From £14,911
As uneven as the hatch, so an excellent chassis, big cabin, crude drivetrain and patchy finish

Our Verdict

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  • First Drive

    MG6 Magnette TSE

    As uneven as the hatch, so an excellent chassis, big cabin, crude drivetrain and patchy finish

What is it?

You have to be pretty old to remember an MG Magnette. Any MG Magnette, in fact, because there have been several pre-war cars (some of them legendary), while post-war there were the fine 1953-58 ZA and ZB saloons, and after that the inferior Austin Cambridge-based, badge-engineered Farina-styled model. The last of those was built in 1968, but it’s the Z Magnettes that MG would like you to think of with this latest version.

Credible or not, what the two do have in common, besides a decent chassis, is that they’re four-door sports saloons, although the ZA would have been a little upmarket of today’s Magnette and an equivalent to today’s sporty BMW 3-series.

And yet it’s 3-series buyers that MG Motor would like to see considering this booted version of the MG 6 GT hatchback. But before you start sniggering, the plan is to snare buyers of used 3-series searching websites in the MG’s price range – which starts at £15,995 – when a cheeky banner ad hoves into view. That’s £400 more than you’ll pay for the hatch, for no good reason beyond MG’s BMW dreams, it would seem.

What's it like?

What you get for your money is quite a big car, both inside and out, that’s identical to the hatch bar its rearranged rear. So that means slightly vague throttle response from the turbocharged 1.8-litre motor until it starts to rev, with decently lively thrust emerging after that. However, at 5800rpm the gearlever in our car started to zizz, and the shift itself felt like you were snapping saplings.

Better, then, to think about the truly excellent suspension. The ride is supple and quiet, the car is keenly agile in curves, and if the feelsome straight-ahead promise of its steering isn’t quite matched by the quality of its mid-bend weighting, this is nevertheless an accomplished chassis.

Should I buy one?

Keen pricing and fairly generous equipment – though you wouldn’t call it plush – are further attractions, but running costs will be high because there’s no diesel. Which makes this four-door as uneven as its five-door sibling. But unlike many value-brand buys, the Magnette has a few strong attractions to counter those flaws.

MG6 Magnette TSE

Price: £19,995; Top speed: 120mph; 0-62mph: 8.4sec; Economy: 35.6mpg; CO2: 184g/km; Kerb weight: na; Engine: 4 cyls, 1796cc, petrol; Power: 158bhp at 5500rpm; Torque: 159lb ft at 1750-4500rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
124

14 June 2011

It strikes me that if they could just license a decent engine or four from another manufacturer (VW would probably be top choice right now) they would be much closer to being competitive. A 1.4tsi, 1.8tsi, 1.6tdi and 2.0tdi and they'd be sorted....

14 June 2011

Arguably a better looking car than the hatch, being slightly better proportioned to my eyes.

Until they sort the engine situation out, it isn't going to be anything more than a bit player.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

14 June 2011

Looks 10 times better than the hatch IMO, I really like it now :-) & I like the interior :-) Just needs a diesel now!! & maybe a 1.4 or 1.5 petrol too.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

14 June 2011

As soon as the Diesel Magnette arrives, i'll have mine in that new Champagne colour please!

I'm waiting for a certain member to come along sniggering about MG targeting the 3 Series... :D

14 June 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


So that means slightly vague throttle response from the turbocharged 1.8-litre motor until it starts to rev, with decently lively thrust emerging after that. However, at 5800rpm the gearlever in our car started to zizz, and the shift itself felt like you were snapping saplings.

[/quote]

In other words,

"We thrashed it beyond how most people normally drive, we didn't break it, but we tried...."

14 June 2011

Good strong tow eye's at both ends too?lol

Peter Cavellini.

14 June 2011

Looks really good up close. Just tried a 6 GT and it's absolutely great fun. Much better than I thought and miles more fun than same price competition. If this is the beginning, it can only get better. Rumour also has it there's going to be a pov spec Austin version, according to a Spanish motoring rag. Discuss. Does anyone know what "Magnette" actually means. And no, it's not French for magnet.

14 June 2011

[quote pigface]Does anyone know what "Magnette" actually means. And no, it's not French for magnet[/quote] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_Magnette

14 June 2011

I'm just old enough to remember what they looked like, i'd be about ten at the time, it was owned by a friend of my Dad's who ran a Garage.It was Police car black and the car was actually owned by my Dad's mate old man who drove it ever where at about twenty mile per hour, it was polished to within an inch of it's life,sometimes got to have a seat in it the smell of leather and wood is a smell memory even now.

Peter Cavellini.

14 June 2011

[quote pigface]Rumour also has it there's going to be a pov spec Austin version, according to a Spanish motoring rag. Discuss[/quote]

Well it makes sense. Though I would have thought that 'morris' would be a better choice as it fits in better with MG Morris Garages. The Roewe 550 (which surely is what this car is going to be based on - if the rumour is true) looks classy in my opinion and would sell well as an Austin or Morris if the price was right.

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