What is it?
Yes, we know, another week, another SUV. At least this one could prove a little more interesting, seeing as it’s from one-time sports car manufacturer MG. The Chinese-owned brand promises handling that stays true to the company’s roots, at a price that starts at less than £15,000.
That’s not bad for a Nissan Qashqai-sized SUV that has significantly more punch than rivals. While a diesel (sourced from the MG 6) will fit, at the moment a 1.5-litre petrol engine is the only choice of powerplant. If you want four-wheel drive, you need to look elsewhere.
Still, a turbocharger boosts output to a chunky 164bhp, making it one of the more powerful small SUVs out there at this price point. Add a decent level of standard specification, five-year warranty and a roomy interior and the signs are good.
What's it like?
Initial impressions are good. The GS isn’t a bad-looking thing in the metal to these eyes, especially with the 18in wheels and chrome detailing of our top-spec Exclusive test car. The interior isn’t quite so impressive, though.
There may be piano black trim on the dashboard and lashings of leather, but there’s also scratchy, cheap-feeling plastic as far as the eye can see. Search as we might, we couldn’t see any soft stuff on show. It will probably prove durable enough but is much less appealing than rivals' cabins.
The centre console is also behind the times, with a mess of buttons sitting just below the infotainment screen. While you might get used to their location in time, we found ourselves having to look down far too often to hit the control we needed.
Likewise, the infotainment system looks rather basic and offers less functionality than rival systems. Although you get Mirrorlink connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are notable in their absence. At least the system proves responsive and easy enough to navigate.
The GS does prove spacious for both front and rear passengers. Our only complaint is that the floor feels very high in the back, forcing your knees to sit much higher than you may expect.