By Patrick James on 2017-02-05 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
MG3 3Style VTi-Tech
THE name MG has a proud heritage as a maker of sporty and desirable vehicles.
The now Chinese owned firm produces value for money cars, which are practical and well equipped, but where it has retained much of the original heritage is in the looks.
The MG3 is a good case in point.
A small hatch which starts at £8,400, it is cheap to insure and while the 1.5-litre petrol engine can be a bit thirsty, emissions are decent and it offers reasonable performance.
A good looking car, with sharp styling and a snazzy interior, it is also hugely practical.
It seats four adults in real comfort in the spacious cabin offers excellent headroom, while legroom is reasonably good as well.
You will not find high quality soft touch finish, but the plastic finish will be hard wearing and easy to keep clean, particularly with young children in the car.
The boot is also spacious for the type of vehicle and like most hatchbacks, space can be increased by folding the rear seats.
Electric windows, remote locking, stability control and hill hold are standard even on the base model and there is an impressive range of safety kit.
One of the problems in this ultra-competitive part of the market is standing out of from the crowd and with its distinctive lines, large headlamps and air scoop and narrow grille dominated by the large MG badge th e MG3 is still something of a novelty on British roads.
The interior has been designed with a grey and red colour scheme, offset with some bright finish trim.
The seats are finished with red stitching and the red theme extends to the finish on the binnacle dials and trim around the air vents, as well as the display on the narrow display system.
There is a handy covered top box on the top of the dash where you can connect your phone/player and keep it concealed while there are also a couple of cup holders.
The narrow display on the dash which controls functions like connectivity and air con I did find very fiddly, particularly on the move, but otherwise the cabin is a comfortable, light and airy place to be. Some of the interior is cheap, but certainly not nasty.
If you want more bells and whistles, the Form Sport trim models add alloy wheels, powered door mirrors air con and Bluetooth and still has a price tag of just under £10,000, while the Style model driven here adds goodies like cruise control, parking sensors, auto lights and wipers and CD/DAB radio with MP3.
On the road, the 1.5-litre 106ps engine should in theory have plenty of urge.
The trouble is it takes a while to get there as it winds itself up and while the five-speed gearbox feels adequate, if not the slickest.
But the MG3 not a sports car and those characteristics probably wouldn't matter that much to the average driver.
The 0-60mph sprint takes just under 11 seconds and the Euro 6 compliant engine has a claimed economy of around 51mpg with emissions of 124g/km.
Although not sporty, the car handles well, feeling sharp on bends and corners and well planted but on poor surfaces it can feel unsettled.
MG3 3Style VTi-Tech
Mechanical: 106ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels 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: 21%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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