If you’ve noticed that your pockets are feeling a tad lighter this year, you’re not alone.
Plenty of pundits are quick to regurgitate the headlines. Record inflation. High oil prices. On-going Covid-19 supply chain issues, it’s all contributing to the pinch.
For this reason, the MG HS EV is a topical car, being New Zealand’s cheapest plug-in hybrid. On paper, it appears to be one of the most cost-effective ways of going electric without sacrificing the practicalities of internal combustion.
Despite the apparent value being offered, I’m always a tad suspicious of a cheap price tag. So, how does the MG HS EV stack up to competitors? We had a week to find out.
What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 MG HS +EV
|What we like||What we don’t like|
63km full electric range
Loaded with equipment
Value for money
|Doesn’t optimise hybrid mode well |
Average body control
What’s In The 2022 MG HS +EV range?
There are two models of the MG HS +EV available for New Zealand buyers. The Excite is the entry level model, while the Essence is the top of the range.
These models are priced below:
|MG HS +EV Excite||$51,990|
|MG HS +EV Essence||$55,990|
Both models are powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a permanent magnet synchronous motor and a 16.6kWh liquid cooled lithium-ion battery. The petrol hybrid combination is good for 189kW of power and 370Nm of torque.
According to MG, you’ll get up to 63km from a single charge on that battery without the use of the internal combustion engine. Charging the battery takes around 5 hours from a 7kW dedicated wall charger, or will take approximately 9 hours from a standard 240V socket.
MG will also offer you installation of a MG branded charge-hub wall charger into your home, allowing you to utilise the faster 7kW charging. Prices for the charge-hub start from $2,090 not including installation.
2022 MG HS +EV Standard Equipment Highlights
The MG HS EV Plus offers an impressive amount of equipment as standard, here are a few highlights:
For the Excite, you get:
- 17” Alloys
- 10.1” Infotainment
- 12.3” Digital Drivers Display
- Apple Carplay and Android Auto
- 6-Speaker Audio
- 4x USB Ports with 12v Charger
- Dual-Zone Climate Control
- 6-Way Powered Drivers’ Seat
- Heated Front Seats
- PU/PVC Leather Seat Upholstery
- Rear Parking Sensors
- Push Button Start
- Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror
- Keyless Entry System
- Projector Halogen Headlight,
- LED Daytime Running Lights
- Rain Sensing Wipers
- Auto Headlights
- Roof Rails
Upgrading to the Essence rewards you with:
- 18” Alloys
- 360-Degree Camera
- Panoramic Sunroof
- Two-Tone Front Leather Sports Seats
- 4-Way Powered Passengers’ Seat
- Sport Pedals
- LED Headlights
- LED Tail Lights
- Welcome Lights
- Electronically-Controlled/Heated Door Mirrors
- Electric Tailgate
The HS EV Plus range also features an extensive list of safety technology as standard, including:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Blind Spot Detection (BSM)
- Emergency Brake Assist
- Electronic Stability Program
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Speed Assistance System
- Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
- Traffic Jam Assist
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
There are three colour options for the MG HS EV Plus, including:
- Sterling Silver Metallic
- Diamond Red Metallic
- New Pearl White Metallic
Our test vehicle is featured in Clipper Blue, which is no longer available. However, we’ve been told a new blue colour is on its way.
For more information on the MG HS +EV, check out the MG New Zealand website.
How Does The 2022 MG HS +EV Compare To Its Competition?
New Zealand is still slightly thin on the ground for true plug-in hybrid SUVs available in the market. We’ve also put in a few non plug-in hybrids for good measure.
|Make/ Model||Engine||Power/Torque kW/Nm||Seats||Fuel L/100km||Towing Capacity||Boot|
|Mitsubishi Outlander XLS PHEV 4WD||2.5-litre 4 cylinder||–||5||1.6||750/1600||472||$68,990|
|Ford Escape PHEV ST-Line X||2.5-litre 4-cylinder PHEV||167/NA||5||1.5||NA/1200||517||$66,990|
|Kia Niro PHEV Water||1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo PHEV||134/265||5||0.8||600/1300||348||$63,990|
|Toyota RAV-4 GXL Hybrid AWD||2.5-litre 4 cylinder BHEV||131/221||5||5.3||750/1500||542||$57,990|
|MG HS +EV Essence||1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo PHEV||189/370||5||1.7||750/1500||451||$55,990|
First Impressions Of The 2022 MG HS +EV
Crossovers tend to fall on the blander end of the car design spectrum. Although, there are a few SUVs that’ll give you a sense of their character from aesthetics alone, all before you’ve stepped inside and turned the key.
This brings us onto the MG HS +EV. From the looks alone, there’s little telling what the MG is about.
It’s not that the MG is ugly – it’s far from that. There’s just nothing really stylising it. It’s basically the automotive equivalent of whiteware.
For this reason, I view the MG HS EV with the same passion as I do my refrigerator. Sure, one could spin the narrative to say that no home is complete without one, but the appliance-like looks are an indirect broadcast of the MG’s intentions.
It’s an SUV for the indifferent, but not the history books.
What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 MG HS +EV?
I may have been critical of the MG’s uninspiring exterior design, but the interior sets a much stronger first impression. Heck, it’s actually bordering on impressive when you consider all the equipment you get for 50-odd grand.
You’re first greeted by the impressive high-backed bucket-style seats accented with suede and contrast stitching. Once you’ve perched, you’ll notice the generous application of leather and soft materials dressing the surfaces, along with the high-quality digital dash cluster.
In the centre is a relatively run-of-the mill infotainment screen, below that is a set of metallic-look switches for different infotainment shortcuts. Below the switches is a large lid hiding two USB ports and a 12V socket. Given the size of the lid, you’ll wish they’d have done more with the space.
The panoramic sunroof introduces plenty of light into the cabin offsetting some of the colder metallic textures and the darker hues.
I must admit, MG has done a stellar job with the perceived quality of the HS EV’s interior. However, some of the textures will reveal the MG’s cost. For example, the infotainment touchscreen has a plasticity texture rather than a glass one. The switch gear is also plasticky, and our press vehicle already had some delaminating occurring around the climate vents. Good thing the MG comes with a long warranty.
If there’s anything to put someone off, it’s the central infotainment. Honestly, it’s painfully slow. Loading the sat-nav often takes around 15 seconds and adjusting the volume takes around 3 seconds for it to react, if you’re using the central stack controls. It’s only more frustrating when you’ve realised the climate controls are integrated into the infotainment. The lagginess makes a simple task, like adjusting the cabin temperature, far more difficult than it should be.
I know, this is a car sold on value, but I wish MG could have afforded to give this HS a better chipset.
Perhaps one reason the system is so slow is because MG has packed this unit with a trick 360-degree camera system. It’ll give you several exterior views and even simulate an image of the car on-screen. It’s quite impressive, even if its real-world use is limited. As for the rest of it, the user interface is simple and resolution is good too. The six-speaker audio system performs as you’d expect – averagely. Speaking of audio, the infotainment also defaults to radio whenever you switch on the vehicle, which has its annoyances.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the MG’s digital instrument cluster is superb. It looks like it could have been plucked out of something European. The resolution is sharp and doesn’t lag like the screen next to it.
Returning to the front seats, the bucket-style seats do set a good impression. Although on the firmer side, they wrap around you nicely, supporting all your softer parts well. While it is technically true that the driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, only four of the ways are powered. Lumbar support is manually adjusted using a lever on the side of the chair.
Rear-seat passengers aren’t wanting for head and legroom in the back of the MG. It’s roughly what you’d expect from this class of vehicle, though it feels much larger thanks to all the light pouring in from the panoramic sunroof.
On paper, boot space is down compared with its closest rivals such as the Outlander PHEV and RAV 4. Although, the 451 litres available will be plenty for most, and you can reclaim some extra volume if you stack your gear above the load cover. Drop the second row, and you’ll get 1,275 litres of space all up.
What’s The 2022 MG HS +EV Like To Drive?
On the internal combustion side, the MG HS +EV is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, which alone puts out a fairly healthy 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque.
As for the electric side of the equation, the MG HS +EV uses a single permanent magnet synchronous motor, which outputs 90kW of power and 230Nm of torque. This draws energy from a 16.6kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, which according to MG, gives the HS EV a claimed full electric range of 63Kms.
Connecting both powertrains together is what is allegedly a 10-speed automatic gearbox. MG calls it an EDU gearbox; a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DCT) is connected to the ICE engine while the electric motor has a four-speed electric drive unit. By some back-of-the-envelope maths, this is 10-speeds, sort of.
After reading all that, you’re probably thinking there’s quite a bit going on underneath the MG HS +EV. You’re not far off with those thoughts.
So how does the petrol-electric combination actually perform? For starters, the MG HS +EV feels fairly spritely for a bulky SUV. The electric motor with its immediate torque will easily help you win the 50Km/h traffic light drag. However, once the electric motors run out of juice and the ICE engine starts taking over, performance does noticeably taper. According to MG, the HS +EV does the 0-100Km/h sprint in a brisk 6.9 seconds, but I’m in two minds whether this is completely accurate.
Despite this, the MG never feels underpowered. There’s adequate power available for a passing lane overtake and highway merging. The petrol engine alone puts out some fairly healthy performance figures on its own. If you do run the battery down, you won’t need to ditch the luggage to perform an overtaking manoeuvre. It’s not the most refined unit out there – you’ll hear it clatter into life when the battery tells it to switch on, and it is fairly noisy when pressed into the higher revs.
The EV side of the MG is the better of the two powertrains. You can also tell this half is where the MG gets most of its kick from. Press the EV-only button, the MG will power down the ICE engine, leaving you only with E-power. From 0-50Km/h, you’ll struggle to notice any performance loss with the ICE engine. The EV motor also bridges the less desirable qualities of the petrol engine, hiding the turbo-lag from the ICE engine and greatly aids with the overall responsiveness.
The EV side isn’t particularly configurable. There are only two modes of regenerative braking, and you can only adjust it via the clunky infotainment settings. Steering wheel paddles are much better, but the MG doesn’t have this.
There’s also no mode to only use the petrol engine, which is a useful feature for allowing the battery to charge if you’ve depleted it on a longer journey.
Despite the complicated six-plus-four gearing arrangements, MG has managed to get its EDU gearbox well-tuned for day-to-day driving. If you’re mostly a suburban crawler, you’ll hardly notice it working in the background, which is the highest form of praise one can give.
The dual-clutch side does possess the usual dual-clutch quirks, meaning it can be a little bit janky in slow traffic. Also, there were a handful of occasions where the gearbox would hesitate if you planted your foot, meaning there was a few seconds delay before you finally began to move forward. So individually, all the components are fairly convincing with their performance. But the art of a PHEV is how they blend the two technologies. In the MG’s case, the result wasn’t exactly what I expected.
During our test, we found that the petrol engine was heavily favoured when running the MG in hybrid mode. The MG would happily run the EV motors until just beyond 40Km/h, before switching on the petrol engine. Once you’ve triggered the ICE engine, MG isn’t exactly quick to turn it off.
This ultimately was reflected in our fuel economy result. During our test, the MG ran at 7.0L/100Km, which was well beyond the claimed combined figure of 1.7L/100Km. Keep in mind a good chunk of our testing is performed on the motorway, where the petrol engine typically takes over in many PHEVs. However, I recall our test of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. I tested it the same way, but our fuel consumption result was 3.7L/100Km. Another mark against the MG is that the petrol side also runs 95 Octane, which is another sting for the economy-conscious.
Ultimately, both of Mitsubishi’s PHEV offerings are streets ahead of the MG when it comes to optimising the two powertrains for fuel economy. To really drive my point home, when I had Eclipse Cross, the car told us we spent 72% of our driving mileage in EV mode. I couldn’t tell you what it was with the MG, but I can guarantee it wasn’t nearly as close.
MG clearly relies on you driving in EV mode to bring the fuel average down. Is this a deal breaker for the MG? Probably not, but it’s definitely a factor to be aware of going into the purchase. You’ll want to ensure the battery is topped up, all the time. Fortunately, the EV only range is pretty generous, which MG claims to be 63Km of range on a full charge. However, in hilly areas like Wellington, you can expect that to diminish slightly. That said, we still managed to get around 56-59Km from the battery during our test.
As for charging, the dashboard stated that a complete charge would take around 9 hours. This was from plugging the MG into the wall and with the battery around 10%.
The MG HS EV has a softly sprung suspension set-up. Around town, the HS EV has a plush ride, which will be greatly appreciated by the many buyers that spend the majority of their time in the suburbs. The trade-off is that when speeds increase, the ride does become slightly buoyant. It’s particularly noticeable on New Zealand’s occasionally rough state highways. The MG just doesn’t feel as settled as you’d like it to be.
Body control is slightly lacking when the turns get tighter, but it’s within acceptability for an SUV. Fortunately, the Michelin Primacy 4 tyres (that the MG wears from the factory) really help bolster grip levels.
It being 2022, the MG offers a full suite of active safety systems, the umbrella term for which is called MG Pilot. The MG Pilot functions all work fairly well. The adaptive cruise control is well-adjusted, and the traffic sign recognition software made few errors during our test (these systems don’t always work flawlessly). One of few criticisms is of the lane assistance system, which I found to be a tad overbearing. Lastly, if you want to turn any part of it off, you have to use the deficient infotainment system.
2022 MG HS +EV Specifications
|Vehicle Type||Mid-size SUV|
|Price as Tested||$55,990|
|Engine||1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol with permanent-magnet synchronous motor|
|Power, Torque |
|Petrol engine: 119/250 |
Electric motor: 90/230
Combined outputs: 189/370
|Spare Wheel||Repair kit only|
|Kerb Weight, Kg||1,775|
|Length x Width x Height|
|4574 x 1876 x 1685|
|Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,|
Litres (seats up/seats down)
|451 (second-row in-place – to boot cover)|
1,275 (second row down – up to window line)
|Fuel tank capacity, Litres||55 (95 Octane)|
|Fuel Economy, L/100km||Advertised Spec – Combined – 1.7|
Real-World Test – Combined – 7.0
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
|Towing Capacity |
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
|Warranty||7-year/unlimited km new vehicle warranty|
7-year/unlimited km anti-perforation warranty
7-year/unlimited km battery warranty
|Safety information||ANCAP Rating – Unrated (Petrol variants scored 5 stars)|
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – NPW195
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