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MG 3 (2013–)

Last updated 21 May 2019

Cheap to buy. Cheap to run. Generous seven-year warranty. Extensive personalisation options. Interior hugely improved in 2018 facelift with the addition of Apple CarPlay.
Only one engine and it's an old-fashioned, naturally-aspirated petrol.
Updated 21 May 2019

Report of clutch failure on an MG3 owned from new at 26,000 miles.

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Introduction

The MG badge might conjur up images of Union Jack bunting, tweed jackets and real ale, but MG Motor UK is keen to shake that off. Despite buying into the MG brand name, the firm's current owner - Chinese car manufacturer SAIC - produces cars that are very different to the MGs of yesteryear.

Today the firm concentrates its efforts on affordable runarounds to rival the likes of Dacia and SsangYong. The most popular of which is also the cheapest - the affordable little MG 3 hatchback. 

The MG 3 has loads of showroom appeal, thanks to a generous amount of standard kit, tempting finance deals and a heap of customisation options intended to appeal to the younger buyer.

A heavy revamp in 2018 saw the MG 3 tweaked with a new front-end, similar to that of the ZS SUV, while that interior is much improved with Excite and Exclusive models benefiting from an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto, though). 

The engine line-up is slightly disappointing, with only one offering - an ancient naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol producing 106PS. Compared to modern turbocharged units, it's a bit thrashy and needs to be worked hard. It's also relatively uneconomical, officially returning 42.3mpg under WLTP tests, and emitting 140g/km CO2. Having said that, our Real MPG data reveals that MG 3 drivers see fairly close to the official fuel economy figure.

It's surprisingly fun to drive, if a little old school, with excellent steering. It feels old school, which will appeal to some, although there is quite a lot of wind and road noise at motorway speeds.

A low insurance group rating means the MG 3 will be cheap to insure, while the firm's generous seven-year warranty ought to put your mind at rest. This is fully transferable between owners, but limited to 80,000 miles. 

It's easy to turn your noise up at the MG 3. Compared to modern small hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza, it feels a number of generations behind. It's the same size of these cars, yet priced to rival smaller cars like the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo. It's the epitome of cheap and cheerful - not everyone will be impressed, but the MG 3 is a surprisingly likeable car that's very affordable to buy and run.

MG3 2013 Road Test

MG3 2019 Revamp Road Test

Owners' reviews

5
Great little car
1
quality of car is poor
5
Good value for money and almost entirely British
List Price from £11,715
Buy new from £11,309
Contract hire from £165.52 per month
 

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