MG has lowered the price of entry to its plug-in hybrid HS SUV by $1000 with a new Excite model, but the range-topping Essence has been hit with a price hike for 2022.

The 2022 MG HS Plus EV Excite is priced from $46,990 drive-away – $1000 less than the Essence at its 2021 price, and $2000 beneath its recently-increased 2022 price – but loses a handful of the luxurious features standard on the Essence.

Gone are the 360-degree camera, panoramic glass roof, metal pedals, LED headlights and LED ambient interior lighting, and the leather sports seats have been subbed for cheaper faux leather units.

The full MG Pilot suite of driver assists is standard on the Excite, including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

MG has previously told CarExpert a new HS Plus EV Vibe is on track to come Down Under. We’ve reached out to confirm whether the Excite and Essence will be joined by a cheaper Vibe during 2022.

The Excite also misses out on LED headlights with scrolling indicators, heated door mirrors, front fog lights, and a powered tailgate.

Power comes from the same plug-in hybrid powertrain used in the Essence. It combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque with a 90kW/230Nm electric motor, mated with a 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery.

It outputs a combined 189kW of power and 370Nm of torque, and has a claimed 63km of electric range. Claimed fuel economy is 1.7 litres per 100km, although that’s contingent on a full charge.

“MG Motor Australia is committed to giving its customers more choice by combining high-performance technology and exceptional value,” said Peter Ciao, CEO of MG Motor Australia.

Unlike a Toyota-style hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicles combine a petrol engine with a larger lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor to offer a meaningful electric range.

MG has recently rebranded its plug-in hybrids to Plus EV, in an attempt to better communicate what the most expensive HS can do.

“We have found the term hybrid has often been misunderstood,” Mr Ciao has previously told CarExpert.

“Referring to our vehicles as Plus EV, we wish to make it clear that this vehicle has two independent drive systems: one EV, one petrol,” he said.

This isn’t the first time MG has pointed to PHEVs as a growth market. It’s also not alone in trying to better communicate with Australians what plug-in hybrid power can do.

MORE: Everything MG HS

Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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