“The MG6 represents decent value for money, but running costs are high and quality isn’t up to the standards of the class.”
As the first MG to be produced under the company's Chinese ownership, the MG6 has a great deal to prove. Thankfully, the handling is agile and there's plenty on offer for keen drivers. The car comes generously equipped as standard, too – it's just a shame that the interior quality isn’t quite up to the standard offered by its rivals. Plus, there are only two engines to choose from: a 1.8-litre petrol turbo or a 1.9-litre turbo diesel, which is the one to go for.
There are only two engines available for the MG6: a 1.8-litre petrol turbo that delivers 158bhp, and a 1.9-litre turbodiesel that produces 148bhp. The petrol engine is smooth and takes the car from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, although at high revs it can get a bit noisy. The diesel is also fairly powerful and responsive, with a sixth gear to keep the revs low at speed. In corners, the 6 performs well, changing direction quickly with very little body roll. The steering is direct and nicely weighted.
Engineers have tried to strike a fine balance between comfort and handling, but the 6 could do with being slightly less stiff. That's not to say the ride is bad; drivers just may prefer a softer set-up over long distances. Wind and road noise are generally well contained – not class-leading, but not far off. Engine noise at motorway speeds isn’t noticeable when the diesel is in sixth gear, but petrol owners - who don't get a sixth gear - have to live with some extra noise.
It's hard to say at the moment how reliable the MG6 will be, but a three-year/60,000-mile warranty should provide peace of mind. In Chinese safety tests, the car received a full five stars. However, in the much more stringent Euro NCAP crash tests, it was awarded only four stars, although it does come equipped with ABS, ESP and side, front and passenger airbags as standard.
The boot is huge, at 458 litres. Rivals like the Vauxhall Astra generally have around 350 litres of space. Interior space is good for passengers, too, although those sitting in the rear may find headroom limited by the slanting roof. It's worth mentioning that the quality of materials found in the cabin is good, but rivals like the Astra and VW Golf are slightly ahead in this department.
Value for money
Prices for the MG6 are very competitive, starting at around the £15,000 mark. The most basic trim level is S, which gets electric windows all round, air-con and alloy wheels. SE adds sat-nav, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Go for top-spec TSE and you get leather upholstery, along with a rear parking camera.
The turbocharged petrol engine isn’t great for keeping running costs low – the car returns 35.6mpg economy and emits 184g/km of CO2. You’re better off with the diesel, which puts out 139g/km and should return 53.5 miles to the gallon. All MG6 models will be cheaper to insure compared to rivals, and you get a lot of equipment for the money.