A New Direction for MG?
OK, so we know that MG isn’t exactly known for their SUV’s or off-roaders. Well while that may be true it completely misses the point. This isn’t the same MG which pumped out little 2 seater sportscars through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. This is the new MG a business which is actively focussing on both the supermini and SUV markets, both key markets in the modern motoring world.
As part of a larger group they also have the advantage of using ‘shared platforms’ meaning, they can produce an SUV which can easily compete with the best Europe has to offer whilst keeping the price point low enough to be a very attractive option. The MG GS is a great example of just what can be achieved.
So what makes the MG GS so good?
The GS is built on an all-new scalable platform which gives MG the flexibility to produce a number of different models but is solid enough to produce a well-sorted SUV. Its engine is a co-development with GM, almost the same as the brand-new direct-injection turbo unit that’s in the Vauxhall Astra.
As you would expect from a manufacturer based in China the infotainment system uses the best Chinese processors and screens, but with modern British graphics and menus.
How Does the MG GS Look?
Well, not too bad at all to be honest. The design is reasonably safe but it looks good from all angles which is far more preferable than something designed as a ‘statement’ but just looks ugly in reality. The faceted theme, which spins off the MG octagon badge, gives it a dynamic look. The nose and tail are the most interesting bits. But seen in the round, it won’t get confused with rivals.
Inside it’s simple, clean and effective. At the price point, they have pitched this car at you are unlikely to see any plush cow based materials or fine inlaid woods or obscure metals. The interior is simple and functional and with the excellent infotainment system, it is certainly a pleasant and comfortable place to be.
Going for Petrol?
Due to a number of reasons, not least the new EU directive on diesel, there are only petrol options available. The 1.5-litre turbo with a healthy 164bhp is competitive with petrol FWD rivals on acceleration (0-62mph in 9.9 seconds) and economy (46.3mpg fuel consumption and 139g/km CO2 emissions).
The engine’s smooth and quiet, so first impressions are good. For mooching around the suburbs, there’s enough mid-rpm torque and although, like all other SUV’s it isn’t built with blistering pace in mind, however, if you need to overtake there is enough to get you past safely. It’s certainly a smooth, reliable and fuel efficient option.
How Does it Handle?
For a large SUV with their higher centre of gravity, the MG GS handles very well. The steering is accurate and nimble and it is agile enough to be leaned on around corners without any problems. The suspension is stiff enough to keep the ride stable, without being harsh. Then again we would expect any MG to handle well.
Don’t get us wrong, this is no sports car but if you are looking for an SUV then safe and comfortable are far bigger concerns and the GS hits this very well.
But is the MG GS big enough?
The GS is definitely roomy, with excellent cabin space and a very good size boot. It is definitely bigger than many of its close rivals and is easily comfortable enough to take some fairly big rear seat passengers without any issues. The boot gives you more than enough room to get a full load of family detritus carted wherever you need it and if you have even more to carry the 60/40 split rear seat gives you a huge amount of load space.
So What’s it’s Biggest Selling Point?
Well, let’s face it, MG doesn’t even try to hide the fact that this car was built to fill the gap in the market for decent low-priced vehicles. With the base model starting at £14,995 with air conditioning, cruise control and 17-inch wheels. If you would like to splash out and take the top spec model it’s still giving coming in below the £20k mark at £19,495. This comes well spec’d with heated electric leather seats, parking camera, sat nav, xenon lights, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Finally, for even more peace of mind, the MG GS comes with a five-year warranty which surely shows just how comfortable MG are with this model and its reliability.