MG MG3 Review & Prices

The MG3 offers more power and performance than its hybrid alternatives for less money, but it feels its price in places

Buy or lease the MG MG3 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £18,495 - £20,495 Avg. Carwow saving £1,400 off RRP
Carwow price from
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers
Reviewed by Tom Wiltshire after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Low price
  • Packed with equipment
  • Quick and fun to drive

What's not so good

  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Safety bongs are annoying
  • Not as efficient as some alternatives
At a glance
Body type
Available fuel types
Acceleration (0-60 mph)
8.0 s
Number of seats
Boot, seats up
241 litres - 3 Suitcases
Exterior dimensions (L x W x H)
4,113mm x 1,781mm x 1,502mm
CO₂ emissions
This refers to how much carbon dioxide a vehicle emits per kilometre – the lower the number, the less polluting the car.
100 g/km
Fuel economy
This measures how much fuel a car uses, according to official tests. It's measured in miles per gallon (MPG) and a higher number means the car is more fuel efficient.
64.2 mpg
Insurance group
A car's insurance group indicates how cheap or expensive it will be to insure – higher numbers will mean more expensive insurance.
23A, 24A
go compare logo

Find out more about the MG MG3

Is the MG3 a good car?

The MG3 used to be a bit of a joke - the old one was the lowest-ranked car on Carwow - but the new model aims to change all that. Now, instead of being antiquated, it’s right up there with the best small cars for performance, efficiency and equipment.

Like an air fryer from the middle of Lidl, the MG3’s feature set is as good as any of its alternatives and it’s not immediately clear where the money’s been saved to bring it in at such a low price.

Now that it’s a full self-charging hybrid car, the MG3 no longer targets the very cheapest on the market like the Dacia Sandero or Citroen C3 Origin. Instead, it’s more like a cut-price alternative to the Renault Clio E-Tech or Toyota Yaris - a halfway house for people who want the most efficient small car possible, but either don’t want or can’t have a fully electric model.

The MG3 won’t win awards for its practicality - it’s not cramped, but it’s no better than average in this regard with a boot that’s about halfway between the Yaris and the Clio in capacity. Rear seat space is moderate, too, though annoyingly the rear seats don’t split when they fold which does limit overall versatility.

The front of the cabin looks great, and very modern - in stark contrast to the car it replaces. Poke around and you can find a few places where MG’s saved money - there’s a sliding cover for one of the storage compartments that feels comically flimsy, and the top of the dash and the door cards are made of hard plastic - but the Clio and the Yaris have areas that feel equally cheap.

The new MG3 is a transformation from the old model, and instantly becomes one of the best small cars you can buy

More importantly, MG’s given the 3 its best touchscreen infotainment system yet, and it’s loaded with equipment - climate control, a digital dashboard, sat-nav and a full suite of assisted driving features are standard on every model.

The MG’s hybrid system is brand-new, and puts out an impressive 191hp - versus 140hp for the Clio and up to 130hp for the Yaris. That means it’s easily got any of them beat in a drag race, and makes mincemeat of overtakes or motorway sliproads.

It’s not quite as efficient as the alternatives, but you might decide that the additional performance makes the small drop in mpg worthwhile.

The real surprise is what happens when you reach a twisty road. The old MG3 was always shockingly good fun in the corners, but unexpectedly MG has managed to repeat the trick. The new MG3 handles brilliantly for a small car, and that makes it one of the most enjoyable small cars to drive.

Sound interesting? Check here for our best MG3 deals, or look for a used MG3 on Carwow here. You could also check out other used MGs here, and remember that Carwow can even help you sell your car online too.

How much is the MG3?

The MG MG3 has a RRP range of £18,495 to £20,495. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,400. Prices start at £17,095 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £231.

Our most popular versions of the MG MG3 are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5 Hybrid SE 5dr Auto £17,095 Compare offers

The MG3 starts at less than £18,500, which is slightly more than a basic petrol Renault Clio - but undercuts the comparable Clio hybrid by several thousand pounds, and the Toyota Yaris hybrid by even more. Even the top-spec Trophy trim level, a £2,000 uplift over the basic SE, costs less than either of those two cars.

Opting for Trophy doesn’t just get you a shinier badge, as it comes with some really tasty equipment upgrades. A full 360-degree camera system is perhaps overkill for a car this small, but LED headlights, keyless entry and heated seats are all worthy additions.

Performance and drive comfort

Hybrid system can be a little clunky, but it’s powerful and reasonably efficient

In town

The MG3’s hybrid system is more electric than most - by that we mean it uses a comparatively powerful electric motor, and relies on that rather than the petrol engine most of the time. In fact, the MG’s electric motor on its own is more powerful than the Toyota Yaris’ entire hybrid system, and that means that most of the time its engine acts more like a generator, just keeping the battery topped up.

Thanks to this, driving round town is extremely smooth because for the most part, it’s done on electric power alone. That doesn’t mean it’s silent like an electric car, though, because the engine needs to be on to keep the battery charged - and it often revs higher than you’d expect with quite a coarse sound. It’s not unbearable, but it is noticeable.

The MG3 has quite firm suspension but it’s not uncomfortable round town. It deals well with lumps and bumps, and the steering is light enough although it does feel a little remote.

It also has significantly more regen braking than any other hybrid car. On its highest setting it’s almost a one-pedal driving mode, though the on-again, off-again nature can make low-speed manoeuvres a little jerky. 

On the motorway

The extra power you get over a Clio or a Yaris here is a boon when it comes to joining the motorway - where those cars would need quite a lot of throttle to get up to speed on a slip road, leaving their engines at high revs and making a racket, the MG can do it in a relatively relaxed fashion. 

If you do put your foot down, you can feel where the hybrid system starts to get clunky. With just a three-speed gearbox on the engine, gear changes feel like they take an age, so the power delivery has pronounced dips as the electric motor tries to fill the gap. During normal driving though, you won’t notice it.

It feels stable and comfortable, and the engine settles down unless you’re really going for it. All MG3s include adaptive cruise control and a suite of safety equipment to make motorway driving more relaxing. The adaptive cruise works okay, but it’s a bit hyperactive, slowing you down miles before you get close to another car. The lane-keeping aids can be rather eager, too. And a word to the warning that you’ll want to turn off the average speed camera alerts in the sat-nav menu - they’re ear-splittingly loud.

On a twisty road

The old MG3 handled corners absolutely brilliantly - and despite its bigger frame and additional complexity, the new car does so too. It has oodles of grip when cornering hard, so you really feel confident to fling it into bends with gay abandon, and have a lot of fun while doing so.

You can flip the car into Sport mode, which makes the powertrain feel even more eager but does add some unnatural-feeling weight to the steering.

Even when you’re giving it some beans, the MG3 tackles bumps pretty well, and it’s more likely to put a smile on your face than either the Renault Clio or the Toyota Yaris.

Space and practicality

Comfortably average in the space department but with a few practicality niggles

Front seat occupants have a pretty good time in the MG3 with fairly comfortable and supportive seats. There’s not much adjustment for the driver, though - while the seat does have height adjustment, there’s no variable lumbar support and nor is there reach adjustment for the steering wheel, which is particularly disappointing.

Storage is good, though - there’s a big glovebox, a tray in front of the gear selector plus two large cupholders. Under the arm rest there’s a big storage compartment too, though the cover for this is extremely flimsy.

Space in the back seats

Two adults can just about get comfy in the back of the MG3, though like all of its alternatives there really isn’t space for three except for very short journeys. There’s more legroom and headroom than in a Toyota Yaris, and it’s about on par with the Renault Clio - but a Honda Jazz is the king for back seat space.

Rear passengers get a pair of air vents and small door bins, but they have to share one charging port and there's no fold-down armrest for a bit of extra comfort. The rear windows are nice and big, though, so there’s a good view out. ISOFIX points are present in both outer rear seats 

Boot space

With 293 litres of boot space, the MG3 is on the lower end of average here. It has more room than the Toyota Yaris with its 286-litre boot, and just a snip less than the 300 litres of the Renault Clio hybrid. If you want a bigger boot, look to non-hybrid Clios which have 391 litres.

What’s more disappointing is that the MG’s seatbacks don’t split-fold - it just flops down as one unit. That means if you want to extend the boot to carry larger items, you can’t have any rear occupants at all. Even the Dacia Sandero has split-folding rear seats, so this is pretty poor from MG and limits the car’s versatility. When the seats are folded, you do have a reasonable space, though there is a big load lip and the floor isn’t left totally flat.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

A huge upgrade over the last MG3, but does feel cheap in places

The new MG3’s interior is similar to the MG4 EV’s, which means it’s pretty minimalist and feels quite well-built. It’s much more stylish than the last MG3 - you get some nice touches like a cute tartan-patterned plastic section as well as some fake leather padding. 

It’s much more high-tech too, with almost everything controlled by the 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the centre. This is similar to the one on the MG4, but feels a little easier to use in places. However, it’s still dominated by menus with tiny, difficult-to-press buttons which makes life annoying if you’re trying to alter functions on the move.

It’s best, then, to ensure you’ve made most of your corrections before you set off. In particular, you’ll probably want to adjust the safety and assisted driving functions - they’re pretty irritating.

There are some hotkeys below the screen, including one to get you directly to the climate control menu - though annoyingly this doesn’t work if you’re using the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Both of those work well, incidentally, though it’s a shame they don’t connect wirelessly.

The driver display is big and clear, but a little busy. Some functions like the cruise control info are constantly visible, even when you’re not using them, whereas for everything else you need to cycle through a small menu on the right side. You don’t get a rev counter unless you’re on the power display screen - not that you need one in an automatic, but some people do like to have one.

Material quality is a mixed bag. We would have liked some more soft-touch plastics on the door cards in particular, as this is where your arm naturally rests, but you can definitely forgive a few cheap-feeling areas - this is a very inexpensive car compared to the alternatives and it doesn’t feel much more downmarket inside than a Toyota Yaris.

MPG, emissions and tax

During a week of mixed motoring with the MG3 we averaged just over 50mpg. That number tends to go up to around 55mpg in town driving and around 48mpg on a long motorway trip.

This isn’t bad, but compared to the Renault Clio Hybrid or Toyota Yaris it’s a bit disappointing - both of those cars will average much closer to 60mpg. The MG’s additional power and performance does go some way to justifying the decrease, though - but if you’re buying one to lower your running costs, it’s possible to get better economy out of an even cheaper pure-petrol hatchback like a Dacia Sandero.

CO2 emissions are good, though, at just 100g/km - only a few g/km more than a Clio or a Yaris. That puts it just one bracket above them in terms of company car tax, and the same band for first-year road tax.

Safety and security

The MG3 hasn’t yet been tested by Euro NCAP. The old model scored just three stars when it was tested way back in 2014, but the new car has almost no relationship to it and therefore shouldn’t be compared.

Instead, it’d make more sense to compare the 3 to MG’s more recent models - the MG4, MG HS and MG ZS EV all scored the full five-stars, admittedly quite a few years ago for the latter two. 

Safety equipment includes the usual - autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and various speed limit aids. You can turn most of these off easily enough, but if you forget you’ll soon be reminded by a set of intensely irritating bongs - some of the worst we’ve heard. We also found the lane-keeping to be a bit hyperactive, alerting us when we were nowhere near the white lines. The adaptive cruise control and assisted driving functions work well, though.

Reliabilty and problems

It’s far too early to tell if the MG3 will be a reliable choice or not. MG typically returns a mid-table ranking in reliability surveys, though the cars themselves don’t usually suffer much with mechanical maladies. 

MG’s seven-year, 80,000-mile warranty should give peace of mind here - it’s better than the three years of coverage you get on a Renault Clio, though the Toyota ‘Relax’ warranty with up to ten years of coverage makes the Yaris an even more compelling proposition.

MG is owned by SAIC Motor, a state-owned Chinese car manufacturer that’s one of the biggest in the country. It bought MG in 2007, and has been selling MG-badged cars in the UK since 2011. MG in the UK is a particularly fast-growing manufacturer, and now sells more cars than Skoda or Citroen.

Compared to other small hybrid cars, the MG3’s fuel consumption is on the higher side - but with an average of more than 50mpg during our time with it it still puts on an admirable display.

With its small footprint and low starting price you might think the MG3 makes a good first car. But it’s also very powerful for its size, and that means it’s in a comparatively high insurance group - the Trophy model sits in group 24, while most good first cars are in groups 1-5.

Buy or lease the MG MG3 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £18,495 - £20,495 Avg. Carwow saving £1,400 off RRP
Carwow price from
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers
Configure your own MG3 on Carwow
Save on average £1,400 off RRP
  • Configure colour, engine, trim & much more
  • Receive offers from local and national dealers
  • Compare by price, location, buyer reviews and availability
  • Using Carwow is 100% free and confidential