MG Brings Down Prices
MG has decided on a new marketing approach with the MG 6 by taking it down a peg or two.
The car was previously positioned to compete against the likes of the Ford Mondeo and the Vauxhall Insignia. It would be fair to say that the MG 6 was getting little joy out of this competition. Both of these cars are outstanding in their sector. The Ford Mondeo especially is something of an icon in the middle-range saloon market. It has been around for years now and just seems to keep on getting better and better, offering good prices, solid build quality and superb driving dynamics to create a mass-market car with executive appeal. The Insignia might not be able to match the Mondeo when it comes to driving enjoyment, but it is still a solid performer with lots of kit.
SAIC, the owners of MG, have taken a long look at this competition and decided that discretion is the better part of valour. They have therefore decided to aim the MG 6 at more modest competition, dropping a class to the small-hatch market dominated by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. This is not at all a bad idea. The design of the MG 6 is a little like that of the Skoda Octavia, in the sense that it is a bit smaller than a full-size saloon and a bit bigger than the hatchbacks. This is obviously a handicap when you are taking on those bigger cars, but an advantage when you are aiming at the hatchbacks.
In order to compete at this level, the MG 6 needed a new price bracket, and SAIC has recognised this and slashed the price to just under £14k. This makes the MG 6 look like a far more sensible proposition. It lacked interior space when compared against those bigger rivals, but it is positively spacious when compared to the hatchbacks it now competes against.
It also has a pretty good story to tell when it comes to specification. The base 6 S model comes with heated seats, air conditioning, daytime LED running lights and a 148bhp diesel engine. Both passenger and luggage space are substantially more generous than other cars in this class.
At £16k, the 6 TS model adds automatic headlamps and window wipers, rear parking sensors, a touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control. At the top of the range, meanwhile, the 6 TL gets Xenon headlights, duel-zone climate control, a rear parking camera and electric seats. At £18k, it costs just one thousand pounds more than the old base model used to cost. SAIC has dropped the MG 6 Magnette model, which was the four-door saloon version. It didn't sell well in the UK and neither do the petrol engine models, which have also been dropped. This means that the MG 6 range now consists solely of diesel five-door hatchbacks.
You really do want to like the MG. The marque has a stellar history in the pantheon of British motoring, and it was a favourite of a generation. There was a time when every young British motorist aspired to be tooling around the country in an open-top MG, and many drivers of a certain age have owned an MG at some point in their lives. The marque, however, was a casualty of the British Leyland years and underinvestment and poor designs eventually led to its demise. It became just a badge for souped-up Rover cars, being rescued briefly by the ill-fated Phoenix Four before finding its way into Chinese hands in the form of SAIC. These days the cars are imported in bits from China before being assembled in the UK.
There is nothing much wrong with the MG 6, and the new pricing makes it a far more attractive proposition. It is just that drivers of a certain vintage will know that this marque should be offering so much more.