MG6: Phoenix from the Flames.

Rather surprisingly, for fans of the modern MG, the iconic British MG brand can trace its history back to 1924 and is world famous for making stylish cars that are fun to drive and own and yet, are sold at remarkably affordable prices. Modern MGs, which are designed, engineered and finally assembled in Longbridge, Birmingham, continue this long and rich MG tradition.

MotorMartin has had the pleasure of experiencing the luxurious MG6, for all of this last week, which is one of the two cars that currently come off the Longbridge assembly lines: the MG6 and the MG3. MG Motor UK are not resting on their laurels though as they have several new models planned for the immediate and longer-term future. The most recent of which is the forthcoming MG GS SUV which is already causing quite a stir amongst fans of the brand, motoring journalists and the general public already. See http://motormartin.com/2016/02/04/news-are-you-ready/ for more details.

MG Motor UK are extremely proud of their MG6, which they package as a medium-sized fastback, offering fantastic dynamic handling, high levels of interior comfort and a tremendously spacious cabin area with a cavernous boot. Indeed, the MG6 won the category ‘£17,500 and under’ in the Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards in 2015. It also won the 2014 Auto Express Driver Power Best Handling Award.

And then we have the MG3. Which is, according to MG Motor UK, a new generation supermini that brings fun and style to this sector of the market at very affordable prices. The 1.5-litre petrol-powered car can also be personalised, so owners have the option of giving their car their own style-statement. Indeed, the number of customisation available for the MG3 is staggering and should guarantee that you never see another the same as your own!

MG are also proud to note that they were voted the fourth best manufacturer in the UK in the Auto Express Driver Power Awards in 2015. MG was the fastest growing brand in Britain in 2014 as shown by official figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and currently MG has the fastest growing network of dealers in the UK as sales continue to surge.

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And so we come, via a little recent history, to the MG6. A car that was first introduced to us back in May 2011 with a turbo charged 1.8L petrol engine and more standard kit than you could shake a very large stick at. A car that respected motoring journalist Quentin Wilson himself was happy to put his name to and was very enthusiastic about, as you can see for yourself in the following promotional film.

And yet, despite respectable, if not massively enthusiastic reviews, the vast majority of the car buying public continued to sink their monies into the Focus and Astra sized products from Ford and Vauxhall in much the same way as they had always done. MotorMartin’s not even sure that back in 2011, when the MG6 was launched, consumers even knew of their resurrection. Many potential customers choosing instead to remember MG as a brand for the, shall we say, older car enthusiast with their flat caps and tweed jacket or perhaps misguided youth, with their noisy MG ZRs and extravagant trainers.

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But despite all of this apathy from journalists and the public at large, MG Motor UK and their loyal customers clearly had faith in their product and the belief that its qualities would eventually shine through. And so, to raise the profile of the MG6, MG Motor UK joined forces with Triple Eight Racing to bring the MG6 onto the grid in 2012 with double champion Jason Plato at the wheel. Amazingly, Plato was to win in only the car’s third ever race. Further confirmation surely, of the sweet and neutral handling chassis that the MG6 was blessed with from the start. For fans of the BTCC and MG’s racing programme, more information regarding Triple Eight Racing can be found on their superb website http://www.tripleeight.co.uk.

Perhaps the first major revision to the original MG6 range was with the introduction, in January 2013, of the new 1.9 DTi-TECH Diesel engine. A move designed to bring the MG6 in line with the competition as MG Motor UK had correctly identified the missing Diesel as something that needed to be rectified. In fact, it’s this desire to listen to their customers that marks MG Motor UK out as a company that deserves to do well.

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The revamped MG6 that you see above was brought out in April 2015 with three new trim levels, the 1.9 DTi-Tech Diesel engine and a new pricing structure, meaning that the entry level Diesel S Model now starts at £13,995 yet still includes heated seats, daytime running lights, air conditioning and an electronic parking brake as standard.

The mid range Diesel TS comes in at £16,195 with all of the standard equipment from the S as well as part man-made leather seats, rear parking sensors, automatic lights, windscreen wipers, cruise control, auto dimming mirrors and more. But, say MG Motor UK, it’s the introduction of the all-new MG touch infotainment system, which debuts on the TS, that puts the car way ahead of all of its competitors and especially at this price point.

The top of the range Diesel TL includes the standard equipment from both the S and the TS as well as full leather seats this time, powerful HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps with bending lights, a rear camera, now equipped with guidelines, dual zone climate control and electric seats, all at a price of just £17,995. MotorMartin is truly blown away with the equipment offered with all three cars but especially the TL. Looking at the MG6’s competition, you’d have to be spending a considerable amount more to come up with anywhere near the same level of equipment and specifications.

Significantly, MG Motor UK have not been backwards in coming forwards with incitements and offers designed to appeal to those wanting a brand new car for second hand money, a tactic similar to that employed by Dacia to great effect. MotorMartin has previously discussed the success of MG Motor UK’s offers at http://motormartin.com/2016/02/05/news-mg-more-than-doubles-2016-january-sales/ and it would appear that buyers are starting to read between the lines of the internet and magazine reviews, realise what the MG6 has to offer and vote with their wallets.

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So here we are in the car park of MotorMartin Towers and sitting there, looking superb in the flesh it has to be said, is a metallic gun metal grey MG6. The car is extremely well proportioned with a high waist line that rises as your eyes move towards the rear of the vehicle and looks both elegant and sophisticated whilst delivering subtle hints as to the sporting nature held within the MG’s DNA. The front of the MG6 is particularly striking, the deep front spoiler looking like it was removed from one of the Triple Eight Touring Cars whilst the front light clusters, on this top of the range TL, deliver a high level of technological sophistication and style.

At the rear of the car, the shallow rake of the rear screen gives way to a short overhang and elegant boot spoiler before dropping down towards the floor. There’s clearly been a lot of time and effort spent on this car during the design process as, to MotorMartin, MG have revamped an already good looking car and managed to create one that looks like it costs twice the price. Highlights include the previously mentioned front light clusters, redesigned front grill with its impressively sited Morris Garages octagonal badge, the two symmetrical creases running up the bonnet, redesigned rear lights and the daytime running LEDs sited above and complimenting the sharp new lines of the front bumper.

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MG Motor UK have every right to be extremely proud of the look that they have created here. They’ve, rather cleverly, managed to created a car that straddles the boundaries as the MG6 looks as compact as a Focus or Astra whilst concealing interior and boot space that rivals far larger cars in the segment above. And the surprises don’t stop there as the interior displays just as much ‘real life’ practicality and, dare I say it, luxury that you don’t just expect to find at this price point and for that, MotorMartin is very impressed.

In part 2 of MotorMartin’s time with the MG6 it will be time to consider the cabin and technology therein before beginning nigh on 800 miles in a week with this fine companion. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Where will you go?

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