MG 3 Review & Ratings

As a company trying to re-establish itself in the UK, MG couldn’t ignore the supermini sector’s strong and growing sales. The mG3 faces competition from the best-selling Ford Fiesta, while the small-but-brilliant Volkswagen Up is another notable rival, given its similar price. The MG3’s sole engine from launch is a 104bhp 1.5-litre petrol with a five-speed manual gearbox.

With only 101lb ft of torque on offer, it has to be worked hard and demands plenty of gearchanges if you want to make any kind of brisk progress. The mG3’s motor also takes far too long to build pace, so overtakes need careful planning. The steering is also a let-down. At low speeds it’s heavy enough to make manoeuvres more difficult than they need to be; at higher speeds there is play around the straight-ahead and an artificialfeeling weight that comes in too late when rounding bends.

Our test car rode on 16-inch alloy wheels (standard on mid-spec 3 Form sport trim), which amplified a poor ride. over patchy town surfaces it’s easily unsettled, and it crashes uncomfortably over potholes. The ride doesn’t improve as speed builds, either, and road noise is loud enough in the cabin to be a nuisance. That said, such stiff suspension does help the mG3 control its body well through bends. Inside it’s a better story. There’s more head- and legroom front and back than a Ford Fiesta, with four six-footers easily able to get comfy on a long journey.

There’s also enough adjustment on the wheel and seat for most drivers to feel at home, and visibility is good in all directions. The dash feels pretty cheap but is well laid-out and the rotary climate controls are simple to use. There’s no denying the mG3’s value, either. It starts at £8399, and even the most expensive model is just £9999. Top trim gets you auto lights and wipers, parking sensors, DAB radio, UsB, hill-hold control and Bluetooth, so its seems like a huge bargain next to its rivals.

Group four insurance will keep down running costs, too. A low purchase price isn’t enough, though. our money would go on the Fiesta, because it drives better and has a bigger boot, or the smaller Volkswagen Up, which is also much better to drive, barely any less practical in everyday use and feels better built. The Up may be slightly more expensive to buy than the mG3 initially, but will be worth more after three years.

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