MG has hit on a winning formula with the addition of diesel options to its MG6 range.
The DTi-TECH diesel-powered versions of the MG6 GT and MG6 Magnette is a major development in the modern MG story with both cars using a 1.9-litre turbo unit - the first diesel engine in the UK from MG's Chinese parent company, SAIC Motor.
Using the latest common rail direct injection and a variable-rate turbocharger means that the MG6 DTi-TECH diesel has a lot of punch for its price and incorporates Stop-Start technology to improved economy by a further 5%, and Smart Charging. This is a system which saves energy by only supplying power to certain electrical components when it is actually needed.
Another factor which adds to the MG6 diesel's credentials is the addition of E-HPAS - a progressively variable power assistance feature which means that the steering is lighter at parking speeds and firmer at motorway cruising speeds.
Design and engineering development of the new MG6 DTi-TECH diesel, like the petrol versions, was carried out at the MG Birmingham site, home of SAIC's European Design and Technical Centres. Final assembly also takes place at the Birmingham factory so nobody can deny that this great marque still has some definite midlands DNA.
The diesel delivers 150ps with impressive 0-62mph time of just 8.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 120mph. Urban driving figures of 46.1mpg are extremely good, allowing the MG6 diesel to perform economically even in town and city driving, which is not normally a strong point of diesel powered cars.
The new MG DTi-TECH diesel has an impressive maximum torque figure of 350NM at 1,800rpm. The smooth torque curve through the six-speed transmission is a particular feature.
Driving this model the low end power is immediately apparent, giving the same kick-in-the-back performance that we knew and loved with the old ZB Magnette of the 1950s.
I found the petrol version of this car to be good rather than outstanding but the diesel really shines and will, I am sure, prove itself to be a milestone in really putting MG back on the world motoring map.
The chassis has been specially tuned to suit the diesel engine and the overall handling impression is of a sporty saloon that loves being driven.
Plus points are a huge boot with 498-litres to 1,379-litres capacity and neat styling.
Minus points are that even on the more upmarket TSE spec the inside features a little too much black plastic. A quick waft with the style stick and a few bits of retro wood trim would work wonders here.
All models are well equipped but the TSE top spec features leather sports seats full colour sat nav and a reverse parking aid with large display screen,
MG is now back in a big way and the diesel models point the way ahead for some exciting developments from this manufacturer.