First Drive : MG3 Style

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Words and Photography: Keith Adams

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It looks like the phoney war is over and MG is about to get serious about the UK market. The MG3 is now on-sale and you can order one now but, just to ensure that this vaguely sporting five-door hatch has half a chance, it’s been aggressively priced between £8399 and £9999 on the road and given a seriously tempting insurance grouping.

It’s been eight years since you’ve been able to buy a new MG-badged supermini in the UK and, just like the ZR before it, the MG3 might not be a pace-setting design, but it has the potential to establish itself as a serious player in the sub-£10,000 market. Of course, whether the MG3 lives or dies is down to many factors, not least its maker’s ability to market and advertise the thing.

Here’s the good news, though: the fundamentals are all there and the MG really does have a fighting chance of making the ‘3 work here. Beyond the pricing and those faddish external graphics options (which MINI dealers will tell you are going out of fashion), the fundamentals are there – it’s an honest workhorse of a car that looks and feels like it’s been properly screwed together, after some very effective tweaking and tuning by some very capable Engineers in Longbridge.

However, be under no illusion – the new MG3 is a very different proposition to the once-popular ZR, very much majoring on value-for-money and instant showroom appeal. The 3 has plenty of power and equipment for the money, thanks to its headline-grabbing list price, and that low insurance rating, there’s every possibility that it could capture a useful slice of the market. After all, neither the Citroen Saxo VTR and MG ZR 105 were cutting-edge in their day, but they were affordable, fun and the dealers were keen to help them out of the door.

Will the MG3 entice new car buyers back into their local MG showroom, though?

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Can the MG3 entice younger buyers back to MG?

As AROnline readers, you’re already all-too aware that MG Motor UK’s post-2008 relaunch has been a painfully slow and frustrating slow-burner. The TF sold in dribs and drabs between 2008 and 2011, while the MG6 so far continues in the same vein, despite current tempting prices. In both cases, it’s not because they were bad cars, per se, but more often than not, beyond the enthusiast crowd, no one actually knew that they existed.  So, with the arrival of the ‘3, MG is hoping to turn the corner, looking for genuine growth, as well as an increase in visibility.

The first thing to say on that score is that Sales and Marketing Director, Guy Jones, has confirmed that the MG3 will be advertised on TV, as well as in the lifestyle and specialist press. It will be a simple message – buy an MG3 and have fun, fun, fun for the money. Motor sport is also not out of the question, although it needs to be cost effective – his favoured option was for the ‘3 to compete in the MG Car Club’s MG Trophy Championship.

The MG3’s been on sale in China since 2011, but it was a completely new car from the ground-up when launched. Project ZP11 used no existing MG Rover architecture and its main inspirations, according to a well-placed source, were the Skoda Fabia and Fiat Grande Punto – and you can see that in the car’s style, stance and packaging.

It’s a roomy hatchback, boasting a long wheelbase (2520mm) with wheel-at-each corner and, at 4018mm in length and 1729mm wide, it’s slightly larger than the class norm and it tips the scales at a hardly sylph-like 1155kg. For the UK, there’s only one version powered by the all-new EU5 compliant 1.5-litre chain-cam engine, which develops a healthy (for the money) 104bhp and 101lb ft. Consider that most price rivals develop between 70-85bhp and you can see why MG is confident about its chances. Hopefully, thanks to the NSE power unit, any lingering doubts in the wider buying public about MG’s engine longevity should be allayed.

NSE power unit delivers 104bhp and 101lb ft.
NSE power unit delivers 104bhp and 101lb ft.

Beyond that, the MG3 has an exceptionally low insurance grouping (it’s classified as 4E, placing it alongside far less powerful rivals), and has a useful amount of kit, such as Bluetooth, USB connectivity and DAB radio, even in the entry-level model. It’s a recipe that MG hopes will see younger customers make a return to their local MG dealer.

Although the MG3 was designed in the UK, the Chinese market version needed work. So, the Engineers at SMTC UK in Longbridge ended up in the interesting position of reworking a car they had already designed for another country’s specific needs – as one engineer told AROnline, ‘we were given the MG3 as a complete package, which we then we were required to tune for the UK market.’

The most obvious changes are visual. The UK MG3 receives new front and rear bumpers, a discreet body kit and a range of larger wheels. These changes give the five-door only MG3 much more road presence, giving credence to the company’s assertion that it’s a fun, faintly sporting hatchback. However, the more important changes were made under the skin.

The suspension and damping set-up, which was overseen by Andy Kitson’s team, has been significantly upgraded. Particular attention has been paid to the ride height and damping, while the hydraulic (a refreshing change these days) power-steering’s valving has also been re-tuned to give more weight and road feel.

16-inch alloy wheels and lower ride height are obvious changes over the Chinese market MG3.
16-inch alloy wheels and lower ride height are obvious changes over the Chinese market MG3

The question is – can MG really speak to those people who’d dearly love a Citroen DS3, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Adam, or – dare we say it – MINI, but only have Chevrolet Aveo or Skoda Fabia-sized monthly payments to play with? In terms of what you get for your money, the MG3 is clearly in with a fighting chance.

MG is playing the ‘fun’ card for all it’s worth. The graphics packs are available from £200-£225 and are specified when you order the car. But in the coming months, dealers will be able to retro-fit these vinyls, meaning that if you get bored, you can give your MG3 a modestly-priced external makeover.

Taking a close look at several cars at launch, the fit and finish is excellent and the paint is deep and even. Panel gaps are also where they should be and, inside, the fixtures and surfaces feel solid and durable. The leather-rimmed steering wheel and gearknob feel right, while ancillary controls such as the column stalks, ICE and air conditioning controls have good tactility – banishing memories of some of the MG6’s more iffy details.

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Interior is functional, but with a welcome splash of colour

Nice touches on our top of the line 3Style are the fingertip controls on the steering wheel, which operate the audio and cruise control’s features, while special mention should be made for the dash-top storage area, which is doubly useful for having a retractable blind to cover it and an integrated mounting point for your smartphone or satnav (and which worked really well with the iPhone’s in-built sat-nav). Additionally, for a little bit of heritage, there’s a rubber non-slip mat that Rover 200/400/800 owners are all too familiar with.

The seating position is high and offers excellent forward visibility – although predictably, the driver’s A-post intrudes at angled junctions, while over-the-shoulder visibility suffers at the hands of chunky B- and C-posts. Rear room is class-leading, with ample head- and leg-room, matching the physically larger Dacia Logan. Indeed, that seems to be a part of the new-MG’s DNA and is no doubt linked to China’s love of rear lounging room.

MG3 is unusually roomy in the rear for a car in this market sector.
MG3 is unusually roomy in the rear for a car in this market sector (both front seats are fully back in this image)

Once underway, engine refinement is acceptable from idle and in the lower half of the rev range. When driven sedately, the  MG3 is reasonably hushed and unintrusive, with an appreciably quiet idle – which you notice as the car does without stop-start, more’s the pity. Initially, it doesn’t feel that quick, either, with unexceptional throttle response – but that changes if you push a bit harder. The undersquare 75mm x 84.8mm bore and stroke measurements and 10.5:1 compression ratio probably explain why it feels a little torque-shy.

From 4500rpm, the power steps up markedly and gives the driver who’s prepared to work hard through to the 7000rpm rev limiter, handy for A-road overtaking acceleration in second/third gear. And for bar-room braggers, it will reach 60mph in second, which explains its competitive 0-60mph time of 10.4 seconds (still slower than a Montego 1.6L). Of course, it gets louder and more coarse when driven enthusiastically, but not excessively so – although it’s an undistinguished sounding power unit. Sadly, it doesn’t sound that sporting inside either – although we noted the exhaust sounds quite fruity at idle – another important selling point for the younger drivers MG dearly wants to attract.

The British design team has certainly made it steer and handle well. On faster A-roads, the steering has plenty of feel and is responsive and quick and, as one Engineer told us, much work was done to eliminate striction and the play around the centre spot that Chinese-spec cars have (and which drivers there demand). It’s not transparent, but certainly feels less artificial than most EPAS set-ups.

The ride is quite firm by ‘cooking hatchback’ standards, but not objectionably so, and it doesn’t feel restless unless the road surface is particularly poor. By the same token, it won’t knock the wind out of you, as seems to be the way with today’s hot hatches. So, it offers something of a halfway house between the two, which seems to sum up where MG is pitching the ‘3.

Damping control is worthy of note, particularly in early corner turn-in, where the transition to roll is nice and consistent. Would we call it sporting? Not really, but it’s competent and poor surface conditions rarely intrude too much, even if there’s a tad more road noise than most superminis. Corners are also taken competently, with plenty of lateral grip and a minimal  amount of understeer at UK A- and B-road speeds to keep things nice and safe.  The disc/drum braking set-up is consistent in general use, with no cause for comment and good pedal feel. Disc-wiping is standard.

In short, it’s fun and safe, with above average levels of communication and all without being too challenging, and it wipes the floor with the Vauxhall Adam.

MG3

Overall, then, you’ll have already worked out that the MG3 doesn’t re-write the small car rulebook. It has plenty of good points, such as its generous cabin and well-shaped boot, easily mastered controls and more than acceptable dynamics. However, as a basic design, it’s already pushing past its first flush of youth, even if it has some attractive design details.

There’s only one powertrain option and, while it delivers reasonable performance, it’s far from being the cleanest (136g/km) or most economical (48.7mpg combined, 39mpg on our admittedly brief test) small hatchback on the market.

However, when you bring cost into the equation and view the MG3 as an overall proposition that’s aimed at real people with modest budgets, it’s difficult not to conclude that it’s near-compelling. That’s because, at this price point and with the combination of generous kit and 104bhp engine, it’s difficult to find any rivals to put it up against – similarly priced cars are more spartan and certainly slower, while those that match the ‘3’s kit and pace are considerably more expensive. For younger buyers, the cheap insurance is also a potenially huge attraction, bringing a warm-hatch to within their reach.

Dash-top iPod dosk might look like an afterthought, but it works very wekk indeed, and is nicely positioned
Dash-top iPod dock might look like an afterthought, but it works very well indeed and is nicely positioned

There are questions, of course. The car needs marketing and needs a tangible, desirable image setting out from day one. The three-year warranty (with option to buy year four and five) is okay and we still need to hear what the PCP costs are going to be. Also, long-term residuals are an unknown right now and this will undoubtedly play out in the coming months. As for reliability and servicing, MG Motor UK’s Dealer Network is currently patchy, with around 30 outlets for the entire UK. That said, the company is aiming to have around 100 dealers on board by the end of 2015, as well as a network of service agents with an as-yet unnamed national chain.

Overall, then, the ‘3 is a likeable addition to the market that’s quick, stylish and cheap – and, without sounding harsh on MG Motor UK, which is effectively a company still in its infancy, it would be a sure-fire hit if it was being sold by, say, Ford or Vauxhall. As it stands, it’s a good car that’s not perfect but, at the price MG is flogging it for, you can more than forgive its faults.

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Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

135 Comments

  1. Just need a package including free insurance (for as young an age as possible), 0% finance (on as long a term as possible) and some MG logo baseball caps (badge at the back) and they’ll be away.

  2. Keith if they pull this off:

    “The question is – can MG really speak to those people who’d dearly love a Citroen DS3, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Adam, or – dare we say it – MINI, but only have Chevrolet Aveo or Skoda Fabia-sized monthly payments to play with? In terms of what you get for your money, the MG3 is clearly in with a fighting chance.”

    They are home and dry – new driver with no ties is a HUGE market. Dare I say the reason mini dealers say the sticker’s are passe, is because the MINI is corporate purchase now (@ a 1/3 series) than a personal one?

    I think the wide open goal is poaching the 1.2 Corsa market, a glance on Britain’s roads shows they are littered with nearly new Camaro Rallye pack stickered Corsa’s.

  3. I would have this over a Fiesta any day,looks roomier to begin with and not an over-egged Dash.

    As for CO2 i could not care less.

    Those magazines that arrogantly state its not German,So what?

  4. Lovely looking car, especially inthat colour!
    Fantastic price and kit, I’d have one over the MINI/Fabia

    Unlike a Dacia, it doesnt look like the automotive equivileent of a washing machine either.

  5. I personally think it has no chance unless the image of MG improves dramatically. But I wish it well, the outside looks great.

  6. A pretty fair and balanced view. I’ve also read the other reviews published online today to see what common themes are emerging.

    Lets be honest not kid ourselves, there are quality issues with some of the materials used which arguably would warrant comparison with the materials present in a Dacia. However these seem to be offset by the youthful looks and handling dynamics, which are looking like the ace up the MG3’s sleeve.

    It seems to me that the MG3 has carved out its own micro niche and it’s really difficult to pinpoint a direct competitor.

    I honestly think the biggest problem with selling the MG3 will be the MG6 and MG Motor themselves.
    Why? Lets face it there is scepticism about MG Motor, its Chinese parentage and their unwillingness to promote the brand. It’s also fair to assume that many prospective buyers will research what problems the MG6 has had (steering and poor customer service to name a few) and if that doesn’t put them off the heavy depreciation the MG6 is suffering just might.

    I’m not expecting the MG3 to be an instant hit, but it certainly appears to be good enough to establish MG as a sustainable brand in the UK. Ultimately the success or failure of the MG3 will largely depend on what MG Motor do or don’t do. It’s as simple as that.

    Don’t forget that the MG6 had similar “first drive” reviews about how well it drives etc. etc. but MG Motor have consistently failed to convert these positives into actual sales. I hope they have learned from their mistakes!

  7. Indeed. As I said: ‘But overall, the ’3 is a likeable addition to the market that’s quick, stylish and cheap – and without sounding harsh on MG Motor UK, which is effectively a company still in its infancy, it would be a sure-fire hit if it were being sold by, say, Ford or Vauxhall.’

  8. Looks promising – works really well in black, and those alloy wheels are some of the best looking I’ve seen for a long time – reminds me of 70s Fuchs wheels. The stripes are neither here nor there – I didn’t like them on the Rover Mini Cooper, and I like them even less on a Citroen DS3 – but I’m not 21 anymore. The Iphone dock is a nice touch – but (and someone needs to educate because I don’t possess a smartphone) what happens when your Iphone is outdated – do you need to change your car docking station too? I think I’d err on good old blue-tooth connectivity rather than on a physical dock for a product that may not exist once the cars reach the 2nd hand market. Otherwise, the interior looks understated (I agree about the Fiesta looking like Vegas at night), I think the red piping’s a great touch! Steering wheel mounted controls are hardly cutting edge anymore – My ’94 Punto had those! All in all, looks good, needs a more powerful ‘halo’ model, but I think, a better bet than the awful Adam, tacky DS3, and woefully horrible 5Dr FIAT 500 thing. As for a viable rival to the 3 Dr 500, Fabia RS, Fiesta, Polo or MINI, or even the KIA Rio (think of the warranty package, and the superb styling)…..well, we’ll see. MG – MARKET IT!!

  9. Its biggest hurdle I feel will be the badge on its nose.
    MG is, in the greater public conscience, as British as you like, so Chinese ownership will give rise to more “it’s as British as chopsticks” nonsense we see with the ‘6.

    Evidently, it’s a competent little car with a lot of endearing qualities. Hopefully a fresh generation of MG buyers will see through the prejudiced rubbish they read on bile filled blogs and facebook- and see it for what it is. A very OK product.
    I feel if MG came here with a different badge, people would take to them much quicker: by getting straight to the car and not getting caught up whether it’s a “real” MG or not, or deriding it because of the MG-Rover connection that still lingers on.

    Maybe if it arrived on UK soil with a Chinese name it would be seen by people as a Chinese car with token British involvment-not a “hijacked” brand which many seem to feel is the case.
    Just a thought.

    I really hope this can overcome prejudice, and sell in the numbers it deserves to…I’m still saving up for an MG6 though.

  10. A european dealers network is urgently needed too. This car has got a nice potential in France, Holland, Spain, Portugal and even in Germany!

  11. Everything about this car suggests to me that it will sell so long as MG gets the sales and marketing effort is right. There’s a market for it, the price is right, the product is largely right and so that leaves product awareness and building up the dealer network to resolve.

  12. @4/Liam

    What a surprise. Two star review from What Car. I’d be willing to bet my house on the fact that if this had a Ford badge on it it’d have at least four stars.

    Also agree with 2/Andrew… Regarding the Corsa. Price wise the MG3 wipes the floor with it, with the right sort of advertising and insurance/finance deals this really has potential. You can barely get a poverty spec Corsa for this sort of money.

    • Whatcar have zero credibility as far as unbiased car reviews are concerned,not to be trusted by any serious car fan or buyer
      Autocar’s recent road test of the mg3 is far more indepth & intelligent

  13. Good to see they are coming at the market with a strongly priced and spec.

    Would also like to see a Morris “value” version, to take on Dacia and increase volume so they can grow the dealer network.

  14. 16/Warren B – I’d also agree with aiming at the basic Corsa.

    I’ve driven the basic 1.2 a couple of times recently – both as rentals. Vauxhall has actually turned it into a decent little car – it handles far better than it did when that shape first arrived, feels solid, has decent space, and still doesn’t look too bad. The 1.2 engine is incredibly lethargic though and for the same money as a basic Corsa, you could probably get quite a nice MG3.

    As you say though, advertising is key. Vauxhall’s ad campaign for the car is quite compelling, and obviously it has a long history of popularity in the UK. The MG3… doesn’t.

  15. Let’s not forget that Skoda have now slashed the price of the Fabia by 25%, so MG Motor can no longer claim the price of the MG3 is a Unique Selling Point (USP).
    I also strongly suspect that prices of other manufacturers will also be moving South sooner or later, but of course we all know that you can negotiate a discount with many of them anyway!

    Personally I think the keyword for purchasing a new car at this price point is “compromise”, and the car you choose to buy will largely depend upon what you are prepared to compromise on.

    The MG3 is now primed and ready for action, let battle commence! I’ll be watching the sales figures with interest.

  16. Nice little car.

    If they could tie up and provide some sort of years free insurance deal, it might get the following off the back of that similar to Corsas and Saxos of old.

    iPhone dock is a nice touch given the lack of iPod connectivity in the ‘6.
    Though does it support Android phones?
    And if not, is it removable or do you look at an empty dock? In 3/5/10 years time the iPhone wont be the same shape, or may not exist at all.
    (And is that a C64x on your wallpaper? Still have to build mine but C:USA went bust after the founder died)

  17. If you want to gauge the enormity of MG Motor’s task, only 13, yes only 13 new registrations of MG’s during August 2013. This is less than half of July’s figure of 27!

    To be fair I think everyone’s figures for August are probably down from July’s as people wait for the new 63 plate.

    September’s sales figures will be very telling indeed.

  18. @19 Its hard to imagine that MGRover could have managed the launch of the City Rover worse than they did. But I don’t think they had enough cash or time or resource to turn it into an “A” segment hot hatch.

    Best I think they could have done initially was bring it in as a “Value” car under the Austin or Morris brand. Aggressively priced they could then have used the cash to follow on with an MG variant with a K Series and thoroughly tweaked chassis.

  19. @22
    Put that in context with the Ryder plan that imagined they would retain 33% of the UK market and average 5% across the rest of the common market.

    Now what’s left of the volume business would be happy to do 33 cars a month.

    Then again, it would be 33 more than Saab.

  20. Looks a tenacious little car and I wish it well. The price structure seems feasible too. The i-pod dock doesn’t interest me I have to say, (dont have an i-pod). If they get some appealing advertising and marketing strategy in place, it will have a better chance than the ‘6’.

  21. @25
    MG Motor’s sales figures to date for 2013 are down a staggering 69% on 2012. We all know why, so I won’t add any further comment.

    I’m wondering if Alfa Romeo will be the next manufacturer to go bust, their sales are down 32% on 2012, and don’t forget that new car sales have increased significantly so far in 2013.

    September’s figures will really be interesting!

  22. As for motorsport for the mg 3,it’s just the right size for the wrc, so come on mg just drop a 300 bhp 1.6 motor make it 4wd and bobs your uncle.

  23. Clicked on the MG website to track down my nearest dealer, but the search facility simply did not recognise Durham or Darlington. Had to scan the whole list of dealers to realise my nearest is Bradford or Stirling.Work in hand as they say.

  24. @Nigel Davies

    I posted a while back on ‘Italian Leyland’ – beseiged by strikes, gov. curruption and a harsh domestic economy.

    Regarding Alfa Romeo they seem to be hedging their bets on using a Chrysler large car platform and bringing in 159 and 166 replacements, primarily for the US and Chinese markets, but also to try and take a stab at BMW in Europe incl. UK.

    From what I’ve read, at that point the MiTo and Guilleta will be dropped.

  25. News from the dealer network is that they are getting a lot of interest in this car. I have two friends that are going to order one! Price, kit and performance puts this car in it’s own category compared to a Fabia, Aveo etc. MG need to get enough supply now and build the network which they are starting to do. They have a winner on their hands!

  26. @Will M, 32, MG had a two page advertorial-style advert in What Car last month, so they’ve spent some money with What Car. I do question the wisdom of advertising in a publication that slags your products though. Kind of defeats the purpose of advertising like that.

  27. nì guó qìchē lái tuīxiāo. Not very well translated but there you go but at least the designers and engineers are (controlled) here.

  28. @34
    I’ve just read the TG review and I’d say TG have gone way beyond mere criticism by saying that the “engine is a real deal-breaker”.

    Harsh words maybe?

  29. Actually it was a far better review than I’d been expecting from TG. I don’t think it will hamper sales in anyway.

  30. @39
    Perhaps, but it’s becoming quite clear that this engine is not what the chassis deserves, which is likely to be a problem for some prospective buyers.

  31. A case of over-egging the pudding, IMHO. Again, people seem to be falling into the trap of having to make comparisons to validate their opinions. Do you really think that 104bhp lump is really lacking that much compared with its 70-80bhp price rivals?

    Just saying, like…

  32. Fair point Keith.

    It’s like what I said @20, in my view all new cars at this price point are a compromise in one way or another.

  33. Not for me, but then I wouldn’t get finance, on account of te fact I am the blackest of rats………bloody ex wife

  34. @44

    Yep, welcome to the world of “computer says no” economics!
    Bangernomics is your friend here, you’d be surprised what you could get for a small bit out of savings…

  35. The low insurance group coupled with a low purchase/contract price might just swing it for this car with the first car buyer market. Trouble is the trend now is for manufacturers such as Peugeot and Renault to roll all the costs into one monthly amount (with a whispered massive balloon payment that usually means the car goes back after 3 years with nothing for the owner to show for the outlay) which is an attractive proposition for youngsters who cannot be bothered to know how much a car is really costing them.

    Plus, still can’t get over that 1990’s interior…..

  36. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but you’d get more power out of a tuned 1592 with the H120 head & channeled intake – not to mention that it’d be cleaner for the environment looked at over the long term if you just went and bought an Alpine (for half the price).
    What’s the point? it makes no sense. The engine has all the get up and go of something from the 60s, the chassis is sport tuned but they nicked all the badging from a Citroen Saxo NOS joblot. Its got bells and whistles sure – but how long will they work? And the badge is so far down the toilet you’d need planning permission & a fracking rig to reach it…
    Yes the first car market is there, but who is paying? parents or grandparents… the first will have lived through Hyacinth Bucket & the BMW balls-up & the latter (as with my dad) the Austin Allegro all you can eat gearbox competition – sponsored by Red Robbo… that’s not including maestros that ran on for so long they created their own microclimate..
    Why didn’t they just let it die in peace? The Z cars were a quality send off, this thing & the 6 are like that Franken – dog from American Dad – a dim & dismal parody.

    Hey… that’s a thought.. a Mary Shelley special edition.. no, the sales reps would spend their entire time explaining that she wasn’t a designer for Samsung…

  37. Oh yes and did I mention?

    0 – 60mph Humber Sceptre ’63 manual factory spec as tested by autocar?

    10.4 seconds..

    Don’t ya just love progress ya’all?

    NB: this does vary between 17, 13 and the above but there were different ratio versions, and there were some O/D tricks you could use to get better acceleration.

    NB² (people under 40): Be aware by O/D I do not mean overdose (coke & crossplies bad mix). I’m referring to Over*drive*.

  38. Shame about the engine spoiling the package. Would a smaller capacity TCi-Tech be a better unit? Presumably this 1.5 engine is cheaper to produce.

  39. Given the inconsistencies between the reviews, I would not deem to make assumptions about the engine. Best thing is to just test drive the thing yourself, and make your own mind up…

  40. Jemma,

    We get it. The Humber Sceptre is the finest thing since sliced bread, and even better if powered by a Renault engine. And that everything built after 1959 is worse than what came before.

  41. To me, its an antidote to most european cars,although i quite like the 208, without the “just add fuel” (and after 3 years hand it back, pay a balloon, jump into another deal with 50% increase in repayments or piss off) would they sell in the numbers they have?

    Why do we have to worry about CO2 figures in this arena? What is so wrong with buying something you like when you slog your tripe out all week at work and treating yourself?

    It pleases me that it has a 1.5 engine,rather than having to rice its bollocks off to make any progress,a 1 litre or 1.2 Corsa have to be worked hard to get anywhere with the weight they carry let alone a 1.25 Fiesta.

    Its a chain driven engine as is the norm nowadays,and to me a sensible size,not a turbo’d to death 3 pot that after 65k you are wondering when it will blow,always running hot and carboning up after shutdown.

  42. 104hp is not to ridiculed in a small car, the ZR105 was a lively package but only had 103 on tap.
    If this engine is as peppy as the small MPI K series it will do alright.

    Cars don’t have to be fast to be fun, a good car is a well set-up package that punches above its weight in its genre.

  43. I’ve been excited by this little car ever since it was launched to the press and the website went live, but that is waning due to the lack of forward marketing for this product. I still can’t get a price for insurance, though at my age it probably wouldn’t matter. I did email MG Motors UK to ask for more information, when it was likely to hit show rooms etc and as I thought, no response. It’s sad as I’ve been a huge fan of the Austin Rover/Rover/MG Rover brands (for some reason) since I saw an SD1 as a kid. Keith, you say it is now on sale and you can order one now? What’s the point as you can’t even book a test drive or get a glossy brochure via the website.
    For a £100 (fully refundable) deposit the MG Sales Centre will call within 72 hours to discuss your order and take your money. What? I want to see them in a showroom. I want to paw over the car and drive it before I decide to part with money. What kind of marketing gimmick is this? I want to see this work for the sake of the hard working people in Longbridge and for the continued viability of the plant. Come on MG lets get serious and get it out there for the masses to see. Personally I’m getting bored of waiting.

  44. If I was looking for a small car, would I buy one with my own money?
    No.
    Give it 5 years and if all was well than maybe I would consider one of these new MGs, but now? No. Not after the farce of the 6..
    Terrible dealer coverage and service, iffy reliability and shocking backup and far to much uncertainly over its future mean I would buy something from another manufacturer.
    Or wait for 18 months and pick one up for £1500 with one owner and a tiny mileage on it.

  45. My only minor gripe, if you could call it that, is the silly MG3 badge on the tailgate. There is an octagon there to tell us the marque, and a simple ‘3’ would have sufficed. It worked fine for the Z cars, and the number theme works for Mazda.
    Apart from that, it loos lies potential winner and really hope it sells in good numbers

  46. I hope it does well, but the feedback from Whatcar? seemed rather negative to me. To appeal to the younger crowd, the words ‘power’, ‘handling’ and ‘street cred’ and more important that value for money. I hope the potential buyers can be subjective about the car, and view it as something that is appealing due to being a bit different from it’s Czech and Korean rivals.

  47. @54 Well said.

    It’s almost as if MG Motor think the car will sell by itself and they could just be about to get a wake-up call.

    It’s a bit like X Factor this you know, will the public vote with their wallets for the MG3 or will they vote with their feet and go elsewhere?

  48. The first batch are either pre sold or going to the dealers, so if you want a specific version, colour and spec then there is a wait for delivery. That’s probably why they want the £100 deposit. They will be at the dealers next week, but given this is the prime sales month they should have been at the dealers in August for September delivery. However despite the gripes from some here, every car has its issues. The Fiesta may be great but is very expensive and a Mini can easily reach £20k which by any measure is complete madness. I also think it will generate showroom traffic for MG 6 because at £12.5K the GT S is a real bargain and there are some used ones from £8k with minimal mileage. Maybe MG is not at the forefront now (R8 was the last car to achieve that) but the value and spec proposition is quite compelling for both models, and SAIC will get there within the next 5 years. The new SUV looks seriously desirable.

  49. Presumably it is called and badged ‘MG3’ / ‘MG6’ to avoid confusion / legal action with Mazda.

    (cf. Volvo ran into difficulties once with the S40. They originally wanted to call it the S4 until Audi had a say.
    The estate was originally going to be ‘F’ instead of ‘V’, until Ferrari mentioned that they might have a say in someone selling an ‘F40’…)

  50. This could be the turning point for MG as this is a fairly competent and good looking product sold at a very competitive price. With Dacias sales rising strongly, it shows there is a market for budget priced cars and the MG has the advantage it’s assembled in Britain.

  51. Is there an auto version ?? The MG 6 does not have an auto version here in New Zealand and I am told from the sales staff here , it is so frustrating because the people interested in the 6 want an auto., hence no sales.Interior colour options would be good to.Is there an auto option for the MG 6 in the UK ???

  52. Nothing I have seen here has made me change my mind; I see no compelling reason to buy a Chinese car yet. I am sure that this will change in time, especially if they continue to employ European design talent during their catch up phase.

    I still find the “MG” camouflage a little nauseating though…

  53. @ 63

    No auto version in the UK either. The domestic version in China gets one as do variants sold in the Middle East. When I’ve spoken to MG UK about this they claim there is ‘no demand whatsoever’ for an auto version. This is not true. The real answer is they probably couldn’t get one to emit less than 230 grams of carbon and therefore would be mega bucks to tax.

  54. @63 The amount of small cars sold with a lazy stick are not anywhere near huge,as is the allocation of MG3’s for sale.
    The MG6 has not sold ingreat numbers anyway so why should they make any fuss over someone wanting an automatic?

    Not many are getting over the fact that its chinese yet and solidly built.

    Carbon.So what?

  55. A decent write up in the Telegraph. Some interesting points in the articles above. I think an Automatic is a must, and the sooner the 1.5 turbo can be brought to market the better. This would bring would bring a bit of grunt back to the brand, and please the sporty minded people. Also we should not forget, a range of new engines will be available early next year which bodes well for the future.

  56. @63, there is very little demand for autos in supermini size cars in the UK. Even less so if they have sporty pretensions. At the volumes MG3 is expected to sell at, I doubt engineering an auto for it (to European specs) would be worth it. The lack of a diesel option in a supermini IS a big disadvantage, although arguably less so in recent years as these tiny turbo-petrols have been appearing (a small turbo-petrol is due on the MG3 next year IIRC).
    People are saying everything will be ok next year when the decent engines are introduced, but I worry that being launched with a dud engine could damage its image irreparably (think Maxi with it’s useless gearbox).

  57. MG listen….. THIS CAR WILL NOT SELL UNLESS YOU SPEND BIG MONEY ADVERTISING IT !!!! We live in a superficial brand concious world these days, and MG need a lot of airtime to build the brand back up, Two blokes at the entrance to Drayton Manor with a car and some leaflets just will not do !!!!

  58. I went to my local MG dealer (5 miles away) and test drove a MG3 on Saturday. My thoughts are: Looks good in the metal, all the lines seem right, a coherent shape. looked sporty in the yellow with black graphics. The Diamond wheels are fantastic. Interior also worked well. Very neat and workmen like. Yes some cheap plastics, but the good design makes up for it. The seats lack support, I slid about on the bends. I didn’t find the ride hard, It turned in sharply and remind me of my old mini! There was very little wind noise, but road noise was more noticeable. The engine was smooth and quiet enough by super mini standards. However, there is very little low end grunt, as is the way of many modern petrol engines. As a run about its fine, but its no ZR. I want one, but I really want an automatic now I am heading towards 50!

  59. @30 yes . the same as me , At least Im closer to Stirling than you , I really couldnt be bothered to drive to Bradford from Berwick upon Tweed for a service!

  60. @68
    I have to agree with Liam’s comment about launching the MG3 with the wrong engine, especially if it’s now common knowledge that new engines will be available next year.

  61. If this is a city car it needs an automatic.. No negotiation. As for the engine, isn’t there supposed to be a GM-SAIC unit coming soon? SGE?

  62. Hi me and my wife test drove an mg3 on Saturday.the car handled very well plenty of grip and soaked up the bumps nicely,I was very supprised with the build quality,the engine was OK , not as bad as what car made out, although you did have to rev it if you wanted performance.my wife who has a corsa loved it ,the level of equipment on the top model was very good , with cruise control etc , she liked it better than the corsa 1.2 she test drove , I think though, the thousands she would save helped with this, overall a decent and roomy car with cheeky looks. She particularly liked the graphic packs, and ordered one , to my supprise.

  63. I had to laugh at the comment above from someone that said about doing a Morris Value version, my answer to that, How much more value can you get for a car this size, dear me, this car deserves to sell in bucket loads, as long as MG have decent TV advertising for longer than two days, it needs a full TV, press and Cyber advertising hit for a month, then rest for a month and then back again, failure to this simple thing will bring MG down, this car has to succeed.

    I fear that if it does not, then the bean counters in China may start to get wobbles about its British operation.

  64. Test drove am MG3 last Saturday. Reasonably impressed. The model I drove looked exactly like the model/spec in your pictures. Very sharp looking with those alloys. I was driving a 2013 Polo so had somewhat of a benchmark on the day. I agree with Autocar report. MG3 does everything expected of it. Needs a little more low end power but actually good fun to push harder without breaking the law. Build quality excellent. I had no problem with the hard plactics. I did not like chintsy stripes or interior floor mats but believe you can delete these. To sum up the 3 is as good as Polo, but what it wins on was looks and particularly the impressive price/spec. Thousands cheaper that equiv Polo/Fiesta. MG needs to work on selling it. I was impressed with the personable small dealer I called to. They had 4 cars on display and all received sold signs in the hour I was there. Good luck MG and remember you make your own luck so get out there and sell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. @76 . How did it compare to the Polo in terms of dynamics and refinement? The 3 should be the turning point for MG. Let’s hope that this time next year they are a familiar sight on our roads.

  66. Regarding @69 comments, I couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t matter how good, bad or indifferent a product is, if you don’t advertise it, IT WON’T SELL. All the major car manufacturers advertise because they know if they don’t keep their products advertised, their competitors will steal a march on them but most of all the general public will not know the product is there.

    It’s interesting to read that MG are going to advertise, but for it to work it has to be a continual blitz in the papers, billboards and TV. Will the Chinese do that it will be interesting to see? If they don’t, this car will go the way of the MG6 and its introduction will be a complete waste of time.

    Of interest do the Chinese advertise their cars in China?

  67. @77

    The MG3 certainly beats the Polo/Fabia but is bettered in refinement by others such as Fiesta, 208 etc. Great in terms of the drive. Neat, accomplished handler. Certainly superior to Dacia and competes well with Koreans/Japans offerings. Remember this is my oppinion so you should drive it yourself. I think you would be pleasantly surprised.

    It deserves to be successful and if its not, MG UK should be ashamed.

  68. “the MG3 is right up there with the best that Dacia can offer” – oh dear – this is going to ‘tank’ without a trace. The MG brand (and for that matter any other former BL brand except MINI) is toxic in the UK. The majority of people who propped up Rover are no longer driving due to the fact they were OAP’s 20 yrs ago – the young ‘hipsters’ just arent going to buy anything that isnt a recognised brand – think iphone etc. MG has NO current brand value – the excelence or otherwise of the product is irrelevant.

  69. @80

    That is why they are tempting the youngsters back with a ridiculously low insurance group, higher power than its rivals,lower price than its rivals and some decent handling characteristics.

    The re-born brand has to start somewhere.

    So stop being a ‘glass half empty’ man and get behind MG mk3.

  70. I test drove an MG3 this morning at the Brighton outlet. I think it’s a great car for the money. Layout of controls is functional and easy to use, DAB stereo is nice, steering and ride are fine by me, fit and finish on the demonstrator was good, plenty of space in the back and a good sized boot. There were no squeaks or rattles, it’s very well equipped and the performance (for me) is more than adequate, plus the engine sounds good when revved. I think it deserves to sell very well and would purchase one without hesitation.

  71. Is it gonna be another “might have been”? Only one engine at launch, not really sporty nor eco-green! No 3 door version, no auto or semi-auto, no diesel, dear dear, hope they do pull all the money they have on advertisement, it will be needed. autocar verdict is predictable, it’s not german so 2 stars is some achievement. It looks the part though, the rear light clusters are the best part for me, the interior is roomy. The first batch is sold, great, how many cars? 200? Good luck, I hope it’s gonna be MG REAL COMEBACK. BTW, 9K for an MG6 is good value, no matter what!!!

  72. I’ve seen the advert. Its not impressive. Made me feel sick after 25 seconds. And I still didn’t know what it was trying to advertise.

  73. On the MG3 website under specifications it states that the MG3 has, “Brake Disc Wiping”. Any idea what on earth this is? Or to be less polite: “WTF”?

  74. @86Brake disc wiping is the application of the brakes for a millisecond or so under light pressure,normally wet weather conditions, traversing fords etc.

  75. I did actually see an MG3 on the road last Tuesday, in rush hour (didn’t look like it was on a test drive – someone must have actually bought it). Sounds like an irrelevant observation but bear in mind the first time I saw an MG6 was nearly a year after they were launched! The only caveat is that I was very near Longbridge at the time, which seems to be the one hotspot for MG ownership.

  76. @89 As the MG3 was not available soon enough, I had to renew insurance, etc on my current car. An MG3 will definitely be my next car, either late this year or very early next. Had the circumstances been different I would have ordered one on the spot.

  77. Residents in Solihull are genuinely having problems at the moment with Land Rover. There are now so many of them in the car parks, people are genuinely getting confused over whose car is whose… Hilarious situation but proof that everyone there is supporting the home brand

  78. Right, so now MG has a couple of bread and butter cars that it can sell, but needs some exposure.

    Ideal time to build an MGB successor.

    The motoring press pay attention to sports cars, as do the public. They might not necessarily buy them, but they garner a lot of attention.

    Plus, the return of an icon would increase that publicity manifold.

    Make it a simple FR coupe and convertible. So long as it’s buckets of fun, relatively cheap and looks good, it’ll do the job. Kudos if it’s powerful too, even at the expense of refinement.

  79. It looks, on the face of it, a good little package with a reasonable spec and fair amount of standard equipment for the money and is roomy enough for four adults even with seats right back(which many superminis and citycars fail at)plus space for shopping/luggage in the boot.

  80. My local Brighton Dealer has sold at least seven so far. All of them the Style model. I am back for a second test drive shortly. white seems to be the most popular colour (what colour!)If i get one, I plan on Yellow.

  81. Well, it’s been a long time since my last visit – family issues (and technical problems).

    It seems pretty encouraging with the 3. A good ‘first drive report’ and a low purchase price coupled with low insurance. A modestly sporty car at a modest price. That’s my cup of tea!

    Let’s hope they advertise, promote it (as they say they will)

  82. So they are advertising it! Won’t it be great to see the 3 becoming at least a relatively common sight on the roads. Once the buying public are made aware this is bound to start and happen. Also, more showroom traffic resulting from ‘3 enquiries’ will benefit the 6. Finally, the re-birth is in sight!

  83. @100, No more so than the USA with its patriot act and arrest and imprisonment without warrant or trial with no evidence.

    If you feel that strongly,empty your home of consumer electronics and clothing.

    Is harvesting organs from dead convicts any worse than torture at Bagram airbase or Phosphorous grenade attacks on innocent Iraqi citizens?

  84. “There’s only one powertrain option, and while it delivers reasonable performance, it’s far from being the cleanest (136g/km) or most economical (48.7mpg combined, 39mpg on our admittedly brief test) small hatchback on the market.”

    Not good enough, and with that as the only engine option it will fail. If the Chinese are serious about the UK market they need a decent diesel, and more than one petrol option. Including one that isn’t so expensive on tax and fuel.

  85. @102, Maybe the target audience is young Corsa drivers that dont really give a toss about fuel or CO2-given that the cars allocation is a mere 3500 units or so.

    Why the fuss about diesel in a small car? its complete insanity. The fuel is pricey,keeping the DPF clean is a complete ball ache for those whom just prance to the shops or pick the moneypits up from school.

    I would be happy for those MPG figures stated because what other Lab produced figures car makers wheel out most know its bulshit,even the econometers in the cars are truthful Bill clinton in the who jizzed the frock interviews.

  86. My main worry is component quality control particularly when there arelots of technology built into a car.This is a problem in a lot of items coming from China generally I appreciate that a lot of the bits are cheap but the amount of dismantling to replace them can be considerable.

  87. @101 So?
    Isn’t it time each of us took some responsibility for the world we live in?
    I don’t have to share a belief to respect it. I admire ANYONE in this day and age who is prepared to make a stand. Good on yer, AMc.
    Better than copping out.
    British employment does it for me although I’d rather the car was British built and the company British owned.

  88. @104, Thats an argument verging on the rediculous, open up any Freelander2 and it has Chinese components like the rest of the car makers. Would you object to parts made in India too? a country that would die to have Chinas infrastructure while its own ecomonomy is tanking.

  89. @108 Will M — I take anything I read in car magazines with a pinch of salt. Out of the three cars tested I’d personally have gone for the MG. the Skoda looks like a washing machine ans the Dacia is too boring.

    I’ve noticed people just seem to look for reasons to slate the ‘3. Before the pricing and insurance details were released people were saying they won’t have one because it’ll be too expensive to buy and run, etc. Then when the prices were released and it was obvious it is good value and there isn’t all that much wrong with it they look for other things to complain about. Some comments I was reading before (can’t remember what site) were saying they wouldn’t buy one ‘because it can only tow 500kg’. If you want to tow more than 500kg you wouldn’t be looking to buy a car like this.

    If there was a frugal diesel engine available I would be seriously considering one of these.

  90. A Sanderos 3 year running costs- insurance,maintainance and fuel etc etc is £11k including depreciation. Not the bargain its dressed up to be especially with an empty part bin interior.

    The MG3 at that price looks all the more appealing who cares about depreciation when paying second hand Fiesta money.

  91. Saw mg3 when at car show looked very good,really want to swap seat altea for mg6, otherwise would not hesitate to go for mg3, PS for those slagging off mg rover products,still love my mg maestro turbo,that I bought new in 1989.

  92. The MG3 deserves to do well.

    Its fun to drive, cheap to buy and good to look at, just as MGs always have been.

    Best of all, it is designed and engineered just down the road from me in Longbridge.

    I’ll have a white one with all the black trimmings please.

  93. Luv the look of the MG3, tempted to buy, but prepared to wait a while until the mad rush is over. Think paint costs are high, I wouldn’t pay that for metallic, so no wonder white is so popular, My favourite too, really suits the car. Will keep reading the reviews and tests til my time comes. The Fiat 1.3 multijet diesel or similar would do well in this motor, also another petrol, I am sure lower emissions and cheaper tax bands will come soon for those who want or need it. I really hope MG pull it off, Dacias yuk, all look the same to me, inbreds.
    Just a quick 1, would anyone buy an MG 6 GT 1.8T TSE. 13 reg delivery miles £10,999? Just wondered, not economical enough for me. Thanks

  94. Is it just me or if when you look at the MG3 side on, and rear shots, I see a Skoda Fabia? Well I was thinking with Shanghai Auto’s connection to VW, have they sneaked another German machine in through the back door in disguise?

    Just saying!

  95. Well, we test drove one last week – loved it.

    It seemed to have all the best points of the handling from a ZR but without the crashy ride.

    We pick it up from Longbridge in April.

  96. Had my first sit in one at PoL having already decided I quite liked the look of it. I was not disappointed. Today I visited my local (not nearest) dealer in Chester, Graham Walker. He specialises in Subaru, MG, Scimitar, very desirable used and classic cars. Familiarised myself with the car further and took it for a (brief) spin. Still like it.

    Want a longer drive but a 3 Form Sport could well become my ZR’s younger brother in a few months…..

  97. Had a longer, more varied drive of the MG3 today. Continue to be impressed. Long term ownership may reveal some niggles but so far I have nothing to criticise AND that’s without considering the price. When you then think “3 Form Sport, £9.5K” the car really has sold itself.
    I’m not buying just yet but, unforeseen events permitting, I shortly will be.

  98. @83. I’m sure – it was a test between the 16/60 & the S1. The 16/60 managed around 25 seconds, depending on who drove it the sceptre was between 10.4 & 12 something.
    I think some people are missing my point however. A 1500 with 105hp isn’t exactly the dogs whatsits – the Hyundai alpha engine manages not far off – 100cc more nets you an extra 5hp. I’m assuming its a 6 manual – wow so new – only it isn’t. It looks nice but then so do all the rest, I’ve even seen one in the black & red as a learner car.. but its all too little too late. The time to beat the Japanese had been and gone before I hit puberty. The time to beat the Koreans arguably came and went in circa 2005-6. Renault with the rear engined new twingo will clobber this (until the electric gizmos get wet and the fuel tanks filled after midnight). Citroen & to a lesser extent Peugeot… the list goes on.
    Its probably in honesty a good car – but this is not 1984 – you can’t buy it and say “at least its not a Lada”. Good in a field of good doesn’t stand out – and people have long memories. People who are stumping up for their grandkids first car will remember the Game of Groans that was BL ownership & will run a mile..
    I just don’t see any advantages going with the MG badge over all t’others out there – bar maybe as has been mentioned a “killer B” homage with 350bhp & sequential box..

  99. I really don’t see the need for some of the negativity posted above. Objectively, it’s a good car for not a lot of money. Regarding all this MG don’t mean anything to younger buyers. So what if they don’t know the history it can still be made a current trendy brand. With the MG3 we have a budget car with driver appeal and character to play with. This alone will appeal to younger buyers AND there are still plenty out there who do know the history of MG and want to support it on this basis. I’m supporting a good car carrying the last surviving badge of BL – I’d be equally supportive if it was the Austin 3.

  100. Is it just me or is there a striking similarity between the Skoda Fabia and the MG3, is this just another rebadged VW reject, which is attractive if not priced correctly?

  101. 83 and 118. Jemma is wrong. The Sceptre managed 0-50 in 10.4 seconds , not 0-60 . I suspect also that the 25 seconds to 60 for a Wolseley 16/60 was for an automatic one, equipped with the BW35 box – the manual ones managed 0-50 in about 13 seconds and 0-60 in about 20

  102. 121.I should also say that the original Sceptre had nothing like that sort of performance – the 1600 managed 0-50 in 12.8 secs and 0-60 in 18.5, and it was not until the 1725 arrived in 1966 that its performance was improved

  103. Purchased one six months ago based upon Keith & Simon Goldworthy reports and have not been disappointed to date.

    The electric engine fan works all the time and repeated emails to MG have not been acknowledged or any form of response received.

    The supplying dealer believes its normal however still working at minus six degrees C does not sound correct.

  104. I collected my MG3 yesterday from Longbridge – a Style Lux in Rose Red. I’ve now covered 180 miles – about 30 round about Cofton Park, 115 back home to Wirral on the motorway and 30 or so on a mix of Wirral’s roads (with a quick reminder of how my ZR feels).

    Very impressed so far – even more so when you consider the price. It’s budget land money but you could quite easily convince Joe Public it cost a few grand more. It looks good for a start – it’s today’s tall hatch but it still has a slightly sporty edge to its styling. Inside the seats both look and feel great. It’s roomy too. The dash is fine. It’s attracted the motoring journalists’ favourite criticism “cheap looking plastics”. Well, nothing has put me off.

    I like the firm edge to it’s ride – as with the ZR (firmer again) it’s never uncomfortable. You may be well aware of bumps but composure is not lost.

    It’s only been gentle driving so far so I can’t really comment on performance or handling. However, early reports on a tight engine and slow cornering are positive.

    MPG has been perfectly acceptable.

    Nice cool air with the air con on, but things seem quite warm with normal ventilation. Still, it has been a sunny mid summers day.

    I like it !!

  105. Still very pleased with my 3.

    Was waiting for my daughter in the dentist’s waiting room yesterday evening and looked at the GBU in Car and the summary in the back of What Car? Wasn’t expecting glowing complements but was surprised at just how negative the comments were.

    The comments were hardly objective and did I take them seriously? No. I have never driven a 6 but a 3 I now have, beyond test drive. For example, the ride in the 3 was described as concrete. Firm it is, yes, but not uncomfortable. Suits my preference. The Form Sport managed 3 stars out of 5, but the Style only got 2 stars. How is such a big difference justified? The MG6 was slated even more.

    Criticisms of my 3 so far? Some of the switches on the facia are rather small and the clock barely visible. I suspect though this is more a sign of the times as opposed to a criticism of the MG3 in particular. Regarding the ventilation, I’ve since discovered that I wasn’t on the coolest setting!

    Time for some more spirited driving soon.

    Have not seen any gaffer tape yet!!

  106. Thought my bonnet catch was being a tad temperamental, but no. You’ve got to let it drop the last 30-40cm.

    Don’t think my driver’s door shuts with a noise as satisfying as the others.

    Still happy? Yes!

  107. Driven both the ZR and the 3 this past week. My only negative comments on the 3 so far concern its modern type rather than the 3 itself. As mentioned above, I find some of the facia switches rather small. Reversing can be tricky – more reliant on the wing mirrors. Haven’t driven even vaguely hard yet but I imagine the car’s bulk will dilute the fun on the twisty bits.

    I am enjoying driving something DIFFERENT. Many will see the MG badge they know of, but a car they don’t. Interesting!!

  108. Now 425 miles in, with some of my favourite driving roads included. The ZR still getting used too.

    In the 3, I’m enjoying the drive more and more. The interior is practical, attractive and the seats superb. It looks good, a tad distinctive.

    I’m sure any motoring journalist reading my comments will be going ” Doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is better, that’s better.” Agreed, they probably are. In some respects though, not all. I’m sure the superiorities are also often very relative.

    In my view, especially considering the low price it’s a great package. Longevity, reliability judgements to follow but so far no issues to report.

  109. Perhaps I should write a more considered, longer piece. For now, however, it’s another fairly random comment on running my 3.

    I saved it for pleasure drives only for the first couple of weeks but now the 3 is doing the daily commute – currently a fairly short jaunt through the Mersey Tunnel and a couple of miles outward from Liverpool Centre. I’ve quickly become used to the extra bulk compared to my ZR. I’m also adapting to the high waist with smaller side & rear windows – my 3dr ZR is brilliant in this respect with no visibility issues at all.

    As I start to drive the 3 a bit harder on more rural stretches I can tell I’m going to enjoy the handling. I can perhaps see how the ride would attract criticism from motoring journalists but nothing bothers me in this respect so far.

    Other observations, minor criticisms. The car was full of girls at the weekend (my daughter and her three friends!!!!!) and the interior misted up very quickly. The demist function soon cleared things, however, if rather noisily.

    Got a bit confused by the speed related locking. Thought for a moment that the rear doors were at fault and isolated from the system. A more thorough read of the handbook revealed that everything was OK, however. Once locked as you drive away, one pull of the interior handles unlocks the doors and a second pull opens them.

    As I’d already heard from an MG3 driver rain water can dribble inside when opening the doors after heavy rain. Noticed a couple of small drops on my rear seat today. There is, apparently, a cure for this. I’ll speak to John Woods, a nearby specialist.

    Off to an MGOC meet tomorrow evening – most likely be another 3 there. Are you going, Clive? A chance to compare experiences.

  110. With over six mths use of my MG3 I can tell you that your surprise and delight with yours will only grow as it wears in and you do more with it. Mine is a fantastic little car, huge fun to drive, impeccable quality, very comfortable and as you say, different. I’m really chuffed with it.

    • You’re right Bruce – I’m liking my MG3 more and more. Like you say – “a fantastic little car” !

      I’m thoroughly enjoying the drive as I become more and more familiar with the car.

  111. Yes, it’s another posting about my MG3 experience. Please don’t yawn!!

    My 3 was in a car park this evening and as I walked back to it I saw this couple taking note of it. “It’s mine” I said and a ten minute conversation with the guy commenced. (His wife and my daughter, Laina, just stood quietly by!)
    He was an Audi driver but well aware of MG UK. He was working on re-development at Longbridge. We talked prices and my experiences with the car to date. He made positive comments on the styling and was not put off by what has often been described as a rather cheap looking interior. All in all, he was well impressed.

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