Press Report : Auto Express drives the MG6 at Goodwood

Words: Luke Madden Photographs: Otis Clay, Auto Express, 6th July, 2010

The MG3 is the marque’s future, but what about its present? The MG6 will be the first new model to wear the octagon badge since 1995.

Auto Express took the wheel during the Moving Motor Show at Goodwood’s famous hillclimb to see what customers can expect from the Ford Focus rival when it’s launched early next year.

Based on the Chinese-built Roewe 550, the newcomer has been designed and engineered in the UK at the new MG Birmingham facility at Longbridge in the West Midlands. In the coming months, Engineers will update the interior and dynamics of the car, which is still set up for the Chinese market.

The bold fastback design can look a little awkward from some angles, but on the whole, its smart and stylish appearance is sure to win many admirers. Intricately detailed headlights and the optional alloys fitted to our model add a dash of style.

The interior is well built and the quality of materials good, especially the soft-touch finish lining the dash. Bosses were keen to point out, though, that UK models would get extra sporty details, such as new dials and brushed metal inserts. Stiffer suspension and tweaked power-steering should also inject the 6 with the sharp handling that has characterised MGs of the past.

As it stands, the steering is too light and there’s too much body roll – but these areas will be improved before the hatch goes on sale in the UK. Our other concern was a slightly jittery ride, although UK models will benefit from a more comfortable and supple suspension set-up.” Luke Madden, Auto Express

As it stands, the steering is too light and there’s too much body roll – but these areas will be improved before the hatch goes on sale in the UK. Our other concern was a slightly jittery ride, although UK models will benefit from a more comfortable and supple suspension set-up.

The 158bhp 1.8-litre turbocharged engine is the only unit available at launch, and despite some turbo lag low down in the rev range, it still manages an impressive 8.5-second 0-60mph time.

Its five-speed manual box is precise, and the well insulated cabin means the MG6 is quiet and refined at high speeds. Economy will be around 38mpg. A more efficient turbocharged 1.9-litre diesel powerplant will follow after the initial release.

There’s no word on prices yet, but the 6 should start from around £15,000, with the flagship model around £20,000. The final production version will be unveiled in November and is expected in showrooms early next year.

If MG can deliver on all the improvements it has promised, then the 6 will be a worthy flag-bearer for the rebirth of one of Britain’s most famous brands.

[Source: Auto Express]

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.


  1. The grey metallic colour suits the MG6 well. Hopefully, there will be people who want to buy this… but with one model, one engine… MG needs to introduce the saloon and diesel versions as quickly as possible or else, I think, it will not work for them.

  2. The top picture makes the MG6 look better than the previous pictures of the car. However, it needs a bit more aggression. The one engine option is a bit of downer – have the Chinese not read this site and learned from the past? They should, at least, buy a diesel in until they have their own unit up and running.

  3. I would like to have seen a more aggressive looking front. In this picture, look at the gaping black space at the front. I love the integration of the larger badge, but perhaps more of a grill and larger lamps might have made for a more powerful looking ‘face’ instead of that zig-zag across the front.

    However, compared to the Focus, which is what MG UK want us to do, it’s just a little bit more interesting. I think that’s what they’ve aimed at: just a little bit interesting, not too much but just enough to win over the middle ground from Ford and Seat et al.

  4. Sigh – well, at least the engine is moderately competitive – for 1998 anyway – not to mention the 5-speed transmission. More to the point, if I was at BMW, I would be contacting the Legal Department over that rear cluster treatment… not to mention the rest of the rear end – although kudos to MG that they actually managed to make the butt-end of a BMW X6 look moderately presentable.

    I’ll admit it looks better at the front end than I thought it would but the questions are simple:

    Is more interesting better than best ride in class?
    Is it going to be cheaper than the Focus spec-for-spec? (I think it has to be)
    Are people willing to put their trust in the MG brand even with the backing of a massive conglomerate like SAIC Motor?

    Personally, if it was up to me, that lower grille would have some sort of detailing – body colour or chromed or something – it just looks like the Black Hole of Calcutta at the moment.

  5. Did you actually drive an MG6? The one I drove up the hill had ridiculously heavy steering and was so tight it wouldn’t make 8.5sec 0-60 in a million years… However, it was well equipped and may rival some Koreans in terms of value for money.

Add to the debate: leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.