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When you think of MG you are unlikely to think of a reasonably priced crossover built to take on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. However realign your thinking, that's about to change! Over one week we have extensively tested the manual MG GS, covering in excess of 800 miles travelling everywhere from the Wembley Stadium, London to Ambleside in The Lake District.
In the last couple of years crossovers have become one of the best selling cars globally and the GS is MG's first attempt at a crossover. Mazda has been dominating the small roadster market with the MX5 for many years, this meant that MG had to adapt with the times and move into a market which will benefit MG and keep them profitable, that being the SUV, Cross-overs and small hatches.
The question you have to ask yourself is, 'Is the GS upto the competition?', with now just about every manufacturer making a crossover the GS is going to have to be something special to beat its competion. Now something to bare in mind throughout this review is the £4,000 cheaper than a Nissian Qashqai and the Hyundai Tucson, and over £12,000 cheaper than the VW equivalent.
The Exterior

The 2017 MG GS certainly isn't lacking in the eqipment department, what we'd class as a modest priced SUV comes with some serious kit, on this top of the range model, the Exclusive - You get:-
  • Chrome roof rails and running boards lifting this cars appearance making it more on par with more premium rivals such as the VW Tiguan.
  • 18in diamond cut alloys
  • LED daytime running lights which are a nice addition tieing in with the chrome strip that runs along the side of the car. 

Unfortunately the base model is only available in two colours black and silver, which is strange move from MG. However there are a range of colours to choose from on the mid spec Explore and top spec Exclusive GS models. One issue we did encounter is the rear tail gate is rather large, and quite weighty this did make it difficult to close for shorter people. Overall size and preportions of the car suit the SUV market, and dont be under the illusion it's a small car, it really isn't - however due to aids such Folding door mirrors, parking sensors and a reversing camera carrying out manoeuvers and parking can be perfomed with ease. 

The Interior

The interior of the MG GS is not quite what you expect when you think of a modern day Chinese MG, your met with stitched leather seats, glossy plastic and full colour infotainment system. They are certainly challenging the likes of the Nissian Qashqai and Kia sportage with the MG GS, overall the interior is a very comfortable stylish place with electric and heated option everywhere. 
There are a few hard scratchey plastics, especially prominant around the glove box area and lower half of the door cards, however you are buying a car far cheaper than its rivals. They have to cut costs somewhere, saying that dont forget everything the driver touches and you more commonly use is of a nice quality. The leather inserts on the top half of the doors is nice, the leather wrapped steering wheel and soft touch buttons on the centre console make it feel far more premium than you may expect. 
Driving Experience

The MG has been a British institution for many years, therefore climbing into a Chinese made version we didn't know what to expect, typically with an MG you get a sporty, relatively speedy experience, feeling every bump - This SUV has tried to capture that, as soon as you start the engine and give it a taunting rev, you get a growl, pushing it further this changes to a roar - and this is tood still, unlike recent modern cars it lets you rev it.

Pulling away you are met with an electronic handbrake with hill start assist, and a 6 speed box. The MG GS pulls away more like a car very responsive with just 160bhp from a 1.5 turbocharged engine. Going through the gears is smooth and whether your fully loaded or by yourself the experience is relatively the same performance is good and economy we averaged around 40mpg which is what we expected for a petrol SUV.

The GS performed exceptionally well with every terrain we encountered, 4x4 / AWD would have been an idea especially on our Lake District exploration, saying that though where we ventured the torque, grip and steering coped well. The steering is quite sensitive, allowing an element of feedback to the driver, no different to modern offerings, hill climbing in the MG GS didn't slow even when the gradient severly changed, it still continued to accelerate without having to go down a gear, the benefits of a turbocharger.

Whether your undertaking city, country or motorway driving the 2017 GS can handle it all with a relatively high ride height you get great visibility, folding mirrors for narrow lanes and 18in wheels for a comfortable yet responsive drive. 

Overall the GS was very pleasant to drive, covering over 800 miles it coped with everything we threw at it and more.


Space in the front is more than ample with plenty of leg room and head room, the same can be said for the rear seats aswell. However carrying 5 adults in the rear would be uncomfetable on longer journeys. Through our experince of using the GS carrying 4 adults was no problem. The front of the verhicle is well equiped with large doorbins, central cubby hole and glove box it meant that the GS was very practical for the driver and front seat passenger, on the top of the range exclusive model electricly operated heated seats really did add an air of a premium vehicle. In the rear aminities such as electric windows, air conditioning and fold down arm rest made it a very nice place to be and made the car quite plesurable on long journeys. 

The MG GS does have the smallest boot in its class however that is the trade off for having a large amount of cabin space. We where still able to fit 4 peoples luggage in the verhicle no problem. The addition of a spare wheel and storage area for the parcel sheelve really did make the MG a cut above its competition. Other highlights to this cars boot is fold flat rear seats and no load lip, this made loading heavier and larger items into the verhicle very easy. There is also a 12V socket back there too. One thing to mention about this boot is the tail gate is rather heavy, it would have been nice to see a power tailgate, it really would have rounded off the car nicely.


The MG GS is a very well equipped car, even the entry level car comes with a generous amount of standard equipment this includes.... The top level model which we tested comes with a fine array of equipment, everything from cruise control, reversing camera, parking sensors, cruise control and satellite navigation. You really are pushed to find something, this car does not have, the main issue with the top of the range model is the price, coming in at just under 20k, saying that a Top of the range Tiguan is £32,000, and a top of the range Corsa is £22,000. 

The infotainment system was functional however lacked the gloss of other systems offed by the likes of VW, Ford and Vauxhall. However the functionality was still there, just a little trickier to master. The display was clear with no lag.

Features such as phone connectivty, hands free and sat nav really made the car feel very tech orintated. Along with its array other driver aids and comfort options it really does appear to be a car with as much kit as some of its more expensive rivals. Cruise control, rain sensing wipers, heated and electricly operated seats, auto dimming mirror are to name a few.

Overall the GS is a very well equipped car when it comes to tech, however when you get to the range topping Exclusive model like the one we tested you do pay a premium price, something to be expected really.

Specifications & Cost

New Price: £19,595
Fuel Consumption: 46 MPG
Insurance Group:  17
Annual Road Tax: £135 - £140

Brake Horse Power: 163bhp
Top Speed: 118mph
0-60 mph: 9.6 Seconds
Torque: 250Nm, 184ft-Ib
Miles Per Tank: 556 miles

Engine Size: 1490cc Turbo Charged
Cylinders: 4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Transmission: Manual
Gears: 6 Speed
Drivetrain: FWD Front Wheel Drive

The Verdict 
Overall the MG GS is definatly the right direction for MG, this car is definatly a conpetator to its rivals. MG do now offer a 5 year warranty which gives you a pice of mind for a new motoring manufacture. There are some down sides, the only engine which is offered is a  1.5 Petrol, dont get us wrong its a fabulous engine however the option of a diesel would be nice. No 4 Wheel drive is also something which some customers may be looking for which is not avalible. Overall the interior was good and considering the price point of this car they have done a really good job, however some scratch plastics do ruin it silightly. This car is also in a rather high tax band, especially considering its rivals. Overall the MG is a great car it is very practical and drives really well, we think impovements such as engine choices and emissions will come in time. However this car is a lot cheaper than its rivals. 
Style and looks 9/10

Drivability 8/10

Economy 7/10

Practicality 8/10

Cost (Outright) 6/10

Finance Options 8/10


7.5 / 10 Overall Score


This was our experience for a 7 day test, fuel economy and long term usage can not be fully documented.
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Northern Group of Motoring Writers NGMW

Northern Group Of Motoring Writers

Annabelle Quirk Vice Chairwoman
Ben D T Quirk Member