MG HS EXCLUSIVE DCT (AS23) – A ONE YEAR ON REVIEW
How time flies when you’re having fun.
It’s hard to believe that over fifteen months ago, on Sunday 19th September 2021 I placed my order for Emmy the MG HS Exclusive DCT with my long serving (Eighteen years) MG garage. Having done my homework and been fully informed by Laurie at AppleMG of at least a four-month lead time due to the growing problems caused by Covid and the subsequent lock downs at the Ningde plant and Chinese ports, I decided to be patient and not panic.
Spending my time reading the physical brochures and online reviews of the MG HS, as well as enjoyable trawls through the many online YouTube reviews, I hoped for the best and expected the worst, deciding not to bombard my dealership with phone calls asking for details unlike some prospective owners at the time.
Just eleven weeks (seventy-seven days) later, the call came from Laurie Colyer to say that Emmy was in the showroom ready for collection on Saturday December 5th 2022.
It’s one year on now as I write this review, and my chance to express my feelings on the MG HS having had time to use and abuse her. A chance to mention the things I love about this SUV, and also possibly the things I hate, or at least mildly dislike.
One year on and the beauty of the overall design still has me stopping to turn back and look at her every time I park. The original X-Motion concept car won my heart, and the road going version was, and still is in my opinion the most attractive SUV on the road currently. I love the chrome accents that make the design stand out by comparison to the Jaguar F Pace and the jelly mould Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage and the very ugly Skoda rivals. The design works so well that I prefer it to the face lift MG HS that first appeared in Thailand in March 2022 and might come to the UK in 2023 (a completely new shape has been rumoured by MG UK, based on the design cues of the new MG5).
My original order included:
Tri-coat Metallic Dynamic red paintwork £695.00
Red leather interior £500.00
I also ordered a host of genuine MG HS UK accessories including:
10812224 PROTECTION PACK DCT:
10798769 Mat set fabric MG HS Auto (RHD) (original issue with red and black MG HS logo)
10631079 Fabric load liner with MG logo
10743405 Mud guards Set of 4 – £189.99
10927445 ULTIMATE PROTECTION PACK:
10798772 Sunshades set (6 pieces)
10890363 Rear bumper protector
RRB000080E0 Locking wheel nut set (Set of 4)
10751700 Chrome tailgate finisher – £199.99
10963398-RMK Spare fully programmed 3rd key fob £72.71 (Does not come with spare key blade. That is an additional £68)
1000943 BRIT DYNAMIC chrome look tailgate badge £24.95 These are found in two versions, this being the original dating back to October 2019 and located on the tailgate left side on MG HS variants in Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and other countries. In Pakistan it is an official accessory listed as:
” Brit Dynamic Emblem
Flaunt the British heritage of automotive excellence with the exclusive emblem for your MG.
Available for MG HS, S & ZS EV ”
10743404 HS RUBBER MATS SET £79.99 (Listed for Manual but fit the DCT perfectly)
10751699 Boot rubber load space mat (Sometimes listed as for the PHEV only, but fits the DCT perfectly and is perfect in the Autumn/Winter months for handling wet or dirty cargo.
10340567 16 Inch Space saver Spare wheel kit £259.00
I purchased a mint second hand set of 18 inch HURRICANE ALLOY WHEELS from a fellow UK owner and fitted a new Michelin Primacy 4 tyre to one and use in the boot as my spare (Alloys £215/tyre £145). The space saver foam with jack and wheel brace sits in the centre of the spare Hurricane alloy, and I now have the compressor and tyre gloop and a full sized spare for emergencies!
From Overseas I sourced some genuine MG HS accessories from Australia and Thailand:
10790117 REAR SKID PLATE – Thailand rear bumper protector which is nicer as it has the MG HS logo and pattern.
10790114 NAIL PROTECTION FILM (Genuine MG Thailand accessory of four clear film inserts for behind the door handles.
10790115 ANTI FOG FILM SIDE MIRROR Another genuine MG branded accessory only in Thailand. These simply fix on the two side mirrors and have been totally superb with anti fogging, and rain repellence qualities that give year round crystal clear vision)
10790124 BOOT TRIM CHROME STRIP GARNISH – Australia/Thailand $100.00 Aus dollars. Far superior to the UK version, and featuring a thicker body, nicer design and the MG logo.
SAIC Motor International (Part number SMIL20119-01) Genuine MG Australian Dash mat £88 shipped over from Aussie dealer Ringwood in Melbourne.
10790109 4 PIECE WIND DEFLECTOR KIT (Australian/Thailand MG official accessory) £35.00
SAIC Motor Australia Pty Ltd 90640005 BOOT LIP PROTECTOR (Fold out soft neoprene protector with white MG Octagon badge) £68.00
Plus a few non standard after market accessories from around the world:
5 x MG SAFETY FAST red logo seat belt comfort pads Ebay £20
CAR SLOT MATS 16 piece set of MG HS logo mats Amazon £21 (From China)
AIERYO MJHS-01D chrome look 12v cover Ebay £8 (From China)
ANKER RED 3ft micro usb to usb charger lead to glovebox for android auto £10
ANKER RED 10ft micro usb to usb charger lead to glovebox for android auto £18
CHROME MG LOGO SET OF 4 DOOR LOCK COVERS
K&N KN33-2153 air filter £54 from YB Filters UK
SOLON SECURITY Defender signal blocker Anti theft key fob pouch x2 (Auto Express best buy 2018). Originally I purchased two in black, and later changed to Red to match Emmy’s paintwork.
I purchased a professional AUTOGLYMN LIFESHINE kit and applied it myself £15.00 from Ebay. Three bottles to do the interior, glass and bodywork with an applicator pad and cloths. Fabulous results even now a year later!
I have only suffered a wet, foggy windscreen on the inside on a handful of occasions and found that by removing anything damp or wet, always leaving the HVAC on incoming air rather than recirculation, removing the dash mat in Autumn and winter months as it could hold moisture, and using silicone bags on the dash, does the trick.
I still think the Sardana red leather colour really lifts the interior of the MG HS, so much more stylish than the bland black version. Team that with the Aurora ambient lighting system set to vivid red at the highest brightness and it is pure class.
Wherever I drive, people stop in the street or gaze from behind the wheels of their cars at Emmy, and when I park people always make favourable comments, strangers walking up to ask about the make and model. Emmy had neighbours taking photos and lead to one neighbour purchasing an MG ZS in the same Dynamic red Tri-coat paintwork, another purchasing an MG5 in the same colour, and my next door neighbour sitting in Emmy and exclaiming:
‘I’m in heaven’.
They promptly exchanged their VW Tiguan and ordered a new MG HS Exclusive DCT exactly the same as Emmy, even the colour! Thier new baby arrived on Friday October 27th 2022 after a seven month wait, and their adventure has now begun (They struck gold and not only got the panoramic sky roof which has been deleted, but also factory privacy glass to passenger sides and rear windows).
ENGINE AND DCT GEARBOX
The engine has been perfect, and after carefully following the running in procedures I gradually increased the revs and speed, though I will state right here and now, I have never driven flat out from 0-60mph as I do not need to, nor have I exceeded 80mph as nowadays I drive carefully, patiently and have no need to exceed the limits. I fitted a K&N air filter which definitely helped the engine breathe, giving a less jerky pick up and slightly increased mpg figures for my style of driving.
I love the DCT gearbox and have stated that in my posts on getting the most from it. Thinking ahead and using the Sport mode on occasions when the gearbox might become confused really works, and there is always instant power and the correct gear just by flicking the gear lever backwards once.
I have had a few minor hiccups with the DCT which were very easy to rectify. The DCT in general does not like to be hurried, so for example when doing a parking manoeuvre and going forwards, backwards, forwards, you need to wait once the gear is engaged for the beep before trying to move. On one occasion I tried to rush and the DCT went into a sort of, ‘ I won’t do it! ‘, mode like a neutral and would not engage a gear. I simply switched off the engine, restarted and everything was absolutely fine again.
I also had one instance in September 2022 when on start-up I could not engage a single gear, and once again by switching off and back on, it was rectified. On two occasions, possibly due to my own actions, the DCT seemed to be in Sport mode when I wanted Normal, so just flicking the gear lever backwards once easily sorted this. These are minor matters, and I absolutely love the DCT gearbox on the MG HS, so much so that I now cannot drive my wife’s traditional torque converter based automatic car as it feels slow, old fashioned and lethargic by comparison to Emmy.
Nothing to complain about here. From the get-go on runs to the coast including traffic, parking and the A2 or motorways I was recording 43.5-45.5mpg without fail. Around town naturally the figures alter depending on the traffic, how long you are stationary, if you use SST etc. I was always managing at least high twenties around town, and often into the thirties, so no moans here.
The K&N air filter saw a small gain to 51.5mpg – 55.5mpg regularly on my coastal runs. I have always and will always only use Shell V-Power E5 super unleaded fuel and have dedicated posts on why on my site (E10 is absolutely hateful stuff and even my MG dealership tell all owners of all marks with rough idling and engine lags not to fill up with this stuff!). I also add Millers petrol Ecomax to every tankful to keep everything in tip top condition.
COMFORT AND FEATURES
Wonderfully supportive seats, a head rest that actually works for my 6ft 4 inch shape, an adjustable steering column, adjustable seatbelts and adjustable front centre console, arm rests on both sides, fantastic all-round vision. Add to that a comfortable pedal configuration (unlike the diabolical modern Mini!), supple suspension that enjoys wafting along and the sporty modes and flappy paddles for times when I want a bit of fun…. and the gorgeous Aurora 64 colour ambient lights which make night driving a rather sophisticated and pleasurable experience, these all add up to mucho enjoyment for my wife and I. The only car I have ever owned that turns Mrs Williams mute on every journey as she sinks into the comfort and savours the soft, plush ride.
The MG HS is a big comfortable cruiser in my opinion, not designed to be hurried or driven like it was recently stolen! Levels of comfort and quietness are superb, we can talk and hear the six speaker stereo (much improved with my tweaking settings explained on this site), and wind noise is more than acceptable on motorways. There is also so much room inside the cabin for all passengers, and headroom is excellent (I am 6ft 4 inches tall). I never become uncomfortable, and always exit the car after a journey feeling fresh and relaxed.
Sounds like a cliche, but we feel like every journey is a total pampered, comfortable pleasure. She is a big girl, and that can take a little getting used to down country roads, but a joy to drive.
INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM/SAT NAV/ACC/SAFETY
Criticisms of the slow infotainment system are rife amongst UK owners, and yet for me there is no problem. The Sat nav system works every time, and once set up correctly and with the Naviextras speed camera alerts installed, is a perfectly good system that has never let me down. The two second delay when pressing the infotainment system piano keys or screen aligns perfectly with my brains own aged two second delay, and I am not in a rush anywhere these days, thus I set everything prior to my journey and travel in style.
I have Emmy set to steer me above 37kph, to warn me of front and rear collisions and apply the brakes when she sees fit, and again that works well for my needs. Adaptive cruise control is superb so long as you take control of the accelerator pedal when some numpty overtakes and cuts in front of you, across the radar beam. Traffic jam assist is excellent, and the much-criticised small blind spot detectors are better than any tech I have had previously.
ELECTRICS & ANY FLAWS OR NIGGLES?
Emmy is an older model, built long before the poor quality control issues caused by Covid and reduced staff and working hours at the factory which affected components such as the window switch packs in early 2022 especially. (My neighbours late 2022 HS seems absolutely fine).
The electrics have been superb most of the time with just a few little quirks here and there. About three weeks into ownership the tailgate on one occasion would not open when I pressed either the key fob or interior button. On two occasions the tailgate would not close even though it had only just been opened. Manually closing the tailgate sorted this immediately.
On three or four occasions early on, the Drivers door mirror did not automatically fold outwards on entry even though the passenger side one did. The cure was to relock and reopen which sorted this and it has not happened since those early days again. I also had one occasion when the infotainment screen refused to come on and again, I simply switched off and on and all was fine.
After a few months on the passenger seat base (where you plant yer bum), at the rear it seemed to raise as if a little baggy. I monitored and it has not deteriorated. Around 10 months in and the seat base on the drivers side has a few raised sections, not torn just up a little compared to the rest which is flat.
Minor points and I could give a long list of makes and marques I have owned and driven which have suffered more problems over the years.
The fan is perfect and the climate control plenty cold enough and powerful enough for our needs. The panoramic sky roof is absolutely superb and always amazes people when I do the one button trick that opens it and all of the windows at once! Light and air into the cabin no matter the season, and the tilt facility rocks (just a touch of fresh air when you need it). A sin that MG stopped the sky roof in the UK, and a deal breaker for many owners quite rightly.
MG PILOT AND THE SAFETY SYSTEMS
I love this suite of safety aids that combine to make my journeys more comfortable and enjoyable, safe in the knowledge that whilst I naturally have complete control over the vehicle at all times, I also have a slew of safety systems which provide an extra degree of safety over and above my own skills.
Emmy has all safety aids set aside from letting the car actually fight me if I try to cross the lane markings, I do not need that and think it is potentially quite off putting. The emergency braking has beeped and activated on a number of occasions, and I am very happy to have it there assisting me.
A TINY GRIPE OF MINIMAL SIGNIFICANCE
There should have been a 12v socket in the boot. This is an SUV, a family mode of transportation and it would have been easy to fit as standard. I don’t like running a lead from the front to the boot for our cool box, it’s ugly and a faff! I would have loved a heated windscreen too, essential in the winter months. I didn’t mind not getting tinted rear and rear side glass, and find my factory sun blinds do a superb job, but my neighbour struck lucky with the last of the Panoramic sky roof’s AND factory tinted glass, win-win!
To say that I love the MG HS would be something of an understatement. It does everything I need and much more in an SUV, and offers a comprehensive package of looks, practical touches, stylish accents and safety features.
EMMY’S FIRST SERVICE
My first road tax payment came on November 30th 2022 and cost me £165 which I did online, and Emmy had her first annual service on November 30th 2022 at my long serving MG dealership, Apple MG in Kent. I waited whilst it was done, and the service was simply to change the oil and oil filter and sump plug plus some basic checks.
My garage used the correct specification of oil which is 0W-20 C5 fully synthetic oil, crucial to the long-term operation of the engine in the UK. The checks included:
Checking for any recalls, special exercises and service actions including software updates (there were none)
Fit vehicle protection kit to safeguard the car whilst service being done
Check seat belts/Windscreen wipers/washers and windscreen for damage/Lamps/Horn/Warning indicators/Airbags/Heater and air conditioning system/Electric parking brake/Lubricate door latches/Door hinges/Open sunroof and lubricate runner guides and connect diagnostic computer to check all fault codes and reset SIA.
There were extensive checks in the engine bay for drive belts/cooling system/Pressure caps and hoses/Engine and transmission mountings/Wheel bearings/Driveshafts and gaiters/Wheels and tyres/Tyre pressures/Apply anti seize compound to wheel hubs and carry out annual corrosion/cosmetic inspection and finally carry out a road test and check function of all vehicle systems.
The whole process took a couple of hours and once passed, the relevant documentation was printed and signed and dated. My annual AA MG breakdown cover was renewed and confirmed in writing with a breakdown card and telephone number included.
My tyres recorded a universal tread depth of 8mm (Legal limit is 1.6mm)
Front brake wear was 10% worn
Rear brake wear was 5%
Antifreeze frost protection was- 30%
Total cost was £215.95 including environmental disposal of the old oil, labour charges and VAT.
It’s winter now, and Emmy has a sister next door in the shape of my neighbours MG HS Exclusive DCT in the same colour, and same Sardana red interior. I am busy helping them come to terms with the features and technology on their HS and they absolutely love the car, stating that it is light years ahead in comfort and driveability than their beautiful VW Tiguan which it replaced.
Yoiu will find information, help, ‘how-to’ sections and advice on all aspects of the fan-flipping-tastic MG HS on this site which has now stretched into the fifth year of research on my part. I hope it proves of interest and help to other owners and prospective owners.
Happy and safe MG HS motoring everyone.
Written by Paul Williams on December 6th 2022*** Photograph is of Emmy, my MG HS Exclusive DCT.
Posted by DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES on 2022-12-06 11:17:03
Tagged: , mg , ‘mg motor’ , ‘MG HS’ , ‘mg hs (as23)’ , suv , ‘paul williams’ , ‘MG HS EXCLUSIVE DCT’ , dct , ‘MG HS (AS23) HISTORY AND TIMELINE’ , ‘mg hs review’