The British designed and Chinese built 150ps 1.9 litre four cylinder engine uses common rail direct injection with a variable rate turbocharger and incorporates smart charging and stop-start technology. It complies with the Euro 5+ legislation and emits 139gkm.Developing 350Nm between 1800 and 2500rpm, it is matched to a new six-speed manual gearbox with overdrive on 4th, 5th and 6th gears to stretch economy to over 53mpg on the combined cycle.
It gives the MG GT five-door hatchback and Magnette saloon a maximum speed of 120mph and 0-60mph time of 8.9sec, and the DTI-Tech comes with modifications to the suspension, brakes and steering to cope with the weight and performance difference compared to the petrol TCi-Tech introduced to both bodystyles in 2011.
MG’s design and technical centres and final assembly are at Longbridge, south of Birmingham and are part of the China’s biggest car maker, SAIC. About 300 work at Longbridge, where the five-door MG3 will be assembled from next summer alongside the MG6.
The MG6 GT DTI-Tech is available in S-trim from £16,995, SE £18,195 and TSE £20,195 but only one version of the saloon Magnette in top specification is sold at £21,195. Insurance groups are 14E and 15E. There is no automatic available with the diesel.
Smooth interior boasts good equipment in MG6 diesel Standard on all is a sophisticated braking system with disc wiping for wet-weather, stability and hill hold controls and inside there’s air conditioning, full electric windows, CD with MP3 and USB links while the SE gets satnav, cruise control and parking sensor and leather wheel and the TSE comes with leather upholstery, full colour satnav, rear camera, dual zone climate and Bluetooth as well as 18-inch alloys.
MG sales and marketing director Guy Jones said the introduction of the DTI-Tech was very important because it meant they can now start approaching fleets with a roomy D-segment car at C-segment prices with very attractive running and whole life costs. There is a 3yrs and 60,000 miles warranty.
He said, “SAIC has invested an enormous amount in product development and platforms and we have the latest powertrains on the market.
“From our own research we know there is a lot of pent up demand for MG and we will be expanding our UK dealerships from the 40 of this year to 50 early next and support them with factory based fleet specialists who will work with business sales staff in selected dealerships.
“We will add to the current MG6 series with the smaller MG3 next year and that will make the brand even more attractive to fleet and private buyers.”
He said the MG6 was roughly equivalent in size to the Skoda Octavia, its closest rival in price, but also pitched against the Vauxhall Insignia and Honda Accord, all of which offered less interior and boot space and cost much more.
MG expect about 70pc of DTI-Tech sales to go to fleets who will benefit greatest from the high mileage economy and 70pc of cars in the fleet D-sector are manuals, so it was decided not to offer an automatic transmission, even on the range topping Magnette saloon, he added.
“We think there is a very strong opportunity in the market for a straightforward, value for money D-segment car with high equipment and we can fill that with the attributes people associate with MG and its built in Britain,” he said.
ON THE ROAD
You very quickly appreciate the strong pulling power of the new 150ps 1.9 four cylinder engine as soon as you move into second gear.
Stir it along through third, fourth and fifth and you have good getaway and overtaking ability.
The overdrive ratios on the top three gears also mean the power flows without much noise and on a motorway at the legal limit it is very composed and quiet.
The ratios mean, however, that you do not have a very flexible engine under-foot in the top two gears and it is flat if you drop to 55mph and then try accelerating without changing down to fifth or fourth depending on road conditions.
That is no hardship thanks to the direct but easy change action under your hand and a long travel but smooth clutch. I did think MG has missed an opportunity to offer an automatic, even if only on the TSE and Magnette versions which are particularly good value considering their equipment levels.
The firmer suspension has not significantly affected the ride quality and I think it is very good with the benefit of variable rate power steering and strong brakes, but the bigger 18-inch alloys did throw up noticeable road noise.
In very wet driving conditions with a lot of standing water, the MG6 TSE we drove was particularly stable, which was just as well because the warning systems on board kept telling us the traction control needed attention.
While it is a very roomy hatchback, the fastback styling has made it very difficult to see out of the rear of the car and you really need the big door mirrors and a reversing camera.
Over many sections of flooded roads which necessitated lower gears than normal we averaged 48mpg, a little below the official combined figure of 53.5mpg, but very close nevertheless.
Depending on bodystyle, boot space rises to a maximum 1379 litres and even the Magnette saloon offers a minimum 472 litres. There is a lot of leg, head and shoulder room in the front or back.
MG hope to sell up to 1,500 cars next year and judging by the initial impressions of the MG6 DTI-Tech that will be attainable among drivers who not want to pay excessive amounts for a distinctive and roomy car, and who do not want an automatic. Then again, you wonder how many more could be sold if there was an automatic on top versions in particular.
MG6 TSE DTI-Tech £20,195
Mechanical: Four cylinder turbo-charged and intercooled 150ps 1.9 litre engine, 350Nm from 1800rpm, six speed manual, independent suspension by front struts and rear multilinks.
Insurance group: 15E
Emissions: 139gkm/ VED band E
Performance: 0-60mph 8.9sec., maximum limited 120mph
Fuel consumption on test: 48mpg (claimed 53.5mpg)
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 6yrs paint
For: Powertrain, ride, handling, economy and room
Against: Idling rumble, very poor rear visibility, no automatic, limited dealerships.