Review: MG 6 (2011 – 2016)
Spacious cabin with enough room for a family and a large boot. Decent performance and handling. Much improved from 2015.
Lacks quality. Lots of irritating quirks. Engines are gruff. Still not the most compelling purchase even after updates. MGs no longer assembled in the UK.
Recently Added To This Review
Report of all four airbags deploying in 2013/63 MG6 when the ignition was switched on. Read more
Complaint poor quality trim of MG6, including driver's window guides falling out. Read more
MG 6 (2011 – 2016): At A Glance
You could be forgiven for thinking MG was dead and buried but you’d be wrong. The brand has been revived by Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and you can now buy MG models in the UK again, the largest of which is the MG6.
Initially there were two engines – a 160PS 1.8-litre petrol and a 150PS 1.9-litre diesel. Both offered fairly strong performance, with 0-62mph times of less than nine seconds. However, emissions and fuel economy figures lagged behind rivals - the diesel emitted 129g/km and the petrol a distinctly unimpressive 174g/km.
From 2015 the MG6 is much improved and the petrol engine has been dropped. The diesel now has emissions of 119g/km and economy of 61.4mpg, which isn't class-leading, but is far from poor. Performance is reasonable, with plenty of in-gear torque, but refinement could be better. The MG6 is reasonable to drive, with suspension that blends good handling and ride comfort, while the steering is fairly well-weighted and accurate.
Perhaps the best aspect of the MG6 is the cabin, which is spacious for a car that costs from less than £14,000. There is room in the back for two adults, plus there is a large boot. Material quality isn’t too bad, but the 6 is let down by irritating quirks like a confusing, unresponsive infotainment system and stranger push-start key sysetem. Fortunately the bizarre handbrake lever that traps your thumb has been replaced with an electric parking brake in updated models.
Standard equipment isn’t too bad but to get luxuries like navigation and leather you need a higher equipment grade. Thankfully MG listened to early criticisms of the 6 and lowered the starting price to a £13,995. Even so, if you can make do with a slightly smaller car there are plenty of choices out there that are superior. A Ford Focus is better to drive and better made, while a Skoda Rapid offers almost as much interior space for similar money.
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MG 6 (2011 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?
The MG6 has a large, spacious cabin with some nicely finished materials. The seats are comfortable and easy to adjust in the front, while in the back they offer plenty of leg and headroom. The boot is a decent 472 litres with the rear seats in place, which is plenty for most uses including trips away. It has a high load lip, though, so heavy items might be tricky to get in and out.
The dashboard has a soft-touch covering and most of the interior plastics feel fairly durable, but the layout is on the confusing side. The infotainment controls are spread across two levels and various buttons, making the system hard to get to grips with. It can also be slow and unresponsive.
It’s not the only disappointing bit of the cabin – some of the trim elements feel cheap, like those on the centre console, while the handbrake will trap your thumb if you’re not careful in pre-facelift models. Fortunately this problem is fixed in the updated car, which has an electric parking brake instead.
More irritations include a reversing camera that's angled so steeply downward that you can't see anything through it until it's already very close, along with reversing sensors that continue to beep after you disengage reverse and come to a stop.
Entry level cars get air conditioning, heated seats, six-speaker audio and electric windows, while moving up to mid-spec TS trim gains buyers a navigation system, cruise control, parking sensors and Bluetooth. Top models get a parking camera and dual-zone climate control.
S models come with air conditioning, USB/Aux port, front and rear electric windows, heated folding door mirrors, heated seats, 17-inch alloy wheels.
TS trim adds a navigation system, cruise control and rear parking sensors, part leather seats, auto lights, auto wipers, Bluetooth and an improved audio system with eight speakers.
TL trim add dual zone air conditioning, rear seat vents, auto wipers, auto lights, reversing camera, xenon lights, full leather seats.
Child seats that fit a MG 6 (2011 – 2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the MG 6 (2011 – 2016) like to drive?
MG offered the 6 with two engines from launch – a 1.8-litre petrol and a 1.9-litre diesel. Both offered impressive power outputs and good performance. The turbocharged petrol produced 160PS and managed a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.4 seconds, but is now discontinued.
Following an overhaul in 2015 the MG6 is only-offered with the 150PS, 350Nm diesel, which has been tweaked to improve fuel economy and lower emissions. It gets from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, while both cars are limited to 120mph to help lower insurance costs. 119g/km places the MG6 in a reasonable band C for VED, while economy of 61.4mpg isn't too bad at all. Before the improvements the MG6 produced 129g/km, placing it in a higher VED band.
The MG6 is good to drive, thanks in part to a UK-based research and development centre. The suspension has been well set-up for UK roads, with reasonable firmness to keep body roll at bay and enough compliance to iron out lumps and bumps. The steering isn’t too bad, with a decent level of feedback and accuracy, while the gear change is fairly smooth.
It’s not all good, though. The clutch pedal on the diesel model we tested was very heavily sprung and it was subsequently tricky to feed in power gradually, which resulted in stalling when pulling away quickly. That would normally be little concern but an unfathomably weird push-key start system resulted in several cases of being stranded, with traffic behind.
Refinement isn’t great – tyre and wind noise is always noticeable at speed, while the diesel engine is a bit on the gruff side, particularly when pushed hard. The diesel suffers from turbo lag too. It is not as bad as you’d get in diesels of years gone by, but compared to other modern engines from other manufacturers it’s just not up to scratch.
|1.8 Turbo||38 mpg||-||174 g/km|
|1.8 Turbo Magnette||36–38 mpg||8.4 s||174–184 g/km|
|1.8T||38 mpg||8.4 s||184 g/km|
|1.9 Diesel||58–61 mpg||8.4–8.9 s||119–129 g/km|
|1.9 Diesel Magnette||58 mpg||-||129 g/km|
|1.9D||58–61 mpg||8.9–9.3 s||119–139 g/km|
Real MPG average for a MG 6 (2011 – 2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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