ONE FOR THE ROAD
So its been two months since I picked up my new car – the 1.5 liter MG HS trophy – and since then, I’ve received countless messages asking me about my experience with the car, the brand, and of course the dealership. So I thought I’d come up with a mid-term ownership report to document my journey.
So far, I haven’t experienced any issues except for a low battery warning on one of the key fobs, which I’m told will be replaced for free in the next service or when I bring it in. This wasn’t really an issue though as there is a spare, but I thought I’d bring it up because in hindsight, I would have asked the dealership for fresh batteries when I took delivery and I would suggest you do the same to avoid any inconvenience. No biggie – just something to consider for any brand of car you buy.
Now with that out of the way – spoiler alert – the rest of the ownership and driving experience has been fantastic. So I’ll spend the rest of this article shedding light on the things I like.
Now I’m completely aware that the first 5,000 kms or so for any new car is the honeymoon period, but I will try my best to be objective. I’ll start with the gearbox, as many owners have asked me about it. For context, the MG HS uses a DCT, which is a dual clutch transmission, so it functions a little like a manual gearbox with an automatic feature on it. This can make it feel a little less smooth than the traditional autos with a torque converter, but the advantage is faster and crisper shifting when driven spiritedly. So there’s a bit of a trade off.
It does take a little getting used to, sure, but once you start realizing that its just a characteristic of a DCT and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, you can not only learn to live with it, but in many ways, even learn to appreciate it. Personally, I actually prefer it as I feel a little more involved in the drive than I do with a traditional auto. It has a more mechanical, analog feel to it. But hey, that’s me. I’m a purist. It is no different to how (convenience aside) I also prefer the sound and overall experience of vinyl records to an MP3, or the look feel of film photography compared to digital. To each his own. I can appreciate how others prefer the smoothness of a traditional auto, but at the end of the day, all I can tell you for sure is that regardless of which system you prefer, you can relax knowing there’s nothing wrong with the car and it’s just a personality quirk at most. So may as well enjoy it.
Speaking of enjoying, the features I have been enjoying the most are the Apple car play feature on that generously sized multimedia display and the auto brake hold function. Seems trivial, I know, but it’s always the little details that stand out after a while. And having a large, centrally placed map to use for navigation, music and air-conditioning, or the joy of not having to keep your foot on the brake while you’re in traffic or on a hill all adds up and takes the fatigue out of city driving. I only wish I had an analog override for the blower speed and temperature of the AC so I can adjust it without using the central display, but again, that’s just the Tito in me. It works just as well and I’ve learned to appreciate the new technology.
Overall, in the short time I’ve owned it, the MG HS has over delivered on its promises. I knew it was going to be a practical, well-featured compact SUV, but I’ve also started to appreciate it as a fun, comfortable, practical vehicle with loads of personality.