MG6 vs Skoda Rapid
New MG6 promises a no-nonsense blend of space and value, but is it a better option than the Skoda Rapid?
When the MG6 was first released, it’s fair to say it wasn’t exactly a sales success. But this updated 6 looks more promising, with a revised 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine claiming reduced CO2 emissions.
There’s also a new infotainment system, which means this car now has more premium rivals in its sights. Yet while the top-spec TL version we’re testing gets lots of kit, it’s still kept its knock-down price and represents strong value for money at £17,995.
However, quality was an issue with its predecessor, so has MG managed to spruce up the interior and materials to create something that’s desirable and still affordable?
To find out, we’ve pitched it against a known quantity in the form of the Skoda Rapid. When it came on the market in 2012, the big hatchback served up the manufacturer’s typical formula: a refined, spacious interior and impressive value.
But three years on, with the recipe unchanged, is this still enough to beat off the cheaper and better-equipped competition?
Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which comes out on top...
The Rapid features Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ touches as standard, including an ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap, a reversible boot floor, a parking ticket holder on the windscreen and a handy storage tray under the front seat. They’re small, but thoughtful features that’ll make the car easier to live with than the MG6.
Space vs style
Neither of these cars is a design icon, but they offer inoffensive looks to go with their family friendly practicality. While the Skoda is larger inside, the MG6 is arguably that bit more svelte in styling terms. As ever, personal choice is likely to play a major part in your buying decision.
Cars like these will find favour with business users thanks to low CO2 emissions, but tech will be important, too. Here the MG scores higher with its impressive standard features – however, the poor execution and integration inside take the shine off things.
1st place: Skoda Rapid
Neither car majors on style or enjoyment, but it’s the more efficient, more practical Rapid that wins here. While it’s not as cheap to buy and doesn’t feature as much kit, the Skoda’s running costs will offset the difference in price over three years, with stronger residuals, cheaper insurance, lower CO2 and higher mpg. Plus, the bigger boot, roomier cabin and better drive give it an edge over the MG.
2nd place: MG6
There’s no doubt the changes to this new MG6 have resulted in a better car. It’s more efficient, boasts lots of equipment and is seriously well priced. But its bigger engine doesn’t give it a real performance advantage and it can’t match the Rapid dynamically, either. And where it really counts in this class – CO2 and space – the MG sits in the Skoda’s shadow.
Other options in this category
Kia Cee’d SW ‘2’ 1.6 CRDi
Price: £19,000 (est.) Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 108bhp
Kia has updated its practical Cee’d family car, so there’s now more efficiency and tech on offer. You’ll have to go for this Sportswagon estate model to match the MG or Skoda’s practicality in terms of boot space, but price, quality and performance are on par.
SEAT Toledo 1.6 TDI Style
Price: £18,800 Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 113bhp
Using the same engine and chassis as the Rapid, the SEAT Toledo is just as practical, but costlier at £18,800. However, this Style model is better equipped than the Skoda, as it comes with sat-nav, DAB, Bluetooth and cruise control.
|Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI SE||MG6 DTi-Tech TL|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£18,135/£18,670||£17,995/£17,995|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£7,675/42.3%||£5,724/31.8%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£687/£1,374||£753/£1,507|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,178/£1,964||£1,207/£2,011|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||17/£479/E/£20||17/£493/E/£30|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£479 (3yrs/30,000)||£148/£238/£148|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,596cc||4cyl in-line/1,849cc|
|Peak power||113/3,500 bhp/rpm||148/4,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||250/1,500 Nm/rpm||350/1,800 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||5-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||55 litres/repair kit||62 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||550/1,490 litres||498/1,379 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||10.2 metres/N/A||11.5 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/135||15,000 (1yr)/46|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||3rd/7th||4th/20th|
|NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/stars||94/80/69/71/5 (2012)||73/71/42/71/4 (2011)|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.3/8.8 secs||9.7/8.9 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||4.0/7.5 secs||3.9/5.6 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||9.1 secs/N/A||6.6/10.5 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||125mph/2,000rpm||120mph/1,800rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||79/54/68/75dB||75/53/67/73dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||51.0/11.3/617 miles||49.8/10.4/679 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||148/109g/km/19%||152/119g/km/21%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||No/yes/yes||No/yes/yes|
|Clim control/leather/heated seats||£440/no/£250||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£535/£500/£340||Yes/yes/no|