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MG’s new motoring mecca

04.09.2014

FOR classic car lovers, the MG brand has a strong 90-year heritage filled with racing awards and triumphs. But for the modern youth, the letters “MG” signal another car manufacturer in South Africa, unaware of what MG stands for.

Morris Garages - or MG as it’s affectionately known - re-launched in SA roughly four years after the British car maker was bought by the Chinese giant, SAIC Motor Corporation.

Now, if you’re like me, an MG fan, you’ve anxiously been waiting for the arrival of the all-new MG3. The brand has a lot riding on this good-looking hatch and rightfully so.

The package seems to be well-rounded as it combines stylish euro-centric looks with plenty of go and the features box is all ticked.

So let’s get into the design. This super-mini sports a strong persona as it looks like a combination of the Kia Picanto with its aggressive lines and elegant alloys, while at the rear it hints toward Ford Fiesta with its taillight design.

It’s certainly the kind of car that grabs your attention thanks to its inherently British flair. At the front, the MG3 boasts the modern MG signature front and rear styling, including LED daytime running lights as standard across the full range.

It’s short and stubby posture hints towards an athletic side. With one engine available, the 1.5-litre petrol, the MG3 does trot along rather nicely. Equipped with 78kW and a five-speed manual gearbox, urban cruising is a breeze, although it does feel slightly flat low-down and will do the 0-100km/h sprint in 10 seconds. Admittedly our launch car only had 300km on the clock and still felt very tight. The claimed fuel consumption is around 5.8 litres/100km and makes for a daily fun drive, but a sixth gear would be welcomed for the long hauls.

The cabin is impressive, thanks to its young-at-heart layout with good fit and finish. And as I stated earlier, it’s fully loaded. Available in three spec models, namely: The entry-level MG3, the Wired, and the range-topping, Style.

The entry-level car is filled with niceties, including the likes of aircon and USB connectivity, while the Style boasts cruise control, rain sensors, gear shift indicator and a host of other features.

Its spacious interior makes the cockpit a good place to be as even rear passengers have adequate legroom.

Ultimately it’s a car that drives a funky and young personality, whether it’s the car’s youthful design or charming interior, the MG3 does offer something.  However, on that note, it does compete in a fiercely tough segment but with strong pricing and value, coupled with good features and a known brand, MG should be on the up as it crawls its way back into motorists’ hearts.

All MG models, including the new MG3, have a three-year/100 000km warranty with a two-year/60 000km service plan.

Pricing:

MG3 Styled R179 900
MG3 Wired  R 165 000 (available from November)
MG 3 R145 000 (available from November)

 

Article written by Stuart Moir
04.09.2014
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