New MG HS vs Citroen C5 Aircross vs Mazda CX-5: practicality

The Citroen C5 Aircross and Mazda CX-5 are the best benchmarks for the new Chinese-built MG HS...

Citroen C5 Aircross rear

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

The HS’s high-mounted driver’s seat, combined with its standard panoramic roof, leads to the least head room. However, even a 6ft-tall adult won’t be brushing the ceiling. The other two can also accommodate a particularly long-legged driver with ease.

The C5 Aircross has the most storage up front, with a decent-sized tray in front of the gearlever and a cavernous cubby under the central armrest. The others aren’t bad, although you won’t be able to empty quite as many pockets.

Mazda CX-5 rear seats

The HS is the most agreeable for rear passengers. There’s only a tiny floor hump for the middle person to straddle, along with the most leg room and plenty of head room. The only real gripe is that the floor is higher than in the other cars.

Rear leg room is tightest in the C5 Aircross, although the upright seating position means there’s still acceptable knee room, while the low, flat floor and individual seats make it the best for putting three in the back. However, there’s an awful lot of roof above the relatively small side windows, so taller people get a view that’s part scenery, part headlining, making for a claustrophobic experience. 

As for the CX-5, it has the most head room by far, but knee room is only a tad better than in the C5 Aircross and there’s a large hump in the floor to make life awkward for the central rear passenger.

MG HS rear seats

The CX-5 and HS both come with manually reclining rear seats, should anyone fancy a snooze. However, the C5 Aircross wins the award for most flexible rear seats; its three equal-sized, individual pews not only recline but also slide back and forth. They can be folded individually, too. The CX-5’s rear seats are also split in this convenient 40/20/40 way, while the HS makes do with 60/40.

Even with the rear bench all the way back, the C5 Aircross’s boot can take nine carry-on suitcases when its adjustable boot floor is in its lowest position. The CX-5 manages eight but has a fixed floor, leaving a fair load lip. The HS avoids this issue, but only because its high floor leaves room for just six cases – fewer than the Skoda Kamiq from two classes below.  

Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen C5 Aircross boot

This is easily the biggest boot, taking the most suitcases even when the three-piece sliding rear bench is prioritising leg room. The two-level boot floor eradicates the internal loading lip when set high.

Boot 580-1630 litres Suitcases 9

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 boot

The CX-5 isn’t too far behind the C5 Aircross for boot space, but it has a fairly big lip to contend with and no adjustable floor. The 40/20/40 seat split is useful for transporting long items four up.

Boot 506-1377 litres Suitcases 8


MG HS boot

The boot is the Achilles heel of the HS. A high-set floor means loading large items is easy but also that there’s not much room. Look underneath and, frustratingly, you’ll find loads of wasted space.

Boot 463-1454 litres Suitcases 6

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