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MG GS SUV to take on the Nissan Qashqai

The MG GS has been announced, bringing with it an affordable slice of British-built sport utility vehicle (SUV) motoring.

Continuing the theme of affordability seen with the MG3 hatchback and MG6 saloon, the MG GS starts from a mere £14,995, putting it in the same ballpark as a mid-range Dacia Duster – the UK’s cheapest SUV – and around £3,500 cheaper than a Nissan Qashqai.

Three trim levels will be available: Explore, Excite and Exclusive. The £14,995 Explore is the bottom of the range and has cruise control, automatic headlights and air-conditioning. Meanwhile the Excite starts from £17,495 and adds a DAB digital radio tuner, Bluetooth connectivity and rear parking sensors.

A range-topping Exclusive adds a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT automatic, leather sports seats with electric adjustability and an iGo navigation system. The manual starts from £19,495 and the DCT from £20,995.

There’s just one engine at launch, a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol with 164bhp. 0-60mph takes 9.6 seconds, CO2 emissions are 139g/km for the manual (141g/km for the DCT), torque is 250Nm and the towing weight is 1,750kg.

A choice of two or four-wheel drive will be available and all models come with a five-year factory warranty as standard, giving owners a tad more peace of mind.

The MG GS measures 4,500mm in length, 1,675mm in width and 1,675mm in height, putting it on a par with the Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V in terms of size, and will be built at its Longbridge factory in Birmingham.

Reports say the MG SUV’s underlying platform, said to be designed by SAIC, could be pave the way for a smaller, Juke-sized competitor.

MG head of sales and marketing Matthew Cheyne said: “This car offers so much for comparatively little, making it the SUV to choose. The specification on these cars is phenomenal and when you add in the five year warranty it’s a no-brainer.

“There are some really great features as well, such as the adjustable rear seats that not only recline but fold completely flat making it adaptable for whatever the customer’s lifestyle.

“Customers choosing the MG GS will save money over more expensive SUVs. They will have all the specification they could want and still have money left to enjoy holidays or family days out.”

We have driven both the MG3 and MG6 and found both cars to feel a bit rough and ready but strangely likable given the value for money. The MG GS could be a surprise hit for those who crave the benefit of an SUV on a limited budget.

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