MG has been enjoying a sales surge in the UK - with the comprehensive redesign of its flagship HS model among the latest moves from the Chinese-owned British brand.

The company’s popular large SUV has been given a facelift and now has a sharper, more aggressive appearance.

The price is also eye-catching, with the entry-level SE version costing £23,495 and the top-of-the-range Trophy model, tested here, coming in at a very reasonable £25,995.

With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why families on the hunt for a cheap and practical car have been flocking to MG in large numbers.

Stourbridge News: The MG HS

True, there are elements of the cabin that still feel a little dated, but there’s no question that it’s a well-equipped car for the money - and that the redesign has further added to its appeal.

The new-look HS includes an 18-inch diamond cut wheel design, as well as bi-function LED headlights, air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear parking camera with sensors, rain sensing wipers, keyless entry and a leather steering wheel as standard.

Opt for the Trophy and you get leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, rear privacy glass and an upgraded six-speaker audio system.

On a recent family camping trip from Yorkshire to the south-west, we felt entirely comfortable during the five-hour motorway journey, with a well-insulated cabin, comfortable seats, oceans of space and some softer-touch materials all adding to the relaxing ambience.

On a practical level, phone charging ports and storage cubby holes all seemed to be sensibly located.

Looks-wise, a bold grille design and a new front bumper have enhanced the face of the HS, making for a more dynamic appearance.

Stourbridge News: The MG HS

At the rear, a new bumper design, revised dual exhaust outlets and LED taillights complete the contemporary styling update.

In terms of paintwork, an new Urban Grey is now available for the first time within the HS range, as part of a seven colour palette including solid, metallic and tri-coat options.

Behind the wheel, the HS accelerates swiftly enough for a large family-focussed vehicle, with the sprint from 0-62mph achieved in less than 10 seconds.

Power comes courtesy of a 1.5-litre, turbocharged petrol engine delivering up to 162PS.

A manual six-speed gearbox comes as standard, and is fairly smooth to use, while an optional dual-clutch DCT gearbox is also offered on both SE and Trophy specifications.

When cornering, the HS feels well-planted and grips the road well, with the all-wheel drive system adding a sure-footed characteristic.

On tighter and twisty roads, it doesn’t feel the most agile or nimble when you need to flick the car in another direction.

When manoeuvring, it was also noticeable how bad the turning circle is, as I frequently found myself needing to take two bites at a turn I’d have expected to make in one loop.

Each model is equipped with a 10.1-inch central touchscreen, with a simple menu layout that’s easy enough to understand.

Stourbridge News: The MG HS

The functionality of the system has been improved, but can be a bit laggy if you’re too eager with the inputs.

On some of the more rural roads around Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, we found that the in-built sat-nav system made some curious decisions.

Both the SE and Trophy are equipped with MG Pilot, the company’s comprehensive package of safety equipment which includes active emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection, lane keep assist with lane departure warning system, intelligent speed limit assist, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and intelligent high beam assist.

All in all, we found the HS very easy to live with during a week in its company. You get a lot of car for your money and it’s not hard to see why MG is the fastest growing car brand in the UK.

MG HS Trophy

PRICE: £25,995

ENGINE: 1490cc turbocharged GDI 4-cyl 16v petrol

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and top speed of 118 mph

ECONOMY: 37.9 mpg and 168 g/km

WARRANTY: 7 years / 80,000 miles