Despite the fanfare surrounding MG’s recent resurrection, the reborn firm’s products have had to tough it out in the market with longer established and more polished rival choices. MG knew it had a battle on its hands, but its mid-size MG6 model delivered a surprisingly convincing package of performance, space and style. Surprisingly, at least if you were one of MG’s many cynics.
Still, the MG6 wasn’t perfect. However, MG has listened to feedback from buyers and the media and this thoroughly refreshed second-gen car is the result. The exterior changes might be subtle – a modest nose and tail update – but cabin quality, driving dynamics, engine and kit levels have all been improved. Furthermore, prices have dropped and trim levels simplified.
In five-door hatchback guise the MG6 was always a handsome beast. The exterior revisions, although modest, have done much to boost the car’s kerb appeal. The same is true of the car’s cabin, which boasts improved quality materials throughout plus an improved infotainment system on higher trim levels. The result is a more rounded and competent package, and one that should silence the MG naysayers.
By default the MG6’s hatchback layout offers a good level of cabin space and versatility when carrying large loads. At the rear the tailgate opens nice and high, and the interior boasts ample room for five. Fold the rear seats and the car’s carrying capacity increases to a useful compact estate-rivalling level.
There was very little wrong with the first-gen MG6 but that didn’t stop the engineers from embarking on a programme of improvements. It’s a one engine range now, with the firm’s 1.9-litre diesel the sole power source. It’s now more responsive and economical, while the basic driving experience has benefited from a 75kg weight loss programme.
In use the 148bhp diesel is a willing performer, while engine noise has been kept to a pleasing minimum. The MG6 was always a decent steer and this remains the case. Refinement levels in the cabin are impressive, and the driving position is comfortable and delivers good levels of all-round visibility.
The combination of a meaningful price cut and the ramping up of standard kit levels should do much to entice buyers who were less than convinced first time around. The simplified three model line-up offers good value for money, with middle and top grades gaining plenty of kit — sat-nav, high power headlights, DAB, Bluetooth and the like. Furthermore, running costs are likely to be modest thanks to the diesel motor’s economy and modest CO2 rating.
Anyone seeking a mid-size car for not a lot of money should take a serious look at this revised MG6. Brand loyalists won’t need convincing but others should now see the car for what it really is: a handsome-looking five-door hatch boasting high levels of kit, an engaging driving experience, ample space and decent performance and economy.
Engine: 1.9-litre diesel unit producing 148bhp
Transmission: 6-speed manual driving the front wheels
Performance: Top speed 120mph, 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds
Economy: 61.4mpg combined
Emissions: 119g/km of CO2