MG6 1.8 TSE

14 Mar, 2011 6:59pm Nick Gibbs

The Chinese are coming! We are first behind the wheel of new '6' from reborn MG.

Verdict

3
Sweet road manners and good looks will attract fans of the old MG Z-models, while space, price and equipment widens the appeal to buyers less interested in the colourful history of this car's badge. But while this is certainly a good effort, it’s far from perfect: some of the plastics look cheap and unappealing and much of the switchgear is below par for a car sold outside China. The solitary 1.8 turbo engine offers decent performance - but it’ll be next year’s diesel that will really wake the market for the MG6.

MG the sequel starts here! We’ve driven Chinese-spec versions of the new MG6, but now, as the hatchback goes on sale for the first time in the UK, we get behind the wheel of the car that’s about to hit the firm’s 38 dealers.

Priced from £15,495, the five-door looks terrific value. In size it sits between the Vauxhall Astra and Insignia, with the entry S costing less than the second-cheapest Astra. However the boot at 498 litres measures closer to that of the Insignia hatch.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the MG6

Powering the car is a 1.8-litre turbo making 158bhp, which serves as the only engine choice among the three trim levels. A 1.9-litre diesel is due next year and there’s a 2.0-litre turbo in the pipeline, but for now the 1.8 does a okay job.

The 0-60mph sprint is a fairly brisk 8.4 seconds and the turbo is  unobtrusive. However the engine can get raucous when its working hard, which you need to do to make the 6 feel fast. There’s also no sixth in the otherwise satisfying gearbox to bring the revs down for economy motorway driving.

Our trip computer read 34.8mpg after 30 miles on the m'way, which is almost bang on the official combined consumption of 35.6mpg. That’s high for today’s family hatchbacks, even petrol turbo versions, and the resulting 184g/km won’t appeal to company car drivers.

Better on cost is the low 13/14 insurance rating (out of 50) and the high levels of standard equipment. All trim levels come with air con, electric windows and stereo with USB connectivity, while the SE at £16,995 ads sat nat, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity. For another £2,000, the TSE adds rear parking camera and leather seats, as well as 18in alloys in place of 17s.

The interior quality is a lot better than the early versions we drove. The top half of the dash is cloaked in soft-touch rubbersised plastic that matches the best of the French (if not the Germans). But lower down it’s too still shiny, while the fit and feel of the buttons is only 80 percent of the European average. Nothing's flimsy exactly, but it's not chunky to operate.

Much better is the handling and steering. The British chassis engineers said they benchmarked sportier versions of the Ford Focus (ie Zetec S) and they pretty much hit the target. The car turns in sharply, with a good weight to the steering. And although firm, the ride isn’t harsh.

Now MG has addressed the worst of the interior problems, the 6 is a contender thanks to price, equipment, space and handling. It also looks attractive from all angles. The build quality still lags behind its rivals, but in the main, MG fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Disqus - noscript

So you were first behind the wheel? What about the preview in Autocar 6 months ago?

Hi,

Thanks for your comment. The car that Autocar drove was a pre-production model. This is the first time any journalists have had the chance to drive the full production version of the car.

Thanks

Tom
AE

First behind the wheel of the UK spec cars, along with AutoCar, MG Car Club, Top Gear, What Car?, Carfeed etc etc etc... I guess it means the first time any media has had a chance to drive it.... hope it lived up to expectations.
Looking forward to driving one myself soon.

will there be a Diesel version??

Just seen that there is muuhahahhahhaaaa

Cheerful but not cheap.
Awkward design.
plasticky.

l LOOKS THE SAME BODY TO ME WITH A FEW UPGRADES

Looks cheap, nasty and dated.

But, is it up to the standards set by British Leyland when they were making MG's ?

Whoever designed that must have been a pork butcher! Quite frankly it is what it is - a mess! In comparison and side by side the humble Skoda models look like Bentleys!

Its a big shame for such a marque with a great past and William Morris would be revolving in his grave if he could see this. Cannot even say nice try! Game over!

Let's face it, if that car had a continental badge on the front then everyone would like it. It's not even on the road and some plebs re critisising it.
I'm test driving it round a track next week and if it's as good as it looks, then MG will have one of it's first orders.
I can't wait for the other new models to come along...

Will it live up to MG standards of shoddy build quality well that almost impossible in modern factories.MG die hards wont know what to do with all their spare time at weekends,no more head under the bonnet or tubs of body filler and trip to halfrauds on a sunday.This mass produced chinese car will probably be reliable and ok to drive and a rare site on the road.Lets hope they bring out a sporty variation as MG is a sporty brand,if they can bring out a 250+bhp version then it might be interesting.Amazing what people will buy if you stick a big old shiney badge on it.

This business of companies buying dead and dying nostalgic names (like Bugatti and MG) is ridiculous. The new vehicles are no more the "real deal" than a Tornado is a Sopwith Camel. I'm sorry that MG is gone; but, it is. Let's move on.

What about other sites who say THEY are the first to drive the UK road ready version?
Hmmmm, who to believe. AE with a history of lies and "exclusive" this, and "worlds first" that, or other, honest sites.
Tough choice that.
A quick Google shows many other people have driven it.

I have no idea why I keep coming back here. I suppose I must inwardly like what AE try to get away with claiming. It makes me laugh.

Having seen one of these with my own eyes now, I have to say that it has real street presence. The aggressive grill sets the scene and I agree with AE, it looks really good from any angle. My one minor gripe is the fussy look to the lower, rear bumper due to poorly executed design of the reflectors and high level brake light. The front bumper suffers somewhat from a similar problem due to a poor choice of driving lamp design, but it's not quite as bad as the rear. Besides, all these little niggles will be fixed when the first facelift is due and the signs are very promising for this attractive car.

Aparrently handles as well as one too and is about £4k cheaper to buy with a better standard equipement list. So what's the problem? Well some people just like to bitch for the sake of it and I doubt MG Motors will care, these people never bought one before, and never will so no loss. SAIC will sell these elsewhere in the world by the bucket load. I'd like to see the car in the flesh and drive one. Until then I'll reserve judgement!

Please tell me this isn't the same 1.8 litre MG engine that sprays its coolant through the head gasket???

This Car is a joke, there's nothing remotely MG, or even British about it. The Focus, Astra & Golf are 2 classes above, even Kia & Hyundai will give it a hard time.... MG became famous for building affordable sports cars, BL/Austin Rover devalued the brand when they stuck MG badges on Metros & Montego's, this is worse than that, as the cars fall massively behind the competition, the MG brand has been raped & humilliated & should now be put to sleep, not portrayed as 4th rate Chinese cars...

Remember Skoda jokes? Who's laughing now, eh?

The petrol engine uses far to much petrol for todays standards, the emmissions are far to high for any one to consider it. The technolgy looks like its from 1997 when the MGF was in production.

it will sell..

This Car is a joke, there's nothing remotely MG, or even British about it....really? So being enginnered, design and built here, road tested here for our roads by British engineers means it's not remotely British? How do you figure that. Logic would dictate that until you drive this car and see one in the flesh you should reserve judgement. However due to your complete attention to the detail to your arguement I would guess you'd decided to hate before details came out.

I will be test driving one tomorrow. If it's crap you'll have my unbiased opinion about why I came to that conclusion, if it's a good or great car, I'll give my reasons for that too. Until then I cannot give a balanced arguement and therefore Chris neither should you.

I may be wrong but I think this cars main rival is should be the Skoda Octavia with the same sort of size and shape "In size it sits between the Vauxhall Astra and Insignia" but I am sure it will fall short of the Skoda never mind A BMW 3 series (which the interior closely resembles) however it might have the power to surprise.

Hi ,having owned an MGZS 120 from new (2003) I was really looking forward to my test drive in the new MG6 ,however as great an MG enthusiast as I am ,I have to say that the new MG was very disappointing. To start with the it just did not seem very responsive whether this was due to Turbo lag I do not know , road noise was very intrusive, rear vision very restricted due to the sharp angle of the rear window, rear passenger visibility via the side windows restricted due to the high sill height. I felt that the interior was a bit bland and uninspiring
On the plus side ,the gearbox was very easy to use,and the suspension ride has been improved . So to sum up ,I was glad to get back behind the wheel of my old car , it may have its faults ,such as a very hard ride etc ,but it IS much more fun to drive !!
The new MG is just too boring ,its been sanitized and just feels like any other mid sized hatch back

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/c...

Hi ,having owned an MGZS 120 from new (2003) I was really looking forward to my test drive in the new MG6 ,however as great an MG enthusiast as I am ,I have to say that the new MG was very disappointing. To start with the it just did not seem very responsive whether this was due to Turbo lag I do not know , road noise was very intrusive, rear vision very restricted due to the sharp angle of the rear window, rear passenger visibility via the side windows restricted due to the high sill height. I felt that the interior was a bit bland and uninspiring
On the plus side ,the gearbox was very easy to use,and the suspension ride has been improved . So to sum up ,I was glad to get back behind the wheel of my old car , it may have its faults ,such as a very hard ride etc ,but it IS much more fun to drive !!
The new MG is just too boring ,its been sanitized and just feels like any other mid sized hatch back

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/c...

..I like it

Have you actually driven it though??

Great effort from MG!

Key specs

* Price: £18,995
* Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl turbo
* Power: 158bhp
* Torque: 215Nm
* 0-62mph: 8.4. seconds
* Top speed: 120mph (limited)
* Economy: 35.6mpg
* CO2: 184g/km
* Equipment: Foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, USB connection, air-conditioning, four airbags, electric windows, rear parking camera, sat nav
* On sale: Now

Auto Express 1,343
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links