MG says ‘safety shouldn’t be optional’

MG has taken a stand against charging customers to option advanced safety gear with the new HS mid-size SUV.

Chinese brand MG has taken a swipe at some of the established players in the market, claiming that customers should be given the best available safety as standard equipment, not as an optional extra.

MG has just launched the new MG HS mid-size SUV, which debuts the brand’s most comprehensive package of safety gear it has offered to date.

Known as MG Pilot, the safety package includes auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist with steering input, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, auto high beam/auto headlights, speed-sign recognition and a reverse camera with rear parking sensors.

That’s better than big-name models offer in their affordable mid-size SUVs. A Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage, for example, can’t match that gear at the same price point. Indeed, you have to spend up to $10,000 more to get that level of equipment.

Despite the extensive safety technology package, the MG HS hasn’t yet been awarded an ANCAP crash test rating at the time of writing. It has the technical specification to meet the maximum five-star requirements, but the company couldn’t confirm if the car has scored five stars.

According to MG’s local CEO, Peter Ciao, the brand has a responsibility to offer customers the best safety available as standard. In other words, you shouldn’t be asked to pay extra for better safety gear.

“I think different brands have different equipment,” he said. “I want to show – what’s MG’s brief, what’s our social responsibility?

“I’ve been here in Australia for three years. I’ve listened, and I’ve heard that customers really, really care about safety.

“This new model is mostly for families, and I want the most safety. Safety is not an option. It must be good,” he said. “I need to give the customer great value and choice.”

MG was the first Chinese brand to be awarded a five-star ANCAP rating, for the GS model that the new HS replaces. The smaller, cheaper MG ZS model didn’t get five stars when it was tested in 2017. It scored four stars.