The petrol-powered elder brother of the electrified MG ZS, the MG HS is a five-seat crossover contender in the same class as the Audi Q3, Haval H6, and Peugeot 3008.
Despite being much more affordable compared to many of its competitors, the HS boasts a fantastic interior, drives quite well, and is packed with tech that sometimes can get overwhelming.
The MG HS is designed to have a road presence and it does it well. The car's long and slender hood ends with a large starlight grille, surrounded by chrome accents and bi-function LED headlights with DRL (daytime running light).
The car's roofline ends with a gentle slope, giving the car an aesthetically pleasing silhouette as well as much better headroom for rear passengers. The 18-inch alloys nicely compliment the rest of the car and the 145mm ground clearance they provide is much needed for Dhaka streets.
Despite being powered by an inline-four, MG has given the car dual exhaust, perhaps as a nod to the company's sports car heritage. A large, silver MG badge is mounted prominently on the rear of the powered boot, flanked on both sides by a pair of full-LED tail lamps.
Despite falling around the same price brackets as reconditioned JDM crossovers, the quality and features inside the HS closely match that of much more expensive German offerings.
The unit we were provided with was finished in the "Trophy Red" interior option, which covered the interior with a combination of black and red leather, leather-like, and other soft-touch material. The massive panoramic glass roof lets in ample natural light inside the cabin and can be opened to let in some fresh air. At night, the inside of the car can be illuminated via ambient lighting, which is backed up by dedicated reading lights for all four seats.
The seats are comfortable, with the front seat passengers enjoying six-way powered adjustments and heating. The centre console box comes with active cooling and can be used to store cold beverages. The air condition is dual-zone but the temperature and fan controls lack dedicated buttons and have to be adjusted through the infotainment system.
For entertainment, the 10.1-inch infotainment system is paired to a six-speaker audio system and supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All passengers get their own USB ports for charging purposes, while the front occupants get an additional 12-volt socket.
In addition to all the creature comforts, the HS comes with a plethora of safety features, all bundled under the MG pilot suite. Notable ones include adaptive cruise control, speed limit assist, active brake assist, traffic jam assist, blind-spot detection, intelligent high beams and lane keep assist.
All these make the car very safe to drive in stop and go traffic of Dhaka city, which combined with the car's excellent five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, makes it one of the safest cars on the market.
The driving experience
Getting onto the driver's seat, the first thing one notices is the big red button on the steering wheel. The button activates the "super sport" mode, which is one of the car's four driving modes.
Traditionally a performance brand, MG tries to inject a bit of sportiness into all of its cars. The "super sport" button stiffens up the suspension and the steering, giving the driver a much more lively feel. The official 0-100 of MG HS is 9.9 seconds and we can confirm it can indeed reach that in sport mode.
Being a crossover, the car's suspension is quite soft even in sport mode and will throw you around if you brake too hard or take a corner at speed. Besides the sport mode, the car also comes with normal, eco, and custom mode, with the last one being self-explanatory.
We did not find any discernible difference between the normal and eco mode while driving the car, except for they both make the ride much more comfortable compared to the sport mode. If you are riding with the family, stick to either one of these.
One nice feature we noticed while driving the car in traffic is the 360-degree 3D camera. When activated, the car shows an exterior third-person view of itself on the infotainment screen, which makes navigating in tight places much easier.
The MG HS is an excellent choice for families looking for a safe and luxurious crossover on an affordable budget. It has all the tech and safety equipment of a top-end model, backed up by a prestigious British badge. For anyone looking for a classy car that will not dry up the bank balance, this car is a perfect option.