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Car review: New MG3

Some cars try too hard to look funky. The new supermini from MG is one of them, writes car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay.



For me, the renowned MG name should be associated with class – not boy-racer, go-faster stripes and cheap interior plastics. Sorry to say the MG3 has both.

But all is not lost because this little car will attract a wedge of the British motoring population for one big reason – the very low price tag.

You see, the MG3 3Form Sport VTi-Tech model I drove only costs £9,549.

For that sub 10 grand figure you get a small hatch which will certainly appeal to young and style-conscious buyers.

Personalised styling

Exterior highlights include 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, light-emitting diode (LED) lights, a sport-design bumper, side sill extensions, a rear spoiler, a sports-design rear valance, chrome exhaust finishers and MG insert headlamps.

Furthermore, as it’s all the rage for cars aimed at the younger end of the motoring market to have an array of styling options, MG has made its latest model a blank canvas so it can be "personalised".

With three trim levels, 10 colours and a range of at least 10 graphic packs, young drivers with their first pay packet will be spoilt for choice.

The combinations are almost endless. It’s all been done before by other manufacturers though and the attempt seems a tad contrived.

Plastic-fantastic cabin



Step inside and key features of the MG3 include air conditioning; a six-speaker audio system; Bluetooth; DAB radio, USB input, automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, and fabric seats with part-leather trim.

That’s a whole lot of kit - but the plastic-fantastic cabin spoils the party.

Most surfaces, from the doors to the dash, feel hard and, well, cheap.

That said, the car is cut-price – so it’s a classic case of you get what you pay for.

Surprisingly spacious interior

The most surprising aspect of the MG3 is the amount of space and versatility in an incredibly compact five-door package.

The “rolled and raised” front dashboard design creates an airy forward cabin space and increased legroom, while allowing excellent access to the controls.

This theme is continued in the rear of the car, where the front seats are sculpted to allow your rear passengers enough space to travel in comfort.

Best of all, the MG will accommodate four six-footers, a level of room typically associated with larger cars.

Good to drive

Behind the wheel, the MG3 delivers impressive levels of body control, sharpness and a willingness to corner.

Powered by a hale and hearty 103bhp 1498cc petrol engine, it darts about like a minnow, delivering sure footed handling and impressive ride comfort.

The 0-62mph scurry of 10.9 seconds and top speed of 108mph makes the MG3 suitable for most trips, from jam-packed urban routes, to fluid British B-roads or cruising on a European motorway.

At just four-metres long and with five doors, the MG3 is really easy to drive and park too.

It’s also practical with a small, but deep rectangular boot that will take the weekly shop – or even a child’s buggy.

It has a distinctive stance and its "hockey stick" shaped daylight running lights help give the MG3 a front face unlike any other car.

MG3: Pros & cons

  • Good to drive √
  • Easy to park √
  • Cheap to buy and run √
  • Contrived X
  • Interior plastics X

MG3: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 108 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 10.9 secs
  • Combined mpg: 48.7
  • Engine: 1498cc 4 cylinder 16 valve petrol
  • Max. power (bhp): 103 at 6000 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 101 at 4750 rpm
  • CO2: 136 g/km

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Tim Barnes-Clay

Leon Poultney

Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each week with his must-read car reviews.

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