The GS’s ‘more for your money’ sales proposition feeds directly and positively into the dynamic appeal of the car via its turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, which gives you about 25% more power and torque than the going rate for a petrol-powered, £18,000 compact crossover.
That’s enough urge to make the GS a sub-nine-second car from standing to 60mph – and something MG itself may be interested to find out, given that it quotes a conservative 9.6sec to 62mph.
Few direct rivals manage the sprint in much less than 10.5sec, and the diesel-powered alternatives tend to be slower still, albeit usually more flexible.
You wouldn’t, however, expect that many crossover buyers shopping at the bargain end of the price spectrum to be motivated by an added-value performance selling point if it wasn’t delivered with good refinement, driveability and fuel economy.
The GS goes some of the way towards completing the picture; it’s quiet both at idle and at a relaxed urban and extra-urban cruise, and it accelerates assertively in higher gears through the lower reaches of the rev band, thanks to that 184lb ft plateau of torque being available from well under 2000rpm.