Monday, 23 October 2017

Super mini could use more horses

Super mini could use more horses

NOW is the time for the born-again carmaker MG to up its game in the super mini segment.

That is the main conclusion I have come to after spending some time with this week’s drive, the MG3 super mini.

Recently I drove the rather good MG GS — the Birmingham-based car company’s more recent foray into the SUV market.

That car is more on the money than the MG3 — as one might expect — because the design and production values of the MG GS show that MG is learning to progress as a new/old carmaker while keeping prices low. I last drove and reviewed the MG3 in 2014. It was launched the year before, when much was made in its sales pitch of it being “a super mini packed with more fun” and specification, claimed MG, than any of its rivals “at just a fraction of the cost”.

Well, the MG3 3Style I have been driving this week came in at £10,499 (option fitted, Lady Grey metallic paint, £395) and 16in Diamond alloy wheels as standard. Actually, there is nothing at all wrong with the look of this car. With those Diamond wheels and the smooth “Lady Grey look”, this MG3 looked very smart and appealing.

It is the drive and ride that needs to be sorted out. The 1.5-litre petrol engine needs more oomph because you really have to push it uncomfortably hard to find any kind of performance.

There are many super minis around today that have far more willing power units than the MG3.

I’m surprised that while hefting around a little body this VTi-Tech engine does not pull with more assurance.

The ride — that is, the seating — is hard and uncompromising and could become tiresome on a long drive. I know all this is to do with cost but comfort and cabin ergonomics should not be compromised this much.

It may well be that MG’s claim to provide a super mini with better attributes than rivals “at a fraction of the cost” stands up.

MG does bring this car in at an affordable price tag as far as new super mini prices go. But you might opt to pay a few grand more for a more accomplished car.

So, a bit of a disappointing return for me to the MG3. Which is a shame because I have a great affection for the marque.

MG3 3Style VTi-Tech five-door hatchback with Lady Grey metallic paint

l Price of test car: £10,499

l Range starts at £8,399

l Stop/start EU6 engine

l Low insurance group

l Flexible warranty and servicing packages available

l Official combined mpg: 51.5

Motoring

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