The MG3 nameplate was introduced in 2011, when SIAC, the current owner of the MG Motor brand, launched the five-door hatchback in China. The first-generation MG3, also known as the MG3 SW, replaced the Rover Streetwise and it can’t be purchased anywhere else but in China. Although the first-gen car is still in production, MG developed a second iteration to be sold in the United Kingdom as a low-cost vehicle. Previewed by the MG Zero Concept , the MG3 actually shares most of its design cues with the study shown at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show.
Available only as a five-door hatchback with a front-mounted engine, front-wheel-drive configuration, the Euro-spec MG3 is aimed at successful vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta , Renault Clio , and the Volkswagen Polo . The British-built supermini is cheaper than most of its rivals, and although its affordable sticker brings many shortages along with it, the MG3 has a few tricks up its sleeve. Check out our review below to learn more about the pros and cons surrounding the MG3.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 MG MG3.
Measuring 158.2 inches in length and 68.1 inches in width, the MG3 is about the size of a 2014 Ford Fiesta. A tad boxier than most its competitors, the British hatch is distinguished by a modern and somewhat sporty front end. A narrow grille lies between the short hood and bumper, while a large, trapezoidal air intake occupies most of the lower apron. The lower grille is flanked by DRL units shaped to blend with the bumper’s muscular design.
Around back, a rounded bumper embraces the small hatch that leads into the trunk, with a pair of vertical taillights mounted on the sides. Down below, a huge, diffuser-like piece with a single exhaust pipe eats into the apron. When viewed from the side, the MG3 stands out through its almost straight beltline and the V-shaped crease sculpted right above the side sills.
Although the MG3 is pretty much simple by design, the British automaker is trying to sweeten up the deal by offering a highly customizable vehicle. Customers can choose from numerous exterior colors, body graphics, wheels, and interior color packs when building their MG3, with thousands of combinations available. The feat is rather unique when it comes to a factory-built vehicle and aims at young drivers looking to purchase an affordable compact.
2014 MG MG3 - Exterior Dimensions
|Length||4,018 MM (158,2 Inches)|
|Width||1,729 MM (68.1 Inches)|
|Width inc. mirror||1,912 MM (75.3 Inches)|
|Height||1,507 MM (59.3 Inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,520 MM (99.2 Inches)|
The MG3’s cabin is surprisingly spacious given its 99-inch wheelbase. The supermini features a "rolled and raised" dashboard design that increases both front space and legroom, while the tall cabin provides class-leading headroom in the rear compartment.
Design-wise, the cabin is pretty simple, and lacks all the bells and whistles found in more expensive vehicles. There’s no such thing as an infotainment system or a color touchscreen, and leather is available only for the steering wheel and part of the front seats on the more expensive trim levels.
Acres of plastic cover anything from the dashboard to the door panels, but the contrast stitching and the brightly-colored inserts help attenuate the cabin’s low-cost feel. A CD player with MP3 compatibility comes standard even with the entry-level model, while steering wheel audio controls, a leather steering wheel and cruise control can be had as you move up the trim ladder.
Only one engine is available in the MG3, no matter the trim. MG’s unit of choice is a tiny, 1.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 104 horsepower and 101 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox (there’s no automatic option), the gasoline engine enables the supermini to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 108 mph. Although these figures are far from impressive, the MG3 is nippy enough for a vehicle that returns 47.8 mpg on the British combined cycle (39.8 mpg U.S.).
2014 MG MG3 - Drivetrain/Specifications
|Output||104 HP @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque||101 LB-FT @ 4,750 RPM|
|0 to 60 mph||10.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||108 mph|
Pricing for the MG3 starts at £8,399 ($14,410 as of 07/01/2014). For that amount, customers will get the base 3TIME trim, which comes with standard LED lights, sports seats, six airbags, hill hold assist, CD player, and iPod connectivity. For £9,299 ($15,957), the mid-range 3FORM trim adds air conditioning, Bluetooth, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. A further upgrade to the 3FORM Sport, which retails from £9,549 ($16,383), includes a sports body styling pack and 16-inch Carousel alloy wheels. Lastly, the range-topping 3STYLE model can be had for at least £9,999 ($17,155) and comes with everything available on the 3FROM Sport plus cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, and reverse parking sensors.
The MG3 is only available in the United Kingdom and there’s no info as to if and when MG is planning to sell it overseas.
|MG3 3FORM Sport||£9,549|
The Fiesta is currently one of the best-selling superminis in the world and one of the most important competitors to the MG3. The small hatch has just been revised for the 2014 model year, receiving a refreshed front end and additional interior features. In terms of technology, the Fiesta is pretty much light years away from the MG3, as it comes with an optional touchscreen infotainment, a well-appointed interior, and a wider range of engines and transmissions.
In the United States, the non-ST model can be had with either a 1.6-liter four-cylinder or a 1.0-liter, turbo inline-three. The four-banger mates to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, and delivers 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. The smaller, turbocharged 1.0-liter is paired to only a five-speed manual and generates 123 ponies and 148 pound-feet. Both are quicker than the MG3 by more than a second and the inline-three engine returns better mileage. The Fiesta hatch starts from $14,600. In the U.K., the base model costs as much as the range-topping MG3.
Gallery MG MG3
Unlike the Fiesta, the Volkswagen Polo has yet to cross to the Pond to the United States. However, the VW-badged hatch is alive and kicking in Britain, with no less than seven engines at its disposal. Displacement ranges from 1.0 to 1.4 liters in both gasoline and diesel guises. At the bottom of the lineup, the 1.0-liter three-cylinder delivers 59 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque, while the range-topping 1.4-liter TSI delivers 148 ponies. The most powerful diesel version, motivated by a 1.4-liter TDI, benefits from 89 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.
Naturally, the Polo is equipped with the latest in terms of convenience and safety features and outguns the MG3 in all departments. This also makes the Polo a lot more expensive, with prices starting from £11,100 ($19,000 as of 07/01/2014) and going all the way to £17,710 ($30,400).
Gallery Volkswagen Polo
The MG3 may lack most convenience and techy features offered by its competitors, but this British-built hatchback comes in a nice package considering the price tag. Sure, it won’t do much besides taking you from point A to B in a relatively slow manner, but if pricing and fuel economy are among your top concerns, then the MG3 is an option you should consider. If you live in the United Kingdom that is, because this supermini isn’t ready to leave British soil yet.
- Highly customizable
- Good fuel economy
- Availability restricted to the U.K.
- Overall cheap interior
- Only one engine