In their latest, Chinese-owned form, MG have been around for a while now, although to the disappointment of their diehard fans, their MG3 and MG6 models have failed to make much of an impact on the UK’s new car market, despite attractive pricing.
Their recently-announced entry into the growing SUV market, named the GS, is therefore an important product if they are to crack the British market. We were therefore keen to review the new model at Millbrook recently, albeit only in static form.
First impressions from the outside are of a cleanly-styled contender for success in the SUV stakes. The body looks well engineered, with tidy panel gaps. Side steps as fitted to many competitors can look very much an afterthought, however those on the GS are both discreet yet functional. One minor discord in the otherwise tidy exterior is the positioning of the passenger side wiper in its parked position, which pokes up above the bonnet line and to us anyway is certainly noticeable from the driving position.
All four doors open wide – and close with a reassuring clunk – making the GS potentially a good choice for family use, aided by a decent-sized load bay. The rear seat slides back & forth to increase the load bay area if required. The load bay floor lifts to reveal a usefully-sized hidden compartment which is big enough to accept a full-sized spare wheel if required.
Inside, the cabin is spacious and again provides plenty of space for a family. However, some of the materials used are simply not up to the standards which are increasingly expected, and offered by others. Hard plastics abound, and, whilst the seats are leather-faced, the workmanship of their seam-stitching leaves a bit to be desired, leaving the leather puckered and untidy. Such details may be minor, but they have no place in the modern marketplace which increasingly expects premium materials and finish even at the lowest price points.
Doubtless the car viewed was a pre-production sample, and the quality of production cars may be better, although MG were confident enough to show this car to the UK’s press.
If this is indeed representative of the standard we can expect, the MG GS will have a tough job making sales headway against the raft of excellent SUV models already available from competing manufacturers, let alone some of those shortly to go on sale, such as the Seat Atega.
Interested? Find out more here: http://mg.co.uk/gs/