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

  • More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

    1
  • The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

    2
  • 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

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the MG Motor range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    31 August 2015
    Thought the 3 Series was losing its edge? Well it's back, with a facelifted version that offers improved performance and dynamics. Does it reclaim its top spot after our drive on UK roads?
  • First Drive
    27 August 2015
    BMW gives its flagship 7 Series an extensive overhaul in a bid to tempt buyers of luxury cars away from the Mercedes S-Class, Audi's A8 and the Jaguar XJ
  • First Drive
    26 August 2015
    New Qashqai rival majors on practicality and usability and benefits from a long warranty, but lower-specification versions are the better bet
  • First Drive
    26 August 2015
    Go-faster Bentley Continental feels effortlessly quick despite its considerable weight
  • Car review
    26 August 2015
    Can the new S-Max retain its title as the driver's seven-seater?