From £14,9117
The MG6 is now a greener proposition than ever before, but its bland cabin aesthetics are still letting the side down
Autocar
23 June 2014

What is it?

MG has revised the diesel engine found in its 6 and Magnette models, dropping the car’s CO2 emissions by 10g/km from 139g/km to 129g/km, while improving the average combined economy from 53.5mpg previously to 57.6mpg now.

This makes the MG 6 free to tax for its first year and £20 cheaper per annum thereafter, with VED of £110, since it now sits in band D. For business buyers, it drops to BIK of 20 per cent and a monthly tax bill of just £56.47 for a GT S model.

MG has achieved these new emissions by fitting a new SCM360 six-speed manual gearbox, a start-stop system, a variable scroll turbocharger and speed-sensitive electro-hydraulic power steering.

Longbridge has also equipped bigger front brake discs (295mm compared to 284mm), increased the spring rate, fiddled with damper settings and added larger diameter, stiffer anti-roll bars, all with the aim of improving the ride and handling.

What's it like?

With 148bhp and 258lb ft, the 1.9-litre (technically it’s a 1.8, but MG insists on calling it a 1.9) GT certainly doesn’t lack for performance. It’s a superb unit, quiet and refined with plenty of pull throughout the rev range. It also returned close to its claimed economy figures on a largely motorway and dual-carriageway route through the West Midlands, precisely the sort of driving duties most 6s will encounter.

Coupled to the MG 6’s excellent revised chassis, this DTi-Tech engine makes the car a more compelling proposition than it ever has been before. The 6 always had a good ride and sweet roadholding, yet it is even better now, offering up cultured cruising and entertaining dynamics.

The seats and driving position are both comfortable, while there are plenty of toys on the MG in top-line TSE specification as tested here – such as leather trim, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a reversing camera, Bluetooth and cruise control, among others.

However, the 6’s Achilles’ heel is the lack of visual flair in the cabin, as it was already feeling dated when it was launched in 2010. It’s old-fashioned inside, while the handbrake is annoying to use and the USB slot is hidden away in a compartment to the driver’s right-hand side.

The good news here is that the better interior of the smaller MG 3 shows that the company is already improving things on this score and we can expect future MG cabins to match up to class standards.

Sliding between gears using the MG 6’s manual transmission is an easy, slick affair, while the EPAS system is one of the better-judged set-ups in either the C- or D-segment, providing a good amount of feel with consistent weighting. The brakes bite evenly and the whole car feels well resolved.

Wind and engine noise entering the cabin is well suppressed but you’ll hear perhaps a bit too much tyre roar from the 18-inch wheels fitted to the TSE.

Should I buy one?

If you can stomach the dated interior aesthetics, yes. Despite one or two ergonomic niggles, the rest of the cabin is fine and absolutely huge, while the exterior looks are inoffensive, although a little bland.

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MG has always claimed the car has D-segment space within, alongside the agility and running costs of C-segment machines, and with the refreshed diesel it delivers on these bold assertions. It’s definitely a better car than the 1.8-litre turbo petrol 6 and capable of mixing it with some well-established rivals.

However, a facelift and improved interior is also on the way for the MG 6, so it might be better waiting for the more extensively overhauled model before opting to buy one. MG is also considering dual-clutch automated gearboxes, something which is still lacking from the current 6’s armoury.

Matt Robinson

MG6 GT DTi-Tech TSE

Price £19,995 (range starts from £16,995) 0-62mph 8.9 seconds Top speed 120mph Economy 57.6mpg CO2 129g/km Kerbweight 1485kg Engine 4 cyls, 1849cc, turbocharged, diesel Power 148bhp at 4000pm Torque 258lb ft at 1800rpm Gearbox Six-speed manual

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Comments
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UserNameAlreadyTaken 23 June 2018

Sonalika make the Rover G-Series common-rail diesel...

...which could have been installed instead. More powerful (120 kW (163 PS; 161 bhp)) and stronger (380 Nm (280 lb-ft)).

Soren Lorenson 26 June 2014

...and another thing

Strangely, the people that buy these seem to really like them judging by the owner reviews on Parkers and Autotrader (unless these are written by MG themselves of course).
WarrenL 20 July 2014

i think not. I own one and

i think not. I own one and really like it. I should probably head over there and add my own review.
Soren Lorenson 26 June 2014

2014 Petrol

Currently there's a 2014 petrol model on Autotrader for less than £10K with less than 500 mile. You'd have to do a lot of miles before it became worthwhile dropping £20K on this new diesel one.

Unlike most people I have actually seen one of these driving around and it looks rather better in the metal than in photos. I've not sat inside so I can only assume that the cabin looks worse in real life because the pics make it look quite nice!

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