It all actually started with a slightly moth-eaten blue Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 that my mother was toying with the idea of trading in for a brand new car. Well, I say that – I had a 2005 MG ZR that mum loved and her Corsa was dying. So, I needed a new car… (in the way that I didn’t actually need at all) obviously.
Anyway, when I saw MG’s £3000 trade-in deal, I thought I should go test drive a ‘6 and made my way to Mantles Kia/MG Royston. After all, I (like many of you) have been well-wishing MG since it arose from the ashes in 2011. But I never thought of parting with cash – or even test driving one.
Problem number one
We made our way to Mantles to have a look around a car, and noticed lots of nice new signs. There were lots of new Korean cars, and nothing on MG, let alone any cars. It seemed the MG part of the dealership had been K.I.A (killed in action)…
So that was that then? First impressions are everything right, and when you’re going to possibly part with a huge sum of cash – going to what seemed to be my local failed dealer didn’t seem like a great start.
Luckily we saw an advert for the new dealership in Baldock – Brown and Gammons. So, once again, we went MG hunting. On a Saturday at 5.00pm, four hours after closing time, in fact. But I was excited to just see a car in the flesh – after what I thought was the end of it! We arrived there and first (or should that be second) impressions were great – all-new signage on the front, a nice clean showroom proudly displaying a graphite grey 6, TF LE500 and a Midget.
Round the back we found the dealer’s Magnette demonstrator, and while looking around, we were approached by the managing director Malcolm Gammons. He promptly broke out the keys for the Magnette and opened up the showroom. We chatted about the car for a bit, and went out on a test drive. He gave me a brochure, a run down on deals and finance, and that was it – no hard sell, no asking for my contact details, and it was a very pleasant exchange!
So skip forward a few more sessions, and an order was placed for a brand new white MG6 GT TSE – minus £3000 trade-in for the poor little Corsa. My new car was in stock at Longbridge as well, so I wouldn’t have to wait too long…
Problem number two
Apparently I am the first customer to buy an MG on finance. But surely this would be no problem – because of the tie-in with General Motors, we would be going through GMAC. GM’S a big company? SAIC’s big company? No. We had to wait on the finance because the dealers weren’t yet registered with GMAC, only MG at Longbridge – so I had to wait for my new car, and then the finance had to be completed, as if the car was sold to Longbridge, then transferred back to Brown and Gammons.
What a mess around. But it only really took a week to sort out, I suppose – roughly the same time I waited for delivery of the car. This was made slightly painful by MG not notifying the dealer that the car had left the factory, and they couldn’t give a delivery date. Why? Because of the small size of the business, the transportation company would hold the car until it had a full transporter to send to that area.
Picking up my new car!
We got to the dealer, sorted out paper work, and then they showed me to my car. Fantastic! It was truly immaculate in every way – even the mats are embroidered with the full MG6 logo. The handbook wallet is leather with a big MG inset, and the rest of the it was just everything I wanted in my first new car! My first journey that weekend would be up to the NEC for the Classic Motor Show! Car fan’s dream this was! Well, mine at least.
Clutch down, pushed the key into the dash, started the car… And look at that dash! Look at that engine light! Hold on hold on! Engine light!
Problem number three
I’ll keep this short and sweet because it irritates me even thinking about it. But here we go: as soon as it was mentioned, I was pounced upon by members of staff from Brown and Gammons. Diagnostic in, faulty up-stream (or down-stream I forget) O2 sensor, showing as a historic fault. Cleared, off I go with the understanding if it comes back they will sort it.
Well, it came back. The car was instantly swapped for the Magnette, and they set about fixing it. The dealer could not have done more for me! But MG – I was not impressed with at the time. So, after reading Ant’s blog about getting results from the Facebook page, I moaned on there. Keith from MG was straight on to me, saying that as I was going to the NEC, I could see him there and we could have a chat.
Got there, and was reassured that the problem was nothing serious, and it would be fixed, taking a week at the most. It was here that I was told about the delivery date issue I mentioned earlier. I also related the lack of information about the car leaving the factory, the lack of technical support B&G had passed on to me when trying to fix the car, and I was reassured (in a slightly know it all manner) that these were issues being looked at – and will be acted on.
I do believe it too, as everyone I have spoken with that has anything to do with MG has so much passion for the marque. So my car was delivered back to me on that Friday and it was perfect again! Valeted and full of fuel too.
So we’re up to date and the question after all of that is what do I think? What would you think?
I love it. The car really is great. The ride and dynamics are spot on – it has better handling and is much more comfortable than my ZR. The interior feels plush – yes, the under-dash is made from cheap plastic, but who cares? When I sit in it, I feel special – and that’s what car interiors should do for you.
The engine pulls well. It does sound harsh at maximum revs, but in the range I use every day, 1000-4500, it sounds nice and beefy for a turbo. At the moment. I average 33mpg as well, which for my commute into Cambridge isn’t bad. Not great, not terrible. In isolation, I agree with some people that it may look a tad samey – but you see it in a car park surrounded by white goods and the like, and it looks pukka. It really does.
So a big thumbs up from me altogether! I will keep you all posted!
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.