Blog : The pain-free way to buy an MG6!

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Simon Weakley

Several months ago my wife decided that she wanted to change her car. Although I work in the industry undertaking events and consultancy for car dealers, we decided that it would be her decision but with some help from me at the negotiation stage. The first question was what to go for. My wife decided that she would order some brochures online and narrow down the search from there so she duly ordered brochures for the Honda CRV, Hyundai i30, Ford Focus and the MG6.

Interestingly, we only received a brochure for the Honda, a letter from Ford saying they had run out of Focus brochures and no brochures for Hyundai and MG!

The decision was made to look at a one-year-old Honda CRV, or maybe a new Focus, Hyundai or MG. However, my wife’s main requirement was for a full leather interior with heated seats, a feature that she had loved on a previous Rover Sterling Coupe. The other main requirement, despite current fashion, was for petrol and not diesel.

Despite having an image as a ‘budget’ brand the i30 was priced up at £21,000 with those options and, once my wife had seen one in the metal, she decided that it looked far too ordinary. The Focus likewise was well over £20,000 with leather trim and my wife was put off by the new 1.0-litre EcoBoost option.

Hence, her decision came down to a choice between a CRV Executive with 6-speed gearbox and VTEC engine for £16,000, at one year old or a new or nearly new MG6 TSE. For a long time the decision was going the Honda’s way due to excellent reputation, high up driving position and a lovely leather interior with more than a touch of Rover Sterling about it, especially if the cream interior colour was chosen.

However, as luck would have it MG had just opened a new showroom in Lincoln and a quick call to the very pleasant General Manager, Nigel Burley, secured the loan of an MG6 for a whole day so my wife could really put the car through its paces.
Taking the MG6 from Lincoln on a mixture of fast A roads and twisty B roads took us to the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa – home to the officers of the Dam Busters Squadron during World War II.

A superb lunch followed by some demanding driving soon had my wife choosing the ‘6 as her next car. The combination of space, comfort, excellent handling and features left both of us very impressed. The styling in fastback GT form was fine and the fuel consumption the right side of 35mpg made the decision as long as the price was right. The petrol CRV nearly had the measure of the ‘6 but the fuel consumption and bulk of the CRV eventually went against it.

The week we visited the Dealer MG had just announced an Approved Used Programme so a one-year-old TSE was the likely choice with a budget of about £13k. However, in the end the combination of a no-questions-asked £3k discount and a good trade in price on my wife’s four-year-old Fiat Punto swayed the deal towards a new MG 6 TSE GT in silver with black leather interior. Cost to change a tad over £200 per month and a £3500 cash deposit plus the Punto.

The truth is that, at £16k, no one else could touch the value of the TSE with full leather, heated electric seats, climate control, sat nav, and rear parking camera. The so-called budget brands of Hyundai and Kia are much more money.

The car was collected a week ago and my wife has been delighted. The Dealer had pulled out all the stops to get a car within two weeks, a thorough PDI and excellent handover with a full tank of fuel and car mats included.

I appreciate others have had some customer issues with the ‘6 but, so far, my wife would give the car ten out of ten and the Dealer service likewise. We can thoroughly recommend Charles Warner of Lincoln if you are considering an MG6. A family dealer with Chevrolet and Vauxhall franchises that is small enough to care but large enough to sort out any problems.

Have a look at the pictures – in silver with 18″ rims the car really does look the business and far more expensive than its price suggests. My wife says she wanted a car that made her feel special without costing the earth – the MG 6 delivers that. Yes, a six-speed gearbox would be nice and, yes, a slightly higher quality interior would make it perfect. The cream interior option from the Roewe would be a good move to broaden the appeal but, apart from that, she is delighted.

My advice, then, is to make up your own mind because listening to Jeremy Clarkson or the chap down the pub who hasn’t even seen an MG 6, never mind driven one, isn’t the best person to take advice from. Dealers need to promote this car and get people behind the wheel. It worked in our case and it will work for others.

We will keep you posted as to the ownership experience but, so far, ten out of ten. Thank you MG and thank you Charles Warner.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

46 Comments

  1. Good to hear good news about the MG dealer network.

    My own Honda coupe vtec has been bulletproof, and the cream leather and wood make me think that they really did learn a lot from the Rover partnership.

    “make up your own mind because listening to Jeremy Clarkson or the chap down the pub”

    Listening to Clarkson or the fella down the pub who reads Auto Express you’d have been talked into getting something mediocre like a 114i (sadly not a Rover) or an A3 diesel… >:(

  2. @Frankie

    He hates it one minute and likes it the next. Suppose it depends if they’re advertising in that month’s Top Gear magazine (the same can be said for most motoring publications, slaves to The Ultimate Marketing Machine). At the very least he has stoked the flames of the “german = best” myth that the UK public currently believe.

  3. @ Will M. You’ll probably find Clarkson was created by BMW, as a marketing trojan horse…
    I’ve got no grievance against BMW, but there is other stuff out there…I get fed up with seeing grey barges pound the motorways and A roads. But what’s new there 😛

  4. Well, BMW clearly have a very good idea of what makes most consumers in the UK tick. I remember reading something that Richard Porter wrote about how Germans see BMWs as being a little more utilitarian than we do, and spec them to please themselves not others. He’s right. You see a lot of BMWs on the continent with steel wheels but full leather interiors.

  5. Charlie Warners have been Vauxhall/Bedford dealers since God were a lad – in the day Lincoln used to have three Austin Rover dealers who have all gone. Interesting to see how many GM/Vauxhall/Chevrolet dealers take on the MG franchise, eg given the announced support from GM.

  6. If the car being brand new is a major attraction then, with the £3,000 discounts that are now available, (and provided that you’re not planning on getting a good trade in valuation in the next 5 or 6 years) then it starts to make some sense. It’ll have very real rarity value too.

    As a matter of interest, why was your wife put off the 1.0 litre Focus? Did she test drive it, or was it simply not being convinced by the idea? I know I’d take some convincing, even though this is very likely to be the future of petrol engined cars….

  7. Yes, I would have been put off more by a car with a 23 year old engine design that was noted for unreliability from day one and has one of the highest CO2 outputs on the market. Each to their own though.

  8. @11,that 23 year old engine design was years ahead of anything when new.Read Simon Erlands essay on this engine,its quite interesting.

  9. I have to agree about the cream interior option with a little fake wood , you find these on google images when you search MG Roewe 550, so why oh why dont you find this as an option ?? Seems a no brainer to me , and I bet we dont get that option here in New Zealand either ! Mind you a dealer network would be a start down here , after releasing the car to the press and getting positive reviews , no MG 6 to be seen , Dah !

  10. @8 i think the thing that makes them tick is oh look at me, i have a BMW,perish the thought of having a Astra or Focus that can do anything a 1 seriescan do cheaper and with more room,same for Mondeo.The UK must be one of BMW’s best customers.

  11. To be fair we didn’t try the Ford Focus 1.0 ecoboost, which I am sure is great, but she was concerned about the long term durability of such a small high tech engine as she plans to keep this car 6-7 years. Also the higher emmisions and road tax at £199 per year is partly offset by very low insurance – her premium has barely increased from the Fiat Punto 1.2! Also to get a new Focus with leather was considerably more. I agree that if it was just down to economics then there would have been other choices. Everything is a compromise and no new car truly makes sense from a running costs point of view.

  12. @ Francis Brett. Yup, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I can understand choosing a BMW if you want rear wheel drive, but I think most of their customers couldn’t care less. If I was getting a brand new hatchback with about 20 grand burning a whole in my pocket, I’d buy an MG6 and spend the change on a 75 😉

  13. @ Francis Brett. Yup, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I can understand choosing a BMW if you want rear wheel drive, but I think most of their customers couldn’t care less. If I was getting a brand new hatchback with about 20 grand burning a hole in my pocket, I’d buy an MG6 and spend the change on a 75 😉

  14. Great article on the 6, sounds like a very positive experience.

    I really want to step in here in defence of the BMW 1-series though. Strip away the status and aspirational ‘image’ that the British stick on the little car, forget that the Joneses are staring down their noses at the ‘entry level, smacks of desperation to get on the BMW ladder’ car on your driveway, and just go and drive the damn thing.

    Aside from the gearshift being a little further back than short little me would like, it’s a brilliant car to drive. Responsive, nimble, up against an army of similarly visibility-impaired, cramped compact cars the 1-series is technically a great little car.

    It’s a shame that it’s nuked by both snobbery (‘couldn’t afford a 3-seires’) and inverse-snobbery (‘I’d rather drive a 2CV fuelled by cow-farts than a BMW, middle-class aspirationalmobile’) – because for a car enthusiast it’s the closest you can get to what many of us mourn the most, the small, rear wheel drive, vaguely practical car. It’s a Chevette or Mk 2 Escort for the 21st Century.

    And whilst it may be a bit expensive in some ways, it is relatively inexpensive, compared to what our ’70s selves would have been faced with spending as a proportion of income.

  15. I’d rather have another ZX than be forced to drive a 1 series.

    Steal the R30 and fire it on an old truncated 3 series chassis.

  16. Alas it’s easy to bleat BMW is rubbish, but having had two of GM’s finest after a BMW you realise how bloody good they are to drive. To person who said buy an Astra, I have and it’s adequate, no more.

  17. @18, I have driven a few via work,and to be honest,like all BMW’s drive great and feel substantial,that said,spec for spec and room wise in the cold light of day i would still plump for an Astra as i like them due mainly to brand bias.

  18. Got nothing against the 1 series and I’m sure it’s a cracking little car. I’d just rather have the MG6 on the driveway.

  19. Eh, I couldn’t care less about my car when it’s on the driveway – it’s when I’m driving it or using it that it counts. So I like my Voyager, because I can get a theatre organ in the back and still have extra seats, whilst driving it with a broken right foot. I like the lazy, crude 3.3 OHV petrol engine.

    The reasons not to own a BMW are rarely logical and all have to do with vanity and perception of status. We have choice, that’s great, but the BMW 1-series is not a rubbish car, or a bad car, it’s just a car that may not suit a specific taste.

    I have a load of prejudices against 3-series converibles, but I like open topped cars, I like RWD, it’s really time I tried a 325i against my GM-based SAAB. I bet it comprehensively outclass it in every regard bar “potential for being mistaken for an Estate Agent or wideboy” and “plastic rear window, really?”

  20. the main reason for the GM tie-ins is that MG has access to the GM customer base for this country. One question.. Does MG make use of GMAC’s business for auto finance or is that done entirely seperately?

  21. Well it’s not so much about what other people will think when I say “on the drive” but more as how I’d feel opening the curtains in the morning and seeing my car on the drive.
    Seeing and MG6 would make me grin with the knowledge that I can still buy a little piece of Rover brand new.

  22. @24,I cant see how you reach this conclusion,whatever platform sharing goes on no MG is going to look like a Opel or Chevy (Chevrolet only by name).
    MG is going to take years to develop the brand,as SAAB will have to if it ever resumes prodution,its everyones market,im sure the customer demograph tilts strongly to Vauxhall branded cars rather than renamed Deawoos in the same dealership when considering something from the GM stable.

  23. “Does MG make use of GMAC’s business for auto finance or is that done entirely seperately?”

    Yes. One of the first really visible fruits of GM’s partnership with SAIC.

  24. 26@ I think Chevy stopped selling re-badged Daewoos a while back, there far closer cousins than you imagine, particularly inside. Take away movability and fleet, how much Vauxhall customer is left?

  25. “Does MG make use of GMAC’s business for auto finance or is that done entirely seperately?” Whilst MG does, Chevrolet and Vauxhall now use Santander. GM now only has a 4% stake in GMAC, now known as Ally Financial.

  26. I have read all the comments with much interest, as the wife of the author… Yes the MG6 is MINE :)) I would like to say that it makes me smile every time I drive it, less than a week in the car is everything and more I could ever have wished for ! Sporty, stylish, it is attracting attention from both men and women who see it! Comfort is superb, gears glide through changes like a knife in warm butter, effortless! As a woman who loves gadgets I am loving the built in Sat Nav, the reverse parking camera aid, the integrated USB AND Bluetooth… Converted favourite iTunes songs from MP4 to MP3 and now have my own collection for the car! Every day I am loving the car even more, I am so pleased I didn’t go for a Focus when there are so many on the road!
    The MG stands out, it’s special, it’s different, it makes me smile and feel good… Isn’t that what motoring is all about?!
    Oh and for all you men who rave about engine performance… It’s got plenty of oooomph!!! No complaints at all, it’s just great!!
    Would recommend anyone to have a test drive … And try NOT to smile!!!!

  27. Marie: I’m sure it’s a fantastic car when you take away the prejudices and near racist attitude towards Chinese ownership of the marque some people seem to display. I always think they look good when I see them on the road, and aside from the interior quality on the only one I’ve seen (which was a very, very early one) I thought it looked like a pleasant car overall.

    Andrew: TBH I think MG benefitted from Saab’s disappearance, taking the place of that marque in GMAC/Ally’s portfolio. Much needed, though.

  28. Thankyou Richard 🙂
    I have to say I would never listen to other people’s prejudices in a case like this, when buying a new car it’s important to actually go and test drive one, drive it how you would normally drive a car and put it through its paces! That is what I did and I couldn’t wait to get back to the dealer and order mine! The level of spec on the TSE model for the price is amazing, and the quality of the interior is everything I had hoped for!
    Admiring glances from other motorists on the road prove MG is still a brand that people like… And I for one am very proud to own a car that isn’t ‘the same as every other car on the road’ …It says a lot about a car when you think about going out again for more shopping… JUST so you can drive it again!!! All positive for me – Im still smiling!!!

  29. @29,The same could be said for Ford and others,while the Chevrolets are reasonable cars they still look like they would be more at home with a Deawoo badge,the above all its a chevy tagline does’nt cut it with me because there is clear Deawoo lineage in the cars-clearly eastern.

  30. I’m happy for you, Marie Weakley, if that is the car that you have chosen, and more importantly, you are delighted with it.

    @32, Richard Kilpatrick. I’m not sure I’d necessarily call reservations about SAIC ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’ however. For some of us, the way that they outmanoevred P4 (who were rather inept it appears, and treated MG Rover like their own private train set), and ran off with the intellectual property leaving Longbridge a shell until limited assembly later resumed (a glorified Kwik Fit operation), left a sour taste in the mouth. That they have established a UK design base is of course welcome, and hopefully bodes well for the short to medium term, at least in the limited capacity that the various Longbridge sites operate at.

    I don’t have a problem with the MG6 apart from how well the K Series will stand up (whether the re-engineering will prove sufficient), but I’d be more concerned with residuals and after-sales. After all, its an almost invisible brand, with the parent company doing little to promote it, and I live in one of the biggest counties in England (Gloucestershire) and not only do we not have a dealer but I have yet to even see an MG6 in the metal.

  31. As far as being Xenophobic is concerned, as long as buyers understand that they are buying a car that is built almost entirely in China, by a Chinese company, using virtually all Chinese parts then good luck to them.
    I feel much more uncomfortable about the reuse of a defunct brand (and a rented shed on part of the old Longbridge site) that appears to be giving rise to some confusion and misinformation about the genuine nationality of the product.

  32. Spotted an MG6 again today – this time a Magnette.

    Looked in my rear view mirror and what did I see on the back of the 6 ? “MG.co.uk”

    Not sure if any of my 4 or 5 sightings have been sales as opposed to demonstrators. Ok, I can see why sales are not huge but surely they could and should be higher than what they are. I mean,come on, its an appealing car!!

  33. @37 I drove passed a Great Wall dealer that’s been near Launceston for at least the last 3 months and it made me think; I wonder how their UK sales are holding up in comparison to their compatriots at SAIC?

  34. Thanks David as a new owner it really IS an appealing car that gives so much pleasure to the person that drives it!!
    Also I must comment on the worry of some people about resale value – if you are buying a car to change in the next few years do you really love it?? I want to keep my new MG6 for a LONG time… So resale value isn’t and wasn’t top of my checklist when I was buying! Current MG offers of £3k discount bring a new MG6 in at affordable and tantalisingly tempting prices – especially when you think of the high spec you are getting compared to rivals which in my opinion offer less for the money!
    I would urge anyone to not be prejudiced or listen to negative comments – book a test drive, try the car – if poss the TSE – for yourself, and then make up your mind!! If u want a car that makes you feel special this is it 🙂

  35. Marie, can I ask, after you having a Sterling, how much “Roverness” does the MG6 have? In other words, can you feel any Rover DNA in the car?

  36. Hi Frankie,
    I have owned and driven a number of Rover / MG’s… Driven Rover 216, Rover 400 IL, Rover 800 Coupe & Sterling, Rover 75, MG ZS, MG ZT, MG TF…so as you can see I would not buy if I wasnt happy! ‘Roverness’ for me, well my favourite of the above cars were the Rover400 IL and the Rover 800 Coupe both felt very special…the MG6 GT TSE seems to capture this with a modern twist, its sporty yet has a familiar feel which I immediately felt comfortable with. Immediately felt at ease driving the car yet excited about the new options and high spec! Im 36, love all modern gadgets and the car for me is just amazing!! One thing I must say is other brands have leather interiors but its a ‘hard’ leather…this MG6 offers lovely soft leather which is not quite as soft as the Rovers were but is just soooo comfortable 🙂
    I can definately feel Rover in the car, quite simply Rover is all around me, just updated and enhanced…brought into 2012!!!

  37. Hello Marie,
    Wow, that really is praise coming from a true Rover person. I know it’s basically the next 45, but didn’t know how much “Rover” would get through. I was worried about trying one incase I was disappointed. My nearest dealer is on the Isle of Wight…I’ll tell my girlfriend I’m taking her on a day trip 😀

  38. Frankie – all I can say is try one and see, I have not been disappointed at all! Good luck with your trip!! I think I should be on commission for MG haha 🙂

  39. @37, Dont those 4×4’s look familiar? im not for one minute suggesting a rip-off of a Hi-lux or equivelant,but if you need need a workhorse cheap these have got to be considered surely?

  40. Marie – I’m glad that you like your 6 so much!

    Personally, I’d love one. If I was currently in the market for a new car and finances were not an issue, I’m certain I’d be opting for an MG6. As you say, depreciation is not such an issue if you plan to keep the car for a long time. The mpg may not be the best, but it is well within what I regard as acceptable, affordable. The only other concern I’ve heard concerns the quality of some of the interior plastics. However, when I sat in one some months ago at my nearest dealer (15 miles or so away in Chester) I thought the interior was absolutely fine!

    The 6 is distinctive, very attractive. As you say, Marie, it must be great to be driving something different, something which attracts attention.

    For now, however, my new 6 will have to stay in the showroom – no money for one!! Still, I do have my low mileage, mint ZR to enjoy! Marie, let’s take the MG!!

  41. Just noticed, if you want to pack a load of people in this is the car for you. Their website states a seating capacity of 5080. Blimey!

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