MG: Classic British name and design, Chinese company; MG6 appraisal by Tom Scanlan
You don’t see many around, because there aren’t that many on the road, but are we missing a trick? The MG6 has been around a couple of years and the range includes a diesel. This could be the one to go for. Starting price for the diesel is £16,995. Look around at other cars of this price and you don’t always get the same value for money.
On the road, the car’s straight-line performance is quite brisk, with 62 mph available in less than nine seconds; its pulling power in mid-range is useful. Below around 1,250 revs there’s not much muscle, not unusual in a diesel, but you can pull away in top gear, if slowly. At 70mph, the engine is very relaxed at 1,800rpm. The car is nice and quiet at this speed, so long motorway runs won’t be tiring. At lower speeds, too, the MG6 joins the increasing number of diesel-powered cars that are virtually indistinguishable from petrol-driven engines in their smooth refinement. The obvious difference to the driver is when that right foot is banged down in mid-range – the diesel’s healthy shove certainly helps bring some fun into driving.
The suspension is excellent: the ride is supple and, working with the well-designed seats, provides a comfortable ride. The suspension also enables the MG6 diesel to be driven quickly and safely around twisty roads. Small bumps or holes in the road are lapped up well and the car felt solidly-built when driven over such surfaces. The gear-change is quick, light and accurate and well matched to the engine. The brakes are efficient, too, as should be expected. The steering is light for parking and has the right amount of heavier feel for faster driving. The steering wheel itself is comfortable to the hands over long periods.
Interior space is without doubt one of the MG6’s strong points. Headroom is average, but width for shoulders and hips makes you feel as though you’re in a bigger car; excellent leg-room in the rear is especially impressive for a car in this sector; getting in and out of the back is easier than usual.
The boot is also of a very good size, being wide, long and flat and the rear seats are easily foldable. Under the floor of the boot is a space-saver spare wheel. I found that the tailgate was a touch heavy to lift. A handy variety of storage places is found inside the car, including a central armrest that can be brought down for rear seat passengers and that has a brace of cup-holders in it.
Various systems help prevent loss of traction, whether during braking or just skidding. Driver and front passenger airbags are provided of course; so, too, are side airbags. All doors have side intrusion protection. Rearward visibility is to some extent limited by the car’s sharply-angled styling. A rear parking camera was useful, although rain on the lens blurred the picture.
The TSE version is £3,200 more, but MG reckons that the extra amount of equipment and upgrades is worth £7,000. Impressive standard specification on the TSE model includes leather seats, automatic electronic dual zone climate control and Bluetooth. TSE models run on larger 18-inch alloy wheels and, a nice touch, these have been designed to prevent the build-up of that nasty black brake dust. Recalling more MG history, the range-topper at £21,195 is called the Magnette.
In my drive over a wide variety of roads and very wet traffic conditions the car’s trip recorder showed 42.8 mpg. MG says that, by limiting the top speed to 120 mph, the insurance rating is lower than it would otherwise have been, potentially a saving of £700, they claim, over some competitors. In addition, service and repairs over three years should not top £500, they say.
WHEELS-ALIVE TECH SPEC IN BRIEF
MG6 DTi-Tech TSE
Engine: Four cylinder 1.9-litres
Power: 150PS @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: 350Nm @1,800 rpm
Top speed: 120 mph (restricted)
Performance: 0-62mph 8.9 seconds
Fuel consumption (official):
Urban: 46.1 mpg
Extra Urban: 59.0
Combined: 53.5 mpg
Insurance: Group 15E
Road Tax: Band E (£115)