Blog : One year on… Well, 30 months on

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Martin Williamson

Mike Humble’s latest blog on MG6 ownership caught my attention and out of curiosity, after reading his article, I noted two other stories currently running which relate to the MG TF 135 and Anthony McGowan’s MG6. I was somewhat surprised by some of the readers’ comments with respect to the quality of the MG6 but, sadly, I also noticed far too many comments in which an element of prejudice has clearly prevailed.

The old saying goes ‘if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything’, but I have a lot of positive things to say about MG so I decided it was time I put forward my experiences with both my local Dealer and with MG Motor UK themselves.

Any AROnline readers who read my MG6: Time to dispel a few myths… story in July, 2011 might recall that, back in 2008, I had defected to the Mazda and bought a 2006 MX5 and a new 2008 Mazda5. The MX5 was traded in on a new MG TF LE500 within four months thanks to the MX5 being the most uncomfortable car I have ever had the misfortune to own. The MX5 was also not as reliable as is often made out, costing £400 for a replacement driver’s seat airbag module amongst other matters in that short time.

Anyway, 30 months on from April 2010, I have got to know my local MG Dealer, Graham Walker Limited, rather well for various reasons. I was reluctant initially to buy the TF LE500 having heard of some quality issues and, like many, equated Chinese manufacturing with poor quality. Indeed, that was the reason I opted for the MX5 at the time but, in the end and given the TF was on offer at £12,000 as a pre-reg special, what did I have to lose?

Suffice to say, that true to form, my LE500 suffered all the faults I had heard about, namely faulty reverse parking sensors and peeling paint. In addition six months in (9,000 miles) and I got a puncture on the rear tyre and so ended up fitting four new Toyos and selling off the remaining three Goodyear GSD2 tyres. I was annoyed, obviously, but it transpired that a recent European Directive had put paid to the manufacture of the GSD2 owing to certain compounds used in the rubber.

Unfortunately, I had to guess at the Toyos as MG Motor UK had not finished their tyre tests but, from the various forums, experience pointed towards the Toyos. I wasn’t too happy with them for the first few miles driving home until I checked the pressures and found these were out. Once sorted, the grip and handling were back to the levels they had been on the Goodyear tyres. However, the sensitivity to the tyre make and pressure is not really a Chinese issue and, in fairness, MG Motor UK did establish a test programme in order to recommend alternatives once it became apparent that the GSD2 supplies were stopping.

About the same time, on a trip to Ireland the driver’s door lock actuator failed, but locking was still possible so on my return I took it into my Dealer and it was sorted overnight. The paint issues had been acknowledged at this stage and the Dealer was waiting for me to let them have the car when it was convenient for me. The car was re-sprayed to a high standard, and although I have had to touch in small marks occasionally (thanks to the white primer making even small chips stand-out) it has been fine since. The Dealer also fitted a new front badge to replace the faded one and the replacement has not faded in the same way since. The reverse parking sensors were also sorted at the same time as the paint work.

By May 2011, I was looking at trading the Mazda5 in as it was costing too much to run. High fuel consumption in round town use, poor front tyre life (8-10k miles) and high servicing and insurance costs were off-putting. My positive experiences of our local Dealer and MG themselves meant I wasn’t unhappy to spend money on an MG6.

That’s why, against my better judgement of buying a new launch model, especially one as untested as the MG6 was then, I decided to give it a go. Again, apart from liking the styling of the car in the metal much more than in the photographs I had seen, my decision to buy was based on having first-hand experience of the enthusiasm that the MG people have, the fact that the design work was carried out by what were effectively ARG, Rover and MG Rover engineers and the positive experience of dealing with my local Dealer.

The first pleasant surprise was how cheap the insurance was at half of what we’d been paying for the Mazda5, yet the car was quicker off the mark by over 2 seconds to 60mph. Additionally, apart from the cheaper petrol, the urban economy was on a par with the diesel we’d just traded. Admittedly, on the open road, the 40-42mpg at motorway cruising speeds falls short of a diesel but then we seldom do long runs as my business travel is normally in the TF which surprisingly only manages to deliver a similar 40mpg despite the lower weight and smaller frontal area. I should point out I have a heavy right foot so some have reported slightly better mpg and, in the last six months the combined cycle and emissions figures, have been favourably reviewed.

I’d love to say it has all been plain sailing since buying the MG6 and, by and large, when it comes to the Dealer and MG, it has. However, we were the first to put the MG Aftercare programme to the test thanks to an errant Nissan Micra driver coming out of a side road and hitting the MG6’s front off-side, resulting in damage down the side of the car and one bent steering arm and broken alloy wheel – ours being the UK-sourced Team Dynamics 18in rim fitted to the TSE.

The damage inflicted left the car with a toe-out in the order of 30° by my estimate and the driver’s door could not be opened. After inspection on the jig, it was found that there was no misalignment and the A and B posts were still true. The car was fixed and there was no delay with the supply of parts which included a new wing, two off-side doors, a new sill cover, a new mirror, a new fog light and a new front tyre and rim. The bodyshop were somewhat surprised when MG insisted on the exact specification of paint to be used to ensure a correct match.

The Technician, who did the repair, kept talking about the good Japanese build quality of the MG6 and would not believe that the company was Chinese-owned. Interestingly, in comparison to a Hyundai door shell in the shop at the time, the MG6 door shell weighed almost twice as much and had a much thicker anti-intrusion beam in place. MG Aftercare understood my concerns about the steering and insisted that a new steering rack was fitted and not just a replacement steering arm.

Just prior to the accident we experienced an alarm relating to the coolant level but on inspection the expansion bottle seemed to have plenty of coolant. I mentioned this to the Dealer and was contacted by Ian Pogson at MG Motor UK who said that it was an issue with the float sticking under the neck of the bottle and a replacement float was sent to my Dealer for fitting, a simple job that takes a few minutes to sort out. On another occasion I had checked the tyre pressures and noted was one was a bit lower. The next day the low tyre pressure alarm came on.

It seems I had been delinquent in not reading the manual and checking the correct pressure setting and had given it a few psi too many in my haste. The TPMS works off the ABS wheel reluctor ring and the over-inflated tyre was causing it to detect and flag up the issue. There is a procedure in the handbook for clearing the error but, not being one to read manuals, I stopped in at my Dealer and a few minutes later the alarm was cleared by the Technician.

At Christmas last year, the early buyers received a gift from MG as a thank you – one of the MG6 1/16th scale models that one can buy via eBay from the MG Sales Centre in Birmingham (and, please note, not from MG themselves in response to a comment made elsewhere regarding MG Motor UK selling the models on eBay. My Mazda Dealer also sold models and I see no problem with that).

In May this year, with around 13,000 miles on the car, I noted that there was a shaking of the steering on applying the brakes lightly at 70mph. I queried this with my Dealer and he put the car up on the ramps and checked it over but could not see anything amiss. However, within the day he got back to me saying that the factory needed to know if my car had Chinese-specification brake pads.

I knew that the suspension was fitted with Sachs dampers from Germany and UK-sourced, high tensile bolts are used throughout on all MG6 for RoW markets, but it would transpire that the UK MG6s also get British specification brake pads, or rather the cars produced after the initial launch batch do. Once again, at the first service, the pads were replaced under warranty and the problem seems to have gone away.

However, at the first service I asked the Dealer to investigate the excessive wear on the outer edge of the near-side tyre. The Dealer confirmed my suspicion that the alignment was out, with his equipment indicating a toe-in rather than toe-out. I contacted the Insurers to ask for a report on when the car had been set-up following the repairs and an assessor came to look at the car. The insurance company naturally suggested we were at fault and had hit a pot-hole but, strangely, the bodyshop could not find the 4 wheel alignment report for my car proving it had been set up correctly. Anyway, in the meantime, MG Aftercare stepped in and suggested that next time I was passing Longbridge I should stop in and they would reset the alignment on the factory equipment.

I took the car in last month and the alignment was properly set-up. The best bit though was that MG Motor UK stumped up a new tyre for me as a goodwill gesture. Additionally, Ian Pogson spent another hour updating the ECU with a recently improved map to eliminate the stalling on setting off in first gear that many experience with the drive-by-wire throttle and also cleaned up the earth points that seem to have plagued a few cars causing sat-nav and cruise-control problems.

Whilst talking to Ian, I asked about the steering alignment and his comment was that the dash design can create an illusion of the wheel being off-centre. I have to say that I have not noted ours being out but I know that others have had theirs sorted. I recently had the alignment done on my MG 1300 and on some roads the wheel will be perfectly centred but on other roads it can be off-centre – I therefore think it is difficult to judge whether the wheel is properly aligned or not as it depends on the road camber to some extent.

I am a member of the MGCC and so have been able to hear from other owners and share their experiences. I know one owner has had an issue with his gearbox and that, as soon as the issue had been identified, a replacement transmission was on its way to the Dealer. According to the owner, this has eliminated a vibration he was experiencing. This would appear to be the only case of a gearbox problem of which I am aware to date.

Another owner was getting water in the boot, but this relates to one of the very first cars sold and it would seem to have been a seam sealer issue that was sorted by her Dealer and MG once identified. My Dealer tells me that he has had a few calls from Avis and that, apart from one MG 6 which had been in an accident for which they supplied the parts, the other issue was the key fob jamming in the slot owing to pulling rather than pushing it to release it. Incidentally, on the key-fob, I think most owners have had the broken loop either after dropping or having too many other keys on the loop. The top of the fob is easily replaced though for one with a new loop.

The main gripe for all owners is the window seals relaxing their grip on the frame in hot sunshine – apart from that, the other gripes are a lack of accessories, although a tow-bar and carpets have been available for some time, but not things like mud-flaps.

Re-reading my original blog from last year, I stand by the criticisms of the cheap feeling cup-holder and rear ashtray. The leather seats, whilst arguably defying the Trade Descriptions Act in terms of thickness of the leather, have stayed looking fresh and new aided by the odd wipe with leather cleaner and feed. The covers have remained taut and unrucked despite the miles piling on in urban use and seeing a higher than average ingress/egress when used on the community nurse runs, school runs and shopping trips.

The engine has certainly settled down to a smoother growl under heavy throttle, but definitely better than when it was new. The fivve-speed gearbox has been more than adequate on the motorway and pulls well even in fifth without having to shift down. A taller sixth gear may have aided economy but the numbers of long journeys where we would be able to use that are few and far between enough for it not to be an issue personally. Actually, the TF could do with a sixth gear more so than the ‘6…

I appreciate others have had issues with their MGs and it has put them off, but my experience has been the complete opposite. My Dealer and MG Motor UK have both been responsive and enthusiastic. It’s disappointing that others have had a bad experience, but I know many more people that have had nothing but positive experiences with their MGs. It was ever thus under MG Rover, with many negative stories of Dealers not caring.

Had I wanted to simply buy a car for all the logical reasons, I would have gone to my local Skoda or Volkswagen or even Hyundai or Kia Dealer. However, I don’t buy cars for logical reasons – I buy them for the experience and, to date, I cannot fault the ownership experience which MG provides. MG Motor UK is undoubtedly a small company – as I am sure many will be quick to point out – and therefore the ownership experience should be good.

Having been shown around the new facilities, including the state-of-the art Design Centre and Powertrain Test Centre, I am in no doubt that MG Motor UK are in this for the long term. I have worked in the Far East and one thing I have learnt is that the Chinese don’t do ‘crash and burn’ marketing and sales, nor do they do ‘smoke and mirrors’.

44 Comments

  1. Nice to hear a positive story about MG.

    Seems like many of the issues are related to the Dealer Network and the marketing of the product.

    It would be interesting to see what happens when the range builds up. I imagine a lot is happening behind the scenes.

  2. “I wasn’t too happy with them for the first few miles driving home until I checked the pressures and found these were out. Once sorted, the grip and handling were back to the levels they had been on the Goodyear tyres.”

    Toyos seem to have more mould release agent than other tyres, it takes a few miles to wear off and they have very little grip until it is gone.

    I have had many sets of Toyos and Eagle F1 GSD2 and GSD3 over the years, they are all great tyres, much better than their price would suggest.

  3. I have never fitted V profile tyres on the rear axle of the F. The Toyos are great from new to the half-profile, then a little less but also those were asymmetrical on the rear. There was a warning on the Dieter’s MGF Homepage.

  4. Genuinely pleased you are a happy punter with your TF. Clearly your dealer made the difference for you! Perhaps they did a better paint job for you than me (as I just had problems all over again) – shame they did not come out of the factory sorted in the first place! If I did not have problems second time around or the rust I would have kept mine.

  5. Great article, Martin. My ‘6 goes back to Morrisons Garage on Friday for a prolonged stay in the hands of Technicians from Longbridge. I’ve received very courteous attention from Keith Harris at MG, so I’m hopeful that everything will be sorted out. Will report back on progress…

  6. @ #1, AndrewP

    There certainly is a lot happening behind the scenes at Longbridge and, as Mike and I discussed today, more publicity on that front would help their cause no end.

    I originally wrote this blog in response to the articles by Mike, Sam and Ant, so it’s great to see their comments above and I appreciate the fact that the replies are not challenging. I do feel for those owners that have had a bad experience whether because of a fault with their car, problems with their Dealer or MG themselves.

    Before I bought the TF in 2010 I had heard of similar issues from other TF buyers, so I knew some of the risks involved. Luckily, a year on when I bought the ‘6 some of those fears were dispelled as far as my Dealer was concerned. In addition, the quality of the MG6 far exceeds the TF but, as I mentioned I was an early buyer, so I was always prepared to be something of a guinea pig owner. Luckily, or not, the only real test in which I have participated is the MG Aftercare programme.

    Thanks to the others regarding the comments on the Toyos.

  7. Just goes to show that the MG6 is a sound, well-built car, comparable with other marques. All in all a good, concise and well-written article.

  8. This is the kind of customer service MG should be striving for. Yes, there were problems like those mentioned in the other two articles but note how MG and the Dealer got them sorted here.

  9. I am not for one minute casting aspertions, but some dealers do fib to customers-“i have been on to HQ” etc etc when there is a problem that they are unable or unwilling to solve,i work in this enviroment and you get “the guys just a moaner” etc which of course is wrong.At least this dealer has been a good help.
    My favourite one is when a service manager says on the phone “ive just been talking to one of the lads in the workshop” then i know hes lying!

  10. “I am not for one minute casting aspertions, but some dealers do fib to customers”

    How about…

    “Your wheel is being replaced under warranty because of a lacquer problem”

    Yes, Mister Citroën. Would that lacquer problem be that somehow during the 3 hours my car has been here, you have managed to scrape my wheel so badly that it has no paint in the middle AND gouges in it?

    “We’ve finally fixed it”

    Or… you’ve swapped the wheels with a stock car. I know my tyre’s date code…

    Etc..

    Still, nothing tops the “Here’s a bill for £1100, we’ve welded up your NIssan Laurel and done the rustproofing”

    So… what’s that giant hole in the back from then?

  11. Regarding GSD2 tyres for the TF, when the issue of EU directives ending the production by Gooodyear originally arose, I spoke to Goodyear. This was towards the end of 2010.

    Apparently production had ceased due to new constraints imposed by the EU in the use and types of aromatic oils used in tyre manufacture.

    However, Goodyear were able to make adjustments to manufacturing processes to take account of this, and the tyre was produced again in small batches during 2011.

    Goodyear told me that they were well aware of the ongoing demand for GSD2 tyres in the UK for the F/TF, and were doing their best to ensure more were made …

    I’m uncertain about the current supply status, but I’ll be needing rears for my TF soon so I’ll have to find out.

  12. What a change from other MG users, obviously due to a caring dealer, which is heart warming and proves that after sales care is important.
    It also points out that MPG isn’t great for these people carriers. I remember a colleague saying her OBC must be wrong with only 27mpg on grandscenic 1,6 petrol, my neighbour complaining his s-max not returning 25 and John our meat supplier was worst, his wife’s mazda6 mps not achieving 24mpg! He was gutted my Jag’s more efficient than his car. School runs are a killer, cold engine then back home engine barely lukewarm, all these talk of mpg triggered by my petrol S-Type “must cost a fortune on petrol” that still returns at least 27 mpg, avg for “A” trip is 27.8 over more than 2000 miles. Gas guzzlers, look to more plebeian cars, not very eco-friendly I must say for modern family cars but my feeling is these are heavy under-powered or overworked minivans…

  13. Thanks for tyre supply issue info Chris. Web evidence suggests supply issues back to 2005. When I needed new (2011) my MG dealer recommended some make I had never heard off (We could not get GSD2 for love nor money!). I gave them a copy of the MG comms stating that the GSD2 tyre is still the only recommended tyre – but if not available then Toyo or Falken, went with Toyo’s. With hindsight may have been easier for us if all 900 cars (built 2008/09?)had come with an alternative! Love the Christmas present of a model car – nice touch! – My dad had a Honda Civic and when its service was due it woud get a birthday card with cartoon of the car (even down to correct number plate!)

  14. Good read! Ordered my MG6 in orange in May and will have it delivered somewhere this month. Took this long as Japan as far away from the UK. Have only seen pictures of the car and have yet to see it in the flesh or even sit in one and yet I still wanted one…. I try to ignore the negative write ups and take in the positive… I can only hope the car will be all I want it to be and if it needs fixing then try myself…. Do want to hear more about the window seals in hot weather, what is wrong? What happens? Japan can get quite hot….

  15. Early days for us as MG6 owners (less than a week 🙂 ) so it’s good to read about your longer term experience. What can I say about it so far? Lovin’ it!! 😀

  16. Call me a misery but this reads like a press release Martin. It’s almost as if your a well connected leading light in the MGCC.

  17. Andrew, as you are probably aware from Steven Ward, I am involved with the MGCC’s MG6 Register as the Chairman and I am helping with the MGCC FWD Register. I supply Register updates monthly for both in the MGCC’s Safety Fast magazine. I occasionally have articles published in MG Enthusiast magazine, as well as in the MGOC’s Enjoying MG magazine. I have met some of the people involved at MG Motor UK, at the factory in Shanghai and at the MGCC China during a business trip there. I also host several websites to do with upgrading the MGB and the history of the ADO16, particularly the Austin Apache. I also look after the website needs of my local MGOC Area and have, with help, set-up the forum for the MG6 Register.

    I hope this clarifies my position within the MG scene.

    Apart from that I have owned MG, Austin and Rover products of various sorts, bought new or secondhand, since getting my licence in 1981. At this point I have two 1960s classic MG models and I have the two mentioned in the article above, so perhaps I am rare type enthusiast with a foot in both camps. As you will know from Steven, I was as passionate about the MG ZT I owned then, too, often making similar posts to this one on various forums in response to accusations of the MG Rover products’ lack of reliability.

    The blog, as I stated, was in response to the other three stories recently posted. I can choose to sit back or I can post my own experiences to redress the balance. Irrespective of my enthusiasm and involvement within the MG scene, I wrote this piece as a satisfied customer and nothing more than that. If it reads as a press release in your opinion, then I can’t argue with that.

    However, as an enthusiast of MGs, old and new, I try to put as much back into the MG scene as I get out of it. I have given freely of my time whilst running my own company and travelling a lot overseas. I can only see the suggestion that I am doing this under the employ of either the MGCC or MG Motor UK as an attempt to weaken my credibility as the author of the article. I can categorically state that this blog is nothing more than the experience of a satisfied owner.

    Anyway, if you would like to discuss further, please feel to get in touch with me.

  18. Martin, easy tiger! It’s not dig, just a comment – I often get growling comments on submissions here. I source my own vehicles new or nearly new too, so I’m not a £1000 keyboard warrior either.

    My marque loyalty extends such that last weekend I actually had an MG6 set up for hire (funded by my own wallet) from a local MG6 Dealer for an extended continental test drive. However, a failure of the car concerned (unspecified warning lights on the cluster according to to Hire Desk rep) led to an alternative vehicle taking me to Paris.

    MG as a manufacturer do not have their own Press Fleet to use, so my own quest for a real world MG6 experience is akin to finding a unicorn at present. Chin up!

  19. @Andrew,
    Thank God you didn’t get an MG6. I heard you were going to drive it to France sans ferry or train.

    @Martin,
    I can understand Andrew’s point and it’s a minor criticism. I’d imagine it comes from writing articles for an audience that is generally already enthusiastic about the marque. However, I’m interested in hearing all sides of the debate. It seems to me that the main issue with the cars once you buy them is a patchy aftercare package being provided by disenfranchised Dealers. I think most people can get over a few niggles once they are put right and your experience shows this.

    Sadly, my experience of the MG6 is limited to having one pass me on the street so I can’t comment on anything else. I do hope to rectify that in the not too distant future though when I travel to the UK again. We don’t get them in Ireland, but I spotted one on a trip to Aberdeen.

  20. That’s what you would call a ‘positive experience’? Jesus,I would be screaming blue murder if my VW Touaran 2.0 had so many issues.

  21. Martin W is the most positive brand ambassasdor you’ll find. I know two people who’ve bought brand new from Longbridge on the basis of his balanced opinions.

    As an engineer, he’s not blind to mechanical faults and design flaws. I know for a fact his standards of customer service and automotive durability are very high – there are no rose-coloured spectacles with him. Admittedly, Longbridge treat him very well, but then he goes out of his way to be an involved MG enthusiast (globally!), so they’d better look after him.

    The biggest problem with the MG6 is a lack of customer awareness and a very patchy Dealer Network. I know from within my local MG Club that sales are lost (admittedly to Honda) because of the lack a Dealer. Only time, money and savvy marketing can address this issue.

  22. The dealer network is very small,possibly a lot of them family owned,we are not talking Pendragon group here,but none the less the customer should be treated like royalty,im sure most do.Nobody likes pissing about at dealers every two minutes especially with silly faults,and as Kieth Adams stated quite rightly regarding customer expectations why should anyone expect less than 100%?

    I see it from both sides-some customers fetch a vehicle in moaning that the satnav charger has stopped working since we serviced it a week earlier only to go out and find an adapter plugged in the cig lighter with four other gadgets plugged in with a 25 amp current draw!

    Also, when i have had to deal with certain dealers regarding warranty issues they have just blatantly lied to me,one example being a Peugeot Bipper i asked how it was getting along “oh we have just had it in the workshop and road tested blah blah” while i am looking at the tracker screen showing it had never been started upin three weeks!
    I’m sure most MG6’s are problem free,but like anythingsome will go wrong.

  23. My local MG Dealer had been in the same family for 90 years (bought out now by a chain), Austin, Morris, BL, Rover etc throughout. The two TFs they had took over a year to sell. The fact that they are Skoda as well probably influenced them not to take the MG6 (maybe MG6 and Octavia’s are obvious competitors). By the time I came along I think things were not going so well.

    Unfortunately, after tranferring to a big dealership (swanky showroom with new MG6s and Fords), the service was no better – both my old and new Dealer only seemed to have one trained MG mechanic so booking in slots were limited and size really did not seem to have any influence on attitude or a first-time fix.

    I appreciate the efforts that MG are making through the MGCC to pull in punters (adverts throughout Safety Fast and through MGCC events etc), but they need to find a way to sell to wider public without ongoing factory relationship/back up (or time or desire to spend time in MG’s company). I wonder how the Rapid (silly name!) stakes up against the MG? I do hope MG6 sales are gaining some traction!

  24. @Martin W. Did I spot you MG TF in Ballsbridge in Dublin this morning? I passed an 09/10 reg MGTF very similar to yours. A VERY rare sight in Dublin

  25. Incidentally I also passed a R3 GTI and an 800 fastback on the same stretch this morning. 3 VERY rare cars to see in one day

  26. @Barry,
    No, but, coincidentally, I will be passing through en route to Carlow next week – a second trip for my TF to Ireland which has also had a further three business trips to Belgium and Germany.

    Look out for a Scorched Red, 10 plate TF.

    @Sam,
    You’re right, volume sales will not come from within the MG Clubs. Actually, the MG Clubs need the outside sales as much as MG themselves as this will help bring in new members.

  27. @Martin, get my email address from Keith. I’d be interested in a quick meet up to have a spin in a Chinese TF. I’ll also give you a nice route to Carlow to make the most of the TF’s handling if you have time to enjoy the trip.

  28. Great customer service from the dealer and maufacturer.

    Shame the cars don’t seem that great. As a former F and TF owner who now has an MX5 MK 3.5 I have to say it is a vastlu superior car to the MG. So it should be, it is a 15 year younger design.

    Peeling paint, park sensor gremlins, on your TF aren’t really acceptable. All cars have paint, most these days parking sensors. They really need to be getting stuff like this right from the off. And the only big fault in your MX5 was an airbag.

    As for your 6, you don’t maie it sound great at all. Even little gremlins appear on the cooling system of the ancient K series stil being used.

    A minor crash jammed the door.

    I am far from being an MG hater. I have had an R8 2Fs and a 160 TF. Never lost a head gasket or had a major problem with any of them. None of them, even when new, were well built.

    MG needs to be using modern motors and adopting the best in Korean and Japanese quality not just in build, but ireliability.

    For me, investing in an Octagon (Even the badges still fade according to you blog) would be a silly thing to do, when Ford, Mazda, Nissan Kia etc are building decent and modern quality cars.

  29. One fault with a faulty coolant level sensor does not make for HGF. The only other fault being fitting better quality brake pads. Any other faults discussed relate to the accident. As I said, I knew this would be a guinea pig exercise buying one of the first ones. Further, there are no major recalls as yet on the MG6.

    More to the point the interior quality of both MGs is superior to Mazda. Sure, the Mazda fits together better with tighter gaps etc. but the surface gets scratched and marked easily and as for vacuuming the carpet that is a waste of time given the dirt gets trapped in the weave. By comparison the surfaces in the MG have remained mark/scratch free and the carpets vacuum spotlessly clean.

    And then there is the matter of corroded alloys. The Mazda5 wore through front tyres in less than a year/10k miles. Google Mazda5 and tyre life and see how badly they got it wrong, nevermind that we had paint flaking off our alloys after 18 months, and prior to buying the MX5 the dealer fitted new alloys because the old ones were so corroded. And then there were two incidents with the engine management light coming on on our Mazda5 within 6 months and supposedly a turbo issue according to the fault code.

    So I would argue that Mazda get it any better. Just my experience.

    @Barry, email me via the Austin Apache site.

  30. Mazda 5 is the rebadged Mazda Pharmacy isn’t it?

    New Mazda 6 looks an interesting proposition. Almost Jag-like in proportions.

  31. I won’t get into the MG TF v MX5 debate as I have seen as many ‘very motivated’ followers posting for and against their ‘pride and joy'(thats a debate that will run and run, just look at MX websites for the flipside of debates on this site!). In my defence I would probably still have the MG TF if it were not for the bodywork, from various posts clearly even very satisfied TF owners have had some flavour of similar bodywork issues(yet the factory expect owners to seek out a solution rather than admit and put in place a programme to recall and inspect or fix). Given the chatter on the internet I hope I am not sticking my neck out in saying ‘Houston we have a problem!’ I almost expected HGF and was very pleased that at 35k no oil or water issues at all – so it is a shame that MG have introduced a problem considering they have batch built only 900 cars, having fixed another that was the cause of previous huge debates! -It would appear that MG6 does not have this issue so well done MG at least for sorting for this model.

  32. What I will say for my R8 and Fs is that paint quality was great. Not so much on the post project drive TF.

    I know nothing about the age of my MX5’s engine, but would love to know more.

    As for scratchy interiors. It isn’t a problem. It stands up to daily life just fine.

    For for what its worth, my wife’s not got the love for the MX5 that she had for the MGs. I however adore it, as I did with my TF160 I think the Nazda may get chopped in for an Abarth 595.

    What I said about build quality is a very important point. Mazda Ford etc have a history, a reputation. Kia et al knew they had to match that at the very least to be taken seriously.

    MG need to take that approach. What is an MG to the average punter? At best an old British sports car, at worst something tainted with the death of the British car industry.

    Its all very well pitching the car to enthusiasts liike people here. And good for you for supporting them.

    Bad paint, fading badges etc happen on other brands, but by and large they have an established reputation. People get what Vauxhalls, VWs , Toyotas etc are. They tooerate faults because they have brand loyalty or whatever. When you have an unknown and obscure car like a modern MG, customers will be less forgiving.

    MG needs to hit the market hard with a range of good cars good cars, good prices, zero defect build quality and a Kia matching 7 year warranty. They need high profile dealer chains to sell them, and publicity, lots of it.

    Look how Renault are ceverly getting Dacia talked about. Cheap as chips cars getting praise on Pistonheads.com. Quite an achievement. MG should be taking note.

  33. My Mazda5 had terrible tyre wear until I got it independently aligned by Elite Tyres, Reading. The fronts are now wearing evenly. The Mazda5 is 7 years old, and engine wise it’s still perfect. The MGZT had a BMW engine in diesel form; can we expect engine reliability from the petrol 6 engine?
    A VAG, BMW or Mazda should hold up for 7 years no trouble, time will tell with new MG.
    Our MGF served us pretty well as a daily driver, we flogged it when the hydragas bells needed replacement.

  34. A good read, and quite encouraging- looks like MG Motors are trying to get it right in terms of build quality and support for their vehicles (if this one example is typical).

    Yes, the K Series might well have a bit of a ‘shop soiled’ reputation (based on it’s pre-SAIC incarnations) but that does not mean that it couldn’t come right in the end. But what really matters is the attitude of the manufacturer and the dealer in sorting out the inevitable gremlins that come of launching a car like this on the British market- its always going to be a bit of a guinea pig. And there are far better established makers whose products have serious design or build issues, necessitating recalls (or ignoring the issues)- so all in all, looks like they are heading in the right direction.

    Still need to market the things better though.

  35. @43, I used to have a ’99 Golf 20v GTi with 204k on it when sold- I would have it back tomorrow. My current daily user is a MK5 GT TDi which I like but in the space of a week the anti shudder valve failed (expected at some point) which is £200 and every time I give it a taste into a left hander the airbag light comes on due to a faulty crash sensor.

    Its things like that what get on my tits.
    Don’t get me started on the turd Mazda 6 diesel engine or the BMW turbo failures……….

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