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MG HS SUV takes the Chinese brand to a new level.

Today, driving the MG brands latest model – the HS SUV, a medium-sized SUV in two grades – the Vibe at $30,990  and the Excite at $34,790, both drive-away. First a little background – MG began in 1924, building sporty and fun to drive small cars. Today however, the brand is owned by the giant Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. If you think that means cheap and cheerful think again. The latest MG products impressive – their first SUV the smaller ZS has sold up a storm, the brand in the first half up an impressive 54 per cent when many brands have gone backwards. Now the HS model has taken MG a big step further – not just with sharp pricing but with a local five star crash safety rating and backed by a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty with roadside assistance.

I tested the MG HS Excite five seater – first impression, good looking, you’d pass it for a Mazda, the paint quality and interior finishes top rate – a 1.5-litre turbo seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. It feels solid and tight, stacked with active and passive safety under its MG Pilot system – in fact it has more active safety features than most of its competitors. Its not perfect however, the seven-speed automatic at times becomes hesitant and indecisive between gear changes, certainly better when ‘Super Sport’ drive mode is selected. More next segment.

I’m David Berthon

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