gave MG 3 It is the best-selling light car in Australia, with almost one in every two city cars sold in the country being an MG. It outsells the Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Polo combined – so why is it so controversial to recommend one?
The MG3 is a victim of its own success. Being the most popular city car in Australia proves that the MG3 fills a need at a price point that other manufacturers are unable or unwilling to entertain.
At the same time, its unsatisfactory overseas safety ratings (no local tests) and recent price hikes will continue to weigh on the minds of potential buyers. So, should you buy the MG 3?
As was the case with our 2022 MG 3 review, MG Australia wouldn’t supply us with the car, so we had to do it the old fashioned way and get a brand new car from an outside party.
From the start of 2022, there have been two price increases which now affect the MG 3.
The first was a $500 price increase in February, followed by another $500 price increase in June.
2023 MG 3 Price:
- MG 3 Core: $18,990
- MG 3 Core with Nav: $19,490
- MG3 Excite: $20,490
Prices are a drive away.
The second-generation MG3 started life back in 2011, but the model we have here is the facelifted, walk-around version that last saw changes in 2018.
It’s set to replace the current generation in 2024 with an all-new car that’s unlikely to stay priced the same but will likely come with a more modern interior.
As for the 2023 MG 3, the interior is actually quite decent for the price.
Yes, there’s a lot of hard plastic and the steering wheel feels a little cheap to the touch (just put a cover on it), but the seat’s ergonomics, driving position, 8.0-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and rear seat space are spot on. Probably more than you’ll need as a city car or first car.
We drove the MG 3 around for a while and it’s fair to say that the front seats are quite comfortable and while the car is perfect for short-distance city driving, if you want to make the occasional drive through Sydney. This is definitely a viable option. to Melbourne (given the insane cost of flights at the time).
The base model has a decent four-speaker stereo and can be upgraded to six if you go to the Excite we tested here. The reversing camera is also quick and quick to turn on. The parking sensors also work well and parking is not an issue considering the size of the vehicle.
Perhaps the little hidden gem the MG 3’s interior favors over its more expensive rivals is rear seat space.
It may class as a ‘light’ car but realistically the rear seats are significantly larger in terms of legroom than some of its rivals and you can certainly fit four adults in the car without any problems. Can fit the complaint. Five if necessary.
2023 MG3 has a duplicate luggage capacity. 307Lincreasing to a maximum. 1081L Folded with the rear seats.
Our advice is don’t bother buying any spec other than the base model MG 3 Core.
If you have an iPhone and use Apple CarPlay, you don’t need to pay an extra $500 for satellite navigation (which is far better for navigating anyway).
The extra equipment level for the Excite (listed further down) isn’t really worth it and you’d be better off spending that money on a stereo upgrade at your local car audio store and getting a much better result.
2023 MG powered by 3 a. 1.5 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine That produces 82kW of power (6000 rpm) and 150Nm of torque (4500 rpm), sent to the front wheels via a vintage four-speed automatic transmission.
Given that the MG 3 weighs around 1200kg, the power-to-weight ratio is quite decent.
MG claims that the MG3 uses 6.7L/100km In the common cycle when putting out 159 grams of CO2. It has one. 45L fuel tank, meaning it should be able to travel 672 km per full tank. In reality you will get around 600 km from one tank.
The company says the MG 3 can run on 91 RON fuel, but ‘recommends’ you add premium juice.
Here’s the funny thing about the MG 3, with only 82kW and 150 Nm you’d expect it to be annoyingly slow.
The reality is that it is not. The power-to-weight ratio means the MG 3 has enough guts to pick it up and go for inner-city driving, and perhaps lacks torque when you’re overtaking at 110km/h. are trying to do.
The main downside to the MG3’s powertrain isn’t the engine, but the transmission. The four-speed automatic doesn’t have enough gears to get the best out of the engine and you’ll find that it constantly downshifts to second gear and there’s a big discrepancy between power and torque in high gears. .
Having said that, the CVT is a better option for a car like this in our opinion, and if you just want to drive around the inner city and make short trips here and there, you won’t really notice that much. .
What you will notice, however, is how bloody noisy the cabin is. MG could really do with adding some sound deadening to the car and reducing the amount of engine noise that finds its way into the cabin.
In terms of ride, the MG 3 is quite firm and if you frequently drive on rough roads, you will definitely feel every bump. This is yet another reason not to go for a higher-spec Excite with larger wheels – lower profile tires mean a firmer ride.
There are certainly better cars out there in the form of the Volkswagen Polo and Mazda 2, but if you spend most of your time on smooth inner-city roads, this isn’t really a concern.
Otherwise, the handling aspect of the MG 3 is as you would expect from a light city car. It does what it’s supposed to do and never feels unsafe or poorly balanced.
It’s a very decent little car around town, and as long as you’re willing to be a little more assertive with your right foot (and use a little more fuel in the process), it’s got plenty to do. Is.
MG3 Core Highlights:
- Reversing camera
- Rear parking sensor
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Apple CarPlay
- Cruise control
- 4-speaker sound system
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
- 15 inch alloy wheels
- LED daytime running lights
- Tartan fabric trim
Satellite navigation is a $500 option on the MG 3 Core.
MG3 Excite added:
- Leatherette and tartan fabric trim
- 16 inch alloy wheels
- Six speaker sound system
- Satellite navigation
There is no ANCAP safety rating for the MG 3, and so it is not rated in our market.
We find it odd that ANCAP hasn’t tested what Australia’s best-selling light car is. After all, the pre-facelift model has had a Euro NCAP safety rating since 2014, rating the car at three stars – although this rating has now ‘expired’.
Not only that, it lacks advanced autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, and any form of driver attention monitoring.
The 2014 safety rating score is based on very different criteria than what you would expect in a 2023 rating. In other words, it’s unlikely the MG 3 would even get a three-star safety rating if tested today.
The lack of a modern safety rating is the main question mark hanging over the roof of the MG 3, especially compared to cars like the Kia Picanto which managed an ANCAP safety rating in 2017, or the now discontinued Mitsubishi Mirage and its five-star. ANCAP rating from 2013.
If you are a parent and thinking of buying an MG 3 as a first car for your child, this is definitely a point to seriously consider. The lack of active safety features is undoubtedly a concern for young and careless drivers.
Having said that, if the MG 3 is being pitted against a 4- or 5-year-old Japanese car with high mileage and no warranty, it’s worth weighing the safety aspect against the new-car experience. It’s about The safety net of a long-term warranty should something go wrong.
You can take a look at the European crash test safety ratings of the current generation with the pre-facelift model for yourself. Here.
The MG 3 is the cheapest new car to drive in Australia when viewed from a total cost of ownership perspective.
This figure includes variables including purchase price, loan payments, registration, insurance, fuel or charging costs, tires, servicing and repairs and auto club membership – all averaged over five years.
In terms of original warranty; 2023 MG 3 is a Seven-year, unlimited kilometer warranty.
The brand also offers fixed price servicing to the MG 3, the pricing details of which are as follows:
|Service interval||Advertised price|
|12 months / 10,000 km||$243|
|24 months / 20,000 km||$285|
|36 months / 30,000 km||$279|
|48 months / 40,000 km||$330|
|60 months / 50,000 km||$243|
|72 months / 60,000 km||$321|
|84 months / 70,000 km||$243|
At the end of the day, the MG 3 is popular for a reason. It brings features and warranties at a price point no other manufacturer can match at this time.
With a seven-year warranty, a fairly decent infotainment system, and affordable servicing costs, the MG 3 will continue to be popular with Australians looking for affordable, reliable motoring.
If the 2023 MG 3 had a five-star safety rating – or at least, some active safety features – we’d have no hesitation in recommending the city car as a great value proposition.
Given the question mark over its safety, it really comes down to thinking seriously about the safety rating versus buying a significantly older vehicle, possibly without warranty and with an outdated ANCAP rating, or if you’re modern. Prefer a car. Warranty But from a safety point of view this guarantee is lacking.
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More: Everything MG3