Joseph and Mitchell review the 2017 MG3, a playful little hatch from MG.
The MG3 has a perky high-revving 1.5L naturally aspirated engine, mated to a brilliant and easy to shift 5 speed manual transmission, sending power to the front wheels. The MG3 offers three trim levels, the Core, the Soul, and the Essence. We drove the Core variant, which starts at $13,990.
Our test vehicle had the optional ‘Candy’ vinyl livery, and some aftermarket wheels and tyres which complemented the Candy colour scheme well. All 3 trim levels of the MG3 have the same engine and transmission, with the bells and whistles improving as you go up the range to the Essence.
The 5 speed manual transmission is, in a word, brilliant. It is such a joy to shift, and it shifts with little effort. The transmission is mated to a surprising 1.5L naturally aspirated engine which loves to be revved all the way out to 6700 red-line. It is definitely advisable to hold it in gear for as long as possible as this engine does best at above 4500 RPM. The MG3 is a momentum car.
You won’t be going for high-speeds on the straights, instead you’ll be looking ahead to the next set of twisties. The MG3 grips, and handles amazingly well. The front end just holds, with little-to-no understeer (unless you’re really pushing it).
The steering is a little numb on centre, but it loads up nicely and gives plenty of information to the driver. The only time you’ll notice the on-centre numbness is during fast switch-backs or slaloms; around town, or on “normal” mountain roads, you’ll hardly notice. The MG3 can fit 4 grown adults comfortably, and 5 in a pinch, thanks to the flat roof line which doesn’t impede on rear headroom.
The seats, are decently comfortable, even if they are rather basic and the fronts don’t have much in the way of side bolstering. However, with the surprisingly pleasant ride quality the suspension offers, you could do the weekend drive to the beach without feeling like you’ve been sitting on a church pew for the last hour and a half.
While the MG3 is great, it does of course have the usual ‘cheap car’ quirks. Hard plastics and basic fabrics adorn the interior, and the torsion beam rear end is just along for the ride, these are not unique to the MG3 and don’t detract from the great driving experience it offers. However, the cup holders are comically small.
We would like to once again thank the team at Brisbane MG for lending us this MG3 for review. If you are in the market for an inexpensive car, definitely ensure the MG MG3 is on your list.
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