Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • Turbocharged petrol four the only engine
  • Available as 162hp petrol and 257hp PHEV
  • Choice of manual or automatic

On paper the 162hp peak output of the 1.5-litre petrol four is pretty good. But the reality is that it’s set up for economy rather than performance. If you push it hard for a rapid getaway it’s jerky and unwilling. And if you keep pushing, in search of the 118mph top speed, it’s noisy and unresponsive.

The on paper performance figures for the plug-in hybrid HS PHEV looks more promising. With 257hp and 370Nm of torque, the 0–60mph time of 6.9 seconds looks good, although the maximum speed of 118mph remains unchanged.

More importantly, MG claims the HS PHEV will deliver a WLTP fuel economy figure of 155.8mpg and just 43g/km of CO2. In city driving, the MG claims its battery-only range can be be extended to as far as 43 miles.

Nobody will buy an HS in order to drive it fast, and it’s perfectly happy pottering around town or cruising on the open road, where it’s more than happy at the legal limit.

Handling

  • Light but accurate steering
  • Comfortable ride
  • Decent brakes

Combined with the roomy cabin and good seats, the HS’s tuned-for-Britain suspension does a good job of insulating occupants from potholes and scarred road surfaces. The driver gets some jittery vibration through the steering wheel on some surfaces, but nothing drastic.

It’s not a car to go slinging fast through the bends, but if you do it won’t inflict too much body roll on you. The brakes do their job without fuss.