The original MG marque was in continuous use, except for the duration of the Second World War, for 56 years following its inception in 1924. The production of predominantly two-seater sports cars was concentrated at a factory in Abingdon, south of Oxford.
The British Motor Corporation competition department was also based at the Abingdon plant, producing many winning rally and race cars, until the factory closed and production ceased in the autumn of 1980.
Between 1982 and 1991, the MG brand used to badge-engineer sportier versions of Austin Rover’s Metro, Maestro and Montego. It wasn’t until 1992 that the MG name was revived in its own right, with the MG RV8 – an updated MGB Roadster powered by a Rover V8 engine,
A second revival came in the summer of 1995, when the high volume MG F two-seater roadster was launched.
Then came the return of MG badges on sportier Rover-based cars such as the MG ZT in 2001, along with a revised MG F model, known as the MG TF, launched in 2002. However, all production ceased in April 2005 when MG Rover went into administration.
The assets of MG Rover were then bought by the Chinese in July 2005 and subsequently bought by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation in December 2007, who now operate the UK subsidiary, MG Motor.
Fast forward to now and the company is making some neat motors like this one on test, the MG6. It’s not perfect – its cabin is full of cheap plastics and the car is a bit tinny. But that doesn’t stop you liking it.
And there’s a reason for this; it looks good and it’s comfortable. The MG is also practical and the very name is one people in Britain still warm to.
Designed, engineered and finally assembled in the UK, the MG6 is available in fastback GT and Magnette saloon body styles, and available in petrol and diesel variants.
The Fastback we’re reviewing is powered by a 1.9 diesel lump. Right away the torque and refinement impresses and with every mile you feel a bit more at one with the car.
Even storming up the motorway in top gear rewards you with sublime refinement with little more than a bit of noise from the door seals. The braking system comprises of vented discs all round and a hill hold function makes getaways on inclines worry free. And the steering, although light, has a positive feel in most conditions.
The MG6 diesel features a close-ratio six speed gearbox that has a nice light and short change action. Only the loose and low budget gear knob spoils the overall feeling.
There’s plenty of kit to keep you happy too. There’s Sat Nav and Bluetooth for example – and a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel.
Moving round to the back of the car you are treated to a truly useful boot area with a decent load height. Of course, things get even more spacious once the rear seats are folded down.
To be honest, I can’t really see any real difficulty owning an MG6 diesel – the performance is good, with a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 120mph – and, more importantly, I never managed to drop below 49mpg.
It’s not a perfect car by any means, but all the requests you ask of it are carried out with little fuss.
Overall, the MG6 GT diesel is great to drive, and, despite that plastic fantastic cabin, offers a good well equipped package. And the best bit – you can have a new one of these for 20 Grand.
MG6 GT 1.9 DTi-Tech TSE
Engine: 1.9-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
Gearbox: 6-speed manual
Power/Torque: 148bhp; 258lb/ft
Economy/Emissions: 57.6mpg; 129g/km
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Top speed: 120mph