MG Launches the MG3 SUV

MG3 a neat car in a competitive market

The launch of the MG3 sees MG with four models on the Australia market.

MGs were first built in 1924. MG stands for Morris Garages and while William Morris produced a range of mainly sedans under his own name, the MG brand concentrated on two-door sports cars.

Over their history they have had several owners including the British Motor Corporation (BMC), Leyland, Austin and Rover.

The MG Rover Group went bankrupt in 2015 and was bought by the Nanjing Automotive Group in China. The vehicles are now made under the SAIC motors brand.

Their latest launch was of the MG3 auto a vehicle that fits into the light car class in Australia, the second smallest category. In total they now sell four cars in the Australian market none of which are sports cars.

MG3

Exterior

The exterior of the MG3 is neat and simple. It looks somewhere between a sedan and an SUV with a little bit of the appearance of a Suzuki Swift. It doesn’t have a proliferation of angles and lines that appear to dominate some of the small SUVs that are in a parallel segment.

It has two model options. The base model has the rather banal name of Core, while the more upmarket very variant is called, more ambitiously, the Excite.

On the outside the clearest distinction between the models is that the base model has 15 inch wheels while the upmarket Excite has 16 inch, two-tone, machined alloy wheels.

MG3

Interior

Inside the vehicle the MG company talk of “subtle styling details such as a carbon look finish to the centre console and satin chrome finishes to the door and dashboard inlays.

It is not stunning but it is functional and the biggest thing, literally, is the 8 inch infotainment screen which is very good for this segment of the market.

MG3

It is good to see that it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear camera and rear parking senses in the base model.  If you move up to the Excite you get heated mirrors, side sills, rear spoiler and six speaker sound system as well.

Engine and Drivetrain

There is only one engine. A 1.5 litre non-turbo 82 kW at 4000 rpm and 150 Nm at 4500 rpm.

Most particularly, it is only available in a four-speed automatic.  The biggest seller in this segment, the Hyundai Accent has a six-speed automatic but it is an additional cost over the standard manual.

MG3

They have backed their reliability by giving a 7-year warranty and 7-year free road side service.

There are five exterior colours for the MG3 which the company says “pays homage to MG’s strong British tradition. There are two solid colours: Dover white and Tudor yellow and three metallic colours: Regal Blue; Bristol Red; and Scottish Silver.

The strongest feature of the MG3 is its competitive price. The base model is just under $16,000 driveaway while the Excite is a smidgen under $17,500 drive away.

MG’s best-selling car is their ZS, which is classed as a small SUV.  The recent monthly sales of the MG3 has seen it leap frog MG’s two other offerings, the MG6 which is in the “Small Sedan” category (headed by the Toyota Corolla) and the MG GS which is a medium SUV.  The sales numbers, however, are small.  For every MG3 sold in August 2018, Hyundai sold nearly 18 Accents. The other big seller in MG3 market segment is the Mazda 2 followed by the Toyota Yaris, the Volkswagen Polo and the Kia Rio.

Summary

The MG3 is a neat and modest car in a competitive segment of the market.  It is competitively priced for an automatic.  We will have to wait for a drive to see how it performs on the road.

MG3

Model: 2018 MG3 Core

Model Price: $15990 drive-away

Engine: 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol

Drivetrain: Four-speed automatic

Power:  82 kW at 4000

Torque: 150 Nm at 4500 rpm

Safety:  N/A

Warranty: 7yr/ unlimited km with 7yr roadside assist

About David Brown 25 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto