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

THE rebirth of MG is still something of a work in progress, though this year is a big one for the Birmingham brand with the launch of its first SUV.

The GS, due to be launched in June, is likely to be a hit for the firm - just like the MG3 supermini which recently helped see MG become the fastest growing car maker in the UK.

Whether the car which kick-started MG's rebirth under SAIC - the MG6 - will be confined to ugly sister status in this ongoing evolution remains to be seen.

There's no doubting there isn't as much love for the 6 as there is for the 3, which hasn't quite hit the spot in the same way.

Originally launched in hatchback and saloon versions it was for a long time playing catch-up with its competitors as there was only a petrol engine offered and no diesel.

Its plain Jane design blueprint also didn't do it any favours and some would argue it didn't really reflect the true spirit of MG, a car maker whose history is steeped in providing affordable sports cars that attract a loyal and die-hard following.

However, despite its drawbacks the 6 has always had a lot going for it.

A little like the Skoda Octavia it's a car that doesn't sit in a conventional classification, occupying a kind of hinterland between a family hatchback and a compact executive saloon.

As such it's always been a roomy, practical and versatile motor that in truth also offers a decent drive.

There were a few irritating niggles at first, such as shortcomings with instrumentation and switchgear and a handbrake that looked woefully out of place.

About a year ago the MG6 had a heavy facelift which did much to improve it.

First off a few styling tweaks and tucks made its design considerably more appealing and an interior makeover upped the quality stakes considerably.

The saloon Magnette version was also ditched in favour of the hatchback, there were engineering enhancements and the only engine option became a 1.8-litre diesel.

However, perhaps the biggest change of all was a substantial price cut which saw the MG6 become available for the cost of a modestly-priced family hatchback.

When I say substantial we're talking several thousand pounds here - so now an entry-level S model will cost you just £13,995.

The thinking was presumably to make the MG6 too good to refuse in price terms and with the offer of a diesel engine for the price one might normally pay for a Ford, Vauxhall or Skoda petrol alternative.

This model was a more generously equipped mid-range TS model, still a relative snip price-wise when you consider what you're getting for your money.

The enhanced exterior looks better, even if the changes are subtle rather than revolutionary and the interior has a real premium feel.

The MG6 continues to be spacious and comfortable and above all it also still offers an enjoyable drive, those engineering enhancements boosting the driving dynamics subtly rather than dramatically.

It's in this regard that you could argue it's a worthy wearer of that MG badge

Never lacking, the 6's performance has been enhanced too and it will complete the 0-60mph sprint around half a second quicker than its predecessor.

At the same time fuel economy is even better, emissions have been reduced and equipment levels are more than generous.




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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