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2021 MG HS gains all-wheel-drive and plug-in hybrid variants

By Tom Fraser, 03 Mar 2021 Car News

2021 MG HS gains all-wheel-drive and plug-in hybrid variants

MG has introduced its first AWD and PHEV SUVs to Australia

MG has expanded its local HS mid-size SUV range in Australia by introducing two new all-wheel drive specifications and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant to head the range.

Available from March 2021, the HS AWD starts with drive-away pricing of $37,990 and will come in two high-spec variants, while the HS PHEV arrives at $46,990 driveaway in a single specification level. 

We'll start by explaining what the all-wheel-drive HS offers. 

Both the MG HS Excite X and Essence X come with all-wheel drive, a first for the brand in Australia.

Read next 2020 MG HS review

It uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 168kW/360Nm, which is sent to an all-wheel-drive system through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The drivetrain can be set to four different modes, including a custom setting determined by the driver. It also scores paddle shifters and a ‘Super Sports’ setting that is said to extract maximum torque from the engine to enhance acceleration. 

The AWD variants carry the same styling as the rest of the HS range, meaning chrome trim and diamond-cut 18-inch alloy wheels come equipped.

The chrome trim continues inside with the interior door handles, air vents and steering wheel highlights all covered in the satin effect.

An electric tailgate is included as standard on both specifications, but only the Essence X receives a panoramic sunroof, leather interior and sports front seats with heating and electric adjustment.

Both are covered by a five-star ANCAP safety rating and equipment including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection, Intelligent Speed Assist, Intelligent Headlamp Control and Traffic Jam Assist. Essence X spec includes a 360-degree camera system to up the safety credentials. 

Read Could the new MG HS truly rival the likes of the Toyota RAV4?

Elsewhere, the MG HS AWD receives a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a six-speaker sound system. It also stocks four USB charge points, dual-zone climate control, rear air-con vents and a cooling function for water bottles. 

HS AWD Excite X and Essence X are $3000 and $4000 more expensive, respectively, than their identical spec two-wheel-drive counterparts. 

The introduction of AWD variants should make the MG HS a more compelling option among AWD rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5.

The new plug-in hybrid variant also boosts MG's standing within the mid-size SUV segment. It uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, together with a 16.6kW liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, to develop 189kW/370Nm. MG says those outputs are good for 190km/h top speed and a zero-to-100km/h sprint of 6.9 seconds. 

MG also says that the HS PHEV can travel up to 52km on full electric power, and can deliver a fuel consumption figure of just 1.7L/100km on a combined cycle. 

As a plug-in hybrid, the HS PHEV also comes with a three-pin charger located next to the fuel cap.

In addition to the fuel savings, HS PHEV owners can expect high-spec Essence kit, with 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch infotainment (like the AWD variants), 360-degree camera, customisable interior lighting and heated and electrically-adjustable leather/Alcantara seats.

It also features the same MG Pilot safety equipment as above, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot detection. 

The new all-wheel drive MG HS is covered by the brand's seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

The HS PHEV gets an additional year of warranty, though it's capped at 160,000km. 

All-wheel drive and PHEV variants of the MG HS have arrived in showrooms across Australia.

2021 MG HS AWD Australian pricing

  • MG HS Excite X $37,990 (drive-away)
  • MG HS Essence X $42,990 (drive-away)
  • MG HS Essence PHEV $46,990 (drive-away)

MORE: MG HS news and reviews
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CORRECTION: This story originally described the HS PHEV's outputs as 209kW and 480Nm, based on initial details provided by the manufacturer. These figures were incorrect, with correct details supplied on March 4. This story has been updated with the new details.