Will MG's New MG3 Supermini Recapture The Magic... And The Sales?

The car you're looking at - the new MG3 supermini - has a big, big job to do.

Back in 2001, struggling MG Rover launched a new range of MG vehicles in an attempt to build the brand back into the famous sporting marque it once was.

Some might have said that rebadging ageing models like the 25 and 45, turning the Rover 75 - comfortable, but the least sporting car in the world - into a sports saloon and giving the MGF a new nose job wasn't the perfect recipe for success.

But while they didn't save the company, the new MG range enjoyed strong sales, and played the clever trick of attracting old MG fans back to the marque while gaining a whole legion of younger fans who loved the no-nonsense ZR and ZS models.

Today, the situation is completely different.

MG Rover's demise is still fresh in the public's memory but the latest MG vehicles are anything but, and sales have been virtually non-existent.

To some extent that doesn't matter - the might of Chinese firm SAIC now sits behind MG. But for every fan of the marque, the total lack of promotion and cynicism over re-engineered Chinese vehicles puts MG at its lowest ebb yet.

Will the MG3 change that?

MG3 dark alley

It could do. With a starting price touted as being "under 10,000 and a range of customisation options to rival MINI, there's a whole lot more confidence about the brand than there was at the launch of the MG6.

The MG3 looks better than the MG6, too. Shape-wise there's plenty of Skoda Fabia to it, with details reminding us of Kias, Renaults and more. It's distinctive, which is most important - the supermini class is awash with great cars and the MG3 shouldn't fade into the background.

It might not offer everything buyers want in the engine room, though. At launch, the sole engine option will be a 104 bhp, 1.5-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual gearbox.

At that capacity and with that power it's not setting any records, and we'd be surprised if it matched the economy of similarly-equipped rivals.

There are higher hopes for the way it drives though - the otherwise resolutely average MG6 is at least talented in the turns, and there's no reason to suspect the MG3, honed on UK roads, will be any different.

Throw in neat details and personalisation options including roof, side and bonnet graphics, interior trims and several body colours should all make for an appealing car.

But will it sell?...

Priced from: Under 10,000
Available from: Later this year

MG3 front angle

Conclusion

MG will release more details on the MG3 closer to the car's launch later this year - including its starting price. Hopefully, the company's under ten grand starting price will be significantly so, for the car to have any hope of gaining a foot-hold in the market.

Not only that, but MG really, really needs to market the car to a suitable degree. A stint in the BTCC with touring car ace Jason Plato at the wheel can only do so much, particularly when many of the series' fans will be turning up as fans of other drivers in other cars.

Find some money in that Chinese budget for advertising, MG. Build a buzz as big as the one you built around a set of bespoilered Rovers a decade ago...

Check out our full buying guide to the MG6 with reviews, user reviews, photos, videos and stats.

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