It’s a race at the moment for distributors to put affordable electrified SUVs on sale in New Zealand, and the latest challenger to the crown is MG’s first electrified version of its mid-size HS.
The firm has announced that it plans to bring just one trim level to Aotearoa in the form of the Essence. It predictably follows in the footsteps of most of MG’s other offerings, with more spec than most of its logical rivals.
Included as standard is a 12.3-inch digital cluster, 10.1-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, heated electronically adjustable front seats, a 360-degree camera, reading lights for rear-mounted passengers, and a panoramic glass roof among other features. MG’s comprehensive MG Active safety suite is also present.
Under the bonnet is a 119kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol mated to a 90kW/230Nm electric motor, 10-speed transmission, and a 16.6kWh battery. It packs an electric range of 51km, based on the WLTP cycle.
The one-size-fits-all spec means simple pricing. It retails for $52,990 plus on-road costs. Not shabby at all compared to other plug-in hybrids on the market. While it isn’t quite the cheapest plug-in on the market (Toyota’s $45,990 Prius Prime undercuts it), it does just about match the aging $52,490 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The HS plug-in is likely to also garner favour for being priced well in hybrid territory. It just happens to undercut Toyota’s flagship RAV4 Limited Hybrid by a neat $1000.
Something to remember with the plug-in HS is that, because of the additional hybrid technology, it does have slightly less space than in standard internal combustion models. This is felt in the boot, which shrinks slightly from 463L of room with second-row seats up and 1287L of room with them down, to a still respectable 451L/1275L.
“The new MG HS plug-in hybrid brilliantly showcases the intelligence and innovation we have available within our brand. It offers our customers the opportunity to experience new energy innovation, while remaining in the comfort of a true SUV that is equal parts stylish, sporty and spacious,” said MG Motor New Zealand CEO Peter Ciao.
“The MG HS Plug-In Hybrid is our first plug-in hybrid, our second new energy vehicle, and one that we’re delighted to bring to our New Zealand customers as part of our commitment to making new energy vehicles mainstream in New Zealand.”
The new electrified HS wasn’t the only model discussed in the brand’s online launch earlier today. It also confirmed new all-wheel drive variants of the HS Excite and Essence, each denoted by an extra ‘X’ in their name.
The new models swap out the standard 1.5-litre turbofour for a more powerful 2.0-litre, producing 168kW/360Nm. Transmissions change too; the regular 7-speed dual-clutch traded for a 6-speed. The Excite X starts at $39,990, and the Essence X $45,990. All three new models land in dealerships next month.