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New MG3 revealed, likely $25K opener in Aus

Price hike for new MG3 light hatch to end most-affordable status – but it’s a hybrid

27 Feb 2024

GENERATION three of the popular five-door MG3 light hatch has surfaced at the Geneva Motor Show this week, revealing a larger vehicle styled in simpatico with the MG5 small sedan and a new hybrid drivetrain headlining its comprehensive tech upgrade.


The new MG3 is scheduled to arrive Down Under mid-year after an eight-year run of the current model, which is Australia’s most popular light car with 15,430 sold last year – or more than double the next best – owing to its status as the market’s most-affordable new car.


Pricing three or four months from launch has been all but confirmed with the new model tipped to start at $24,990 (possibly drive-away) whereas the current model can be had from just $19,990 drive-away.


It is likely to become Australia’s most-affordable new hybrid, undercutting Toyota’s petrol-electric Yaris that starts at $30,190 before on-road costs.


Other competitors include the likes of Mazda2 from $22,870 and Suzuki Swift from $22,490 (both excluding on-road costs).


“MG can confirm that, due to advancements in technology, safety and specification, the new MG3 revealed at the Geneva Motor Show will mean the popular model will no longer be a sub-$20,000 car when it launches in Australia this year,” said MG Australia and New Zealand spokesperson. 


“There will be a price increase of around $5000 associated with the new model, thanks to the introduction of new world-class technology, safety updates and all-new specification.”


Details of the UK-spec MG3 issued at the Geneva reveal include a punchy 143kW peak power output with WLTP fuel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100km. 


Power comes from a 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine good for 75kW/128Nm assisted by a 100kW electric motor fed through a small 1.83kWh battery that provides short bursts of electric-only range. For context a Yaris hybrid’s battery pack is just 0.76kWh.


Curiously, the front-wheel drive MG3 uses a three-speed automatic transmission although this appears not to hurt performance too much with a claimed 0-100km/h time of eight seconds (claimed) and a 170km/h top speed.


UK market information on the new generation MG3 reveals that the electric motor chimes in  for heavy use including acceleration and when carrying a full passenger load, with the petrol engine there for support and for high-speed cruising.


The new model is said to offer improved comfort and refinement but “remains a fun car to drive”. It’s claimed to be quieter thanks to more sound deadening material and revised engine mounts for a reduction in NVH.


On top of that, the stiffer chassis combines with light-weight suspension components for improved dynamics and overall ride control.


Features include a reversing camera, four USB ports, rear parking sensors and leather upholstery in the higher grades that also gain keyless entry, heated front seats and wheel and a round view camera. 


The new model should do better than the MG5’s zero-star ANCAP rating due to the inclusion of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist. 


In terms of size, the new MG3 is 4113mm long (+58mm), 1797mm long (+68mm, 1502mm high (-7mm) and rides on a 2570mm wheelbase helping to yield a decent 293 litres of boot space.


Colours available on the Euro-spec MG3 are York White, St Moritz Blue, Flaming Red, Morning Yellow, Pearl Black, Blade Silver and Hampstead Grey potentially carried over to the Aussie spec’ model.

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