MG 3 Review

Front of a New MG3 parked in sand

The MG3 is a supermini produced by MG Motors and was first introduced in 2011 but wasn't sold in the UK until 2013. The first generation was based on the British-made Rover Streetwise and the current second generation model is the most popular Chinese manufactured car on sale in the UK.

It's also one of the most affordable city cars on the market, a direct rival for Dacia, but doesn't forget to give customers high quality equipment and styling. Read on in our MG MG3 guide to see if this is the right model for you from the MG family.

Close up of the headlight of a red MG3
Close up of the MG badge on a red MG3
Close up of the alloy wheel of a red MG3

Design and Style

The MG MG3 was given a facelift in 2018 which introduced the octagonal grille that came from the MG ZS alongside brand new LED headlights and a new front bumper with angular vents redefined the front of the small car.

It's sleek look comes from the 2010 MG Zero concept car which gave styling cues as to where the MG brand was moving. The MG3 embodies the confident and sporty character that the MG Zero concept car first introduced thanks to its body coloured rear spoiler and diamond cut alloy wheels which come as standard.

Body coloured door handles on the front and rear doors and body coloured bumpers seamlessly blend into the paintwork with black side skirts adding a little flair. The rear parking sensors tucked into the rear of the car mean that its incredibly practical too.

Interestingly, although the model is physically produced in China, the development work for the second-generation MG 3 took place in the United Kingdom and all parts were produced in the UK until 2016.

The standard paint option is Arctic White but for a fee you can choose any of the four paint colours to make sure that your chosen MG 3 reflects your personality.

Interior of the MG3 from the passenger seat showing the infotainment and steering wheel


As part of the facelift in 2018 the cabin was also completely transformed to be much more modern. This included the introduction of the 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system and the multifunction steering wheel which allows you to control audio and other features without lifting your hands off the wheel. There's also all round electric windows at all trim levels.

The sport seats for the driver and front passenger seat are part leather, a nice detail that sets it apart from others in the same price bracket, and gives more supportive side bolsters which makes it more comfortable for short and long journeys alike. Matched with the leather stitched steering wheel and the interior of the MG3 has a sporty quality to it.

The controls are laid out simply, making it incredibly easy to use the air conditioning and heating controls, and helps to streamline the layout of the cabin. The surrounding plastics aren't the highest quality but are durable and finished in dark colours which complement the rest of the cabin.

Close up of the physical controls inside the MG3
Close up of the multifunction steering wheel of the MG3
Close up of the dials of the MG3

Comfort and Practicality

The MG 3 is a really practical car for a supermini. The driver has plenty of adjustment in their seat and plenty of room around them to get comfortable for all journeys. Headroom in the front and rear seats is very similar at 984mm and 972mm respectively which means that four adults will very comfortably fit in the MG 3. The Exclusive trim gives you sports seats which are a little more comfortable but either model will give you a good driving position.

Boot space is also pretty reasonable for a supermini with 256 litres of boot space with all five seats in play, but there's also an underfloor compartment which gives you an additional 29 litres space should you need it. For comparison, the Ford Fiesta offers 292 litres, the Dacia Sandero offers 328 litres, and the MINI Cooper 3 Door Hatch offers 211 litres.

With the rear seats folded down this opens up to a much larger 1262 litres. This is compared to just 1093 litres in the Fiesta, 1108 litres in the Sandero, and only 731 in the MINI. There's also a light in the boot to give it better visibility when you're searching for items and map pockets on the backs of the front seats for a little extra storage.

The boot of the MG3 with a suitcase placed inside

Performance and Engine Options

The MG MG3 is available with just one engine option, keeping things nice and simple for you when looking at new or used models. It uses a 1.5 litre petrol engine which has 4 inline cylinders to provide you with a maximum of 106PS and 137NM at 4500rpm. It comes with a five speed manual gearbox and there is no automatic gearbox available, which is unfortunate for those with driving licences for automatic cars only.

Official fuel economy figures from MG give the MG 3 a combined mpg of 43.3 with CO2 emissions of 147g/km, perhaps a little higher than you would expect from small cars. However if you're concerned about fuel consumption it's offer of 43.3 is fairly average, especially in comparison to small turbocharged engines, but the start-stop function will give you some real-world fuel savings if you find yourself in traffic often.

The second generation MG3 used an all-new automotive platform which has a wheelbase of 2.5m and McPherson strut front suspension alongside a torsion beam rear axle. This drastically reduces the weight of the vehicle overall and is an easier and cheaper part to maintain, contributing to lower running costs. The ride quality is generally good as well, with responsive and direct steering which reduces body roll and a firm ride on all roads.

A red MG3 faces away at an angle
Close up of the MG3 badge on a red MG3
Red MG3 sitting forward facing at an angle

Trim Levels

The MG MG3 has two trim levels for you to choose from: Excite or Exclusive Nav. This makes it incredibly easy to choose which model of MG3 will be best for you and takes you one step closer to selecting your car.

The entry level Excite trim level offers LED daytime running lights, a body coloured rear spoiler, 16 inch diamond cut alloy wheels, a stitched leather steering wheel, reverse parking sensors, multifunction steering wheel, an 8 inch colour touchscreen, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, DAB radio with USB, air conditioning with dust and pollen filter, stability control system, and direct tyre pressure monitoring.

Upgrading to the Exclusive Nav trim then adds cruise control, a reversing camera with dynamic lines, sports seats, and integrated iGO sat nav. The sound system is also upgraded from a 4-speaker system to a 6-speaker system and there are map pockets added to the interior.

Both trim levels are incredibly well equipped and the step up to the Exclusive Nav version isn't a huge jump in price but it worth it for the additional equipment included, especially if built in sat nav is important to you.

Side view of a red MG3

Reliability and Safety

Unfortunately the MG3 does have a poor safety rating from Euro NCAP when compared to other superminis such as the Ford Fiesta. When it was previously tested it received three stars out of a possible five which placed it on par with the ever-popular Fiat 500 but out performed the Dacia Sandero. The test is due to be conducted again on the current model but Euro NCAP may now wait until the new model comes into production from 2024.

It performed well in tests for adult occupant protection with a score of 69%. Particular highlights were that the passenger compartment stayed stable in frontal impact and scored maximum points in the side barrier test with good protection of all body regions. The MG3 also scored maximum points for protection of 18 month old children and the forward movement of a dummy representing a 3 year old in a forward-facing restraint was not excessive.

Where the model lost points was mainly in the safety assist section as it does not have a large range of additional drive assistance systems. Electronic stability control was noted to be good value as standard equipment but it does not offer lane support, speed assistance, or autonomous emergency braking. This does not make the MG3 any less safe, it just doesn't provide additional support for the driver in the same way as other cars, which is likely to help reduce costs for buyers which is a tactic that Dacia also employs.

MG cars also come with one of the best manufacturing warranties on the market at 7 years or 80,000 miles, whichever comes first. You have unlimited mileage for the first 12months and then between 13 and 84 months this is capped at a total of 80,000 miles

Mg also offers Anti Perforation Warranty which covers the vehicle against perforation due to rust-through of the body panels for 7 years. For this cover to remain effective the vehicle must be inspected annually by an authorised MG Repairer throughout the duration of the warranty period. An MG Corrosion Warranty Annual Inspection Sheet must be filled out and the anti-perforation service documentation record stamped.

Additionally, your MG warranty also includes a paint warranty which covers the MG vehicle for 3 years of 60,000 miles (whichever comes first) and covers any paint defect affecting readily visible surface areas of the vehicle, not including the under body, which is caused by a material or manufacturing defect.

Your MG MG3 car is well protected by the manufacturer, giving you peace of mind that should anything happen to your new car you will be able to get it sorted quickly.

Front view of a red MG3 driving in the countryside
Side view of a red MG3 driving in the countryside
Rear view of a red MG3 driving in the countryside


If you're looking for a cheap supermini that offers lots of equipment and style then the MG 3 is a perfect option. The Excite trim level starts at £13,820 and the Exclusive Nav trim starts at £15,520. For comparison, the Dacia Sandero is priced between £13,795 and £14,795 but doesn't offer some of the same equipment or styling such as diamond cut alloy wheels or a touchscreen infotainment system at all trims.


Whilst the MG 3 is a cheap car in terms of price, it is great car that doesn't necessarily feel like it is cheap thanks to the use of quality fabrics and materials and the inclusion. It offers a low price point for those looking for a good car that is also affordable with great design and lots of practicality for owners.

For more information about the MG 3, contact John Clark MG Dundee today. The team are always available to answer your questions, show you around the MG MG3 in full, and accompany you on your test drive. As an MG dealer we are proud to offer the full MG range from our dealership in Dundee alongside expert knowledge and excellent customer service.