November 23, 2017

MG3

Back in the sixties and seventies, MG was world-renown for making fun and affordable small sports cars. The same ethos is being rekindled here by the re-launched brand, now under Chinese ownership.

Following the rather disappointing uptake of the MG6 family car, there are big hopes for this MG3 hatch. Boasting modern funky styling and a plethora of customisation options, the firm’s new supermini has been targeted at Fiat 500 and MINI hatch buyers.

It certainly looks the part with a sporty stance, curved A-pillars, high-mounted tail lamps and front LED running lights.

 

 

Also counting in its favour is a seriously low starting price: entry-level ‘Time’ trim cars roll in for £8,399. ‘Form’ spec starts from £9599, with range-topping ‘Style’ models (tested here) costing £10,499.

All cars get six airbags, stability control, emergency brake assist and Hill-hold control. Disappointingly though, the MG3 only scored 3 stars in the Euro-NCAP safety tests.

The MG3’s engine (the same on all trim designations) is a bit of a disappointment, being rather gruff and vocal when under full load. It produces 105 bhp, which offers up a 0-62 mph time of 10.9 seconds and top speed of 108 mph – certainly acceptable figures in this class, but there’s not a huge amount of torque though and the power delivery of the engine means that you’ll need to work the motor quite hard to extract the quoted figures. Where it falls behind rivals more noticeably is on efficiency and emissions (48.7 mpg and 124g/km CO2). It also takes a little while to adjust to the clutch, as it’s easy to over-rev the engine. Other aspects of the MG3’s driving dynamics are generally good. Steering is nicely weighted and progressive, the ride is pliant enough to be reasonably comfortable, yet also having good body control, while the gear change and brakes all pass muster.

Overall cabin refinement is actually pretty decent for a car of this size. Yes road noise is always audible, but never excessively and wind noise is noticeably absent on the motorway.

The MG3’s cabin feels as modern and fresh as the exterior, although beneath the attractive design, the budget quality of the plastics which are hard and scratchy quickly becomes apparent. But MG has certainly been generous with kit levels. Even mid-spec ‘Form’ models get a leather multifunction wheel, trip computer, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, DAB radio and electric rear windows. This top spec style adds niceties such as 16-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control and auto lights and wipers.

The car’s upright roof design translates to an interior with plenty of headroom. Legroom is good too, although the boot – despite being a practical square shape – is only average in size for this class, but as you’d expect in a hatchback, the rear seats fold flat to considerably increase the car’s load hauling capacity.

 

Verdict:

Despite some rough edges, the MG3 is a sterling effort from the revived British brand, having enough style and ability to be a genuinely appealing proposition for supermini buyers.

Tech spec:

MG3 3Style
OTR Price: £10,499
Engine: 1498cc, 4 cyl, petrol
Gearbox: 5 speed manual
Max Power: 105 bhp
Max Torque: 101 Ib ft @4750 rpm
0-62 mph: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 108 mph
CO2 emissions: 124 g/km
Economy: 48.7 mpg (combined)
VED band: E
 

 

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