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

Our Verdict

MG 6 2011-2014

Can the MG Motor MG6, the company's first all-new car under Chinese ownership, hit its mark?

  • First Drive

    MG6 DTi-Tech TSE UK first drive review

    The MG6 is now a greener proposition than ever before, but its bland cabin aesthetics are still letting the side down
  • First Drive

    MG6 Magnette TSE

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

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

Join the debate

Comments
9

23 June 2014
While it is true that when it comes to emissions, the lower the better comes to mind and at 129g\km the MG6 lags the competition by one or three vital VED bands, yet this car may hold enough appeal for a private keen driver to pick it over the beaten rivals, considering the quoted (lab) MPG figures hold little credibility on road.

23 June 2014
A step in the right direction perhaps but the fact is you can't sell these things for love nor money. There's an ex-demonstrator MG6 1.8 TSE 4dr which has been on sale at my local dealer for over 3 years !!!! It's on a private plate but was originally registered as a '61 - it's only covered 3500 miles the majority of which were racked up in it's first few months. A quick look at Autotrader and the few you do find for sale are nearly all available thru MG dealerships. Unless you lease, you'd seriously have to be off your rocker paying £20k for a car you can't sell.

24 June 2014
scotty5 wrote:

There's an ex-demonstrator MG6 1.8 TSE 4dr which has been on sale at my local dealer for over 3 years !!!! It's on a private plate but was originally registered as a '61 - it's only covered 3500 miles the majority of which were racked up in it's first few ......

I was looking for one of those, how much and where ???

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 June 2014
@Scotty5 - is that the Regl Red one at Morrisons in Stirling per chance?
If so, is that car really still for sale?
I assumed their website years ago!

TBC

24 June 2014
It is certainly pleasing to see that MG are heading in the right direction with the 6. The current version looks like it will be a good second hand buy, if you can find one..............

24 June 2014
It may be dated but that dash design bears some resemblance to the latest BMW 3 and 4 series. I sat in an M4 last week and found it so clinical and austere that, along with the orange peel paint finish, it left me cold (but then I didn't drive it).

26 June 2014
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!

26 June 2014
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).

20 July 2014
i think not. I own one and really like it. I should probably head over there and add my own review.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK