Deciding how to price the new MG 6 can’t have been an easy task for MG Motor UK Ltd. So straw poll: how many of us think they got it right?
Here’s the case for the defence. This is a five-door family car that, at 4651mm in length, is a much closer match for a D-segment saloon like a Honda Accord or Vauxhall Insignia than most C-segment hatchbacks. It’s got a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine with 158bhp. And yes, top-spec TSE versions do cost £19k – but if you dress up a Skoda Octavia to the same specification, your dealer will be asking for more than £23,000 for it. Seriously. Shows why a lot of people don’t rate Skoda as a budget brand, doesn’t it?
And the case for the prosecution? They could have decided to charge less – brought in de-contented cars with lower-rent materials and less powerful engines, and opened up the UK order book at about £13,995. But at that price, with even cheaper cabins and poorer residuals, they’d have risked seriously damaging the MG brand.
As you may have deduced, I think they made the right call. SAIC has to plan for the future, after all – and it’s hard to rebuild a brand when all you’ve got to attract people is a bargain price. For me, the MG 6 has to offer something unique in the market, as well as being good value. Nobody’s likely to plump for the car as anything other than an alternative to the predictable mainstream, after all. But with a peppy turbocharged engine and a lively driving experience, there’s at least one reason why you might buy an MG 6 other than because it’s cheap. Two reasons if you consider its size.
One thing’s for certain: the MG 6 won’t be this cheap for long. As MG Motor UK Ltd explained at the launch yesterday, they worked out the UK launch list prices last year, before accounting for 20 per cent VAT. So you’ll be able to buy an MG 6 for £15,495 only until the end of May 2011 – at which point it’ll go up to about £15,900.