MG3: What’s New Pussycat?

After a week with it’s bigger brother, the prospect of a further 7 days with the MG3 was not one that, if I’m being honest, filled MotorMartin with a sense of excitement. The problem was that the previous MG6, see http://motormartin.com/2016/03/16/mg6-birminghams-best-kept-secret/ had impressed MotorMartin a great deal more than expected with its value, drive quality and technology. How could the MG3 hope to compare?

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First impressions count a great deal with a new car. And so it proves here with the 3. Its striking Hello Yellow with Black Roof combination paintwork suits the modern curves and creases of the well designed bodywork exceptionally well. The design of the front grill and bumper cleverley allow that famous octagonal MG badge to hold your attention without dominating the front of the car. It really works. The car is well proportioned, modern and contemporary and if the yellow of the test car doesn’t suit, then there are plenty of other colours and combinations that can be chosen from, as well as roof graphics, wing mirror designs and smart looking Alloys. It should be easy to design an MG3 that stands out from the crowd as you can see from MG’s own advert below.

Size wise the MG3 compares well with it’s contemporaries, with a wheelbase of 4018mm and width of 1912mm it’s slightly larger than the latest Fiesta at 3969mm/1978mm and slightly smaller than the refreshed Corsa at 4021mm/1944. Sitting the MG3 right in the middle of the Fiesta and Corsa is a clever move by MG and shows the, well deservered, confidence that MG Motor UK has in the MG6’s smaller sibling.

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What comes as a genuine surprise is the amount of space afforded the driver and passengers in the MG3. It will sit five adults comfortably with plenty of knee room even with the drivers seat pushed back. When looking at the competition, the differences are clear. The Corsa appears dark and cramp in the rear whilst the Fiesta doesn’t come off much better, it’s the MG3, with its larger rear windows letting in plenty of light, that gives us class leading interior dimensions for all, especially those that need to fit in child seats and associated children.

In the front, the 3FORM SPORT model on test offers impressive specifications for a list price of just £9,899. Opening and closing the driver’s door allows you to sense the quality that has clearly been engineered into this little MG. The doors feel solid and close with a satisfying clunk reminiscent of cars in a far higher class. The drivers seat is adjustable in all directions including height which is refreshing and with the steering also being adjustable it’s easy to get a comfortable and sporty driving position.

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MotorMartin likes the Sports seats with ‘ZERO’ design fabric interior trim and the red stitch detailing on the leather steering wheel, whilst the official mats also sport matching red stitching. It’s subtle nods like this to MG’s illustrious past that raise the already smart interior above the opposition in my eyes. As with the larger MG6, the technology present in the MG3 is incredible at this price point. One look at MG’s website http://mg.co.uk reveals the following information regarding the interior specifications:

Pop open the door and the MG3 gives you must-have technology, acres of space for five and sporty driving position.

Electric windows (front and rear) come as standard, even on the entry-level 3Time, but make the step up to the 3Form and you’ll get Bluetooth audio streaming and telephone integration. Go inside the top-spec 3Style for cruise control, reverse parking sensors and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, making it the ultimate MG3.

You’ve got your own style and sound so amplify it with your MG3 – all without breaking the bank or jacking up your insurance premium thanks to its ultra-low insurance group 4E.

And all for between £8,399 for the 3TIME and £10,499 for the 3STYLE.

Of course, all that technology is no good if it doesn’t really work when on the move and I’m pleased to report that there are no such problems on this front. The Blutooth integration in this 3FORM SPORT is extremely easy to match up with MotorMartin’s smartphone and then allows for handsfree calling as well as the fantastic music streaming facility. Is it just MotorMartin though that finds Bluetooth music streaming rather magical? I especially like how the stereo display shows the song title currently playing. It really is the little details that make this a car that you’d be proud to own.

Other interior details that I like are the digital heater control as the graphics move from blue bars to red depending on the level of heat requested, the satisfying feel to the air con, fan and door lock buttons as well as the scrollable digital information display in between the dials. The MG3 has USB and Aux In situated in a covered space on the top of the dash which also works as somewhere to keep your phone, especially as the base has a grippy insert to prevent movement. Another well thought out, practical feature. But the most impressive feature? MotorMartin really likes the glowing red outline around the Stereo once the lights are on. It’s a really special detail that raises the cabin quality considerably and gives the impression that care was taken during the design stage.

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Final thoughts then on the exterior and interior of the MG3. MotorMartin thinks the MG3 to be a cracking, funky and contemporary looking car. Its proportions work really well, the 16″ alloy wheels fill their arches, the square exhaust poking from the rear looks great and I think that overall, it knocks its direct competition, the Fiesta and Corsa, out of the park. The interior is incredibly spacious, amazingly so. It’s comfortable, well thought out and filled with decent standard equipment. For a small increase in price over the base 3TIME edition, the standard specifications really open up, so much so that MotorMartin’s pick would be the 3FORM SPORT as tested. It just has exactly what you need to make every journey just right.

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In Part 2, MotorMartin will be looking at how this fantastic looking MG3 drives in town, commuting and travelling further afield. I can’t wait.

Where will you go?

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