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MG has cleaner, greener diesel all figured out

06:11 13 November 2014

MG6 model is now cleaner and a little bit greener.

MG6 model is now cleaner and a little bit greener.

PA

MG has updated the diesel version of its MG6 model so that it’s now cleaner and a little bit greener, says Iain Dooley of the Press Association.

Test Drive: MG6 GT DTI-Tech

MG6 GT 1.9 DTI-Tech TSE five-door, £20,195 (diesel range from £16,995)

Engine: 1.9-litre, 148bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving the front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 8.9 seconds; top speed 120mph

MPG: 57.6 combined

CO2 emissions: 129g/km

What’s new?

The MG6 has been around for a little while now, and the reborn company’s attempt at capturing buyers in the mainstream medium-size market has centred on offering good driving dynamics and, unsurprisingly, traditional MG brand values.

Affordability is key in this market and, in updated 1.9-litre diesel form, the MG6 offers improved emissions and economy at 129g/km and 57.6mpg combined, which will no doubt be music to the ears of anyone keen to reduce the amount of cash they hand over to the Treasury.

Looks and image

There’s no question that MG’s designers have done a good job with the MG6. In five-door hatchback guise the car is easy on the eye thanks to its streamlined profile and simple, yet effective, front three-quarter view.

The company has undergone major change in recent years but Chinese ownership has provided stability and, crucially, a fully-supported UK base complete with engineering and design functions.

Space and practicality

The five-door MG6 offers a good level of practicality and versatility. The big boot and folding rear seats make light work of large, awkward loads. In the cabin there’s ample room up front, while those in the back aren’t as compromised as they would be in some rival offerings.

Behind the wheel

MG puts a lot of emphasis on its desire to make cars that are good to drive. The MG6 is a pleasant surprise in a market where so-so handling is often the norm. What the car lacks in brand image over, say, a German marque, it compensates with an engaging and composed driving experience.

While not whisper quiet, the car’s improved diesel motor delivers a solid performance at sensible speeds. It’s sufficiently refined so as not to offend when pushed hard, and a brisk turn of speed is guaranteed. A composed ride, direct steering and a positive manual gearchange should please keen drivers. Such a combination will also surprise those raised on a diet of conservative Euro hatches.

Value for money

Distancing itself from the pure budget models, the MG6 offers a good level of standard kit for an asking price closer to that of its mainstream, established rivals. In revised diesel form, MG6 ownership should result in modest running costs thanks in part to improved emissions performance and a rise in fuel economy. Factor in its rounded driving appeal and you get a lot of car for the money.

Who would buy one?

Don’t fancy something from the mainstream car-makers? Not convinced by the bare bones approach of the genuine budget offerings? In this context the MG6 is certainly worth a look. It boasts a good level of standard kit, is easy on the eye and stays true to MG’s roots with its solid ride and handling performance. It might not be class leading but it’s a more rounded proposition than you think.

This car summed up in a single word – surprising.

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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