MG6: Longterm Test

In association with Diesel Car magazine, I Love MG is putting an MG6 through its paces. Here’s the first report on the car. 

Usually when it comes to the Diesel Car long-term test fleet you’re greeted by a fine selection of the latest motors.

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Well, for the next five months, you can count on me to offer something a little different, because my latest long-termer isn’t a new car at all – it is in fact a used MG6 Magnette, direct from the factory’s sales centre in Birmingham.

This MG6 Magnette happens to be one of the first diesels off the production line, and had already covered more than 15,000 miles before it had even arrived in this quiet corner of Devon. It has led a relatively demanding life as part of the press and public relations fleet at Longbridge, before being de-fleeted last month, and now becoming a firm fixture on my driveway.

The Magnette is offered in a ‘one size fits all’ specification which includes electric and heated seats, dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation, an electric sunroof and reversing camera, as well as parking sensors front and rear and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity. Finished in metallic silver, and riding on 18-inch alloy wheels, the Magnette as a new car would have cost £21,590, however as a used car, bought from MG’s Birmingham sales centre, the car would cost a buyer almost £10,000 less than that, at £12,995.

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As a saloon, it lacks the visual drama or overt sportiness of its fastback GT brother, instead favouring a simpler, cleaner look. I would like to see a touch more character to the car’s exterior however, a subtle spoiler or body kit would go a long way. Inside, it’s comfortable, clearly laid out and everything works well enough, it’s just a little lacking in character, with a black and grey colour scheme. There’s Bluetooth support for phone calls, but not for audio streaming, however, there are both USB and auxiliary sockets to connect a media player to.

17In the few weeks since it arrived, the MG has completed almost 1,000 miles, comprising of mostly motorway miles, something it seems particularly adept at. One long cross country trip from East Anglia back to the West Country may have taken a mammoth eight hours, but at the end I was still fresh, and felt much better acquainted with the Magnette. It’s on A and B-roads, however, where the Magnette really shows its strengths and lives up to the legendary Octagon badge on the bonnet. There’s a nicely tuned chassis underpinning the car, and combined with the 258lb ft of torque offered by the 1.9-litre DTi engine, it makes an enjoyable companion through twisting back roads, and engaging to drive both fast and slow.

Despite the usual limitations of a saloon layout, there’s an impressive 472 litres of space on offer, and its load-lugging capacity will be put to the test over the coming months since it will have to prove itself not only as a family hack, but also as load-lugger for all my photography equipment.

So here we have a long-term test with a difference. It’s rare that a car manufacturer feels confident enough to let us loose on a well-used example of their car, and at 19 months old and with over 15,000 miles on the clock, this MG6 Magnette is certainly well run in and used. Over the next five months, we will find out what a typical second-hand car buyer will experience when buying a used example.

Whats Hot:

Chassis is taut and talented.

Whats Not:

Interior is a little drab and could do with more character.

Date arrived: 19th May 2014
Mileage to date: 16,364miles
Fuel consumption: 53.5mpg (official combined)
42.8mpg (on test)

 

Adam Sloman

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