Likes

  • A long list of standard equipment
  • Spacious and plush interior
  • Surprisingly comfortable and sorted drive experience

Dislikes

  • Some reliability concerns
  • Will struggle to shake the ‘cheap Chinese car’ tag
  • Newer, high-spec models aren’t exactly a ‘bargain’
  • Some owners have complained about the wait times for spare parts

Stuff you should know

MG was once upon a time an English marque manufacturing iconic sports and road cars, however after decades of financial instability, in the mid 2000s, Chinese company Nanjing acquired the brand which, in one way or another, has gone on to become China’s giant auto maker SAIC Motor Corp.

The HS, introduced in Australia in 2019, is MG’s mid-size and flagship SUV and depending on the year, is available here in Australia across five trim specs (Vibe, Core, Excite, Essence and Essence Anfield Edition), initially all using the same 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, powering the front wheels.

In 2021 a pair of on-demand all-wheel-drive versions arrived, based on the higher spec variants with both featuring a more powerful 2.0-litre engine mated to a six-speed dual-clutch.
Also in 2021 a 1.5-litre front-wheel drive Plug-in Hybrid model joined the range, initially based on the top-spec Essence, however a more affordable Excite variant arrived in 2022.

What goes wrong

Exterior:

More of an annoyance than a major issue, the Automatic Wipers/Rain Detection tends to be inaccurate and excessive. For example a light sprinkling can activate the wipers vigorously.

There are a few sporadic reports of sunroofs leaking with water dripping down the sun visors.

Mainly on 2022 models, and in very hot weather, some body control modules can play up, resulting in windows not going up or down and mirrors not folding.

There are just random reports of some quality issues, panels not lining up perfectly, the occasional plastic clip breaking easily, stuff like that.

Also, some owners have reported that the car sometimes doesn’t recognise the key fob which might just be a low battery, even though these are still relatively new. Other times it might be interference in the signal.

Interior:

It seems as though the HS is known for a multitude of different electrical gremlins for example, some owners have stated that on occasion the car won’t start first go and needs a second chance.

Owners have reported false error warnings associated with the transmission but turning the car off and on again generally gets rid of warning.

Another first world issue but plenty of owners have complained about excessive Bonging and Dinging and pointless error messages on the instrument cluster.

Again some build quality issues, some owner’s have tried to connect their phone to the car via a USB port and when they have plugged the cord in, the port itself has fallen straight through the interior trim

Even if the USB port doesn’t enter into the abyss, some owner’s have also complained about the car not detecting their phone when trying to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay once they’ve plugged it in.

Plus once the phone has connected, if it connects or not, the infotainment and screen controls can be very delayed and just frustrating, or worst case scenario, the screen can just turn off until the car is restarted.

Mechanically:

The 1.5-litre engine is from the General Motors SGE family and you’ll find powering a host of different GM derived Opel, Buick and Chev small cars.

In terms of reliability, overall, early on and when under warranty, these are fairly reliable engines. Oil consumption is a common issue right from the start and they can have some issues with localised hot spots causing cylinder head cracks and overheating, plus there are reports of turbo complications too.

The 2.0-litre is a similar story, another GM product that is in a variety of cars globally.

Again, early on, these are generally all good but above 150,000km there’s plenty of reports about piston failure, timing chain issues and turbo complication across all variants.

The hybrid

Exterior:

More of an annoyance than a major issue, the Automatic Wipers/Rain Detection tends to be inaccurate and excessive. For example a light sprinkling can activate the wipers vigorously.

There are a few sporadic reports of sunroofs leaking with water dripping down the sun visors.

Mainly on 2022 models, and in very hot weather, some body control modules can play up, resulting in windows not going up or down and mirrors not folding.

There are just random reports of some quality issues, panels not lining up perfectly, the occasional plastic clip breaking easily, stuff like that.

Also, some owners have reported that the car sometimes doesn’t recognise the key fob which might just be a low battery, even though these are still relatively new. Other times it might be interference in the signal.

Interior:

It seems as though the HS is known for a multitude of different electrical gremlins for example, some owners have stated that on occasion the car won’t start first go and needs a second chance.

Owners have reported false error warnings associated with the transmission but turning the car off and on again generally gets rid of warning.

Another first world issue but plenty of owners have complained about excessive Bonging and Dinging and pointless error messages on the instrument cluster.

Again some build quality issues, some owner’s have tried to connect their phone to the car via a USB port and when they have plugged the cord in, the port itself has fallen straight through the interior trim

Even if the USB port doesn’t enter into the abyss, some owner’s have also complained about the car not detecting their phone when trying to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay once they’ve plugged it in.

Plus once the phone has connected, if it connects or not, the infotainment and screen controls can be very delayed and just frustrating, or worst case scenario, the screen can just turn off until the car is restarted.

Mechanically:

The 1.5-litre engine is from the General Motors SGE family and you’ll find powering a host of different GM derived Opel, Buick and Chev small cars.

In terms of reliability, overall, early on and when under warranty, these are fairly reliable engines. Oil consumption is a common issue right from the start and they can have some issues with localised hot spots causing cylinder head cracks and overheating, plus there are reports of turbo complications too.

The 2.0-litre is a similar story, another GM product that is in a variety of cars globally.

Again, early on, these are generally all good but above 150,000km there’s plenty of reports about piston failure, timing chain issues and turbo complication across all variants.

The hybrid uses a version of the 1.5-litre engine and maybe with the help of an electric motor its engine might possibly last a bit longer. Only time will tell.

Historically, these GM engines are in low cost cars that are unfortunately often not cared for very well.

The first few years out of warranty are probably going to be ok but the MGs (and the engines in them) are likely to follow in the foot steps of their predecessors. Meaning that, very few of them are around with over 200,000km on them and when something serious goes wrong with them, after they are 10 years old, its likely that the cost of the repair will be more than the cars value.

Transmission-wise, there are plenty of complaints regarding poor, slow and harsh shifting and selecting any gear at all. Some of these complaints have been resolved with software updates and any mechanical problems should all covered by warranty, but in years to come it too could be the expensive repair that’s worth more than the vehicle is worth.

Exterior:

More of an annoyance than a major issue, the Automatic Wipers/Rain Detection tends to be inaccurate and excessive. For example a light sprinkling can activate the wipers vigorously.

There are a few sporadic reports of sunroofs leaking with water dripping down the sun visors.

Mainly on 2022 models, and in very hot weather, some body control modules can play up, resulting in windows not going up or down and mirrors not folding.

There are just random reports of some quality issues, panels not lining up perfectly, the occasional plastic clip breaking easily, stuff like that.

Also, some owners have reported that the car sometimes doesn’t recognise the key fob which might just be a low battery, even though these are still relatively new. Other times it might be interference in the signal.

Interior:

It seems as though the HS is known for a multitude of different electrical gremlins for example, some owners have stated that on occasion the car won’t start first go and needs a second chance.

Owners have reported false error warnings associated with the transmission but turning the car off and on again generally gets rid of warning.

Another first world issue but plenty of owners have complained about excessive Bonging and Dinging and pointless error messages on the instrument cluster.

Again some build quality issues, some owner’s have tried to connect their phone to the car via a USB port and when they have plugged the cord in, the port itself has fallen straight through the interior trim

Even if the USB port doesn’t enter into the abyss, some owner’s have also complained about the car not detecting their phone when trying to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay once they’ve plugged it in.

Plus once the phone has connected, if it connects or not, the infotainment and screen controls can be very delayed and just frustrating, or worst case scenario, the screen can just turn off until the car is restarted.

Mechanically:

The 1.5-litre engine is from the General Motors SGE family and you’ll find powering a host of different GM derived Opel, Buick and Chev small cars.

In terms of reliability, overall, early on and when under warranty, these are fairly reliable engines. Oil consumption is a common issue right from the start and they can have some issues with localised hot spots causing cylinder head cracks and overheating, plus there are reports of turbo complications too.

The 2.0-litre is a similar story, another GM product that is in a variety of cars globally.

Again, early on, these are generally all good but above 150,000km there’s plenty of reports about piston failure, timing chain issues and turbo complication across all variants.

The hybrid uses a version of the 1.5-litre engine and maybe with the help of an electric motor its engine might possibly last a bit longer. Only time will tell.

Historically, these GM engines are in low cost cars that are unfortunately often not cared for very well.

The first few years out of warranty are probably going to be ok but the MGs (and the engines in them) are likely to follow in the foot steps of their predecessors. Meaning that, very few of them are around with over 200,000km on them and when something serious goes wrong with them, after they are 10 years old, its likely that the cost of the repair will be more than the cars value.

Transmission-wise, there are plenty of complaints regarding poor, slow and harsh shifting and selecting any gear at all. Some of these complaints have been resolved with software updates and any mechanical problems should all covered by warranty, but in years to come it too could be the expensive repair that’s worth more than the vehicle is worth.

Should you buy it?

The MG HS offers a great amount of equipment and features, especially in terms of safety for the price, and while it’s certainly not a class leader in any particular field, it’s also nowhere near as bad as some on the internet will lead you to believe.

However, the concern comes down to long term reliability and overall longevity which is something only time will tell.

Overall, if you plan on only owning a HS for say the next 4 or 5 years, sure why not, buy one. You’d like to think that any issues the HS may have will be covered under warranty and overall, for the majority of buyers out there, it’s a decent enough car, it’s not special but it’s fine.

But if you’re planning on keeping this car purchase for more than 4 or 5 years, we’d be very cautious, in fact we’d probably steer towards something else, like an older Toyota or Honda or Mazda or Hyundai or Kia.

Obviously we can’t predict the future with the MG HS or any MG model but we have a sneaking suspicion, as Japan and South Korea have proven previously, MG’s and Chinese cars in general are only going to get better with each new model. However, only time will tell.

The MG HS offers a great amount of equipment and features, especially in terms of safety for the price, and while it’s certainly not a class leader in any particular field, it’s also nowhere near as bad as some on the internet will lead you to believe.

However, the concern comes down to long term reliability and overall longevity which is something only time will tell.

Overall, if you plan on only owning a HS for say the next 4 or 5 years, sure why not, buy one. You’d like to think that any issues the HS may have will be covered under warranty and overall, for the majority of buyers out there, it’s a decent enough car, it’s not special but it’s fine.

But if you’re planning on keeping this car purchase for more than 4 or 5 years, we’d be very cautious, in fact we’d probably steer towards something else, like an older Toyota or Honda or Mazda or Hyundai or Kia.

Obviously we can’t predict the future with the MG HS or any MG model but we have a sneaking suspicion, as Japan and South Korea have proven previously, MG’s and Chinese cars in general are only going to get better with each new model. However, only time will tell.

Should you buy it?

The MG HS offers a great amount of equipment and features, especially in terms of safety for the price, and while it’s certainly not a class leader in any particular field, it’s also nowhere near as bad as some on the internet will lead you to believe.

However, the concern comes down to long term reliability and overall longevity which is something only time will tell.

Overall, if you plan on only owning a HS for say the next 4 or 5 years, sure why not, buy one. You’d like to think that any issues the HS may have will be covered under warranty and overall, for the majority of buyers out there, it’s a decent enough car, it’s not special but it’s fine.

But if you’re planning on keeping this car purchase for more than 4 or 5 years, we’d be very cautious, in fact we’d probably steer towards something else, like an older Toyota or Honda or Mazda or Hyundai or Kia.

Obviously we can’t predict the future with the MG HS or any MG model but we have a sneaking suspicion, as Japan and South Korea have proven previously, MG’s and Chinese cars in general are only going to get better with each new model. However, only time will tell.

Need help with finance?

What is the car's build year?

2020

Loan Amount

$5,000

Finance estimate ~

$30

Per week*

8.49%

Comparison rate p.a#

Models, pricing & features

MG ZS-18

Core (2020-2022)

Price when new: $29,990 - $30,990

Price used: $16,500 - $25,000

Introduced mid-2020, the entry-level Core introduced a cheaper price-point for the HS. Compared to the Vibe, the Core lost features like: shark fin antenna, front fog lights, heated side mirrors, rear air vents and a leather steering wheel and gear knob. The Core trim also loses 1x USB port from the front and gets a 4-speaker sound system compared to the 6-speaker sound system in the Vibe.

The Core was discontinued in mid-2022. We would recommend passing over the Core for the Vibe or Excite given those extra features make the value proposition more complete.

Standard features:

17-inch alloy wheels
Space-saver spare wheel
Body coloured side mirrors
Body coloured door handles
Rear spoiler
Chrome side window trim
Roof rails
Side indicators integrated into side mirrors
5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2019)
Driver and front passenger airbags
Front side airbags
Full-length curtain airbags
3-point (lap sash) seatbelt for all occupants
Seat pretensioners and load limiters for for driver and front passenger
Seatbelt reminder for all seats
Child seat anchor points
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Brake assist
Concerning brake control (CBC)
Hill launch assist
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
Lane departure warning
Forward collision warning (FCW)
Traffic jam assist
Blind spot monitoring (BSM)
Rear cross traffic alert
Speed limiter
Adaptive cruise control
Rear parking sensors with guidelines
Reversing camera – in infotainment system
Halogen headlights
Rear Fog Lights
Rear Fog Lights
LED daytime running headlights
Automatic headlights
Coming/leaving home function
LED tail lamps
Remote central locking with keyless entry (via button on door handle)
Intermittent wipers with speed settings
Anti-theft alarm
Electric sterring system
Power steering
Steering wheel – tilt (up/down) adjust
Push button start
Multi-functional sterring wheel
Colour driver’s display
Tachometer
Trip computer
Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
Electrochromatic rear vision mirror
Electric windows – front and rear with driver’s auto up/down function
Electric side mirrors
Single-zone climate control
Pollen filter
Cloth upholstery
6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat
4-way manually adjustable passenger’s seat
Manual lumbar support adjustment for driver
4-speaker sound system
10.1-inch infotainment colour touchscreen system
AM/FM radio
Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
Front 12V power outlet – 1x
12V power outlet in centre console
Front USB ports – 1x
Centre console storage
Glovebox
Front cup holders – 2x
Bottle holders in door compartments – 2x
Interior lights: reading/map lights, courtesy lights, boot lights
60:40 rear folding seats
Vanity mirror for driver and front passenger

Vibe

Price when new: $30,990 - $31,990

Price used: $15,700 - $24,550

The Vibe originally was the entry-level model into the HS range, until the arrival of the Core model from 2020 to 2022.

There are no engine or transmission differences between the Core and Vibe.

With the discontinuation of the Core model in 2022, the Vibe becomes the entry-level model again.

In addition to Core:

Shark fin antenna
Front fog lights
Heated side mirrors
Rear air vents
Leatherette upholstery
6-speaker sound system
Front USB ports – 2x
Rear USB ports – 2x
Multi-functional leather steering wheel
Leather gear knob
Front seat map pockets

Excite

Price when new: $33,990 - $48,990

Price used: $17,050 - $34,950

The Excite model is the mid-tier spec and adds larger alloy wheels, LED headlights, tail lamps and ambient lighting inside, as well as sports mode button, paddle shifters, rain sensing wipers, electric tailgate, dual-zone climate control and satellite navigation.

The Excite model is powered by the same 1.5 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, however it is also available in the Excite X AWD spec, which replaces the 1.5 litre turbo 4-cylinder for a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic (vs. 7-speed) and all-wheel drive.

A Plus EV model (which is actually a PHEV) was introduced in 2021 and adds a 12.3-inch digital driver’s cockpit.

In addition to Vibe

18-inch alloy wheels
Trophy badge
LED headlights
LED tail lamps
LED ambient lighting
Welcome lights
MG sport management system
Sports mode button
Metal trimmed pedals
Paddle shifters
Dual-zone climate control
Satellite navigation
Electric tailgate
Rain-sensing wipers

Excite X AWD adds:

2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
All-wheel drive

Plus EV Excite adds:

12.3 digital instrument cluster

Essence

Price when new: $38,990 - $51,990

Price used: $21,300 - $37,500

The top-of-the-range Essence model adds a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree surround view camera, sports seats, two-tone leather upholstery, heated front seats and electric seats for driver and front passenger.

Similarly to the Excite, the Essence is available in an X AWD spec adding all-wheel drive as well as the 2.0 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Furthermore, the Essence is also available in the Plus EV model (again, it’s actually a PHEV), which adds a part petrol/electric motor and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s cockpit.

In addition to Excite:

Panoramic electric glass sunroof
Sports seats
Two-tone leather upholstery
Heated front seats
6-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat
4-way electrically adjustable passenger’s seat
360-degree surround view camera
Rear reading lights

Essence X AWD adds:

2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
All-wheel drive

Plus EV & Plus EV Essence adds:

12.3 digital instrument cluster

Essence Anfield

Price when new: $40,690 - $41,690

Price used: $22,400 - $35,650

The Essence Anfield celebrates MG’s sponsorship with the Liverpool Football Club. It adds black metallic paint and a unique black/red interior.

In addition to Essence:

Black metallic paint
Unique black/red Anfield interior

Tech specs

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Power:

119kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
168kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
209kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Torque:

250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
360Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Transmission & drivetrains:

7-speed dual clutch automatic, front-wheel drive (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
6-speed dual clutch automatic, all-wheel drive (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
10-speed automatic, front-wheel drive (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Fuel Consumption:

1.7-9.7L/100km

Length:

4574mm

Width:

1876mm

Height:

1685mm

Kerb Weight:

1480 – 1775kg

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Power:

119kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
168kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
209kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Torque:

250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
360Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Transmission & drivetrains:

7-speed dual clutch automatic, front-wheel drive (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
6-speed dual clutch automatic, all-wheel drive (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
10-speed automatic, front-wheel drive (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Fuel Consumption:

1.7-9.7L/100km

Length:

4574mm

Width:

1876mm

Height:

1685mm

Kerb Weight:

1480 – 1775kg

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Power:

119kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
168kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
209kW – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Torque:

250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
360Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
250Nm – 1.5 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with electric motor (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Transmission & drivetrains:

7-speed dual clutch automatic, front-wheel drive (Core, Vibe, Excite, Essence, Essence Anfield)
6-speed dual clutch automatic, all-wheel drive (Excite X AWD, Essence X AWD)
10-speed automatic, front-wheel drive (Plus EV Excite, Plus EV, Plus EV Essence)

Fuel Consumption:

1.7-9.7L/100km

Length:

4574mm

Width:

1876mm

Height:

1685mm

Kerb Weight:

1480 – 1775kg

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

7 years/unlimited kms

Servicing:

12-months/10,000kms

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Disclaimer

Please note that pricing information is subject to fluctuations in the automotive market.

Information correct as of March 09, 2023.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.

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