MG3 buying guide

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A guide to buying the MG3

MG is back in the UK and, after a slow start with the MG6, it has brought the much more appealing MG3 hatchback to the market. Aimed squarely at a much younger audience, Matthew Hayward at Evo magazine tells us all about it. 
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MG3 front view

If you’re wondering whether or not this MG is a British car or not, that isn’t as straightforward as you think. Although Chinese-owned, a lot of the test and development work was carried out at MG’s technical centre right here in the UK and even more changes have been implemented in the UK-spec MG3 to bring it up to scratch. All the major parts are manufactured in China, however, and then shipped over to Longbridge where they are effectively screwed together. 
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MG3 rear view
All this makes for a cheap car (even the most expensive MG3 costs less than £10,000) that, in theory, should prove to be well engineered and long lasting for those seeking value for money.
A new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol MG engine powers the MG3, which produces 104bhp and 101lb-ft of torque. This gives the MG a respectable 0–60mph time of 10.4 seconds and a top speed of 108mph. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are average at best, with the 48.6mpg and 136g/km claims.
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What’s it like to drive?

What’s it like to drive?

The moment you set off, you can tell the MG3 has been tuned to perform well on the UK’s bumpy and damaged roads. It isn’t the most comfortable car and the ride has definitely been set-up to feel sportier, but body control and handing are up there with the best in its class. 
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MG3 side view

That engine feels quite old fashioned in its delivery, since it doesn’t have the help of a small turbo to offer low-down torque like most modern petrol engines. Despite this, as soon as you get the engine working in its power band, the MG3 shifts pretty quickly. A reasonably effective five-speed manual gearbox is the only option, though, and the ratios are long, so you’ll often need to change down for optimum acceleration.
The steering is neither heavy nor over-light, and provides a generous amount of feel through the rim. The brakes also feel powerful and secure, even if the pedal is a little bit light. Dynamically, the MG certainly lives up to its name, providing a fun little package for hatchback buyers on a budget.
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MG3 VTi badge

What’s it like to live with?

Although some of the fitting and plastic inside feels cheap, it’s certainly not unpleasant. There are some very useful aspects to the car too, like an iPhone dock that lets you listen to music through the car’s stereo system.
The one thing that is surprising about the MG3 is its spacious interior. To look at it, you’d think it was Fiesta sized, but once inside, it actually feels closer to a Focus in terms of outright passenger room. 

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MG3 Form Sport

Prices and specifications

This is where the MG3 really scores well. The entry-level MG3 Time model, with a good deal of standard spec — including LED running lights, electric windows and stability control — comes in at £8,399. The middle-of-the-range MG3 Form model starts at £9299, and gets Bluetooth, air conditioning and a DAB radio.
The next model up is the MG3 Form Sport, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels for an extra £250. At the top of the MG3 range is the MG3 Style model with. This sees the small hatchback fitted with auto headlights and wipers, cruise control, with the final and most expensive model coming in at that £9,999 headline figure.
Offering a new level of personalisation is also an interesting selling point for the MG3. Not only can you select a number of different colours, there are many interior options, as well as roof decals and various stickers to spice up the exterior. 
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