Words and photography: Ant McGowan
My MG6 experience came to an end this week when I traded it in against a new SEAT Ibiza FR. After playing as much hard ball as I could with the dealer the reality is after 20 months on the road and 11,500 miles (nine months in my possession), my top-spec TSE lost 60 per cent of its original value. My reasons for changing stem from a number of issues. The problems I had last autumn with the steering and having to go back to the dealer four times before MG Motor UK got involved didn’t inspire confidence.
And then a week after getting the car back with the steering sorted, I had to get the AA out as the mechanics hadn’t re-fitted properly the air intake hose at the inlet manifold, with the air filter sitting loose, along with the pipework for the turbo. In fairness, since that time the car didn’t miss a beat. But other bugbears that I was prepared to accept became increasingly frustrating.The driver’s seat was much too high even in its lowest setting, and the seat base too short. The gearbox was increasingly recalcitrant when cold especially from first to second gear.
There was a high pitched rattle from the boot when going over speed humps (no matter how slowly) that no one could seem to fix. The car took a very long time to demist. After a number of attempts with different USB sticks I simply couldn’t get the ICE to play MP3 tracks. The sat-nav jumped roads in a haphazard way that I’ve never experienced with any other piece of kit. The sound quality from the stereo was rubbish compared to the standard fit item in my best pal’s Alfa Romeo MiTo.
The power delivery was lumpy and the fuel consumption unimpressive (I’ve never beaten 37mpg which I know isn’t that bad but increasingly frequent drives to Edinburgh with work were hurting my wallet). All-in-all, I still love how the car looks, and I remain proud that I played a small part in supporting MG’s re-launch.
But then I get to thinking, just how successful has this re-launch been? Derisory attempts at marketing, exceptionally poor sales, and little or no recognition within the trade I’ve heard of a couple of other ‘6 owners who have met considerable resistance from dealers when attempting to trade their cars in for something else.
After a few days with my new ride I’m really pleased. The Ibiza is perfect for my needs and drives exceptionally well. I know I’ve made the right decision. I’ll continue to watch MG UK’s development (or the lack of it) with interest. Will the ‘3 get things back on track, or will it also prove uninspiring in sales terms?
The folk running MG really need to get their acts together if they are in any way serious about making an impact.