The 2017 MG GS has snuck onto the Australian market under the cover of the Christmas and New Year holidays, stealthily avoiding market attention.

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Unusually for a new car, no press release was issued to announce the SUV's coming, but the GS has been among us since December.

The five-seat GS, which has today been awarded a four-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), is available in two trim grades priced from $25,990 and $27,990 respectively.

Those prices exclude on-road costs, although it is possible that, like the MG 6, the company could also be offering sharper drive-away deals.

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Power in the GS is provided by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injected petrol engine, developed with technical and anagrammatic partner GM.

The small petrol engine offers 119kW of power and 250Nm, sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission, likewise developed by MG parent SAIC with American giant GM.

Compliant with Euro 5 emissions regulations, the GS lists fuel consumption at 7.4L/100km on the combined cycle, using regular unleaded petrol.

Suspension is by MacPherson struts up front, matched to a multi-link arrangement at the rear.

The GS measures 4500mm long, 1855mm wide and 1699mm tall, riding on a 2650mm wheelbase. Rear storage space is listed 483 litres, growing to 1336 litres with the back seats laid flat.

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The two-car range is made up of the Core and Soul trim grades. Unlike its sibling the MG 6, there is no up-spec Essence model.

Standard kit with the Core model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, single-zone climate control air-conditioning with rear vents, USB port, Bluetooth phone and media connectivity, six-speaker stereo, colour display (unspecified size), cruise control, 'sports seats' for the front row, and a leather steering wheel.

There's also automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lamps, rear fog lights, space-saver spare wheel, roof rails, electric park brake, remote central locking, and powered/heated door mirrors.

Safety features include ventilated disc brakes front and rear, six airbags (two front, two side front, two rear), rear-view camera and reversing sensors, hill-hold assist, electronic brake assist, and electronic stability control (as mandated).

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Upgrading to the Soul model adds 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, power-adjustable front seats, front fog lights, leather and leather-look trim to the front seats, and a colour multi-function display in the instrument cluster.

The GS is not available with Autonomous Emergency Braking, although ANCAP says it is "working with MG" to push for a specification upgrade from the brand's home office in China. Active cruise control, lane-departure alert and intelligent seatbelt reminders are likewise not offered.

“The GS is a good car structurally, offering sound levels of occupant protection, however its safety specification is lacking,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Goodwin.

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As with the MG 6 and MG 3, the GS boasts a six-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty with roadside assistance.

The MG GS is on sale in Australia now, although MG has yet to list full details on its customer website.

Note: photos shown are of the overseas model. Australian photos are still to come.