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2014 MG3 1.5 VTi-TECH 3Form Sport £8999

Modern MGs occupy a funny corner of car-dom. Where the make (still) has an image that’s all about cloth-capped, fresh-air driving; the reality of the current line-up couldn’t be more different.

The MG3 you see here, offered by our friends and MG main dealers the Car Shop, isn’t in truth a sporty car. It’ll drive sharply enough, but its 105bhp, 1.5 petrol motor makes it at best a modest performer. Think of it more as a more stylish and individual alternative to budget offering such as the Dacia Sandero and you’re far closer to the mark. No doubt: this is a ‘budget’ car.

It may look OK. To our eyes, it resembles a Skoda Fabia closely enough to think they could perhaps be twins, parted at birth. The reality, however, is that there’s no link between the two. Those lines, though are handsome and contemporary, while also providing for an interior that’s bigger than those of most of the competition. For a small car it’s really quite big inside.

MG3MG3 cabinOnce you’re in there, though, the fit and finish is below that of just about any European brand that offers a small car – Ford, Skoda, Volkswagen, Peugeot – they all do heaps better.

Park the MG next to the afore-mentioned Sandero, though, and suddenly it seems at home. The deficiencies against the others show in a dozen details – the grain of a plastic here, the way a control knob is finished there. But at least it compensates in part by packing in lots of equipment at the price.

The car featured here is one from top in the four-model MG3 line-up and so offers climate controlled air conditioning, DAB radio, smartphone link-up, alloys and a body kit. This one also has the ‘Burnout’ graphics pack, which gives you the tyre-mark design on bonnet and roof – looking for all the world as if an impatient motorcyclist has chosen to go over rather than around you in traffic.

Though technically a used car – it has been registered for the road, so you’d be its second owner – this car is in every other respect as new, showing just 100 miles on its odometer and coming with the benefit of its MG warranty, which will keep it covered until 2017. A new one with the extras aboard this would cost around £10,000, so the asking figure here is keen.

We’d be seriously tempted.


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