New MG6 2015 review

8 Apr, 2015 12:15pm James Batchelor

The refreshed MG6 looks a far better bet at its new lower price point


The MG6 never really offered much to warrant consideration in the past, but this refresh has improved the car’s desirability. Small but important changes have been made meaning it’s nicer to live with, and thanks to a £3,000 price cut, cheaper too. It won’t make much of a dent into Focus and Astra sales but will more than likely improve MG’s fortunes in the UK.

The MG6 was the car tasked with presenting the new face of MG to UK buyers in 2011, but it was always up against it. It was only available with an uneconomical and costly to tax turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet, a cabin made with iffy plastics and there were only a handful of dealers to sell it – it’s remarkable that it sold any at all. 

Four years on though, and the tide could be turning. A more youth-orientated MG3 supermini appeared in 2013, and it hope to have 80 dealers signed up by the end of 2015, including a shiny new flagship store in Piccadilly Circus. There’s even a new range of SUVs planned to roll out of MG’s Longbridge factory in the next few years. But before all that MG has given its MG6 a much-needed overhaul and Auto Express has got behind the wheel to see if the car finally makes a tempting choice.

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Most importantly MG has repositioned the 6 so that it now takes on the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra rather than larger cars like the Mondeo. It benefits from a healthy price cut with the entry-level car now wearing a no-discount £13,995 price tag – that’s £3,000 less than the old car. The range has been simplified too – the petrol has been dropped, meaning a 1.9-litre turbodiesel is the only option, while the awkward-looking Magnette saloon has also been axed leaving just the five-door hatch. Along with the price cut, the line-up has been rebadged so now there’s S, TS (with sat-nav as standard) and TL (which adds leather trim).

MG has tweaked the 148bhp 1.9-litre diesel meaning it gets to 60mph in 8.4 seconds (0.5 seconds quicker), combined fuel consumption has been bumped up from 57.6mpg to 61.4mpg, while CO2 emission have been cut 10g/km to 119g/km meaning a year’s road tax now costs £30 instead of £110. MG’s engineers have also dialed back the suspension giving a more comfortable ride and there’s a new six-speed gearbox that is far more precise and satisfying to use.
The MG6 has always been more focused on fun that comfort, but even so it falls a little short of the Focus for handling That said, it’s more involving to drive that a Kia Cee’d or even the Vauxhall Astra. Attack a country bend and the MG6 feels agile and responsive, with only the heavy diesel engine promoting a bit of understeer during hard cornering, and the worst kind of potholes thumping through the cabin. MG would do well to take a look at insulating the driver more from the diesel’s clatter at high revs, and adding more feel to the steering – it has a strange characteristic of never weighting-up through corners.

MG’s Birmingham-based design studio has given the 6 a fairly major cosmetic refresh, too. There’s a new front bumper with LED day-running lights, a neater grille and new headlights that on top models also ‘bend’ around corners. Top-spec TL models get an extra chrome strip along the lower edge of the window line, while at the rear, there’s a more sharply styled rear bumper and LED rear lights. It’s a successful refresh but we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it looks better or not.
Inside, there’s a welcome upgrade of the infotainment system – it’s now a seven-inch touchscreen unit with a far more intuitive sat-nav system and Mirrorlink. Sadly, the screen still looks too small for the space it sits in, the interior’s quality is still patchy in places and the controls on the steering wheel are still fiddly to use. The unorthodox handbrake with its release button under the lever has gone and has been replaced by an electronic one – and there’s plenty of kit – our top-spec car came with electrically adjustable and heated leather seats, directional headlights, dual-zone climate control and a rear parking camera. 

That may not sound anything special these days but the important bit is how much MG is charging for the top-drawer TL. At just £17,995 an equivalent Vauxhall Astra would cost around £6,000 more and with a 472- litre boot (that grows to 1,268 litres with the back seats folded) is more than 150 litres larger than a Focus’s.
Overall then, MG’s overhaul of its slow-selling 6 has largely been a success as a larger number of gripes have been remedied and the price cut means it represents tremendous value for money. While in the past the MG6 has just scraped a three-star rating, it now deserves a strong three stars as offers a strong case for consideration for those wanting a practical hatchback that doesn’t break the bank to buy. 

Disqus - noscript

I'm really quite confused. It rides well, is quick, reasonably efficient and fairly clean, is comfortable and has a big boot - Oh, and it's very well specced and cheap. I see so clearly now why it would only get 3 stars....?

Performance for the Petrol 1.8 is 8.4 seconds, half a second quicker than the diesel.

Official economy figures for the petrol are 37.7mpg & 174g/km.

This inacuracy is why i stopped my subscription to Autoexpress!

typical auto express verdict,if it was german in origin, 4 stars, because its british only 3!!

It doesn't have a BMW badge on it

or VW.

"However, things do get noisy towards the top of the rev range when you’re driving around town."

Why would you be using the top of the rev range whilst driving around town?

wonder if this means they'll build more than single figures at Longbridge this month? Interesting they have dropped the HPAS now, probably for package as much as emissions.

Pavolski, 3 stars is par for me. Sounds about right. Its good, but nowhere near class leading. You cannot just give every car 4/5 stars...

I have yet to see this car on the roads!
Looks as though it was designed on the back of a fag packet...

I believe British Magazines and many more media besides or very even county authorities and councils etc are very much German product biased or even besotted!

Why beats me - I have lived in Düsseldorf for around 30 years or more and can cite numerous German complete screw ups on projects at the drop of the proverbial hat!

A very current one being the disastrous EURO which started off completely unprepared and unplanned and not even well thought through! Its becoming more and more of a disaster. Poor inept Merkel and the German tax payer are pouring bilions into into this sinking ship EURO! And its slip slowly and steadilly sinking!

EADS the German French defence aerospace company is another and they were set up to stitch up poor British Aerospace in the merger propsed by Endfers and Co! It did not work and BA were saved after a very close shave!

BER the Berlin Capital City Prestige Premium airport is a disaster! Look it up on Google - its about nearly 24 months since its first official opening and date! this has long past and has been continually postponed last dates were spring and then autumn 2012 then it was spring 2013 and now its autumn 2013! Great German precision planning and organisation??

Latest is that some of the new BER Airport buildings will now have to be demolished and rebuilt!

On car its a siumilar story and you only have to follow the path of Schrempp at Daimler Benz which he succesfully nearly ran into the ground and literally halved its total stock exchange share value! Great German Planning?

So please give MG Motors in Longbridge something of a level playing field and a fair chance! Remember they are slowly but surely picking up the pieces left scattered on that desolate site where BMW and shady Britons more or less ran a great British Heritage left by Willian Morris and Herbert Austin completely into the ground!

On this theme why do British police usually go for either foreign built BMWs or Volvos? This official blind stupidity costs British jobs and so pays less taxes in our finances from which their salaries and flashy cars are payed!

Why does Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and Yorkshire not drive Nissan Qashgais and Derbyshire and Lancashire not drive Toyota police cars?

Why does vthe NHS etc use Mercedes Sprinters more less to 85% and not Ford Transit of LCV in Birmingham? Must we buy expensive German products and so sacrifice more Britsh jobs?

It cannot be price and certainly not reliability so I assume its kick backs and financial lobbying of British decsion makers!

Why do we not stand up and say enough is enough!

Its bad enough paying billions each year into the EUSSR in Brussels!

British jobs and so
pays less taxes in our finances from which their salaries and flashy
cars are payed!

Why does Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and
Yorkshire not drive Nissan Qashgais and Derbyshire and Lancashire not
drive Toyota police cars?

Why does vthe NHS etc use Mercedes
Sprinters more less to 85% and not Ford Transit of LCV in Birmingham?
Must we buy expensive German products and so sacrifice more Britsh jobs?

It cannot be price and certainly not reliability so I assume its kick backs and financial lobbying of British decsion makers!

Why do we not stand up and say enough is enough!

Its bad enough paying billions each year into the EUSSR in Brussels!

Agree they cannot all get 5 stars but then the media is German besotted generally!

Put a BMW Sign or Mercedes Star on a horse and cart and it would get a generous 4 stars in the UK!

I agree completely! Why do we buy foreigh policar cars and ambulances here in the UK?

It certainly does NOT happen either in France or Germany so something is wrong here!

Stop this German worshipping - look where its getting the EU! - and lets have correct fair official tenders and have the official orders carfefull scrutinied!

And the official specifyers and buyers!

davidj: And finally on the the datasheet 8.9 sec is indicated for the diesel. So, is 8.9 a half second quicker than 8.9? Perhaps they wanted to say that the diesel 0-62 time is actually half a second slower that the petrol car. It is really nice to try to figure out what a journalist wants to say. :-)

To those asking why we don't use Ford Transit ambulances- umm? Well whats British about them? Ford of Europe is a defacto German car company, and btw Transits are built in Turkey- have been for years.

So you are all going to buy one then?

Please, please, please, please, please, MG. Build a front engined, rear wheel driven sports car!!! Mazda have had it all their own way for 20 years!! I know the bully boys at BMW wanted their Z cars to reign supreme and prevented development, but the nasty Germans have gone now. Take over from where TVR left off. But with better build quality, obviously, and you'll be on a winner.

Its actually chinese, not British. It also looks like a boring Proton Gen.2. Give me the quality Skoda over this heap anyday.

Oh get off your high horse - Britain isn't great and never has been, it's a blot in the ocean. The UK buys cars from German manufacture because they are built better and far more reliable than anything built in Britain, and come cheaper too. And the French do buy non-French cars for Police use. The Ford police cars are always in the workshops, whereas the Skoda ones are only ever in for routine servicing. Same with the ambulances - the Vauxhall first responders are crap compared to all the Octavia Scouts.And yes, I know, Fords and Vauxhalls aren't built in Britain either but are so-called British makes. I'm British, but certainly not proud of the fact. having lived abroad in France, you dont get the granny-bashing yobs hanging around in the villages and towns every night like you do here, nor do you get all the drunken violence every weekend, or the football hooligan behaviour of chav ridden britain.

The FWD Golf?

It was actually developed from the then advanced design Morris ADO16!


I was with NEL/BMC then in those days when the old VW Beetle with rear air cooled engine was running out of steam and sales and Wolfsburg deperately need new design replacements!

So they tried to "discreetly" buy ADO16s and in fact purchased about 20 from various dealers in Germany and Switzerland for trials and detailed evaluation!

Dealers of course reported this back to their Importers!

Wolfsburg then developed a double strategy of new moden VW
Its successors the Type 3, Type 4, and the NSU-based K70 were all less successful than the Beetle!

This led to a VW finance crisis in the early 70s!

b) Early 70s VW were looking at a further developement of an FWD ADO 16 but with different bodywork!

There were several designs favourde - mostly terrible - go to Wolfsburg and see them!

In the end a non German design was chosen! Giugiaros - and that was the Golf I - Thank you Issigonis and BMC!

Problem is with the SAIC common design and production tooling at hand this would mean completely new designs and tooling!

Plus this type of car whilst popular in the sporting media etc is not exactly a high volume seller in major world markets!

SAIC? In fact they build both AUDI, VW and GM vehicles and OEM Components for the Chinese motor industry. Not exactly beginners!

MGs step by step strategy to obtain a market share in initially the UK with proven and payed for components seems to me the most sensible course if not dramatic then businesswise sound in these volatile economic times!!

Oh oh! Touched a nerve?

Sound like all is really great now in France with Hollande and the Unions?

Its probably the great organisation they have there and the patriotic French spirit in the banlieues?

It must be something in the air in France that causes problems with Ford police vehicles?

In Germany there is no reliabilty problem with either Ford or OPEL vehicles either in city use or with the Autobahn Police.

Contrary to the given opinion - British built Nissan, Toyota and Honda cars are both extremely reliable and good export vehicles with good demand.

Jaguar and Landrover are even better and are actually expanding and working several shifts per day at a time when Renault - Citroen and PSA & Co with their various plants in France are not doing too well to put it politely.

Even cooperating now with GM OPEL to reduce their costs and increase efficiency in fact.


I stand corrected! Although that wasn't the point I was getting at, I should have said I'd prefer a five year old Renault Megane Diesel.

Thanks for the info though, and I like the story, I now want to go to Wolfsburg! Issigonis and Giugiaro were both legends in automotive design, I just don't see where the MG6 fits in to all this.

German cars are so over rated. I have a '11 Mini Cooper S and a '08 Honda CRV and my Mini have gone to the dealership twice to replace the radio. Our CRV only goes to the dealership for service and have been trouble free. I am seriously thinking getting rid of the mini once the free service expires and get another Honda or maybe a Subaru.

"reasonably", "fairly" - synonyms for average. The interior is dull compared to the now quite desirable offerings from Kia and Hyundai. Take a look at 4 star and 5 star cars and it's easy to see why 3 stars is being "fairly" generous ;-)
It's not anywhere near good enough to be wearing an MG badge.
I don't think it's anti-British or pro-German. Jaguar XF anyone?

Looks really good. I'd like to try the diesel...

Realistic fuel consumption figures. Anyone who quotes 70ish mpg for cars of this size either drive like Doris or else are descendants of Baron Munchausen.

The problem is that some of the Roewe versions actually have nicer styling and interiors!

I think you mean LDV who closed a few years ago and Transits haven't been built here for years either. (though I wholly agree with your sentiment!)

I sold German cars for years and whilst they are technologically advanced and superficially lovely the reliability is shocking. Smart buys now are South Korean.

I guess that depends on whether design and engineering mean anything to you or not.

Still, complements on your English.

Key specs

  • Price: £17,995
  • Engine: 1.9-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power/torque: 148bhp/350Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 8.4s
  • Top speed: 120mph
  • Economy: 61.4mpg
  • CO2: 119g/km
  • On sale: Now