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MG6

The demise of the last British-owned volume car maker, MG Rover, has been well documented, and as the tenth anniversary passes, the new reborn MG car company, now owned by Chinese firm SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) has announced a raft of changes for its midsized MG6. Out go the petrol engines and saloon bodystyle, and instead we're treated to a facelifted hatchback with a bargain price tag from just £13,995.
And far from the entry-level S model being a stripped-out poverty-spec edition, it comes with a long list of standard equipment including 16-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, climate control, electric windows all round and the newly introduced electric park brake. There's a re-profiled nose treatment, including new headlights and grille, a fresh design for the side vents, and a revised rear, incorporating redesigned LED light clusters and updated bumpers. Inside, the plastics have been upgraded, the centre console is all new, there's a seven-inch touchscreen, and the instruments have been altered.
But best of all, the MG6 has been on a diet and weighs less, and the engine is now more efficient than ever before, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km and fuel economy of 61.4mpg on the combined cycle. This makes the new car a much more attractive package to company car users, especially considering the lower purchase price.
Positioned at the upper end of the medium car market, size-wise, the MG6 excels thanks to excellent legroom in the back, though taller passengers may wish for a little more headroom. Boot space is quite simply enormous compared to a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, with 498 litres on offer, albeit with a high load sill, though it's a little way short of the class leader, the Skoda Octavia, at 590 litres. Fold the rear chairs down and the amount of room opens up to an excellent 1,379 litres. Compare the old 6 with the new edition and there's been an uplift in the quality of materials, with the leather upholstered seats feeling nicely stuffed, and the mouldings altogether more substantial and pleasing.
The new satellite navigation system in our top-spec car was easy to programme and intuitive to use, and is positioned right within your eyeline, using smart, colourful graphics. Regular readers will remember that our own long-term 2012 MG6 Magnette was plagued by electrical gremlins, and we're pleased to report that these have been banished thanks to a significant upgrade of the electrical system, with no rogue messages appearing during our time with the car.
The 148bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine is a gutsy engine away from rest, and delivers plenty of mid-range pull. Foot to the floor it makes a bit of a racket, but quietens down enormously at motorway speeds and when trickling around town. The manual gearbox has six nicely chosen ratios and is silky smooth in its operation, while a light clutch makes it a delight to pilot in stopstart traffic.
MGs have always been known for their entertaining driving experience, and this latest model is good fun, thanks to a capable chassis, great agility through the bends, excellent body control and a decent amount of grip. The steering is light enough to make manoeuvring in car parks a piece of cake, while still delivering sufficient feel at higher speeds. Ride comfort is a strong point, soaking up potholes and ruts with ease.

Model tested TL 1.9 DTi
Price .17,995
Made in Birmingham, UK
Configuration 5-door hatchback, 5-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1849cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start
Transmission 6-speed manual
Power output 148bhp @ 4,000rpm
Maximum torque 258lb ft @ 1,800rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 120mph/8.4 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 119g/km (C) Euro 5
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 52.3/68.8/61.4mpg
Fuel tank size/range 62 litres/838 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate tba/21%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,651/2,008mm
Boot space (minimum/maximum) 498/1,379 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,539/1,600kg
In showrooms Now
Prices .13,995 to .17,995
Bodystyles 5-door hatchback
Engines 1.9 (148bhp)
Trim levels S, TS, TL
Also consider Kia cee'd, Skoda Octavia

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