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Used test: Citroën C5 Aircross vs Mazda CX-5 vs MG HS verdict

Which of these large SUVs makes the best secondhand buy: the comfort-focused C5 Aircross, the plush CX-5 or the generously equipped HS?...

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

Our verdict

The MG HS impresses here, even in the company of two more established rivals. You're getting a lot of bang for your buck, with an extensive list of equipment, a plush interior and a gutsy engine. Its small boot is a drawback, though, as is its average ride, handling and refinement.

When you can buy the extremely comfortable and flexibly practical Citroën C5 Aircross for only £1000 more, the HS finds itself firmly in third place. Aided by its generous boot, the C5 Aircross is excellent for families of five on a long, relaxing journey. Counting against it, however, are its wallowy handling, cheapest-feeling interior and stingy standard kit.

That leaves the Mazda CX-5. Despite being £3000 more expensive than the HS, it's our large SUV of choice because of its classy, high-quality interior, spacious boot and best-resolved handling. It’s also the most reliable car here. We think it's easily worth the extra. 

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1st – Mazda CX-5 

Mazda CX-5 driving

For Best driving position; most reliable large SUV; plenty of safety kit; tidiest handling
Against Engine is gutless at low revs; jiggliest ride

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our used Mazda CX-5 review

Find a used Mazda CX-5 for sale

2nd – Citroën C5 Aircross 

Citroen C5 Aircross driving

For Soft ride; flexible rear seats; biggest boot; punchy acceleration; quietest cruiser
Against Sloppy handling; the least standard kit; interior quality

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full used Citroën C5 Aircross review >>

Find a used Citroën C5 Aircross for sale >>

3rd – MG HS 

MG HS driving

For Strongest engine; seriously well equipped; plushest interior; spacious rear seats
Against Poky boot; dim-witted infotainment system

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our used MG HS review >>

Find a used MG HS for sale >>

Specifications: Citroën C5 Aircross Puretech 130 Feel

Engine size 3cyl, 1199cc, turbo, petrol
Power 129bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 170lb ft @ 1750rpm
0-60mph 10.9sec
Top speed 117mph
Fuel economy 44.2mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 119g/km

Specifications: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G SE-L Nav+ 

Engine size 4cyl, 1998cc, petrol
Power 163bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 157lb ft @ 4000rpm 
0-60mph 9.9sec
Top speed 125mph
Fuel economy 38.2mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 146g/km

Specifications: MG HS 1.5 T-GDI Exclusive

Engine size 4cyl, 1490cc, turbo, petrol
Power 160bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 184lb ft @ 1500-4400rpm
0-60mph 9.0sec
Top speed 118mph
Fuel economy 37.2mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 148g/km