Our Cars : Nothing to see here…

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Business as usual

Ant's MG6 (1)

Bought: July 2012
Mileage: 10,152 miles
Actual economy:  36.9mpg

After the maladies associated with my MG6 ownership experience, I’m delighted to report that the car hasn’t missed a beat since getting some personal attention for MG Motor UK back in the autumn. I’m at now over 10,000 miles clocked up by a weekly commute between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and some driving in and around the Glasgow conurbation at weekends.

Fuel economy is okay considering the size & weight of the car, and the performance to be gained from the engine. Petrol is costing me on average £35 per week, which all things considered isn’t too bad. The car took the recent cold weather in its stride – lots of slushy conditions to contend with, but the ‘6 handled safely and securely. And the tumbling temperatures made the heated seats a must.

Some slight foibles remain. The car has a tendency to mist up, particularly the back window. Other owners have reported leaky seals that can give rise to water ingress into the boot, but mine has been consistently dry. The heating element dispatches the mist in good time, but it remains a bit of a nuisance. Also, there’s a bit of an annoying rattle coming from the boot, but the problem is intermittent which doesn’t help diagnosis.

A few notches up on the stereo volume disguises it. I’ve consistently been disappointed with the quality of the leather on the steering wheel. When I bought the car it had done 5,000 miles, and the leather was already very shiny suggesting the car was much older than it was. I mentioned this to MG when the car was getting its tender loving care from the factory technician, but they said there was no fault.

However, I’ve subsequently read that the quality of the rim leather (plus other fixtures and fittings) are being improved with the launch of the new diesel ‘6…

And speaking of the diesel, it looks as though my work commitments in Edinburgh are on the increase, so I’ll have to consider upping my appearances over in the capital. Not wanting to move home (I’m not one of those Glaswegians that could ever consider Edinburgh home), it means I’m going to have to consider investing in a diesel in order to make the journeys more economic.

Should I stick with a ‘6, or will I be tempted to look elsewhere? And how much depreciation will I have to contend with? Planning to start looking seriously over the next couple of months, so I’ll keep you posted.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams

Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)

29 Comments

  1. Essentially, your 6 has been absolutely fine – certainly on par with its rivals. So why don’t we see more?
    Come on MG UK! Are you happy selling munute numbers in the UK. It would not be difficult to sell far more. Just let the non-enthusiast population know it exists!
    Just imagine a once MG Rover employee now working at Longbridge. How frustrating to see virtually no sales on the home market. I mean it’s an appealing, distinctive car with no major shortcomings (save, perhaps, the lack of a local dealer). It’s ridiculous that we don’t see more. How many points does the ‘I Spy’ book award for a sighting??!!!!

  2. Apologies to MG employees but … the reason you don’t see more is that the MG is bland, anodyne and has below class average fuel economy. The forthcoming diesel may improve things but I would not count on the MG being as numerous as say an Insignia.

    Having seen several MGs in the flesh, I certainly won’t be in the queue to buy one as my next daily drive. Never mind that the build quality is somewhat iffy at present, there is no good reason to buy one of these over any mid-range European or Japanese offering.

  3. It’s a good car, the general satisfaction of the owners proves that, I’m just not sure that MG Motor UK are doing everything they can for it which is so frustrating.

  4. @4 Not that I’m an avid soap watcher but I too spotted the 6 on Emmerdale.

    @3 Your criticisms of the 6 don’t explain the minute sales. The 6’s mpg could cause it not to a best seller but this does not explain why it is a virtual non seller. Personally, I wouldn’t describe it as bland either – not with that snout and relatively long, low outline compared to today’s ‘sit high’ shapes.

    Ultimately, the very low sales are a result of the equally low promotional effort.

  5. Nothing really wrong with the car or build itself… pretty unspectacular report (which is a good thing). The only problem is simply that no-one knows about them.

    I’d like to think that behind the scenes they are trying to push fleet sales of the diesel, even to SME’s. They have an Ambulance rapid response car working at the moment but I’d like them to try and approach West Midlands Police.

  6. Tony bar price, level of kit and speed? And I’m sorry this moan of build quality is utter rubbish trotted out by alot of anti semites who have never even seen the car,it is put together pretty well, some parts are a lower quality like the under dash plastics but your comparing to more expensive offerings.
    Good few words Ant and it bodes well, keep us updated on your next car!
    The only car I know to reccomend diesel wise is a mate has an insignia diesel 160 and he loves it.

  7. The petrol will be ignored by the fleet buyers, too high CO, and there is the constant worry of residuals, especially as the Avis cars should be hitting the forecourt soon, because it is a brand nobody has heard of, and we all know who to blame for that. It might be wise of MG to export a chunk of the Avis cars to places like Cyprus & Malta, because in all fairness, the used market cannot swallow 500 6’s in one lump

  8. Out of interest, does anyone know if Avis are still using 6s or have they decided not to continue using them once the current fleet have done their requisite mileage? And, if not – why not?

  9. Good to hear the car is pleasing now that its wheel wobble foibles are sorted. The small niggles are more forgiveable than the previous mechanical ones, and don’t seem to detract from your enjoyment of the car as much.

  10. There is to few MG dealers about and untill one comes closer to me I wilk stick with my trusty MG ZS.

    Other problems are the limited engine and gearbox. Till they get a full range of engines and gearboxes sales will be slim.

    The 6 maybe a good car but the poor sales show you can have a good car but if you dont have a full ranage and choices of engines and gearboxes you can wave goodbuy to sales.

  11. As much as I liked the MG6 in the flesh, the looks arent stunning and it doesnt photograph well. I think MG should look at tweeking the bonnet line, a better side body kit, and change the tail lights for round rocket booster stlyed tail lights. alex

  12. Peter 109 (no.8) can you please explain how being crtical of the quality of the MG6 makes a person an “Anti semite”?

    I’d really like to know.

  13. I own a TSE MG6 and mine steams up like a right beast. It’s driving me insane too. Be interesting to see if MG UK have follow up for you in this regard.

  14. Our MG6 is still running faultlessly and attracts much favourable reaction. Its is a silver TSE mind. Drives very well. Not perfect but a good 7/10 and when you add in the price. Just helped with a launch of Diesel 6 for Maple garage and the attendees scored it 9/10. The interior could do with a slight uplift especially the leather but on a par with most of the competition. Not up to the standards of my Rover 75 but not in the same price bracket

  15. Yes dodgy businesswoman Charity Dingle-Sharma has the same blue MG6 that Keith drove about 14 months ago. Not sure what image that portrays but seeing as MG haven’t even issued a press release I doubt anyone outside the fraternity knows.

    Now there is a link to the past, not that MG Motor know this, but Charity had a TF115 about 10 years ago!

  16. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the MG6, but unfortunately that isn’t enough in the current cut throat market, especially in its sector; after all there was nothing wrong with the Laguna, but it didn’t stop Renault withdrawing it from the UK market, and the Primera was a decent car which didn’t sell enough…

  17. I have a 2012 BMW 320d which is a company car. I only have it for two reasons: 1) Stupidly low emissions make it very cheap on company car tax, and 2) the low depreciation makes it cheap to lease, so lots of companies like them. As for the BMW “image” I couldn’t give a hoot, but the conditions the car enjoys in the market is what shifts so many of them to the lease companies. It’s self perpetuating. Mine has actually been nowhere near 100% reliable, and isn’t brilliantly built either. But the reputation is more important than the reality as far as the market is concerned.

    If MG want to sell cars in the UK, building a great product isn’t enough. BMW build an average one and are flying, so that’s not the whole story. MG need to realise that nobody in the UK buys their own cars. Almost all are company leased or on finance. The only way they can make leasing competitive is to have good residual values, and as well as making good products, they need to give prospective customers the confidence that the company is still going to be around in 2,3,4 years time. They need to have lots of dealers who are helpful and supportive. They need to make the customer experience first class, so customers return to buy another.

    There is so much about the “presence” of MG in the UK that is half-hearted and doesn’t exactly inspire confidence about their long term commitment. Until this changes, this will be a marginal brand that is simply too risky for most people to get involved with, and which prices itself out of the lucrative fleet market in TCO terms.

  18. @ Ben Adams:

    “Now there is a link to the past, not that MG Motor know this, but Charity had a TF115 about 10 years ago!”

    I hate to say it but I think I made a note of the registration number for Charity’s red MG TF somewhere…

  19. @ Simon W:

    “The interior could do with a slight uplift especially the leather but on a par with most of the competition.”

    This something that could be rectified quote easily, particularly by MG Motor UK Ltd. There are several large leather manufacturers based within the West Midlands who provide quality leather hides to the motor industry, one of whom I know works with Jaguar Land Rover. They are also rather flexible when it comes to preparing the seat style detailng, grade of leather and colours.

    Standard, or even a more be-spoke leather seat finish service (think along the lines of MG Rover Group’s 12 colours hide range in the Monongram personalising service, or the special two-tone hides offered on the latest Range Rover Autobiography) could easily be offered by the Longbridge operation. The seat facings (and other supporting leather trim) would be fitted during the final assembly stage at Longbridge. It would not be that difficult to achieve.

  20. “And how much depreciation will I have to contend with?”

    I would be interested to know if any dealer, other than an MG dealer, would give any kind of trade in valuation on it.

    We Buy Any Car have just come up with £7,555 for a very similar, 12 Reg, version of the car with 10,500 miles, 2 owners and FSH. That’s not bad at all, a depreciation rate of around 50% over the 1st 10 months is better than I feared.

  21. @22,WBAC (Carcraft of Rochdale) bid people in the balls anyway,on the premise that you cant be arsed going through the selling a car hoops.The in the flesh quote after inspection differs markedly from the online quote as well.

  22. I just think at a list of £15,455 for the GT and £16,995 for the diesel there is a lot of established alternatives. For £16,100 or £17,100 for petrol or diesel there is the Skoda Rapide (albeit I understand the plastic inside is not up to much either). The killer though is the brand new Octavia which for £3k more for petrol and just over £2k more for the diesel is what I would probably stretch to given the choice – and thinking of Skoda it took a couple of generations of Fabia and Octavia to bed in and become competitive (and with VW engineering, spend and clever marketing) – good to see the car is running well though.

  23. With sales so low, can SAIC really be trying to make money out of this? I think they’re more likely keeping their hand in for something bigger – what, I don’t know, but you saw how Geely managed to destroy the British connection of LTI and is now engaged in taking over its engineering capability.

  24. I think you’re right Meastroman. They have a bigger plan than just selling a few 6s in the UK. Does anyone have any data on the number of 6s being built at Longbridge and where they are all going ?

  25. Surely disposing of a one year old car which you’ve already taken a big depreciation hit on – only to buy a new diesel will wipe out a lifetime’s cost saving in terms of diesel? Especially when the car you’re getting rid of will be as hard to sell as an MG6.

    I’m amazed how many people get rid of perfectly good cars that have been utterly reliable to buy a diesel in order to enjoy a marginal fuel consumption reduction. Diesels cost more to buy – they are more likely to go wrong (these days) I just don’t get the attraction. If you fancy a change – fine – but don’t make out it’s an economic decision. Keeping the car you’ve got – regardless of relative fuel consumption – is nearly always cheaper in the long run unless you are an ultra high-mileage driver.

  26. @27

    That is the best comment on this post!

    People seem to be obsessed with changing to diesel cars these days to save the tiniest bit on fuel.

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