MG, mainly known for selling New Zealand’s cheapest full EV, the ZS EV, today launched two new models in their medium-SUV HS range.

April will see the arrival of the all-wheel drive (AWD) HS and also, and perhaps more importantly, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) HS to our shores. With a lengthy standard equipment list and sharp pricing, on paper both cars look to offer quite a bit in the medium-SUV segment.

There’s just one glitch in the matrix here; while it may be a small SUV, MG’s own ZS EV is cheaper than the PHEV HS. Will buyers simply go straight to the full EV, forgoing any reduction in space? Only time will tell.

Starting at $39,990 for the base Vibe model, all HS’s will have a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and the PHEV’s batteries will have an 8-year, 160,000Km warranty.

HS PHEV

While an AWD version of the car will hit some more potential buyers, most of the interest at the launch was in the PHEV version. Fitted with a 16.6kWh battery, MG says it should drive around 52km on a charge, before the petrol engine kicks in to drive the car and charge the batteries back up. With a 16.6kWh battery, the car should charge easily overnight on a standard household power socket. The petrol engine in this hybrid is the same 2.0-litre turbo motor found in other HS models. The transmission is a sort of mix between the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic of the normal HS models, and a 4-mode hybrid system.

The price of the PHEV version is $52,990, in comparison their (smaller) ZS EV is under $49,000. MG says emissions are cut by around 50-70% over the petrol models, and carbon emissions are a low 39 grams/Km. Acceleration to 100km/h takes 6.9 seconds, and combined output of the engine and hybrid system is 209kW of power and a huge (for the size of this car) 480Nm of torque.

There’s a reasonable list of standard features for this car, including:

●             One variant/Trim level

●             Abstract 18-inch, diamond cut alloy wheels

●             Front seat heating

●             Panoramic sunroof

●             Sporty metal trim pedals

●             LED ambient lighting

●             LED ‘London Eye’ daytime running headlights

●             Welcome lights

●             Electric tailgate

●             Smart keyless entry

●             360° Surround View Camera

●             12.3″ fully digital instrument cluster with built-in satellite navigation

●             10.1” multi-function colour touch screen with 1280p HD resolution

●             Interior six-speaker 3D surround sound audio system

●             Soft-touch two-tone front leatherette Sports Seats with seat heating (driver and passenger)

●             Driver’s 6-way Electrically Adjustable seat

●             Front passenger’s leatherette, 4-way Electrically Adjustable Seats

●             Dual-zone climate control

●             Rain sensor wiper with timed heating

●             Electric door mirrors with heating

●             Full LED headlights with automatic illumination

●             Front and rear reading lights

●             LED tail lights with sequential illumination

●             Front fog lamps and ‘Follow me home’ delayed headlight illumination

●             Repair Kit

●             MG Pilot Driver Safety Technology, consisting of:

o Adaptive Cruise Control

o Forward Collision Warning

o Automatic Emergency Braking

o Lane Assist System

o Traffic Jam Assist

o Blind Spot Detection

o Rear Cross Traffic Alert

o Intelligent Headlamp Control

o Intelligent Speed Assistance System

The car is available in 4 colours including Phantom Red, Clipper Blue, New Pearl White, and Sterling Silver.

HS AWD

The other launch today was for the all-wheel drive version of the model, bringing the HS model count to seven, including the PHEV. The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol-turbo motor outputs 169kW of power and 360Nm of torque, attached to a six-speed DCT automatic transmission.

The MG HS range has achieved the highest standard of safety in New Zealand, with a five-star ANCAP safety rating. The MG HS AWD also comes with six airbags, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and seat belt warning lights for both front and rear occupants.

Boot space is generous, at 451 litres with the rear seats up, and 1,275 with them down.

MG Pilot

From alerting drivers to potential collision hazards, to systems that help them to maintain traction and stability, the new MG HS AWD comes with the MG Pilot driver safety technology system as standard.

MG Pilot makes driving safer with Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Assist System, Intelligent Speed Assistance System, Intelligent Headlamp Control and Traffic Jam Assist.  It also features Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection, Door Opening Warning, Pedestrian Detection and a 360-degree camera (Essence X) to provide owners with full visibility when maneuvering. 

Additional features exclusive to the MG HS AWD Essence X include:

· Heated front seats

· Stargazer Panoramic sunroof with sunshade

· 360-degree camera

· Driver six-way electrically adjustable seat

· Passenger four-way electrically adjustable seat

· Leather sport seats with integrated headrests

MG HS range pricing

ModelAvailable from (+ORC)
Vibe$32,990
Excite$35,990
Essence$39,990
Essence Anfield$40,990
AWD Excite X$39,990
AWD Essence X$45,990
Plug-In Hybrid$52,990

We look forward to reviewing all models when they come available.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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