Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

For a brand steeped in sports car heritage, MG6 performance is about where you’d expect it to be for a family hatchback rather than setting new benchmarks.

Single petrol engine

The MG6 was available with one engine from launch – a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol unit producing 158bhp. It certainly sounds the part, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that’s geared well and allows smooth and satisfying shifts.

Although it isn’t what you’d call blisteringly fast, the MG6 performance levels are respectable. 0-60mph is dispatched in 8.4 seconds and the top speed is limited to 120mph (to keep insurance costs down, apparently).

When the MG6 range was facelifted at the start of 2015, the petrol engine was dropped from the UK range.

Diesel engine improved

From the latter part of 2012, the range was bolstered by the addition of a 1.9-litre diesel engine labelled the DTi-TECH. It develops 148bhp and takes the MG6 from zero to 60mph in 8.9 seconds. It too has a top speed of 120mph.

At launch it had a claimed average fuel consumption of 53.5mpg, and an impressive 46.1mpg rating for urban driving. Tweaks to the engine for the 2014 model year saw this improve to a 57.6mpg average.

As part of the enhancements for 2015, the diesel motor enjoyed a further raft of improvements. Although power and torque remained the same, the 0-60 time was shaved to 8.4 seconds, yet fuel efficiency improved too, to a claimed 61.4mpg, complemented by CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

On the road it’s a willing powerplant that pulls strongly thanks to a generous 350Nm of torque. It does start to sound thrashy and strained when the revs get closer to 4,000rpm, but it’s powerful and flexible enough that you rarely have to.

Aiding its cause is a slick, easy to use manual gearbox with six speeds.

A stop/start system is standard on the diesel MG6. When the system is switched on it automatically cuts the engine when the car is stationary and in neutral to save fuel. Pressing the clutch pedal sees the engine fire up again.

Parkers recommends

Both fleet and private buyers will be best served by the diesel engine, not only for its lower running costs but also for its extra mid-range pulling power.

Ride and handling are where the MG6 should excel since it purports to be a driver’s car. The main aspect that stands out is the steering, which thanks to hydraulic assistance (rather than the electronic assistance found on most cars), has more noticeable feel and feedback than the competition while avoiding being too heavy at slow speeds.

Diesel models get a different power steering system with a variable rate setup, making it lighter at parking speeds and weightier at speed.

The ride is firm, but also forgiving enough to be acceptable and soaks up bumps and potholes without drama.

While the rather distant-feeling brakes could do with a bit more initial stopping power, dynamically speaking the MG6 is a decent car to drive with tidy handling.