MG6 GT TL

MG6, badge, front static
MG6, badge, side static 2
MG6, badge, side static
MG6, badge, dashboard

YOU expect Ferrari owners to love their cars. Ditto the cute little Fiat 500, or a multitude of MINI drivers.

But what about a bargain basement motor made mostly in China and a long way from the dream machine for lot of people who make a modest living writing about cars?

The MG6, larger of the two MG badged models sold in the UK and fettled in detail in the old Mini plant in Birmingham, is not on many younger drivers' wish lists for their daily wheels.

Indeed, lots of them turn sniffy at the very thought. Not enough like a Lamborghini, you see.

Not that they have enough in the bank to own at Italian stallion, of course. Or a new MG6, for all that, even with a starting price of £13,995. The seven year old Peugeot will have to do for a few months more.

But ask the people who put down their own hard-earned for an MG6 and you find a bunch of drivers who reckon the full five stars is barely sufficient to show their enthusiasm for the car.

Yep, while the pros give the MG6 a miserable one star the punters pull out all the stops. They love the way the car looks, relish the low price tag and reckon it's not bad to drive either.

And they positively drool over the amount of gear that MG throws into the mix.

Like the lively little MG3 runaround, its big brother MG6 has no-haggle prices but with the cheapest model in the three car line up costing just £13,995 there shouldn't be many potential customers who don't regard it as a bit of a bargain anyway.

They'll be getting an S grade car with air con, hill start assist (it hangs on to the brakes for a moment after you release the pedal on a slope) and even heated front seats and an engine that provides enough performance and an impressive 53mpg during its week of testing.

Moving to the £16,195 TS brings satellite navigation (a new system that works well), along with Bluetooth and a DAB radio, auto lights, wipers and dimming mirror and rear parking sensors.

That's surely the version to go for if you can possibly afford the extra monthly payments, although the range topping TL (£17,955) does add a touch of modest luxury, with leather trim, electric seats, dual zone climate control and a rear parking camera.

Yes, the MG6 doesn't go quite as well as lots of other cars with similar sized engines, but it's close enough to make the price saving more of a proposition than performance.

In fact, the diesel engine never intrudes and has enough low down pulling power to make town driving a more relaxed experience than plenty of other cars provide.

The plastics you find inside the spacious cabin are low rent compared to most of the opposition and switches don't work with the clicky precision of a VW and the trip computer is fiddly and the readouts tiny.

FAST FACTS

MG6 GT TL

Price: £17,995

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,796cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 60.7

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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