As you probably gather we do like where MG is heading, having already experienced the GS and thoroughly put it through it's paces, we thought it was time to grab the MG3 and head off on an adventure. That being the journey to Goodwood Revival, we received the aptly named Form Sport in bright yellow with black gloss and promptly started our 1000 mile round trip, your maybe thinking this a long stretch for a supermini, in a word no, this car performed admirably through on this adventure and a half.
All in all we took the MG3 well pretty much the length and breadth of the UK, taking in every terrain and area we possibly could in the 7 days of our road trip, we reviewed and roadtested our baby MG and took it on a journey that started in Silverdale then headed to Chichester then to London followed by Southwell then back to Silverdale and all round the Lakes, nobody can say we don't put these cars through their paces, one thing this type of testing aloows you to do is get to know the car on a molecular level.
The MG 3 is the companies supermini released to grab a new younger audience, for relatively little money. The car showcased in 2010 and was released to the UK market in 2013, with a facelift revitalised version arriving in 2016.
The MG3 starts at £8,695 and the top of the range model the Style Plus retails for £10,700.
The MG3 grabs your attention immediately, popping colours and gloss paint, graphics on the doors, roof and on the exterior plastics, the shape is a sort of cross between a Skoda Felicia and a VW Polo, saying that you see inspiration from other models. The car looks very sporty, even with 4 doors the body shape carries it off nicely with bodylines that really work, the sporty appearance is enhanced with a square shaped exhaust and diffuser / valance styled parts below the colour coded bumpers. The touch of Chrome running round the grille and MG emblems in the lights lift the whole front, making it that little bit more special.
The roof is finished in the same finish as the front pillars and with the addition of a classic bee sting aerial and colour coded rear spoiler, it works, maybe appealing to a younger audience. Saying that I'm 41 and loved it took me back to classic hot hatches.
Kit included on the MG3 includes:
LED daytime running lights
Square chromed exhaust
MG emblems in the headlights
Two tone paint
The overall styling of the car is very funky with lots of options to color code and style panels allowing you to personalise your car as you see fit.
When you step into the MG3 your met with a retro dash, cool styling, sporty positioned seat, ok it's a scratchy black plastic but it's this type of material that enabled MG to keep the price low. Now one thing that will you surprise you is that the MG3 is relatively big, allowing for 4 to travel comfortably on long haul journeys, even with all our camera equipment and luggage and 3 people we had a great experience.
It's a relatively basic interior with some scratchy plastics yet some nice additions, leather style gator, funky styled vents and heater controls.
All in all the interior does what it says on the tin, comfortable, roomy and looks good.
The engine is this car is extremely basic, which means it's reliable and easy to repair, as it's an older generation of engine, you need to work it. The general consensus is it's gutless and underpowered, however if you know how to drive it's quite the opposite, your likely to use more fuel but you'll have fun driving.
It would likely benefit from a Turbo Charger, like its SUV brother the GS, saying that if you know how to drive it, it really is lively and punchy, to get this experience you need to drive it over 3.5 rpm, now that won't win you any eco awards, but it will keep the engine on the boil, a similar concept to a VTEC, drive it relatively hard to get it to perform.
Economy wise it didn't seem to matter if we cruised or drove it more spiritedly it delivered generally the same economy, when really pushing it it does use touch more, that's to be expected though. Powerwise, if you keep the 1500 revving above 3.5rpm it will give you nippy acceleration in all gears and sail along a motorway with ease with no slowing on gradients, noise wise the car is as you would expect a little engine noise and road noise. The thing with this humble supermini is you may just surprise a few people from the lights or on the motorway, we certainly did.
The steering and suspension is perfect for the car, the feel of the steering is on the heavy side meaning lots of feedback. Now this really appealed, however I drive a MK2 Golf GTI 16V, realistically drivers used to a more modern car may find it a little too much. However this feedback means you can feel the road, it aims to provide a drivers experience rather than just an A to B, and it achieves it, this is likely MG's way of reaching back to the brands heritage - saying that it's comfortable and not too stiff, cornering can be a fun experience and it really grips.
It sounds pretty good too, one thing we did notice - whether it was just our model, or because it was 2015, our low beam halogen powered was extremely challenging to drive with, we believe the newer models have had a light upgrade.
Practicality wise the MG3 especially for a Super Mini is extremely good, roomy enough for 4 comfortably, saftey wise the car is kitted out with curtain airbags throughout.
In the front you get a retro styled dash with airvents, stereo and heater control, with color splashed arround even on the illuminated dials which are very simple to use. Electric windows are fitted in the front and rear, and even in the rear they go fully down. Storage wise you have decent size door bins where you can fit a bottle of water, decent sized glovebox and a great sliding door area on the dash with a charge point in it, perfect for hiding your phone whilst driving, there also cup holders in the centre as well as an area for storing item such as a wallet.
There is lots of head room in the front and the rear as well as decent legroom, even when the front seats are adjusted for people over 6ft, quite surprising for a Supermini, the thing with the MG3 is it's rather big really. Unlike other 4 door smaller cars, the doors open wide allowing you to climb in easily. In the rear you also have a cup holder and decent sized door bins and ISO fix points..
The boot has 285 litre capacity, admittedly their is quite a load lip, however this car comes with split folding rear seats increasing the space significantly, there are also tether points and a space saver spare wheel.
Our 2015 model, had 6 speaker stereo with DAB, Auxillary and USB, later models have bluetooth connectivity, reversing sensors and cruise control, handbrake assist and Stability control SCS and finally ABS.
The later models also come with automatic lights with dusk sensor and rain sensing wipers.
Exceptionally good value, a supermini with room, looks good, handles well and is nippy if you work it. A few hard plastics and not the greatest head lamps, but very good fun especially on the back lanes. You'll be hard pushed to find this much fun for less money.
Overall it’s a quirky fun car with little depreciation and offers the driver great fun, and for the price it's ideal.
Style and looks 10/10
Cost (Outright) 10/10
Finance Options 8/10
7.5 / 10 Overall Score
This was our experience for a 7 day test, fuel economy and long term usage can not be fully documented.