Used MG Overview
Country & Base United Kingdom – Oxford and Shanghai, China
- MGA [Sports car convertible]
- MGB [sports car convertible]
- MGB GT [sports coupe]
- MG Midget [sports car convertible]
- MG RV8 [sports car convertible]
- MG F [sports car convertible]
- MG ZR [sports hatch]
- MG ZS [sports saloon]
- MG ZT [sports saloon]
- MG 6 [sports saloon]
RAC Cars Need To Know:
The history of the MG motor company can be divided into three eras; some, well one, happier than others.
The original MG car company was founded way back in the inter-war year of 1924. The founder was a chap, Cecil Kimber, who had worked for Morris Motors as a dealer. MG stands for Morris Garages. His company was sold to Morris shortly after, in 1925 and then became part of the British Motor Corporation in 1952 with the merger of Austin and Morris. In 1968 the much travelled MG became part of British Leyland, which was nationalised in 1975. As far as some enthusiasts are concerned, the last real MG came off the production line in 1980.
After that, Austin Rover used the MG badge to denote their 'sporty' models, as did MG Rover when they took over. The intellectual property, brand and assets of MG were bought by Nanjing Automobile Group in 2005, after MG Rover went into receivership. They named the new company MG Motor.
Taken very broadly, the first era of MG was when they were largely independent and produced fabulous little convertible roadsters like the MGB. These cars in many ways epitomised the British sports car. They were fun, pretty and relatively inexpensive. Driving in a two seater, open top MG with the roof down was, for enthusiasts, pretty much as good as British sports car motoring could get. The cars were not especially fast and certainly not very sophisticated, but with all the power going to the back wheels and the wind in your hair they felt just right. This sort of set up continued until the MGF in 1980, which was Austin Rover's last attempt to make a fist out of running MG. The problem was that the cars never sold in large enough numbers to be profitable and Austin Rover was running out of patience and money. Health and safety caught up with MG too, at first demanding rubber bumpers on the last MGBs (due to US safety laws) and latterly weighing the cars down with safety equipment. By the time the MGF came around it was all too late. Mazda was doing the cheap little fun roadster thing much better with their MX5 and the MG was doomed.
Not quite though. Some marketing chaps decided that the MG badge had something called 'brand equity'. This meant that people would, they thought, pay extra money to drive a car with an MG badge. Austin Rover and latterly MG Rover, then began to stick MG badges on all sorts of cars, from the MG Montego to the MG Maestro. Some were better than others. The MG ZR was based on the tepid Rover 25 but delivered genuinely exciting performance and a fantastic and fun driving experience that recalled the old days of the MG. The MG ZT was in turn a performance version of the Rover 75 that, while not quite as good as the MG ZR, was a fairly decent sporty saloon. The MG XPower SV on the other hand, was simply nuts. This was a car with supercar price and pretensions that was made out of a Rover 75 chassis and anything else Rover could find lying around in the parts bins.
Today MG has returned to the UK in the shape of the MG 6 and is now owned by the Chinese company, Nanjing Automobile Group. The five door hatchback variant of this car went on sale in the UK in May 2011, followed by the saloon version, known as the MG6 Magnette, in July the same year. Astonishingly, the cars still share some old Rover parts, in the shape of the Rover 75 subframe. Sadly though, very little of the old MG DNA is present in these cars.
A used MG then is something of a pick 'n mix. There is something for everyone from this venerable name and, like the curate's egg, the range is good in parts.