MG3 3Style VTi-Tech

MG3, side static
MG3, front static
MG3, rear static
MG3, dashboard
MG3, rear seats
MG3, boot

MG'S rebirth might have been a slow and somewhat stuttering process but the MG3 has done much to spur the revival of a marque with an enviable heritage on to new heights.

While sales of the larger MG6 saloon/hatchback have been fairly modest the MG3 was universally well received following its launch in autumn 2013 and its success has subsequently seen MG become the fastest growing automotive marque in the UK.

A stylish and sporty supermini it has plenty to recommend it and certainly seems to have hit the spot in the intensely competitive small car market.

While it might not have the cachet of retro-styled cars like the MINI or Fiat 500 its keen pricing, decent driving dynamics, tidy styling and opportunities for customisation mean it ticks plenty of boxes.

Although it still feels pretty new the MG3 has already had a modest makeover - the most notable upgrade being the addition of a stop/start system which reduces emissions and boosts economy - reducing road tax bills in the process from £130 to £110, with nothing to pay for the first year.

In terms of frugality the MG3 now boasts a combined economy figure of more than 50mpg, not bad from a 1.5-litre petrol engine.

Ideally one might like a wider range of engines to choose from - particularly given the general automotive trend for downsizing - but for the moment at least there's a Henry Ford style choice of just one. A diesel would be a useful addition to the range too.

However the single petrol powerplant actually continues to be a good all-rounder. Designed and developed in Birmingham it's a decent unit that combines potency and refinement with a more than acceptable level of economy.

In its revised form the MG3 emits 124g/km of CO2 and has a combined economy figure of 52.3mpg - formerly the figures were 136g/km and 48.7mpg.

Other changes include a new chrome grille and even more colour and customisation options.

One area where MG excel is in pricing. In a bid to tempt more buyers to the range MG6 prices were lowered significantly when a new version was unveiled and when it comes to the MG3 prices have remained unchanged - with a range that starts at £8,399 and goes up to £10,999.

For that sort of money the MG3 is a comparative steal - a well-designed and well engineered car that has oodles of small car appeal and comes generously equipped.

With the right sort of customisation it even errs into sassy and sexy territory.

From a practicality point of view it delivers too with a roomy cabin, four doors and the ability to seat four comfortably - or even five at a push and a decent sized boot.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is that it's actually an enjoyable car to drive. That 1.5-litre engine revs freely and smoothly and offers everyday performance that won't disappoint.

Combined with an excellent suspension set-up you have a car that handles nicely and is genuinely fun to drive, to the point where I can't help but feel MG are missing a trick by not offering a more performance-focused variant - or even two. Who knows, there may be one in the pipeline.

With the first MG SUV on the way in a few months time, combined with the success of this impressive supermini, all the signs seem to be that MG might be finally getting its act together.

FAST FACTS

MG3 3Style VTi-Tech

Price: £10,499

Mechanical:105bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:108mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 51.5

Insurance Group: 4

C02 emissions: 124g/km

Bik rating:19%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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