MG MG3

The Essentials

  • Price from £8,399
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 48.7mpg
  • What is it? The MG3 cheap to buy and insure, even for a small hatchback - but that's where its appeal stops

Great

  • The MG3 is cheap to buy and most models are well equipped
  • Plenty of space for four adults
  • Insurance costs are low

Gripes

  • It's slow and the ride is jittery a lot of the time
  • Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are unimpressive
  • The interior feels cheap and plasticky
  • Drive

    Sluggish in many respects, and the ride is often unsettled

  • Inside

    Materials feel cheap but there's plenty of space and the controls are mostly easy to use

  • Safety

    Comes with a good rosta of safety features

  • Reliability

    An unknown quantity at present; cabin feels flimsy

  • Space

    Plenty of room for four, though boot size is only average

  • Standard and extras

    All models above entry-level have lots of kit

  • What's it like to drive?

    The MG3 falls short in too many areas when it comes to its driving manners. The engine needs a lot of revs to get going, which makes it noisy, and even then it's quite slow to pick up speed. The steering is slow to respond and too heavy at lower speeds, and the car feels jittery on patchy road surfaces; it thumps over potholes, too. There's too much road noise on the motorway, and even when you're cruising the engine noise is noticeable. On top of which, the gearshift is notchy.

  • What's it like inside?

    The quality of the MG3's interior leaves a lot to be desired, with too many parts and surfaces feeling cheap and flimsy. There's plenty of adjustment to the driver's seat but as the steering wheel doesn't move in or out, not everyone will be able to get completely comfortable. Still, most of the buttons are easy to use on the move, and the visibility is good. There's lots of room for four adults to sit comfortably and the boot is a useful, square shape - it's not particularly big, however, and you get even less luggage space if you add the space-saver tyre.

    Entry-level 3Time models have very little equipment so we'd recommend upgrading to 3Form trim to get air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a leather steering wheel with audio controls. Alloy wheels are offered with the top two trims: 3Form Sport models also get special bodykit, while top-spec 3Style brings different alloys, rear parking sensors, cruise control, and automatic lights and wipers. All models have Isofix points fitted to the outer rear seats.

  • How reliable is it?

    Not enough MG3s have been sold for the car to have been included in What Car?'s latest reliability and owner satisfaction surveys, so the jury's out on the car's reliability. The interior's cheap plastics don't feel very robust, though.

    Where the MG3 doesn't scrimp is on safety equipment. Every model comes with six airbags, including curtain 'bags for the rear seats, plus stability control, emergency brake assist and a tyre pressure-monitoring system. Bear in mind that the entry-level car doesn't include a switch to deactivate the front passenger airbag, so you won't be able to position a rear-facing child seat up front in this model.

  • Should I buy one?

    If you just need a cheap way to get a set of wheels with the reassurance of a three-year manufacturer's warranty, then the MG3 may be worth considering; the low insurance rating is appealing, too. That's where the value stops, however, as the MG3's fuel economy of 48.7mpg is poor compared to rivals, and comes hand in hand with a high CO2 that will make it pricier to tax. It will also plummet in value the second it leaves the showroom. All this for a car that's neither good to drive nor particularly practical.