MG3: 3 is the Magic Number.


According to De La Soul, 3 is the Magic Number. Why this is the case is not really clear, despite their best efforts but intriguingly there are many incidences where the number 3 is particularly prominent. We are surely all familiar with waiting for what seems like ages for a bus and then 3 arrive all at once, but what about some of the following, how many do you recognise? 3 Billy Goats Gruff, 3 French Hens, 3 Little Pigs, 3 Piece Suit, 3 Stars in Orion’s belt, 3 Parts To An Atom: protons, neutrons, and electrons. 3 Caloric Sources: Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, 3 Quarks in a Baryon. That last one is a particular favourite of MotorMartin. So you can see how important the number 3 has become in everyday life, without it we’d have 2 or 4 blind mice, 2 or 4 sheets to the wind, 2 or 4… You get the general idea.

And of course, this is just scratching the surface of the number 3, there are many, many more examples that could have been given in the list above, I’ll leave you to add your own in due course. To this list we have now got an important new addition, the MG3. In MotorMartin’s previous post regarding this newly refreshed Fiesta sized motor I looked at the MG3’s styling, the interior space and the technology available for the driver and so here, in part 2, MotorMartin is concerned with how the MG drives.

Over the seven days that MotorMartin was custodian of the MG the little 3 was an impressive performer over a variety of different driving journeys and conditions and it was a struggle when the time came to return the MG from whence it came. As previously discussed, this is a car that is very easy to get comfortable in for both driver and passengers and once this is done, it’s a very simple car to drive. It’s an overused cliché to say that the controls fall readily to hand, so I won’t. Although they do. And MotorMartin’s very happy with that.


The interior and features have been discussed before in the aforementioned previous post, suffice to say that it’s a great place to be. Once the mirrors and seat have been adjusted to suit the driver, electronically adjustable mirrors I hasten to add, then driving away is a simple affair. As with most modern cars, pressing down on the light clutch is simple enough whilst moving the short gear lever across and up into first brings about no drama at all and neither should it. The gear shift itself is quite a tactile piece of hardware and feels great when moving it through the box, another example of MG’s clear thinking during the design stage.

Pulling away requires no real thought or effort, other than the usual mirror, signal, manoeuvre, whilst the direct steering allows the MG3 to be placed wherever you want on the road. Around town on the daily commute the MG3 really shows itself to be an extremely lively, fun and likeable little car. Changing up at around 2-3000 revs allows for swift enough progress from the quoted, 106 bhp petrol engine whilst still keeping close to MG’s official figure of 57.6 mpg. The suspension leans more towards sporting rather than giving Jaguar levels of ride quality, but is no better or worse than its peers in this respect. As long as you avoid pot holes you’ll be perfectly comfortable on your journey to and from work.

MotorMartin was particularly interested to see if the MG3 delivered on the promise made by ‘That Badge,’ whilst mixing congestion with the odd burst of freedom when traffic and conditions allowed. It has to be said that MotorMartin thoroughly enjoyed the daily drive through Bradford’s rush hour, with the 3 allowing fun to be had whenever possible. The large areas of glass allow for fantastic all round vision, vital when amongst traffic and needing to change lanes to make progress. There’s decent levels of performance to keep up with most other vehicles and overtake if necessary, although forward planning is essential. Overall the MG3 has more than enough about it to send you to work and back happy. Lovely.


It would be great, about now, to talk about kissing apexes, hitting the rev limiter in first, second and third, four wheel drifting and shaving tenths of a second off of lap times but that’s not what MotorMartin is about as enjoyment can just as easily come from exploiting the drive and handling that a car does have rather than what it does not. The MG3 is thoroughly modern in its design, including as it does, McPherson strut front end and Torsion beam rear suspension which combine to compliment a chassis fine tuned to suit UK roads by the design team at MG Motor UK’s Longbridge HQ.

What the MG3 needs is a chance to stretch its legs after driving around the streets of Bradford and so a drive in the country beckons. Taking the B6161, outside of Otley, West Yorkshire, and following it through to Killinghall is a superb drive in any car you choose to mention but the MG3, how does it feel? Around town you don’t need to play with the gearbox or match revs to speed but out in the countryside, where the road twists, turns, and undulates it’s a different matter completely.

The MG3 loves this tarmac, its all short straights and sweeping bends, the type of road that rewards smooth driving and looking ahead. As MotorMartin learns to trust the front end grip of the MG3 more, the car begins to become an extension of the driver, the leather bound steering wheel transmitting levels feedback that a sub 10K car has any right to do. When conditions allow and you start to play with the gears, keeping the engine spinning above 4000 revs, the MG is quite the pocket rocket. Most importantly, this is a car that delivers fun by the bucket load. OK, so it’s not a hot hatch, far from it, but it is most definitely warm enough for when the mood takes you.


The engine in the MG3, in MotorMartin’s opinion, is an absolute peach, yet a criticism levelled at it by some of the media is that it needs to be revved to reach the power. One look at the specifications will tell you that this is an engine that enjoys being revved as maximum power is available at 6000 rpm and maximum torque at 4750 rpm. In MotorMartin’s experience though, this is certainly part of the MG3’s character, quiet and civil for most of the time but huge fun when conditions dictate. What more do you want?

The more MotorMartin thinks about it, the more it would appear that Del La Soul were right. 3 is indeed, the Magic Number.

In part 3, MotorMartin will give his final thoughts on the MG3.

Where will you go?

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