MG6, front
MG6, front
MG6, rear
MG6, rear
MG6, interior
MG6, interior

IN terms of market share and total sales MG are still dealing in small numbers in the UK - but they have come a long way in a relatively short time.

And there are plenty of signs that the once great British marque is heading in the right direction once more under its Chinese ownership.

The brand was the fastest growing car maker in the country sales-wise in 2014 and also has the most rapidly expanding dealer network.

That's not bad given the fact that the MG6 was the only model it has had for almost half of its resurrected life, which started in 2011.

The recently upgraded MG3 was added to the stable a couple of years later and gave sales a real shot in the arm and an SUV, the MG GS, is set to arrive on these shores next year.

To maintain its upward momentum, though, MG needs to show that its products are developing - so giving the MG6 a facelift this year was definitely a good idea.

The range has been stripped back and simplified - with two body styles becoming one and just one power pack on offer in three trim levels.

The Magnette saloon is consigned to history as MG decide to put all their eggs in the more practical hatchback basket and significant changes to front and rear ends have sharpened up what, actually, was never a bad looking car.

Inexplicably it took the company more than a year to get a diesel engine into the original MG6, thereby boosting its appeal to the high-mileage and business users which dominate its market segment, but now the only option is diesel power.

A single 148bhp, 1.9-litre unit is used for all three versions - but it does offer some decent performance, shifting this sizeable motor from standstill to 60mph in a spritely 8.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 120mph.

Pace comes effortlessly from the low end right up to motorway speeds with power delivered smoothly and promptly thanks to a sharp throttle response. Cruising comes easily to the MG6 and you can overtake with confidence too.

Around town things are also quite as smooth but the the automatic start/stop system is a little temperamental, a problem which is exacerbated by the fiddly ignition system, which is neither key nor push-button but a strange hybrid of both, and the fact that you have to be in neutral to start it.

Once on the move though, the driving experience is enjoyable without offering real thrills and spills.

Steering is accurate and responsive, the handling nimble and grip assured. The ride can be a little firm but stays on the right side of comfortable for the most part.

Although not yet at the same level as more established rivals, cabin quality has improved considerably.

There is still more scratchy plastic on show than is ideal but there are also many moresoft-touch surfaces - particularly across the dashboard and on the insides of the doors.

The dash does have a slightly basic, utilitarian feel but there are signs that the Chinese are trying to appeal more to western markets in the increased technology on show.

The previous clumsily-designed handbrake is replaced even on entry-level S models by a bang-up-to-date electric parking brake which releases automatically when you move off.

Heated front seats are also standard across the range while stepping up to TS grade also gets you rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system with a modern and easy-to-use app-based interface.

Space was never an issue with the MG6 and that remains unchanged. There is plenty of room for five adults with good personal storage and a large boot.

Fuel economy, previously a weakness, has also improved to a competitive 61 miles per gallon on average.

But what will really make the MG6 an attractive proposition for many is the price.

The range-topping TL I drove comes in at less than £18,000 and also boasts leather upholstery, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control and electric seats.



Price: £17,995

Mechanical:148bhp, 1,849cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:120mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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