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.