MG3 3Form Sport

VTi-Tech

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

MG might have ceased vehicle assembly at its Birmingham base a while back but its Longbridge HQ - the spiritual home of a whole host of famous motoring marques - continues to be the very epicentre of the car maker's design and engineering operations.

The MG3 was born there and it has proved to be the vital shot in the arm for this most British of brands.

While the rebirth of MG might not have been the kind of exciting rollercoaster ride many might have wished for - no two-seater or modern classic in the making as yet - it is the MG3 that is really helping it to get back on track.

To be fair MG under its Chinese owners SAIC has only been back in the saddle since 2011 though there's no doubting it got off to something of a stuttering start with the MG6.

While the larger saloon/hatchback has matured with age and isn't a bad driver's car it's the small MG3 supermini that has done more to set pulses racing.

It's a tidy looking supermini with a sporty flavour, that lends itself well to personalisation and offers excellent value for money. In short four key strengths that have sent MG sales soaring.

Personalisation has revolutionised the small car market in recent years and MG say there are more than a million combinations available with the 3.

Around since 2013 the MG3 has already had a modest makeover, the biggest change being the introduction of a stop-start system which boosted economy and reduced emissions.

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

Despite those many personalisation options there is only one engine available a 1.5-litre petrol unit, with five trim levels to choose from. This 3Form Sport model sits in the middle of the range.

Given the trend for downsizing in engine capacity a 1.5-litre petrol unit seems positively large these days, particularly in a small car.

However, with a combined economy figure of more than 50mpg it's relatively frugal and its emissions levels are reasonably low too.

With a 0-62mph sprint time of 10.9 seconds it's no hot hatch but to be fair it feels sprightly enough given the kind of car it is and the engine is a smooth and refined performer too.

The interior of the 3 is pleasant enough, though it is somewhat plain compared to some of the more sought-after small cars out there at the moment.

The cabin is a decent size though and capable of transporting four, or even five, in relative comfort.

Any shortcomings in terms of interior refinement are easy to live with and perhaps the key strength of the MG3 is its keen pricing.

The range starts at £8,399 and goes up to £10,999. At those sort of prices the 3 really is great value for money.

The traditional raison d'etre of MG was making small cars that were fun, affordable and sporty and the MG3 manages to tick those boxes.

Okay sporty might be stretching it a bit but there are plenty of personalisation options which enhance its sporty character, visually if not mechanically.

FAST FACTS

MG3 3Form Sport VTi-Tech

Price: £9,899

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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