MG is the brand that will not die, says Giles Smith in The Sunday Times. Grim receiverships, doomed mergers, heart-sinking hive-offs time and again life has dealt MG blows that would have felled a lesser institution. And every time this time-honoured British stalwart has got up and vowed to carry on, like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with severed arms, shouting, "It's just a flesh wound!"
This MG GS SUV crossover marks the brand's best chance for success in this rebirth, says Antony Ingram in Evo. The new 1.5-litre, turbo-charged engine delivers 164bhp and 184lb ft of torque, giving the car class-leading performance. That's still not enough for it to thrill on pace alone, but given that most of its rivals are "positively soporific", it's still entertaining and "gets down the road quite nicely". But it's the price that will have you sitting up and taking notice just £14,995 for the entry-level model.
That gets you cruise control, automatic headlights and air conditioning and a perfectly decent cabin too. The class best-seller, the Nissan Qashqai, starts at just a little more, but it's not as fun as this MG. Mazda's CX-5 is probably the best in class, but then it's also around £8,000 more expensive.
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It is good value, agrees Colin Goodwin in the Daily Mirror, and one of the most powerful SUVs in its price bracket. And it's a looker too, certainly compared with the Qashqai or Dacia's Duster. But sadly there are too many flaws to make it the top choice of SUV for those on a budget. There's plenty of space, but it's not easy to make the most of it due to bad design.
On the road you can feel the MG's sporty leanings through your backside. The ride is not nearly good enough for a family car. And the engine needs some revving to get it going, which will be irritating for those used to the instant reactions of a diesel (there will be no diesel model). It's a shame it's not as good as it looks. Perhaps, says Giles Smith, but the car isn't going to sell on how it drives. It's going to sell on looks and price. On those points alone, this new MG is going to be hard to beat.
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