RAC Cars News


MG Enters The Supermini Market With The MG3

By raccars Published

It may have been the MG CS Concept SUV that drew all the crowds at last week's Shanghai Motor Show, but there was another MG there that's set to hit the streets imminently - the brand's Fiesta-challenging supermini, the MG3, coming to a dealer near you this July.

MG may be in Chinese hands these days, but the company is determined to campaign on the Britishness of the iconic MG name. To that end, a British-led design team has been responsible for the latest models leaving the company's drawing boards and the MG3, like the MG6, is destined to be built in Birmingham to solidify that pedigree.

However, the MG3 that has in fact been a common sight on Chinese roads for a couple of years now, has been subject to a number of revisions before being deemed satisfactory for European sensibilities. It's roughly the size of a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo, but MG claims it will seat four six footers in comfort and is due to be powered by a 105bhp 1.5 litre Vti-TECH four cylinder petrol engine, with a five-speed manual gearbox.

While it's a handsome enough car, that restricted engine range is likely to leave the MG3 lagging behind in a market sector saturated with far more efficient and economical alternatives. Performance statistics are yet to be released but expect them to have a significant impact upon sales.

Perhaps MG is hoping to draw customers with other goodies, such as the modern, fashionable styling clearly aimed at the youth market, with personalisation options, including roof, side and bonnet graphics and a number of interesting colourways to apply to the wheels, interior trim and floor mats. Modern design touches, such as curved DRLs and a blacked out A-pillar, show that while the company's reputation still hangs upon that evocative name, it is keen to move with the times. Probably a more effective marketing technique is a pricing structure to rival Dacia, meaning that with more conservative trim specifications, the MG3 is equally likely to appeal to a more mature buyer.

So far, there's a serious lack of any information regarding the MG3's on-road behaviour, but the brand's marketing fluff mentions fairly generic terms, such as 'fun to drive.' The company has also been keen to point out that the European version car has been revised and tested on European roads, to meet the West's more dynamic driving requirements.

Arguably, the last thing the current auto market needs is another supermini, but at this stage, the MG3 looks promising.

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