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 a 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 awfully close to the impressive Mazda CX-5 and even tops 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, but this doesn’t cause any discomfort. The chairs themselves prove comfortable on long journeys, although so far we’ve only sampled the top-spec leather pews. All models come with adjustable lumbar support for the driver as standard, but this isn’t available on the passenger seat at all.
Visibility is, for the most part, good, with reasonably unobstructive 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. To make your life easier, mid-spec Excite models and up get rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, but front sensors aren't available. Bright LED headlights are available, but only on range-topping Exclusive trim.
It’s not all good news, though. Although the 10.1in infotainment touchscreen isn’t too tricky to navigate and even has a couple of physical shortcut buttons, we found it to be frustratingly laggy in use, with a long delay between you pressing an icon and anything actually happening. Still, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity is standard on all models, while sat-nav and a DAB radio appear on Excite trim and above. It’s also worth pointing out that the climate control and heated seat controls are accessed via the infotainment screen, making them fiddly to adjust on the move.
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