Arriving at the right dynamic compromise for the GS was always going to be a challenge.

The MG brand’s traditional strengths made it a no-brainer to tune its small and medium-size hatchbacks for greater agility and sporting zest than the next bargain-priced option.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Lack of damping sophistication is evident in pronounced pitch under heavy braking for downhill corners

With the original 6 and then the 3, MG UK executed that vision quite well.

But a taller, more utility-minded offering like a crossover needs much greater breadth of ability than its siblings.

It must also offer more rolling comfort and a greater sense of well-being to its passengers while being able to haul itself along a rutted track or out of a muddy car park (albeit very occasionally).

But MG’s interpretation of how a crossover ought to conduct itself leaves something to be desired – because it doesn’t ride very comfortably at all.

Unlike the 3 and 6 before it, the GS uses electromechanical rather than hydraulic power steering. It steers quite well, if not with the feedback of its range mates then at least with consistent weight, pace and a decent sense of precision.

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Body control is moderately good, too, and the car handles with a strong sense of security, decent directional response and fair grip levels, and without any suggestion of a high roll axis.

But there is such a conspicuous lack of settled compliance in the suspension that even an averagely bumpy road reveals a side to the GS that few will be prepared to put up with.

At times the car feels over-damped – too aggressively checked in compression to deal with medium-sized disturbances without the struts maxing out and forcing the body to deflect – while at other times it feels hardly damped at all.

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