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OMG - things really looking up

 
Created on 16/08/2018 @ 11:56
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

When administrators sell a brand to China’s biggest car maker you get the feeling there might just be a bright future ahead.

And that’s just what happened to MG following the collapse of the Rover Group back in 2005 when NAC – China’s oldest car manufacturer – rescued the affordable sports car brand.

Two years later the company merged with SAIC to form the country’s largest motor manufacturing group, signalling an upturn in fortunes for an iconic brand which had once looked destined for the scrapheap.

It’s one of those marriages that you just know will work. Just like Fosun, China’s third biggest company, buying out the famous – but struggling – Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and promising to transform the Wolves to a major European force again.

Things have taken a serious upturn for MG since the arrival of the Chinese and this week’s unveiling of the new MG3 is the latest edition to the brand’s rapidly evolving product range.

MG sales in the UK doubled in the last 12 months to close on 9,000 units and the owners see those figures growing year on year as a new breed of MG lovers emerges. And many will be attracted to the MG3 which reappears with 1,000 new parts, big fascia changes, an improved engine and competitive B-Sector prices ranging from £9,495 to £12,795.

The first thing you notice is the eye-catching new grille which frames the brand’s famous logo and follows the new trend of “big and brash” alongside LED daylight running lights. MG badges to front and rear are bigger than ever and there’s a refreshed rear treatment with electronic tailgate.

There are three different versions; the entry grade ‘Explore’, mid grade ‘Excite’ and the forecasted top-seller ‘Exclusive’ all packed with a host of technology. All versions come with Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming and AUX/USB as standard, while ‘Excite’ and ‘Exclusive’ boast an 8” colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay™, DAB radio and steering wheel audio controls. The ‘Exclusive’ version adds a reversing.

And just to prove how confident MG Motor UK is in the quality and reliability of this upgraded arrival there’s a full seven year or 80,000 miles warranty across the range

Personalisation choices mean you can pick your own colour wing mirrors or add roof graphics and the sporty chassis and spacious cabin make the MG3 a competitive choice in the Supermini segment.

The MG3 was first seen in 2013 as a fun car and an updated version in 2015 added stop-start technology now a new management system means the car meets Euro 6D emissions regulations.

Recognising that the car would appeal to new drivers thanks to its low 7E/8E insurance group grading, MG’s designers have worked hard to ensure ample safety features were included. Each model in the line-up has twin front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, corner brake control, hill hold control and traction control as standard.

MacPherson struts remain at the front while torsion beams support the rear, aided by a spring which helps deliver high frequency dampening. All these features have been integrated with the hydraulic power assisted steering (HPAS) system, giving the car an agile ride quality.

The test car was powered by a DOHC VTI-TECH 4-cylinder normally-aspirated engine. Paired with a five-speed manual transmission, there was 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds, with a top speed of 108mph and 42mpg on the combined cycle.

The boot was just big enough to pass the golf clubs test and leg and shoulder room for four passengers was more than adequate. A third rear-seat passenger may find themselves a little restricted though.

If you are looking to make a statement, as many of today’s younger motorists are, the MG3 may just suit the style-conscious buyer. Priced competitively with the option of a five-year 0% finance package and no deposit it’s hard to ignore.

 

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