This MG 6 is the first real attempt that Shanghai Automotive-owned MG has made to become a known quantity. It is a far more significant car than the (very lightly) modernised TF roadster because this is the first all-new model to wear the badge since the collapsed company was bought.

But its Chinese ownership and many years away from the market mean that, despite previous familiarity, MG is now an unknown quantity in every significant way. How will the new MG fare i Britain?

Its sister models sell very well in China, but in the UK the MG 6’s on-paper figures do not inspire confidence. The marketing blurb calls the 5dr a “sports-fastback” while the saloon is badged Magnette. Both are, in effect, a rival for the Ford Focus and its ilk and yet it is only available currently with a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine and a five-speed manual gearbox.

Even the £19k required for a top-spec TSE doesn’t go far towards justifying the figures elsewhere. But many cars deliver rewards that aren’t written in numbers, and we’re here to find out if this package adds up.

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

  • Seventh generation Volkswagen Golf
    More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

    1
  • The popular Ford Focus in 1.5 TDCi Zetec form
    The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

    2
  • Seat Leon
    Seat offers five engines for the Leon, ranging from a 104bhp 1.2 petrol to a 181bhp 2.0 diesel

    Seat Leon

    3
  • Mazda 3
    The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

    Mazda 3

    4
  • Peugeot 308
    The 308 marks the first time a carry-over name has been applied to an all-new Peugeot

    Peugeot 308

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the MG Motor range

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka