I have never owned any MG before so I am not trying to relive my youth – this was a pragmatic purchase. I recall MG cars from the 1970’s and I was too tall to ever own one. I do remember a visit to the Abingdon factory back then and it was literally a 10 acre wooden shed. Each MGB was on a wooden dolly on a rickety railway on a rickety wooden floor and was pushed from one bloke to another to have it’s bit screwed on. It was all rather quaint by today’s standards.
I was originally signed up for a 2019 model, but the Covid thing got in the way and I was put on hold. However, as luck would have it, that turned out to be a good thing because the 2020 facelift model came on the scene and I fell in love with it when I saw it.
I thought the earlier model was handsome but next to the facelift it was less so. The 2020 model is handsome and pretty at the same time. The styling is subtle and modern and has a presence about it. The inside is exceptionally smart and expensive looking – the designers have done a superb job. I have two people I know who are better off than me and knew nothing of MG today and one valued it at £32,000, and the other, a Jaguar owner, was quite upset that my MG was as nice as his car and had more gadgets for a lot less money.
I was worried about the “piano” key controls instead of rotary knobs for the heating/ventilation aspects but I found them intuitive within minutes of using them. In addition I was wary I would not like the all-digital speedometer and engine revolution counter. But once again I settled to it on the drive home and now don’t give it a second thought. What helps is each gauge has a repeater rising/falling red surround which gives a semblance of rotary dial in addition to the digits. It’s all rather sophisticated in fact. Also the touch screen (my first ever) is easy to use and just works intuitively.
The engine is the 1.5 litre because I have a manual gearbox. It isn’t the quickest car around but 0 to 60 in 11 seconds is acceptable and it gets along well enough for me. It is essential to watch the road ahead though and anticipate any upward incline and keep the engine revs in the right place – it will fall off the speed quite quickly if left in too higher gear. It does not bother me though because I like stirring the gearbox, and it is just what you do when driving properly. Keep an eye on the torque/power thing and you will be fine.
The tech stuff in the car is well above it’s price bracket and I want for nothing – the heated seats are blissful. I have read the owners manual many times now and I have got it all sorted. I have never owned a car with this much gadgetry and I have taken to it easily and find it blends with my old-school driving knowledge – it doesn’t replace anything I have learned about driving for 48 years but it does add to it. MG did a good job bringing it all together.
I like this car a lot and any shortcomings (I have not found any) can be forgiven for the price and 0% APR. To call it a bargain seems wrong because it makes it sound cheap, but as a pragmatic purchase against it’s peers it stacks up as real value for money.
So there we have it. I found an expensive car for a low price. What’s not to like.
The interior still looks good and the faux leather seats are holding up well and sticky grandchildren gunge just wipes off – I love the little measles but wish they would just stop being so sticky. On the subject of that fake leather I do like the look of it but personally I prefer a decent cloth because the leather stuff is cold in winter and sweaty in summer. It’s a personal thing and not a fault of the car. Of course the heated front seats help in winter (in fact they are a real treat) and the air con helps in summer. I will tough it out.
The white exterior scrubs up nicely of course and I still love the styling. I don’t want a car that stands out but neither do I want something dull, and this does the job of looking smart without being outrageous.
I have driven 6800 miles of which two thirds would be motorway driving. I made mention of the engine in my first post and my thoughts on that have not changed, although it loosened up at about 3500 miles and it spins a bit more freely and the mpg has improved. If you want a car that is racy and fizzy this car is not for you. It does the job well enough but planning ahead and reading the road is essential to keep the motor in the sweet spot – it will not react super briskly or instantly. For me it is fine though and exactly what I expect from a non-turbo, non-direct fuel injection engine. I drive at motorway speeds when legal and it gets along just fine, and the economy is very good at 45 mpg - so no problem there. If I went slower I know I would get even more economy – maybe I should.
I can report that I have had no faults and everything has worked as advertised. Nothing has fallen off and every button works perfectly. The navigation system works well but I would like it to be a tiny bit quicker at calculating - a faster processor is needed. For the price of the car though I can forgive it and it is a very minor thing.
One thing I did opt for a few months ago was a skinny spare wheel instead of the foam fill tyre repair kit that comes as standard. Call me old fashioned but a spare wheel seems better. I also installed a dashcam and it was very, very easy because there is a usb power supply on the rear view mirror assembly so there is no threading a long cable around the windscreen and the whole thing looking ugly. I assume this feature does exist on other cars but on a car in this price bracket it is amazing. Top marks to MG for that one.
I honestly did read the user guide, many times but there were two items I missed and found out later on. One is the windscreen wipers park in the vertical position if the wiper stalk is pushed down within 15 seconds of turning off the ignition. This is a maintenance assist thing because they are hard to reach when stowed flat. The clever bit is if the bonnet is open it won’t work because the blades would collide with the open bonnet. The other thing is the wing mirrors fold by pressing the adjuster down, and unfold by pressing down again. This would have been useful when I clipped the left one reversing into a very awkward narrow driveway with huge solid columns. I popped the cover off and busted the indicator light – thankfully the mirror assembly was OK. The replacement part was remarkably cheap from the dealer.
The first service has been done, which is basically an engine oil and filter change with a once over look on a few things. It was done at an MG dealer and it cost me £210. Yeh that sounds a lot for some oil and a filter however part of that cost covers the free MG Assistance package for breakdown and recovery. So I see it as not having to spend on a separate recovery scheme so I don’t feel out of pocket.
So there we have it. I am still very pleased with the car.
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