The interior layout, fit and finish
A low starting price often implies rough edges and cut corners, but there’s actually an awful lot to like about the HS’s interior. MG has made a real effort to lift its quality beyond that of its predecessor, the woeful GS, and it really shows. The steering wheel is wrapped in tactile, perforated leather, the switches work with pleasing precision and there are huge swathes of soft-touch plastic and faux leather on the dashboard and doors. In terms of interior finish, the HS gets pretty close to the impressive Mazda CX-5 and the Peugeot 5008.
After you’ve been driving the HS for a while, you’ll notice that the steering wheel is very slightly angled towards the centre of the dashboard – it's an odd quirk, more than a discomforting annoyance, though. A more common complaint among our test team was that the driver’s seat doesn’t go low enough, leaving you feeling perched, rather than sitting in it. But the seat is great on long journeys, especially the sports seat that's fitted to the top-spec Exclusive trim. And it's electrically adjustable (six ways), including lumbar support, on all versions.
Visibility is, for the most part, good, with reasonably lean windscreen pillars, big side windows and a decent-sized rear window. Only the low-mounted rear-view mirror proves problematic for taller drivers, blocking their view slightly. All trims come with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, but front sensors aren't available. You only get bright LED headlights with Exclusive trim.
Although the 10.1in infotainment touchscreen isn’t too tricky to navigate and even has a couple of physical shortcut buttons, it’s not all good news. We found it to be frustratingly laggy, with a long delay between you pressing an icon and anything actually happening. Still, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are standard on all models, as is sat-nav, Bluetooth and a six-speaker DAB radio.
Most of the dashboard features are easy to use, but the climate control and heated front seats are accessed via the infotainment screen, making them fiddlier than they need to be to adjust on the move.
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