The MG3 offers a wonderfully affordable alternative to city cars like the KIA Rio and Ford Fiesta, while offering a far more simple spec and engine lineup. So simple, in fact, that there is only one engine available. A 1.5-litre petrol unit with Dual Overhead Cams mated exclusively to a 5-speed manual gearbox. That should speed up the decision making for prospective buyers. The engine is actually pretty handy, it puts out 106 PS which is plenty for a car of this size, and it will return 42 mpg on a combined cycle, which is reasonable.
There are 3 trim levels available for the MG3, the ‘Explore’ from £9,495, the ‘Excite’ from £11,395 and the ‘Exclusive’ from £12,795. The cheapest ‘Explore’ model is actually pretty well equipped from the standard. LED Daytime running lights, USB, Bluetooth, Hill hold control and front and rear electric windows are all included at no extra cost. Work up to the ‘Excite’ spec and features such air con, steering wheel mounted controls, a rear spoiler, alloys, Apple CarPlay, an 8” touch screen and reverse sensors are thrown in, among a load of other features. This is the spec that offers the best value for money. The top of the range ‘Exclusive’ takes all the features of the lower two specs and adds Sports seats, cruise control, a reversing camera and an improved sound system for an extra £1,400 over the ‘Excite’.
So, what is it like to drive?
Happily, we can report the MG3 is a well-balanced car. There is a surprising amount of grip through the bends and the ride is smoother than most alternatives on the market. The MG3 does well to sit flat when you do take corners at pace and it's quite an encouraging car to drive enthusiastically. The 1.5-litre petrol engine isn’t really built for being thrashed, but MG isn’t pretending that this is a hot-hatch and it’s perfectly suitable for the role it is designed for.
The cabin is clearly built to a budget, but it’s well screwed together and doesn’t bother with an overly elaborate design to compensate for luxury, instead, the driver is presented with a functional and effective interior which is practical and hard wearing. The build quality is pretty high and it helps to improve the already high refinement levels of the MG3, especially when driving down pothole-ridden B-roads, there are no unwelcome interior rattles.
The boot space of the MG3 is impressive for a city car. With the rear seats in place there are 285 litres of loading capacity, and when you fold the rear row down the luggage space increases to a massive 1,262 litres… plenty.
Young drivers will be happy to know that the MG3 is rated in insurance group 4E, which is very affordable, especially considering the power and engine size that this thing has. The 1.5-litre engine emits 140 g/km of CO2 which means that 12 months of road tax costs £210 - slightly more expensive than some of the competition.
The MG3 is available now with the following offers so why not take one for a spin?
- Excite 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech £169 deposit and £169 x 48 months with 0% APR
- Exclusive 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech £460 deposit and £189 x 48 months with 0% APR
- Exclusive 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech £3,601 deposit and £99 x 48 months with 0% APR
- Exclusive 1.5 DOHC VTI-tech £3,750 deposit and £119 x 48 months with 0% APR