MG Motor has relaunched in Australia, so is the MG 6 Plus a strong enough proposition to establish the brand as a permanent player in our market?
You have to stop and wonder why Chinese auto giant, SAIC Motor, would re-launch the formerly British MG Motor brand in Australia with a range of vehicles that includes the 2017 MG 6 Plus – which was pulled out of the UK market last year due to poor sales and has only had one minor facelift since production began in 2010.
MG Motor felt the MG 6 Plus could still be competitive in the small passenger car segment in Australia, but can this ageing model live up to that expectation? The small and medium car segments in Australia are strong and competition is fierce… and with the MG 6, it kind of feels like we’re being fed leftovers.
The MG 6 failed to strike a chord with buyers in its historical heartland, however its sibling the MG 3 managed to find a following so there’s always a chance the MG brand will resonate with some in Australia… and so far it seems to be finding a niche. In February 2017, 108 MG badges found homes, including 90 MG 6 Plus examples.
The MG 6 Plus was launched here late last year, alongside the small MG 3 hatch, and the GS SUV has since joined that pair. At 4651mm long, 1827mm wide and 1472mm tall, the MG 6 Plus straddles the small and medium segments in size but is listed as a small passenger vehicle.
It’s available in three trim-levels, the Core, Soul and Essence. The Core is priced at $21,990 before on-road costs, the range then steps up to the Soul at $23,990 and the Essence is $25,990.
When you look at the entry-level price-point, the MG isn’t among the cheapest. The top-three sellers in the segment, the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 ranges all start lower than the MG’s $21,990, as does the Skoda Rapid. It’s the same price as the base model Holden Astra, while the new-generation Honda Civic sedan is only $400 more and forking out an extra $500 would secure the new-gen Subaru Impreza sedan. Plus, the Volkswagen Golf range starts at just under $1000 more.
So, cheap, it is not.
Of course, unlike the MG 6 variant line-up which steps up in $2000 increments, most of the other brands mentioned top-out at a much higher price but they also feature more bells and whistles. The Skoda Octavia sedan would be the closest entry-level medium competitor at $22,990 for the 1.4 110TSI Ambition.
The size and spaciousness of the MG 6 is one of the key selling points for the brand and the fastback style does have a certain sense of style and presence thanks to its somewhat elegant exterior design.
Our test car is the top-of-the-line Essence and has optional metallic paint and illuminated door sills, bringing the as-tested price to $26,689. Exterior features include auto-levelling Xenon headlamps with adaptive front lighting system. Rain-sensing wipers and auto headlights are standard on both the Soul and Essence. LED daytime-running lights and tail-lights are standard across the range, as is hydraulic power steering and 17-inch steel wheels.
Safety-wise, ABS brakes with EBD, Corner Brake Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program, hill-start assist, front driver and passenger airbags plus side airbags and rear curtain airbags are all standard on every variant.
The MG 6 has a 1.8-litre four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine (hence the big turbo badge on the boot) which produces 118kW and 215Nm, teamed with a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Not that you’re likely to test it out, but the 0-100km/h sprint time is a claimed 9.9 seconds. As pointed out in our pricing and specifications article, the MG 6 Plus actually offers one of the gutsiest drivetrains around the $20,000 price point.
On paper, the MG 6 offers a relatively attractive prospect. All have heated front seats (though the dark grey interior colour is the only option), leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, rear air vents, push button start, cruise control, start/stop, paddle-shifters and rear parking sensors. Only the Essence gets front sensors and a rear-view camera, and satellite navigation is standard in the top-two specs which also feature an 8.0-inch display.
The Essence offers the driver and front passenger six-way electrically adjustable leather seats with manual lumbar adjustment. The seats have a bit of shape to them and are nice and wide; the leather however feels thin and is not taut over the seat base side bolstering.
Music Credit :
PACIFIC SUN by Nicolai Heidlas Music https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/kbqmEJTr3nU