China Watch : New MG3 Crossover revealed

Adam Sloman

Fresh from the recent Chinese launch of the MG3, details have emerged over on China Car Times of a new Crossover version.

The new car will take the place of the current MG3 SW, which is closely related to the Rover 25-based Streetwise, originally launched back in 2003.

The MG3 SW has been quite a success for MG in China, proving popular with young buyers, becoming a successful competitor in the Chinese Rally Championship, spawning an Owners’ Club and even enjoying a starring role in a Chinese soap-opera!

The new model takes several styling cues from the original MG Rover-developed car with an increased ride height, roof bars and plastic body addenda.

China Car Times has not, as yet, given an indication of when the new MG3 SW will go on sale in China and whether or not the 3 or its Streetwise-styled brother will see UK production still remains to be seen. However, in the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

[Source: China Car Times]


  1. I actually like that a lot. The hatch opening is awfully narrow at the top, but the rest of it is cute. Unlike a lot of cars from China, it doesn’t look to have been styled by an amateur. Keeping some staff in the UK probably helps with that.

    That said, I’m not anxious to see MG here in the US market (seems clear now that the Oklahoma-assembled TF isn’t happening after all). That’s a Chinese car and I’d just rather it didn’t have any brand equity of MG should they decide to come here, especially if it causes people to consider it English or simply European.

    I hope that Americans’ memories of MG are more tied to the brown Leyland rubber-bumper MGBs on fire than any fondness for MGAs racing or the TC that an eccentric Professor drove.

  2. I quite like it. I suspect I’ll be outspoken on this site, but this is a design direction I wouldn’t mind seeing MG developing.

    A range of sporty saloons, with crossover alternatives and, possibly, the odd 4×4 meets the need for the brand to expand beyond sports cars, whilst remaining distincitve and leisure-orientated. That’s surely a better strategy than putting the badge on ordinary boxes, which I fear the MG3, 5 and 6 will be.

  3. It’s not too bad, but an MG-badged version of the Streetwise would appeal more!

    It’s certainly an improvment on the bog-standard versions we’ve seen so far.

  4. This new MG3 SW looks like it’s been fitted with one of those really tacky add-on body kits.

    I wish that was true and then we could imagine there might be a decent-looking car underneath.

  5. I rather like the new Crossover. It reminds me of how much I warmed to the Streetwise when it was announced back in 2003 and how individual it was to drive when I had one of the fully accessorised Press demo cars on test for a week. Happy times.

  6. We owned a Streetwise for 4 years or so before it was written off for the sake of 2 bumpers – ironic that as I’d guess the Chinese still make the appropriate bumpers themselves.

    The Rover Streetwise was something of a trendsetter and when it was launched and showed that, even amidst the company’s death throws, Rover still had the ability to lead the way on occasion.

    This looks OK to me but, as with all the new MGs, until you can feel, touch, open doors and drive, it’s hard to tell whether we’re looking at a quality product or not.

  7. @Mark Pitchford
    I was the same postion with my ZS – my Insurer’s repairers couldn’t source a new lower rear suspension arm from their ‘official’ suppliers so the car was written off.

    I could have sourced a secondhand one myself, but they wouldn’t do that as it might have led to a follow-on claim later on. That’s the only thing that worries me now about owning late Rovers or MGs – some parts are harder to get than for the classics!

    Apparently, the Chinese-built cars do not have interchangeable parts, even for the TF, unless some ‘modification’ is undertaken.

    Sorry, that went a wee bit off topic there…!

  8. This looks a shoddy version of the Streetwise. The plastic panelling on the front doors looks like a mishap has befallen the car and part of the cladding fell off as a result and, as for those shapes in the rear bumper extremities, well, is this a car or the Starship Enterprise?

    Overall view? It looks like it’s been sucking on a lemon front and rear. They’re banking on some Brit cues to sell it but it’s as British as a paddy field (which, if there was one in the UK, would be frozen over at the moment)!

  9. I have issues with it but, to be fair, it looks better than the Clubfoot and, let’s face it, the people who buy this sort of thing don’t need a load lugger – if they did they would go and buy a Citroen C5 estate…

    However… This is not an MG – it’s a mishmash of different styling cues and there are too many design failings (it’s a hatchback, do we really need to get a hernia from lifting stuff over the boot lip in this day and age? Ergonomics, look it up!).

    To be brutal, the styling looks like someone fed a dinosaur a Porsche Cayenne, a Ford S-Max and a Peugeot 207, left it to digest for about 3 hours then fed it 300 gallons of ipecac and tried to sell the result…

  10. You know the really depressing thing – if the Internet had been around 30 years ago we would have bitched and whined about the Datsun 120Y (assuming anything could whine louder than the transmission) and what are we buying now? *sigh*…

    Not to mention Hyundai and Kia…

  11. I don’t think this MG3 SW bears any relationship with the former Streetwise and the affinity with former MGR cars is sadly over… However, if it ever reaches the UK, I wish it well but I wouldn’t want one.

    I agree with Jemma’s quip to a degree but have to say that my brother, father and I all owned a mix of Datsun cars in the late 1970s and 1980s and they did the job, were reliable and reasonably priced.

    My brother currently has a Jaguar XF and a Chevrolet Lacetti (for work). The Chevrolet has done 130k miles with hardly any faults outside of routine servicing/tyres etc.

  12. I have to say out loud RUBBISH! What an absolute pile of junk – it looks like an 1980s reject sporty effort from Skoda (no offence to Skoda as their current models are very good indeed).

    Oh dear, oh dear, do we have to let the MG name be disgraced by these awful reincarnations?

  13. Russ :I have to say out loud RUBBISH! What an absolute pile of junk – it looks like an 1980s reject sporty effort from Skoda (no offence to Skoda as their current models are very good indeed).

    Oh dear, oh dear, do we have to let the MG name be disgraced by these awful reincarnations?

    Luke McCormack :I’m sorry but it’s minging. The standard MG3 looks miles better without the cluttered additions on the sharp, crisp and cleaner looking car.

    I have to say the same. I had my ZR for 6 years and it was great.That thing is horrible.

  14. Russ :I have to say out loud RUBBISH! What an absolute pile of junk – it looks like an 1980s reject sporty effort from Skoda (no offence to Skoda as their current models are very good indeed).

    Oh dear, oh dear, do we have to let the MG name be disgraced by these awful reincarnations?

    How on earth does that look even remotely like something from the 1980s?

    I keep seeing things about how these cars don’t look like an MG but what does an MG look like? I mean no it doesn’t look anything like an MGB or pre-WW2 TF, but then the B looked nothing like the pre-WW2 TF!

    Anyway, from what I can see this is just a preview rendering – it’s not a photo of an actual car in the metal. How can anyone therefore make a judgment about it being shoddy?

  15. @Dennis
    I couldn’t agree more. I think MG are re-inventing and are in the process of establishing themselves as a car brand again – the MG6 and MG3 models are evidence of that. I think that what will please MG fans is if or when MG build a brand, spanking new sportscar to replace the ancient TF.

  16. I think that the MG3 needs a more coupe-esque three-door model throughout the range if it’s really to appeal. Skoda should have done this with the Fabia too.

  17. @Dennis
    Dennis, it is my opinion of how I think it looks. I appreciate that this is a possible mock up of how the car may look but I am afraid to say it does not even cut the mustard against my ageing ZR or the Rover Streetwise – it looks awful and I don’t think it will sell here but, again, they’re just my thoughts.

    However, if SAIC Motor/MG come up with something that resembles a sporty hatch or a coupe, I would consider one if it was actually on sale unlike the now long overdue MG6.

    It’s like this for me – without offending anyone – but, when Longbridge came out with a new model, there was an air of excitement about seeing it in the metal, looking at the specs available and then anticipating the sporty models that followed.

    You ask what should the new MGs look like? Well, to keep in line with their heritage which should be MG’s biggest sales asset, they should look like a car that would not be out of place on the track something, special, a force to be reckoned with, a car to keep up with the hot hatch brigade.

    I understand this is MG3 SW is a Crossover but it looks too practical. There’s no ” Life’s too short not to” feeling about anything that has been shown so far…

  18. I think it’s OK but not startling. These new MGs still aren’t really doing it for me – they are OK looking but not great looking cars.

    Interestingly, there is a Kia Cerato coupe in town (New Plymouth) at present and it looks great in red. MG Motor’s new models should, to my mind, look great and have presence on the road – if I was buying one of the two (MG or Kia or even the Focus) on looks alone I would buy any of the larger Kias or the Focus (the small Kias aren’t nice to look at but the big Kias look really good) anyday.


  19. This is suffering from 3 Series itis – it looks like it’s had shopping trolley wheels fitted. It’s too slab sided as well. Wheel arches too small, wheels too small.Oops! They are serious styling issues. It won’t be built here either.

  20. Wow, this is one amazing car. I always thought that the MG3 SW had a certain urban street cred but this is an improvement on the Rover 25-based model and much better than a VW Polo Dune. I hope that we get the chance to buy this over here.

  21. The front is a vast improvement on the standard MG3’s and is a bit closer to the original ZERO Concept but, otherwise, it’s dreadful.

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