New MG HS Essence 2020 pricing and spec detailed: Flagship Chinese SUV arriving in July to take on Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4

MG Motor Australia will introduce the HS Essence next month to top off its mid-size SUV range, priced at $36,990 before on-road costs.

Sitting above the $30,990 drive-away Vibe and $34,790 Excite, the Essence adds equipment such as a sunroof, surround-view monitor, sportier seats and an option for red-coloured interior.

The Essence will retain MG’s Pilot Driver safety technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, which helped the mid-size SUV score a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating when tested in December 2019.

Expect to also see equipment such as a flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel, powered tailgate, 18-inch wheels, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay-compatible multimedia system, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and LED lighting carryover.

Though MG previously confirmed a version of the HS would appear with a potent 170kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, the Essence will be powered by the same 124kW/250Nm 1.5-litre unit found in the Vibe and Excite, which drives the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

MG Motor Australia and NZ boss Peter Ciao said the Essence is expected to bolster the HS’ appeal, with 801 new registrations recorded for the nameplate so far in 2020.

“The MG HS has proved a popular addition to our range,” he said.

“Moving into the second half of the year, this range-topping yet value driven model is one we’re excited to bring to our customers, with a range of additional features we know they’ll enjoy.”