MG6: car review
A good car that should not be kept a secret. MG needs to advertise it and extend its dealer network.
What is it?
The MG6 DTi-Tech brings the Chinese-owned company’s first diesel engine into this quite sporty family car. Around a third of the car is ‘British’, and the design and development is by a British team based at the factory.
How safe is it
Four stars from Euro NCAP means good safety for its occupants. Built-in pedestrian protection may have gained a fifth star. MG claims the car’s structure is ‘extremely strong’.
Who should buy one?
Buy an MG6 diesel if you appreciate clever and practical British design that’s well-priced and well-equipped, but check that there’s a dealer near you.
Our review: Good Motoring, Spring 2013
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
The MG6’s new diesel engine, being heavier than the petrol one, meant a re-design of the suspension and a brand-new purpose-built six-speed gearbox. The car’s straight-line performance is brisk enough and its pulling power in mid-range is useful. Below around 1250 revs there’s not much muscle, not unusual in a diesel, but you can pull away in top gear, if slowly.
At 70mph, the engine is (again typical of a diesel of this capacity) very relaxed at 1800rpm. The car is nice and quiet at this speed, so long motorway runs won’t be tiring. At lower speeds, too, the MG6 joins the increasing number of diesel-powered cars that are virtually indistinguishable from petrol-driven models in their smooth refinement. The obvious difference to the driver is when that right foot is banged down in mid-range – the diesel’s healthy shove certainly helps bring some fun into driving.
The suspension is excellent: the ride is supple and, working with the well-designed seats, provides a comfortable ride. The suspension also enables the MG6 diesel to be driven quickly and safely around twisty roads. Small bumps or holes in the road are lapped up well and the car felt solidly-built when driven over such surfaces. The gear-change is quick, light and accurate and well matched to the engine. The brakes felt good and, on this TSE version are equipped with a clever system that detects wetness through the windscreen-mounted rain sensor and ‘wipes’ water off the discs. The steering is weighted: it’s light for parking and has a heavier feel for faster driving. The steering wheel itself is comfortable to the hands over long periods. Whichever family member drives the MG6 diesel should find it easy and enjoyable.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Interior space is without doubt one of the MG6’s strong points. Headroom is average, but width for shoulders and hips makes you feel as though you’re in a bigger car; excellent legroom in the rear is especially impressive for a car in this sector; getting in and out of the back is easier than it is in some competitor cars.
The boot is also of a very good size, being wide, long and flat and the rear seats are easily foldable. Under the floor of the boot is a space-saver spare wheel. I found that the tailgate was a touch heavy to lift.
A handy variety of storage places are found inside the car, including a central armrest that can be brought down for rear seat passengers and which has a brace of cup-holders in it. The TSE version has leather seats with electrically-controlled fore and aft and reclining movements and the steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach.
Various systems help prevent loss of traction, whether during braking or just skidding. Driver and front passenger airbags are provided of course; so, too, are side airbags. All doors have side intrusion protection. Rearward visibility is to some extent limited by the car’s sharply-angled styling. A rear parking camera was useful, although rain on the lens blurred the picture. The TSE MG6 has powered folding exterior mirrors as standard.
The cheapest diesel MG6 costs £16,995. The TSE version is £3200 more, but MG reckons that the extra amount of equipment and upgrades is worth £7000. Impressive standard specification on the TSE model includes leather seats, automatic electronic dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth. TSE models run on larger 18-inch alloy wheels and, a nice touch, these have been designed to prevent the build-up of that nasty black brake dust.
In my drive over a wide variety of roads and very wet traffic conditions the car’s trip recorder showed 42.8 mpg. MG says that, by limiting the top speed to 120 mph, the insurance rating is lower than it would otherwise have been, potentially a saving of £700, they claim, over some competitors. And service and repairs over three years should not top £500, they say.
Good, but MG must advertise lots and get more dealers.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-62mph 8.9 seconds
Economy: 53.5 mpg combined
Insurance: Group 15E
Tax: Band E (£115)
Figures for the MG6 DTi-Tech TSE