation somewhat clunky and occasionally unreliable.

Clearly, the HS sets its stall at family drivers rather than the performance market. But with a 160bhp on tap, you expect and get reasonably brisk acceleration. A time of under 10seconds is about average for the sector, but the power unit isn't particularly refined as revs rise and the twin clutch gearbox gets a tad confused at times.

Cornering is safe and predictable with an emphasis on comfort rather than dynamic sportiness.

Ride over most surfaces is composed and absorbent with only the worst craters and potholes tending to catch out the suspension. It was noticeable when manoeuvring around busy car parks that the turning circle wasn't as tight as you'd like.

There are few who will complain about the car's equipment level. Standard issue includes air con, sat nav, leather seating, cruise control, parking sensors, powered tailgate and adjustable ambient lighting. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also features.

The automatic version is marginally more frugal than the manual. Our average was 35.5mpg with a best of 39mpg during gentle country running. Emissions are higher than is average for the sector with a figure of 174g/km.

FAST FACTS

MG HS 1.5 DCT Trophy

Price: £27,495

Mechanical: 1.5-litre, 160bhp, 4 cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 37.9

Combined MPG: 28

Insurance Group: 174g/km

C02 emissions: 37%

Warranty:7yrs/80,000 miles

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