Marmite, personified by a car. That will be the MG6 then…
I’m well aware that the car has its detractors, but I’d wanted one since I went along to a VIP Test Drive day at the Prodrive track. I was amazed how the car handled, so much so I felt sorry for the next people who were due to drive the example I was extracting tyre smoke from. I was happy that the new car I’d been waiting for as a replacement for my ZS had lost none of that car’s dynamic ability. The day concluded and I drove away in my ZS MK2 with a smile on my face.
When prices were announced I thought it would be a while before I could afford one. I was determined that I would own one, one day. Then the car went on sale. I really thought that it would be a success. What’s not to like about it? There were a couple of adverts, and then they stopped. It seemed nobody knew the car existed and those who did dismissed it as either ‘Chinese tat’ or ‘Rover tat’.
I kept my eye on used prices as soon as second-hand ones were available. I really wanted the one that Longbridge called the ‘Union Edition’ (red and blue stripes among other stickers, but they were asking £11,995 for it back in 2012 and it was still too much.
Meanwhile, in late 2012 my ZS died after suffering with ‘that’ problem for the 2nd time. I had spent on it every month with various problems and decided enough was enough. I made one of the most foolish decisions of my life and part exchanged it for a 2009 Fiesta in snot green, which I took finance out on. I just wanted rid of the ZS and foolishly the Ford salesman took it in and gave me £400 for it. Anyway, I had a new(ish) car that wouldn’t go wrong. I was happy.
As time went on, I began to hate the Fiesta and hate the fact I had finance on it. It was slow, uncomfortable, the indicator stalks felt like they were going to snap when used… it was just a horrid, horrid car. When the MG3 was launched I headed on up to the Sales Centre at Longbridge and had a look round it. I was impressed. I arranged to go back when they got their demonstrator and take that for a test drive.
I told the other half that I would like to trade the Fiesta for an MG3 if it was doable (I had no idea how finance worked), she wasn’t concerned providing it didn’t cost any more than the Fiesta per month and thata push chair would fit in the boot. She was heavily pregnant at the time, but we had yet to buy a pushchair. I also began wondering if I’d be able to change to a high-mileage Jaguar XF instead, but I thought there would be no way she’d agree to that.
The day of the test drive came. I liked it – better than the Fiesta for definite. After the drive, I parked it up next to my Fiesta to compare size. Though we didn’t have a pushchair, we were able to establish that the MG3 boot was wider, but narrower. Might be tricky… Anyway, we went into the showroom to discuss if a deal could be done. It couldn’t. It was out of my reach.
As we were about to leave, I asked the salesman how much MG6s were these days. He walked me over to an ex-demo GT in S spec (wanted a TSE really) in ‘Granite’ (wanted white really) and that’s when he dropped the bomb.. “This one is £6,995”. After my jaw had positioned itself back where it should be, he went and grabbed the keys and I took it for a drive.
This was a 2 year-old car which had been £16,995 when it was new. On the test drive all the fond memories came flooding back. I was in love. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be in reach. Driving the MG6 back-to-back with the MG3 there was no comparison really, it HAD to be an MG6 for me. To my delight, a deal could be done. It was £1 a month cheaper to own an MG6 than my Fiesta. Okay, it meant another year of having finance, but at least I would be paying for a car I loved rather than one that made me feel sick.
So now I owned my dream car. I took it to work and immediately I had a colleague ask about it. “Is that an MG? I thought they were dead?” Now this is a chap who used to work at Longbridge in the 1980s, who owned a ZR and a Porsche Boxster and he was unaware MG were back. After our chat, the next day he went up to the Sales Centre and placed a deposit on a used Orange TSE without even test driving one. Luckily for me, he loves it!
As with any car there are things that go wrong. I’d heard some horror stories, but my issues were fairly trivial. There was a wind noise at speeds over 60. It bothered my partner more than me. The clutch was squeaky and they hadn’t done a great job of getting rid of the stickers that had adorned my car as demo. The latter things were sorted on its first trip back. The wind noise, which was down to door seals, took three attempts to put right with the last one involving it going back to the factory to have them replaced.
Since then it’s been fine. I’ve covered 12,000 miles in just over a year of ownership. It’s been on the Cowley Convoy to Pride of Longbridge, it sailed through its MoT and I still enjoy driving it. I often have people ask me about it at petrol stations or in car parks. Part of me wishes I could have afforded a TSE but my S has more than enough creature comforts – more than any car I’ve had before. Plus, with the TSE loan cars I had when mine was having its seals looked at, I found the climate control confusing and the stereo more fiddly.
The only thing that concerns me now is the company behind it. There have been a lot of negative stories about shoddy customer care, parts issues, not to mention the fact that they have dropped in price even more and owners who want to sell are finding out that they simply can’t get rid of them privately. I hope the situation improves. The cars would sell if they were advertised properly and the MG6 had a bargain sticker price that was stuck to.
The finance runs out in 2018. I hope MG are still here by then and that sales continue to increase. If so, I may well be looking at replacing it with a GS (or whatever it’s called this week), though I still have an itch for a Jaguar and, by 2018, the current XJ should be in reach…