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The 9 best MG cars of all time

We look back at nine of the brand’s greatest hits from over the past 99 years

Since its founding in 1924 by Cecil Kimber, as a sporty spin-off from Oxford’s Morris Garages, MG has led a rollercoaster existence, with some glorious highs and the occasional bitter low.

What can’t be argued is that the brand has delivered a wonderfully colourful portfolio of cars over the past century. Here we take a look at some of its most significant models of the last 100 years.

MG14/28

  • Years of production: 1924-1927
  • Price now: £60,000 (est)
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Even today, there is debate among MG fans over the origins of the brand and what can be considered its first true cars. But what is undeniable is that the 14/28 was the first to be produced in any significant volume.

Available as an open tourer (with two or four seats) and a coupé, the 14/28 established the concept of an MG as a separate entity from the Morris offering it was based on.

MGA

  • Years of production: 1955-1962
  • Price now: From £18,990

A major commercial success for the manufacturer, the MGA represented something of a new era for MG when it arrived in the mid-fifties, as was evident from its nomenclature.

On launch, the roadster’s flowing lines drew instant praise, and it was soon joined in showrooms by a hard-top coupé. Many were made for export, with the American market in particular charmed by its modern styling, technical innovations and the performance from its 72bhp, 1.5-litre engine.

MG Midget

  • Years of production: 1961-1979
  • Price now: From £2,495
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The Midget is rightly considered one of the most classic affordable sports cars of all time. More than 220,000 were sold across four generations over 18 years, which demonstrated the Midget’s enduring popularity – all the more remarkable considering there was some dissent initially from MG fans regarding its similarity to the Austin Healey Sprite, which it was based on.

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Between 1961 and 1974, it featured Austin BMC engines ranging from 46hp to 65hp, demonstrating that raw power did not hold the key to the driving pleasure it afforded.

MGB

  • Years of production: 1962-1980
  • Price now: From £5,750

The brand’s defining car? Quite possibly. The MGB started life as a roadster, with a hard-top coupé version, the GT, joining the line-up three years after launch.

More than half a million examples were sold over its lengthy production run, thanks to its appealing blend of stylish looks and an entertaining drive. These days the MGB roadster is recognised as one of Britain’s most popular sports cars ever.

MG Metro

  • Years of production: 1982-1990
  • Price now: From £5,995

The Metro, conceived as an eventual replacement for the Mini, had been on sale for two years as an Austin before a sporty MG variant was unleashed in 1982. A Turbo version followed in October that year, but arguably the most memorable MG Metro was the outrageous 6R4 rally car that was introduced in 1985.

MGF

  • Years of production: 1995-2002
  • Price now: From £1,595
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Launched to critical acclaim in the mid-nineties, and capitalising on the Mazda MX-5’s popularity, this mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive roadster was a star in its own right, with cute looks, addictive handling and a comfortable ride, thanks to its Hydragas suspension. More than 77,000 found buyers during a seven-year production run.

MG ZR/ZS/ZT

  • Years of production: 2001-2005
  • Price now: From £1,395 (ZR); £1,195 (ZS); £2,495 (ZT)
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A clever piece of badge engineering saw the Rover 25, 45 and 75 models turned into the MG ZR, ZS and ZT respectively. These were performance cars that looked great, on account of their beefy bodykits and vivid colours, and provided genuine enjoyment from behind the wheel.

The ZR, fitted with a range of engines stretching from 100bhp to 158bhp, proved a particular hit with buyers, and was the UK’s best-selling sporty hatchback for a while in the early noughties.

MG6

  • Years of production: 2011-2016
  • Price now: From £1,995

On its arrival in 2011, Auto Express was slightly underwhelmed by this hatchback, lamenting that it was not the rebirth that fans were waiting for but pointing out: “MG needs to reinvent itself as a modern brand, not a recreation of dated cars of the past”.

How prescient that statement proved to be. As time has shown, the first car launched under SAIC ownership did a good job of re-establishing MG on the public’s radar, paving the way for its current success.

MG4

  • Years of production: 2022 to present
  • Price now: From £21,799

Few cars of recent years have resonated quite so well with their target audience as the all-electric MG4 has done.

Designed to deliver zero-emissions motoring at an affordable price in a stylish package that requires no compromises, this all-electric hatch has spectacularly hit the spot, propelling the brand to major success in the sales charts and picking up a host of awards, including 2023 Car of the Year from Auto Express’s sister site DrivingElectric.

MG: the past, present and future

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