Visually the car is quite attractive, although not as contemporarily styled as some of its rivals.
Two initials, MG, stir warm memories from older drivers, and on summer roads well-preserved classics wearing the famous octagon badge are still a familiar sight. MG was once a purveyor of thoroughly British sports cars, with a brand name derived from the initials for Morris Garages. MG today is owned by a Chinese company, SAIC Motor, and makes rather mundane saloons and hatchbacks from parts manufactured in China and assembled in Britain, at Longbridge near Birmingham.
Currently the range extends to only two models, which are basically the same with differing back ends: the MG6 GT, a largish five-door family hatchback, and the MG6 Magnette, its four-door saloon sibling. There is also a third model joining the range in the autumn of 2013. It is a smaller five-door hatchback, the MG3, which is already on sale in China and available in Britain from September.
Underneath the bodywork of the MG6 GT and Magnette are some familiar underpinnings. These cars are based on the same platform that was once at the heart of the now long since defunct Rover 75. That car was a nicely proportioned if somewhat conservatively styled car, and these modern MGs retain a similar look with slightly sportier lines. The cars are offered with a choice of two engines, a 1.8 litre TCI turbocharged petrol, and 1.9 litre DTi-Tech turbodiesel. We tested the MG6 in the diesel version.
Visually the car is quite attractive, although not as contemporarily styled as some of its rivals. It is quite a lot of car for the money, though, and comes pretty well equipped with standard kit.MG6 GT prices start from £15,455 for a petrol model and £16,995 for a diesel. Magnette prices are from £15,955 with a petrol engine and diesel-powered from £17,495. Trim levels are S, SE and TSE.
The MG6 is no slouch, with a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 8.9 seconds and a 120 mph top speed. The engine has a peak power output of 148 bhp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 258 lb ft at 1,800 rpm. The combined average fuel consumption is 53.5 mpg and CO2 output is 139 g/km, putting it in band E for road tax.
The diesel engine is the newer unit of the two engines on offer in the MG6, and is teamed with a six-speed gearbox. Petrol models come equipped with an engine based on the old K-Series unit from MG Rover days, and harnessed to a five-speed gearbox. A petrol MG6 is about half a second quicker off the mark, but with an average fuel economy figure of only 37.7 mpg, and CO2 output of 184 g/km.