The iconic MG badge has returned to Australia, kicking off with the 'new' MG6 that debuted in 2010 and launched in the UK a year later.
The now Chinese-owned brand will have its work cut out for it in Australia, with just one Sydney dealership, relatively steep pricing and limited specifications.
Available in sedan and fastback hatch form, the Chinese-built MG6 range kicks off at a pricey $22,990 (plus on-roads), offering one petrol engine, a manual transmission and three trim grades.
Australia's best-selling car - the Mazda3 - is also more affordable with a $20,330 starting point.
The 1.8 litre petrol engine offers a decent 118kW at 5500rpm and 215Nm between 1750 and 4500rpm, although a five-speed manual is the only transmission available.
By comparison, Holden's updated Cruze SRi is priced at $22,490 MLP and offers a 132kW/215Nm turbo 1.6 with a six-speed manual transmission.
Fuel consumption with the MG6 is rated at 7.5 l/100km - matching the Cruze - and MG promises a 0-100km time of 8.4 seconds.
A five-speed automatic option is expected to join the range in 2014, with a brand-new six-speed auto due sometime after.
Standard features in the entry grade include 17-inch alloys with a 16-inch space-saver spare, projector headlights and front fog lights, LED tail-lights, fabric seat trim with six-way manual adjustment and reach/height adjustable steering. The rear seats offer 60/40 split folding, and boot capacity is listed at 429 litres.
There's also power windows and heated powered mirrors, manual air conditioning, MP3 audio system with aux connectivity (no iPod or Bluetooth) and eight speakers.
The mid-range $24,990 Comfort model adds rear parking sensors, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, USB connectivity, leather steering wheel and a tilt/slide sunroof.
In the top-shelf $27,990 Luxury, there's leather-trimmed and power-adjusted seats (six-way driver, four-way front passenger), reversing camera, auto headlights and wipers, self-dimming interior mirror and Bluetooth connectivity.
All MG6 models have six airbags (dual front, front-side and full-length curtains), along with stability control.
Australian distributor Longwell plans to expand MG availability with 20 new dealerships in 2014, and the MG6's smaller MG3 sibling is also expected to join the range later this year.
Long-term, Australian models will be sourced from a new plant in Thailand, although launch models will be produced in China.
Note: overseas model shown. Australian photos coming.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- 2013 MG6 Standard - $22,990
- 2013 MG6 Comfort - $24,990
- 2013 MG6 Luxury - $27,990