2022 MG HS Excite X

March 29, 2023

The MG HS medium SUV has been a sight on Aussie roads for almost three years now, but you might not know much about the brand still. Find out more as Drive reviews the 2022 MG HS ExciteX.


Is the MG HS a good car?

The MG HS on test here is one of seven variants available in the range. The Excite X, as it’s known, is a mid-grade model, but the ‘X’ denotes all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is also available, as is a plug-in hybrid model.


Pricing for this grade starts from $38,990 drive-away, plus an extra $700 for metallic paint. If you opt for the front-wheel-drive Excite you can knock three grand off the price.


On the outside you’ll find standard features like 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, proximity key entry, and plenty of chrome trim.


All MG HS models come with a five-star ANCAP safety rating, from 2019, and a safety suite known as MG Pilot. This includes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, among other inclusions.


What is the MG HS like inside?

Because the Excite X is a mid-grade model, you get plenty of nice touches without going over the top. The driver’s seat is manually adjustable and seats are trimmed in synthetic leather. There’s no seat heating in this model, but you can find things like a sunroof and heated sports seats higher up the range.


Its steering wheel is trimmed in leather, and has an unmissable Super Sport drive-mode button, looking like something you might expect to find in an Alfa Romeo. The seats feel comfy enough, although I’m a little short and there’s a bit of a hard bump in the lower seatback, but I don’t reckon taller drivers will notice. The steering wheel adjusts for tilt only, and for me it feels just a little far away without the ability to bring it closer.


In the back seats, things are a touch more basic, so you won’t find items like window blinds or seat heating. You can adjust the backrest angle, and there’s a fold-down armrest with two cupholders. Rear seat passengers get their own air vents but not temperature controls. There’s also a pair of USB plugs to power devices.


How big is the screen in the MG HS?

In the centre of the dash you’ll find a 10.1-inch touchscreen, but while the size is impressive, the software behind the scenes can be a bit laggy and the graphics look outdated. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both via a plug-in connection, satellite navigation, and AM/FM radio but no digital radio.


The centre screen also looks after all of the car’s other functions like vehicle settings and climate control. The slow responses mean you can tap the climate button and be left staring at a black screen while the system reverts from its home screen to the desired menu.


Ahead of the driver there’s a ‘part virtual’ instrument cluster, with a big LCD display flanked by an analogue tacho and speedo. It offers an expanded trip computer view, or info on the MG Pilot safety system, but can’t display things like digital speedo and cruise-control set speed at the same time, which is frustrating.


Is the MG HS a safe car?

All petrol-engine variants of the MG HS range carry a five-star ANCAP rating from 2019. Adult occupant protection scored a solid 92 per cent, child occupant protection scored 83 per cent, but vulnerable road user protection and safety systems scored 64 and 77 per cent respectively.


All HS variants come equipped with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, and speed sign recognition. Protection is provided by six airbags, with ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard rear seats.


What is it like to drive?

There’s a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine under the bonnet with 168kW and 360Nm. In a front-drive HS you get a 1.5-litre turbo engine rated at 119kW and 250Nm, making for a handy performance boost in the all-wheel-drive models. Power is routed to the pavement via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and on-demand all-wheel drive.


The HS is also surprisingly good at low-speed manoeuvres like creeping in and out of car parks – something that not every dual-clutch automatic excels at. Its suspension is nice and soft, which means you can sail over the worst rough roads in town without rattling passengers. On bigger bumps and corrugations, the suspension can fall out of sync a little, but it holds up pretty well.


This article was originally featured on drive.com.au and can be viewed here.