MG’s bouncy new baby arrives in town!

MG’s bouncy new baby arrives in town! 1 2

↑ Photo: Dianne Drew

The MG3 is a new entry on the small car market and for those who like charisma without too much cost, it’s got a lot to offer, reckons RICHARD GUNN

MG is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, but it’s a very different company to that founded back in 1924. The marque made its name with its sports cars, most noticeably the 1962 to 1980 MGB, now one of Britain’s most popular classic cars. But, after financial problems it was acquired by the Far East automaker Nanjing Automobile, in turn taken over by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

However, while MG is Chinese-owned, UK market cars get their final assembly at the historic Longbridge factory near Birmingham, where there’s also a major research and development facility. Thus, there’s a lot of British input into current MGs.

WH Brand at Whaplode Drove was only too happy to lend The Moment a top-of-the-range 3Style to play with…

The marque’s current range debuted in May 2011 with the MG6. However, it’s the new kid on the block currently attracting all the interest, in the compact but attractive shape of the MG3 – not least because of its low price and range of personalisation options. WH Brand at Whaplode Drove, near Spalding in Lincolnshire, has recently been appointed the MG dealer for this area, and was only too happy to lend The Moment a top-of-the-range 3Style to play with.

Finished in vibrant Hello Yellow – yes, that’s really what the shade is called – with optional black Trophy Stripes graphics, it was impossible to miss it in Brand’s parking lot, even amid some of its other flamboyantly-coloured and graphic-bedecked siblings. Fancy a Union Jack on your roof? The MG3 gives you that choice, along with a Mod octagon, emoticons, other stripe variations and even tyre prints down your roof and bonnet.

There’s a lot of nice kit for this size and cost

This individualisation brings to mind the MG3’s much-loved Longbridge predecessor, the original Mini, and the comparisons don’t end there. Like the Mini, the MG3 is aimed at the budget-conscious, with all cars having a basic price of under £10,000. The standard 3Style comes with cruise control, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, reverse parking sensors, LED running lights and a DAB radio/CD player with Bluetooth smartphone and iPod integration. That’s a lot of nice kit for this size and cost. It’s good-looking, too, with a purposeful front end and balanced stance, set off by quite sexy 16-inch ‘Diamond Cut’ alloy wheels.

Inside, the cabin is surprisingly spacious, although what’s given to passengers is taken away slightly with a small (albeit deep) hatchback load area. However, the split rear seats add more practicality and capacity. Up front, the dashboard is well laid-out, with natty red-and-white-on-black instruments under a stylish cowl. You definitely won’t forget what make of car… [cont]

MG’s bouncy new baby arrives in town! 1 2

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