Blog : MG GS – First impressions

The recent SMMT Test Day at the Millbrook Proving Ground had one or two surprises in store for those attending. One of them came via MG Motor UK – in addition to the MG3 and MG6, the company was also displaying the soon-to-be-launched MG GS as a static exhibit.

Mike Humble

The MG GS 1.5 Turbo - what do you think?
The MG GS 1.5 Turbo – what do you think? Other journalists, bloggers and Tweeters seemed to be quietly impressed. Fit and finish appears to be as good as rival models – especially its very good paint job and tidy panel shut lines

Rather like the new series of Top Gear, the MG GS has come in for a fair bit of abuse long before anyone has even experienced it. All the motoring social media portals have been chuntering away about the GS for a while now and, as to be expected, the normal ill-informed and xenophobic comments can be found.

My own take is to reserve judgment until the facts are known and the product has been sampled, but I will say this: MG needs to pull the rabbit out of the hat with this new model – if handled correctly, though, I think the car has the potential to make a few ripples if not a huge splash when it goes on public launch.

Personally, I think the MG6 is dead in the water. Sales remain poor and its Euro 5 diesel engine becomes obsolete very shortly, so the GS could very well be the car the company needs to gain the confidence of both the fleet and retail sectors. On the other hand, the little MG3 is genuinely smile-inducing in a tight corner and, for its value-led asking price offers a roomy five-door body with a level of trim no other rival can offer – it just desperately needs a zesty power unit to match its cheeky looks!

So, the MG GS: what’s it really like? Well, the car on show was a static exhibit, so sadly there was no opportunity to drive one around the superb Millbrook facility, but that didn’t stop anyone having a really good poke around inside the car. First contact proves that SAIC Motor is getting a grip on how a car should look and feel and, whereas the MG6 is a mish-mash of inconsistencies so far as textures are concerned, the GS’s interior feels well-engineered and soft in touch where it needs to be.

All of the controls and switches have a pleasant damped feel to the them when you twiddle the knobs and the grain of the leather on the seat facings has a nice semi-rouched look. That’s 100 per cent better than the current top-spec MG3 and 6 models.

On the inside it looks pretty good and well engineered. Leather seat facings are a world apart from those found in the MG3 and 6. Overall quality is far better too. Plenty of room on offer and the driving position seems about right.
On the inside it looks pretty good and well-engineered for European consumers. Its slightly ruched leather seat facings are a world apart from those found in the MG3 and 6 and overall quality is far better, too. Plenty of room and practicality on offer and the driving position seems about right. We’ll let you know the driving experience in a couple of weeks’ time

There’s plenty of room all round and, when you pull the weighty door shut, you’re treated to a reassuring thunk. Exterior panel fit and paint work seems on a par with rival makers – I certainly didn’t notice any wonky gaps, kinked door seals or loose fitting handles during my examination of the car.

Popping open the bonnet shows a roomy engine bay for the 1.5 16v turbo so this is bound to bring sensible servicing prices when it’s due. The overall packaging looks impressive, even though the display car came fully-assembled from China the view under the hood is as good as any other European-built small SUV… Might this 1.5 turbo engine find its way into the MG3 in the near future?

Round the rear, there’s a decent-sized boot so, as far as a family hack matters, the GS seems to have the practicality boxes ticked. On the whole, my first impressions were good, but it’s not perfect. Some of the incidental plastics are hard and cold to the touch but they are on rival models as well these days.

That said, the MG GS seems to be a more fully-honed product and light years ahead of the MG6 in terms of quality and overall appeal. MG Motor UK is keeping tight-lipped about launch specification and prices but we are led to believe there’s a trio of trim levels and that both manual and auto variants will be offered. MG is also saying nothing about diesels at the moment.

MG is not ruling out UK production if sales volumes demand it – let’s hope so for now. However, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and MG has invited us along to the Launch Event in Oxfordshire in a couple of weeks’ time, so we’ll let you know what it’s like out on the road.

Hopefully, MG Motor UK will really push this rather important new model on the marketing front – previous marketing campaigns have either been laughingly poor or half-hearted to say the least. Marketed hard and professionally, though, this new car might just make a difference in terms of numbers.

Mike Humble


  1. This definitely looks like the car to transform the brand. I was impressed with the Chinese-spec model in the London showroom a few weeks ago. This is a handsome enough car entering a growing but competitive market. It has every possible chance in its favour and I hope, as Mike points out, that MG get this launch and marketing right this time – there really is no excuse. I forget the name of the guy who did the Motor show launch, I’m sure he’s a nice guy but the reveal was embarrassingly amateur to say the least. I’m praying for a proper launch with all the press behind it.

    • I believe that was MG’s Sales & Marketing Manager. Yeah, I know, unbelievable, isn’t it?!

      A slight improvement on his predecessor – which, admittedly, isn’t hard – but still seems way, way, way out of his depth. If MG Motor got credible, experienced people, some industry heavyweights who know how to sell cars in the UK and Europe, into the three key positions of MD, Design Director, and Sales & Marketing Manager, it would absolutely transform the company.

  2. It looks to be the best product so far. If it is priced correctly (just above Duster money) and marketed properly it should do well. However they will need a decent diesel to compete in the growing market for small SUV’s. A 4×4 version will also be vital for rural sales.
    It may not be an MG in the traditional sense, that market has gone, probably for good. Mazda/Fiat now own that segment.
    I wish it well, especially if it can keep a workforce employed at Longbridge

  3. Mike,

    Did MG actually tell you that GS could have final assembly at Longbridge? As this is very different from what I am hearing.

  4. Roll on a decent diesel offering and hope it has good towing ability which will appeal to caravanners in the way the the Korando does.

  5. I agree with NeilB pricing is the key should it mimic the Duster or maybe in a price band just below what Ssangyong & Subaru charge for the Tivoli & the Vitara. First signs look good,it could sell well

  6. It’s what the market is buying right now, these small crossover SUVs.

    Now, many of us aren’t fans of the segment, and many would lament the fact that a once purveyor of tuned saloon/hatchbacks and sports cars are now building crossovers. However this is the type of vehicle to build marketshare. Just look at the Dacia Duster which is selling well. Unfortunately they weren’t able to ‘do an Octavia’ with the 6. Perhaps the late addition of a diesel option didn’t help, the BTCC successes didn’t seem to be capitalised upon, and it wasn’t helped that the D segment / straddling C segment fastbacks and saloons are a shrinking segment.

    The GS, together with the 3, they make a good pair to ramp up sales. I’ve seen an increasing number of 3s as a couple of local dealers – in particular SS Logan of Whiteabbey and Martins of Killyleagh seem to be doing a sterling job of promoting the 3 themselves, unlike the half hearted efforts of RMG (who closed after a month) and Saltmarine who were trying to pedal ex-demo 6s at near-RRP.

  7. “A big splash” – you mean like the third body in the Midsummer Murders homage that has been MG?

    The inside looks nice, I have to admit, it looks just as nice as it does in the Citroen C3, in fact I’m surprised Citroen hasn’t got fleets of lawyers waiting to drop like a tonne of rectangular building things. And lo, do I spy a slushboxen? That’ll be the SS homage then (Jaguar, not the EU) the StodgeSpeed. Like a turnip curry on wheels.

    If it is sold as a car, an item you use to do what a car does, it will sell fine. What will probably happen however is it will be sold as what you’d get if Cecil Kimber’s zombie got hold of a FreeLander – and will sink like the corpse that is soon to be Tom/John Barnaby’s next Case.. I’ve even got a title “The case of the Longbridge Lashup”

  8. These will never be my cup of tea as a lifelong MG enthusiast but, these things appear to be selling like the proverbial hot cakes to UK car consumers.

    If it looks and drives in the flesh as well as it looks in the images I’ve seen, provided MG UK can get folks to look at it, then it should sell and I wish the venture well.

    Couple of years ago, our local MG dealership placed an MG3 outside the main entrance doors of Morrisons supermarket for a few days. Within a year a near neighbour got a silver MG3, another a white one and a Driving School MG3 is frequently seen locally. Bright yellow so you cannot miss it.

    Years ago, ARGroup did deals for one-man band driving schools on Austin/MG Metros. They were ubiquitous driving school cars locally. I believe BSM had a fleet of them. Good ideas raising the profile like that sells cars. Pupils could be strongly influenced whilst learning in an MG and so would consider buying one.

    • Selling 3 cars within a year is pretty impressive for MG. Perhaps you are onto something there…..

  9. What I do not understand is why, with a golden and not all that frequent opportunity like a test day, MG did not make the cars available to drive . I just wish that this catalogue of missed opportunity after missed opportunity could be brought to an end, and some proper progress be made in marketing the cars

    • The reason why you wouldn’t make the cars available to drive is this. According to the article there is a press launch with a Ride & Drive in a couple of weeks. The press will tend to give events more coverage if it is news, hence a process consisting of First Spy Shots, First Official Photographs, Reveal, First Public Showing, First Drive etc gets you 5 lots of news and 5 lots of coverage. They are simply at stage 4 at the moment, they’ve got their coverage otherwise we wouldn’t be reading this, and there’ll be more coverage again at stage 5.

  10. Not a fan of this type of car tbh. However, this is where the market is and it makes sense for MG to follow it.
    Seems to have taken them ages to get this ready. Hope its worth the wait. 🙂

  11. A decent looking small Crossover, I can see this selling better than the MG3 or MG6. The engine looks good too, a massive step forward, but then it was co-developed with GM

    If Longbridge production isn’t certain, then is there a future for the facility based just on MG3 sales?

    • Apparently the MG3 is now brought in pre-assembled so there’s no car production at Longbridge at the moment. Perhaps if the GS takes off then it will be viable to assemble it in the UK but year one GS projections are about 60 cars a month.

  12. Just to be controversial and I appreciate where I’m saying this, but the brand is wrong for the target market, entry into SUV world which is the growing sector with a name associated with roadsters, string back gloves and enthusiasts polishing their motors…. Not what the entry level buyers are hoping to be thought of. Car looks OK, but this is not the MG we all remember or any relation to what we might have wanted it to be.

    • @Greg70: I think you have to totally disconnect the MG cars that we all love and remember, from the Chinese company that now exists with that name and badge. MG as a modern brand is now so far removed from the sporting cars that started out as Cecil Kimber’s MG Car Company Limited, to not really warrant having any historical link at all.

      I think of MG now as a sort of Hyundai or Kia who found the deeds to an old car company name at a boot sale and used that to (badly) market their product to a World that generally knows no better and frankly doesn’t really care. Whatever products the company now known as MG makes, just consider them as a recent creation and draw no reference to the past or lineage – compare them to the USP of market rivals like Dacia or Perodua and everything comes into perspective.

      ‘These are not the MG’s you’re looking for’!

    • The MG “brand” is what they were left with to market their Anglo/Chinese cars.

      It doesn’t fit their products – Austin or Morris would be more suitable I suppose – but this Crossover SUV is no more unsuitable than a small hatchback like the MG3 (or for that matter the Rover Metro/100 or CityRover).

  13. The interior looks ok, just like any low end Peugeot, Kia, Toyota etc, which means its ok.

    However unless it’s much cheaper than its equivalents or I have an established and happy relationship with a dealer, I cannot think of a good reason to buy one of these at least not until it gets a decent UK content in its manufacture.

    • Not to mention all the other brands with SUV/Crossovers:

      Fiat, MINI, Ford, Vauxhall, VW, Skoda, Hyundai, Kia, Volvo, BMW, Mercede, Mazda, Audi…

      That’s right folks – practically all of them

      • Even Alfa Romeo are getting in on the act.

        About 7 years ago it was first rumoured, there was much gnashing of teeth on the Alfa forum I was active on, however I think that with the likes of the MiTo showing that they can open up new markets without destroying the brand, and the increasing popularity of crossover/SUVs, it is now accepted as an inevitability that is coming to implementation.

  14. It’s really growing on me, though have to say styling wise, they missed a trick not making the LED running lights the whole of the ‘Boomerang” type silver feature. Some cars are instantly recogniseable by their LED’s – would’ve been a good idea on this.

  15. In the Enjoying MG magazine June issue, the GS will be :-
    1) priced to be competitive with a Qashqai circa £17k
    2) petrol engine only with an auto option.
    3) no mention of 4 wheel drive
    4) no assembly at Longbridge.

    My first thoughts are, too expensive, wrong engine, poor drive options and no help to Longbridge. Go buy a Qashqai and help Sunderland.
    Perhaps I will be proved wrong?

  16. The car magazines prefer to have group “competition” feature article of a particular car, so what will the MG line up against in a typical article?

    SSang Yong Tivoli?
    Vauxhall Mocha?

    suggestions please:

    • Depends on the publication.

      I’d say the likes of Autocar would have it against the Ssangyong IBM Tivoli Netcool and some Suzuki effort.

      Auto Express would put it against the new Skoda Zodiac and VW Tiguan, of which the VW would come 1st praising the soft touch plastics, and the Skoda (VW group) 2nd.

  17. Now I’m not an MG fanboy, but today I sat a MG GS at the Suffolk show, and it didn’t appear too bad really. Pleather feel rather than leather feel inside, and stupid side sills that brushed your ankles as you got in were minus points, seating position a plus point. Boot floor had the generic SUV problem of being too high up. Would I invest my own money over a Qashqai? It would have to be undercutting the Qashqai to get buyers to take the gamble.

  18. Surely the GS will bring a big boost to MG UK sales –

    – it’s a contemporary type of car whereas the 6 is not. The market has moved so massively to the Crossover, SUV. The 3 has a more current style than the 6 and has sold far better.

    – the gradual growth in dealer numbers will also help sales

    – from what Mike says, the GS seems to have greater quality, showroom appeal.

    The pricing will obviously be a major issue.

    As per the 3 and 6, the lack of engine options etc indicates that SAIC is still happy with a slowly does it approach to UK, European market growth.

    Here on the Wirral, there seems to be a hole in the dealer network (I’m not counting the soon to be gone Graham Walker in Chester). Apart from about half a dozen sightings over the past year I appear to be the only MG UK vehicle for miles. Interestingly though, I’ve had several comments from long distance lorry drivers who also own a 3.

    • Just a quick point of information – the new MG dealer in Warrington, John Stuart Motor Co. Ltd. t/a Warrington MG, is holding a combined Launch Event and BTCC Q&A tomorrow evening. Any AROnline readers wishing to attend should follow this link and complete the online registration form.

      • I live in Warrington and had no idea we had an MG dealership. Well they certainly kept that a secret…..

        • Nige,

          My apologies if my previous comment was misleading – the Launch Event at Warrington MG on the 3rd June was for the commencement of the MG franchise and not for the MG GS. I expect that there may well be a separate Launch Event at the dealership when the new model officially goes on sale after the Media Launch in another couple of weeks.

  19. I have to agree that it certainly looks the part. I still think though that there is little or no appetite for MG badged products in the UK beyond a tiny group of individuals. The sales figures back this up of course. I still think the cars would be far more marketable if they used the SAIC badge rather than the MG octagon.

    • This is so very true. Decades of incessant media negativity over anything UK Industry related means the names Rover and MG have been poisoned in the minds of most UK car consumers, not to be confused with car enthusiasts who often view things far differently. However, I have a number of contacts and friends in other countries who own MGs and Rovers who hold them in far higher regard than the average Brit car consumer. Rightly so in my opinion.

      The Chinese, like the Germans are clearly not mugs. Witness the Bavarian outfit picking up the massively asset rich Rover Group for relative peanuts back in the early 1990s. Then systematically stripping, selling off and cherry picking and retaining the assets they wanted. The Chinese patiently waited until the receivers were called in to the remnants of the once asset rich Rover Group known as MG-R then picked up what the wanted again relatively cheaply.

      I strongly suspect and believe the Chinese owners now of the MG marque are fully aware of the poisoned UK market and that may explain why, in the view of many Brits, they have not put the UK near the top of their world market trading efforts. They can be patient. Nothing lasts forever and who knows what the attitudes of the average UK car consumer will be with the passing of more time.

      • “Quote”: This is so very true. Decades of incessant media negativity over anything UK Industry related means the names Rover and MG have been poisoned in the minds of most UK car consumers, not to be confused with car enthusiasts who often view things far differently.”

        I appreciate my following question is deviating further from the core theme of this news story, but why has there been “decades of incessant negativity over anything UK Industry related” by both the press and us as citizens of this country?

        What factors have led to this approach/attitude becoming a common theme in quite a few industries rather than merely the motor industry and particular brands? Why as a country are we so ready to ridicule our own industries and particular brands based on factors which only make up a proportion of that particular industry’s trading activity?

        Do we see the Germans, French, Japanese, Russians etc. having the same approach to their own respective industries? No. In fact they find it rather puzzling why the British seem to be all too keen to ‘score own goals’ on our industries and brands which are intrinsically linked to employment generating opportunities. In other words, our negativity and lack of support for certain industries and brands does little to maintain stability in their employment opportunities or potentially give them opportunities to build on current achievement to enable further new employment and investment to follow.

        Perhaps we as a nation like to perceive ourselves as a nation of truth against other countries and societies. Perhaps we like to see ourselves as a nation of Which? magazine.

        I apologise that I am breaking your point down to such a micro level, but I have often wondered about the underlying determinants that have led to this all-too familiar trend on ‘own’ industries and brands. In other words, when and where did it ultimately all start? Perhaps I need to delve into the world of behaviour economics and/or consumer psychology to see what academic research might have been written on this very subject… I am guessing not much.

        • Well said David 3500. For at least four decades, say about the time Thatcher first had strong influence, we as a Nation have evolved into our own self-inflicted worst enemy. Those European cars, no names no pack drill, us Brits wrongly put on such a high pedestal such as the very ordinary Golf are no better than what Solihul, Cowley, Abingdon and yes, even Longbridge produced over the years. Years ago, when the MG Maestro first appeared, the likes of Quentin Wilson and other so called Motoring Experts went almost orgasmic whenever mentioning that very ordinary VW. Why is that. Wilson still very guilty of that to this day.

          Back then, a German correspondent who was the very happy owner of an “ordinary” MG Maestro 2.0i explained he was truly puzzled by Brits forming queues to pay over the odds for “ordinary” VWs when our home product was actually quite good. Over the years, I have helped MG and Rover owners worldwide obtain parts to keep their cars running which they cannot obtain locally. Every one of those foreign folks view and rate British Cars far more highly than the average brainwashed car consuming Brit. So who are the better unbiased judges, them or us Brits?

          Yes John, but the reason your MG ZS is so very reliable is because of its Honda engine. Yeah … OK … right. I used to contact every seller of Rover Diesel or petrol Turbos, 620ti and Vitesse 800s et al, who wrongly described their cars engine as very powerful and reliable … as a Honda! Gave up in the end… there we so many erroneously described Rover Engined cars. Also a seller of a Diesel Honda Accord with advert on my firm’s Notice Board described his “Honda” Diesel engine as very powerful, economical and reliable Honda engine. It was of course Rover’s L-Series Diesel in his car. Another on the firm’s notice board advertised his Rover 25 with high mileage in much the same way having a “Honda” engine. I put both colleagues right about that.

          Fifteen years ago, I phoned a seller arranging to view a Vitesse Turbo who advertised his car’s engine as being a Honda. “It must be a Honda John, it’s so powerful and reliable. I told him if his car did have a Honda engine and not Rover’s T-Series, I would not be buying his otherwise nice Vitesse. I could almost hear his jaw drop even on the phone. I bought that Vitesse. To this day I would bet a nice few quid he still thinks I am wrong about that car’s engine.

          Lost count of such scenarios over the years. So who still thinks all Rovers and MGs are carp. I know the answer to that. Most brainwashed UK car consumers. TATA for now.

          Finally, remember this …The Golf GTi will be along in a second…


          • The revival of the MG marque with the 1300 Metro and later the Turbo was very successful. However the original MG Maestro introduced in 1600 form ifrom 1983 was a complete dog. Had the 2.0 EFI been introduced in 1983 with the launch of the Maestro range it may have become a respected hot hatch. Unfortunately the previously duff 1600 killed the image. It did recover later, particularly after the MG Montego was introduced.
            I cannot understand what you have against German metal particularly from the Maestro era? Leyland cars may have been as good as the Germans mechanically. However it was a different matter when it came to bodywork. How many 25year old Polo/Golf’s do you see tooling about compared with similar aged Metro/Maestro/Montego?
            That is why the British public purchased German cars. Today the gap between mass market and prestige has closed dramatically.
            I am an MG enthusiast, I have owned several. Currently looking for a mint BGT. I presently own a Golf R and a Touareg R Line, both are brilliant. Likely to buy a LR product when I change my Touareg.

    • The poor sales of the MG3 and MG6 (especially) are down to the product, promotion, lack of dealers etc.

      The car market is massively competitive now, it takes a lot to stand out

      I agree that the MG badge is a mismatch for their products, especially as the last MGs produced by MGR were larey, “boy racer” extreme versions of the sober Rovers, whereas these have no sporting pretensions at all.

      • …. but it would not take much to add a bit of sporting flavour to the new MGs. Some mildy sporty models or even some more extreme modern day Zeds. I mean, the Rover 45 hardly seemed an ideal basis for an MG but just look at ZS that emerged!!!!

        • But then they are mainly trying to sell to people who might buy a Dacia or Ssangyong, i.e. people who want a practical box on wheels, not enthusiasts…

          • which is why the MG badge is completely inappropriate for the product they are trying to sell….

  20. Shame they didn’t try both: the engine in the 6 seems to have decent performance for the price.

    Talking of which, until the end of June, MG’s website says there is a “scrappage, PX allowance or cashback” available: £1500 for the 3 and £2000 for the 6.

    Does this mean that an entry 6 is essentially now £12000? That seems like quite a lot of new car for the money, though it won’t help values of nearly-new ones. They must be keen to shift the remaining ones! Possibly a tempting minicab or similar, especially if purchased with the 5-year warranty, and with the free 3-year/45k servicing also available until the end of June.

    Such measures won’t give the public confidence in the likely residual values of the GS, though.

  21. ? No reply option for :~

    NeilB says:
    5 June 2016 at 6:43 pm

    QUOTE:~ “That is why the British public purchased German cars.”

    So Brits formed long queues to pay over the odds for them which immediately created numerous well paid jobs and careers for all our “friends” on mainland Europe. This enabled the Germans to struggle all the way to their banks with a hugely heavy trading surplus unlike some Nation which will be names, no pack drill.

    QUOTE:~ “I cannot understand what you have against German metal particularly from the Maestro era?”

    I have nothing “against” German cars. My all time favourite car is the Mercedes-Benz 300sl Gullwing since I first saw a new one outside London’s Dorchester Hotel when I was a schoolboy in the 1950s. Mercedes-Benz peaked then and all their cars since then have lesser, not Grosser appeal … 😉

    What I have against a certain Government is their allowing the massively asset rich Rover Group to be sold off spiv-like cheap to the Bavarians at the same time torpedoing the partnership with Honda. Who then went on to even bad mouth the Rover 75 at launch then asset stripped, sold off JLR for a mere £1.8 billion, repeat billion then cherry picked and retained key Rover Group components with clever accounting to demonstrate the English Patient scenario. tFinally dumping the remnants to struggle on which became known as MG-Rover. The alternative Government shower turned their back on all the Bruvvers in April 2005 when the receivers were called in after they had shafted any hope of a joint venture with another Motor Manufacturer. By then MG-R was a private company of course. The patient Chinese picked up what they wanted for a song.

    We as a nation sat back and allowed all this to happen. It’s what we do.

    Back on track.

    My observations of those purchasing German product, in their next breath bemoan the fact there are precious fewer decent jobs, let alone worthwhile careers for their children. Clueless.

    Maybe the penny will drop with some of these millions of Brits come June 23rd. Given their penchant for getting so many things quite simply wrong, I expect more of the same come June 24th.

    Friendly neighbour who always buys German “It’s about choice John, You cannot beat German Engineering and reliability” … soon after his Porsche had severe engine problems leaving him stranded on the nearby M5 Motorway. His car cost him more to repair than I paid for my MG ZS 120 new on the road in 2003. In daily use by my good lady even today. He also told me that the reason that MG ZS has been so reliable is because of its Honda Engine. Brainwashing of the British Car Consumer. Alive and doing continuing harm to the UK’s increasingly shakey economy.

    Call me Dave and Gorgeous George do this Nation no favours by bigging up how well the UK economy is doing. It’s a very false picture. Our friends across La Manche no doubt find this music to their ears and deem that success solely due to UK’s membership of the Union of Europe. :yikes: That’ll be how much MORE Brussels?

    You couldn’t make it up.

    So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I fancy doing a bit of Exporting. …. UK Jobs. Now where’s those new BMW details, you can keep those Jags and Land Rovers. I fancy a nice new 5-Series in black with … cup holders.

    Just another view from the sidelines.

    It would be laughable if it was not so serious.

    • You seem sadly misinformed:

      When Rover was sold to BMW, it had already been asset-striped by British Aerospace. They got what they wanted – the sites – sold them for a very healthy profit, then flogged the corpse of the company to BMW. There where very few assets left to strip by then!

      Please name some the ” key Rover Group components” that BMW “cherry picked”?

      “….sold off JLR for a mere £1.8 billion…” You’re simply wrong – the ‘J’ in your comment – Jaguar – had been sold to Ford years before BMW came near the place. BMW never had any business connection with Jaguar.

      BMW never made any secret of why they acquired Rover. They wanted an established marque that could be used for a sub-BMW product, along with a cheap, compliant, workforce. MINI was the obvious choice for the marque, so they got it. That Cowley ended up with the factory rather than Longbridge was entirely due to the Longbridge unions attitude. They gave BMW the opportunity to walk away, so they did!

    • Well, if you go for a new 5 Series with a 4 cylinder engine you will find the engine was built at Hams Hall Birmingham.

      • I strongly suspect you have a vested interest judging by your stance on these issues. I wonder if you were one of the tru-Brits keen to dance on the grave of Longbridge back in April 2005. MEGA rejoicing.

        Hams Hall. Oh, one of the many cherry picked retained assets you mean which never took place. Split hairs if your pedant slant, just like the 1.8 billion the Bavarian outfit did not get for Land Rover.

        Consume the bovine excrement and regurgitate it if you wish. Then conveniently forget the clever accounting to justify their English Patient scenario. Thus justifying your Exportation of Jobs every time you buy “superior” foreign product. After all we have such a fine range of Indigenous British owned and controlled manufacturers to chose from thus retaining UK Jobs.

        When it suits, they will be gone. Years before any talk of any referendum, most have threatened to do this and will do so. Just a matter of time and simple timely financial decisions when it suits. Yes, those threats long before any talk of a referendum.

        Currently watching our leader on TV News. Call Me Dave going on about “our” successful car Industry. Spot the deliberate mistake.

        TATA for now.

        • Actually John, I’m not “…one of the tru-Brits keen to dance on the grave of Longbridge back in April 2005….”.

          I’m a former Cowley apprentice who has worked as a design engineer in the motor industry for almost 40 years. I’m currently a senior engineer at the UK’s last remaining independent sports car company.

          From your comments it seems clear who is the consumer of “bovine excrement”.

          Let me just say, some of us were there and saw first-hand what happened. Others just consumed the “bovine excrement”.

          • Good for you Kev.

            That response was not aimed primarily at you, but the consumer of VAG product. … 😉

  22. Just received an email from MG detailing the GS prices. They range from £14995 to £19495 with extra cost for an auto box.
    To my mind the range is too expensive compared with the Dacia Duster and the Ssangyong Tivoli its natural competitors. The MG is petrol and 2 wheel drive only, the others offer diesel and 4×4. I really cannot see the MG being a massive sales success.
    No mention of assembly at Longbridge either.

    • It’s also more expensive than the entry level Ssangyong & Suzuki competitors, the Tivoli is £2k cheaper and the SX4 Cross & Vitara £1K less so they may have theirwork cut outselling it

  23. 1) the GS IS available with 4wd.
    2) If it had a diesel and sufficient weight for towing I could be tempted.
    3) I bought a new ZT-T CDTi in 2003 (just about the best car I have owned) and a new 75 CDTi Contemporary estate in may 2005……..
    4) I owned a used FL2 for a year. In comparison with the A6 that replaced it (which had double the miles and was twice as old) the FL2 had Rubbish material quality, panel gaps, finish and disinterested dealers when I had problems.
    5) I would love to be able to buy a British built 4×4 estate that does what my VW Passat Alltrack does…..

    • Adrian
      The information I have received direct from MG makes no mention of 4wd, despite listing the full spec per model.
      Passat Alltrack a good choice IMHO

  24. NeilB running true to form here always with a negative slant on anything MG UK.

    Bigging up German product.

    “Passat Alltrack a good choice IMHO”

    Our ever ready to cooperate “friends” on the mainland will most certainly agree and rely on you to sustain and provide worthwhile jobs and careers for the VAG organ over there.

    Nothing UK made appeals to you NeilB? Like my friendly Porsche owner neighbour used to frequently remind me “You cannot beat German engineering and reliability John”. Does not do that now. Ever since his nice Porsche let him down spectacularly and cost more to repair than I paid for my nice MG ZS new!

    If I had a suspicious mind I’d suspect you worked for the same VAG outfit given what I see you contribute here.

  25. MGJohn.
    The purpose of this site is for car enthusiasts to exchange opinions on all things motoring and in particular BMC/BL/AR etc. products. In my opinion it is not appropriate to make snide remarks to fellow contributors (it is not the Daily Mail) So, please desist from doing so.
    I feel MG UK cars (a cheap Chinese manufacturer) are not really worthy of the historic badge they carry. My views are shared by many on this site, by large numbers of new car buyers and the main stream motoring press. If the MGGS was up there with a LR product and assembled at Longbridge I would be in with my cheque book.
    As regards my car preferences, I have owned since 1973, 65 new cars purchased with my own funds. They include Mini x 5, Citroen x 4, BMW x 23, MG x 4, Land Rover x 4, Ford x10, Vauxhall x 4, MINI x1, Alfa Romeo x 2, Mercedes Benz x1, Porsche x 1 Peugeot x 1 and VW x 5. A fairly eclectic mix and yes predominantly foreign. I buy cars that appeal to me across all manufacturers. I have no prejudices against any marque if the product is good and I can afford it, I will buy one.
    As regards working for VAG or any connection with them, you are way off the mark. In fact, I have nothing whatsoever to do with the motor trade other than as a retail customer.
    in answer to your earlier remarks” dancing on the grave of Longbridge”, how offensive, Birminham was my home town and my first few cars were built at that plant.

  26. NeilB,

    Hmmm …. that’s told me.

    If you were on-line back in late 1990s-2005 era you must not have failed to notice those who were pleased to see the demise of the indigenous UK Motor Industry fractured and severed remnants latterly known as MG-Rover. They and their kind stayed away in droves from Rover Group showrooms and were pleased to support so called “superior” product as a glance at any UK car park then and now will soon demonstrate. Many buying what they were led to believe were superior product then later, much to their chagrin and impact on their wallets, had cause to regret their decisions. Maybe I imagined all that.

    There again, just maybe I did not imagine that just as the times I lost count of when approached by folks asking “John, you know about cars, my ******* has developed a big problem” …. Motoring Media/Press have advertising revenues to protect and for that and other reasons, their opinions can be tainted. Few exceptions to that. For example Honest John in the Motoring Section of the Telegraph. He is guilty of telling it like it is when folks turn to him for advice or problems with their often over rated and over priced cars. Cars which far too many many Brits form queues to buy and thus exporting ever more worthwhile jobs and careers every time they exercise their … right of choice.

    Our friends on the Mainland, particularly Germany cannot ever be accused of doing very much that which explains much. I feel sory for them whilst they are laughing all the way to their banks struggling under the sheer weight of massive trading surpluses. Poor devils.

    BMW x 23… now that’s impressive and no doubt the Bavarian outfit are also impressed.

    Finally, one man’s opinion is another’s snide comment. It’s all about viewpoints. I have several based on a lifetime’s experiences and observations. No doubt you and others have theirs.

    MGJohn … OUT.

  27. I have just read the Autocar initial driving impressions and it doesn’t read particularly well, very disappointing.

    • Adrian,

      Do MG UK advertise at all in that magazine or anywhere near as much as say other manufacturers?

      I rarely buy motoring magazines now and have not done so for well over two decades. With one exception. The useful CAR MECHANICS monthly which is a real eye opener where running costs, premature wear, breakages and reliability are concerned. Those tell a far more reliable story than is usually available elsewhere.

      There was a time, many moons ago now, when a very green and inexperienced me took the words in the motoring print as gospel. They put me off buying what later I found were very fine cars. I’m much wiser now and rely on my own judgement.

  28. What is it about the MG brand, above all of the British built alternatives, that raises so much interest and so many posts on this site?

    When I used to drive MG Maestro Efi’s, nearly 30 years ago, I was very proud of them despite the laughter! But, 30 years later, stick the same badge on a tall Chinese estate car and it raises the excitement level above anything that Jaguar could muster.

  29. MG do advertise in the magazine and they have generally given fair and objective reviews of the MG3/6. I regard the magazine as a rather more objective read than the likes of Autodistress.

    I am neither young nor green and have invested significant sums in various magazines over the past 50 years or so. However I also have family connections in the trade and unfortunately perception is everything. Even my ZT-T as good a drivers car as it was especially for front wheel drive, did have a glitch which left me stranded in Whitby with a failed body control unit. I am sure the MG Meastro was a good drivers car – a colleague had one when I had a mk1 Scirrocco followed by a Jetta GLi. The problem with the Meastro was demonstrably poor build quality, poor panel fit and finish (which a blind man on a galloping horse could see) and woeful reliability. In the meantime my VW’s trundled on happily without any problems……

      • >>> at a time when diesel engines are beginning to be damned, with the VW emissions scandal, London LEV and prospective new taxes. <<<

        Beginning… far too long overdue.

        Some of us have been banging the Diseasal Emissions Drum since the late 1990s. Anyone watching most Diesels having their Emissions MoT tested would be amazed how so many are still able to pass the emissions parameters.

        The wrong stuff has been measured compounded by the wrong parameters for ages and looks set to continue on that erroneous course given our UK Government's recent follow up inaction revelations. Who knew.. :rolleyes:

        Compare that to how our friends the other side of the Atlantic are dealing with the VAG Emissions scenario.

        VAG in a stroke and all the rest conned not just those avidly lefty leaning "save the planet" types entrusted to this Nation's well being simply because it suited their agenda. Millions of consumers were equally conned.

        I'm all in favour of planting and huging trees, planted many myself, but, I hate being conned.

        Thanks to the stances of many of my fellow Brits and prejudicial lefty Government inaction and action back in April 2005, that nice new MG I bought back in 2003 is most likely the last British Built MG I will ever be able to buy in the land of the ever more self-inflicted. I still have that MG. My friendly Porsche driving neighbour insists is so reliable because of its Honda engine. I kid you not.

        Many thanks must go to VAG and all the others taking advantage of Little Ol' Engerland… A mug Nation always playing far too fairly in a shark infested commercial world. … :rolleyes:

        MGJohn over and … O U T spells out … and I mean that most sincerely fellow MG enthusiasts..come a week tomorrow…:)

  30. As a new entry in this segment, this vehicle should be priced significantly below the market leader. Oops.
    I did see one on a transporter on the M1. Just one.

  31. Would you Adam and Ave it. As we used to say down in Old London Town many moons ago … not now.

    White MG3 14-plate parked a few yards away from my place on the opposite side of the road.


  32. Our supposed ‘friends’ on the other side of the Atlantic turned a blind eye to Ford when their petrol economy claims were proven wrong…… The US Govt attack on diesels and VAG was more about kicking foreign companies than any concern for the environment. I would be wary of stretching this topic into diesel emissions as I will throw plenty of data which shows petrol engines are also nowhere as clean or particulate free as claimed….. And don’t start me on all the toxic chemicals and precious metals used in the manufacture of so called environmentally friendly EV’s.

    • Oh go on them …. get started….. 🙂

      Compression Ignition oil burners are filthy … end of.

  33. So, to get back to the topic above, yes I currently drive a VAG product as does my wife – who being German is quite keen on also supporting her own countries products. However the shortlist for replacing the A2 includes an MG3.

  34. It appears the MG6 has been dropped from the UK market due in part to unwillingness to update the diesel engine to EU6 (the other reason is poor sales….) So where will that leave the prospect of a GS diesel? Whatever one feels about the benefits or otherwise of diesel the reality is this market sector needs diesel or hybrid to get the punters to part with their hard earned.

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