Already on sale in China, MG’s Sandero rival is due in Britain this March with an all-new dashboard

MG is upping its efforts in the fight against the Dacia Sandero by upgrading its 3 hatchback for 2018 - and our latest sighting shows the car wearing new, sporty bodywork.

Already on sale in China and now being tweaked for Europe, the budget five-door is due in UK showrooms later this year with an all-new interior and tweaked exterior design.

The MG 3 remains a left field choice in Britain, where it has taken four years for the model to surpass 10,000 sales, but MG is bidding to attract more buyers with the 2018 car’s significantly upgraded features list.

New for this year will be a dashboard with features borrowed from the ZS crossover, including a cleanly designed dashboard that features a centrally-mounted touchscreen. Outside, the car features new lights with more modern motifs.

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Autocar reader Liam Aldous spotted this development MG 3 on the motorway with what looks to be new sports bodywork and larger wheels. The finish should help to boost the 3's desirability, especially among younger buyers. Earlier sightings (below) have shown the car in a lower spec.

The facelifted car will also produce slightly more power from its naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine. The outgoing car sends 105bhp to its front wheels, but the 2018 model’s output will be boosted to 115bhp. Torque is also due to raise from 101lb ft to 111lb ft.

This will give the MG 3 more grunt than the most powerful Sandero, which has 89bhp and 103lb ft. The Dacia’s top turbocharged three-pot offers better economy, however, with 55.4mpg to the current MG 3’s 51.4mpg.

The main difference between the Chinese and European MG 3 will be in how it rides. European buyers typically prefer sharper handling cars, so the 3 will be given a slightly more agile setup that eliminates excessive body roll.

Pricing for the updated MG 3 isn’t expected to change drastically from the current car, which opens from £8695. Though that makes it £2700 pricier than the Sandero, which remains Britain’s cheapest new car, the updated MG’s more generous standard features list and sportier design may help to lure buyers in its direction.

MG, which is owned by Shanghai-based SAIC Motor, has grown its UK presence in recent months. But it still only represented 0.16% of the country’s new car market at the end of 2017. Contrastingly, in China, MG and sister brand Roewe, which was born from the ashes of Rover, upped sales by 78% last year to surpass half a million units.

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Comments
12

18 January 2018
Since when has the MG3 suffered from Body Roll? I thought it's handling was supposed to be one of it's strongest features

18 January 2018

I test drove an MG3 a couple of years ago and I was impressed by it's handling and performance,for me the main drawback was the interior with the fascia looking rather dated with unattractive plastics. However if MG/SAIC have attended to that and given it even more power then it could be quite an an attractive contender in the budget car market.   

4 April 2018

 Sen quite a few , a neat looking small Car, if it’s improved inside and out it will sell.

Peter Cavellini.

4 April 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Sen quite a few , a neat looking small Car, if it’s improved inside and out it will sell.

https://gaadiwaadi.com/india-bound-new-mg3-revealed-in-china-887346/

The new car probably has the best looking interior of its class. Quality on the other hand may not be as good

4 April 2018

I saw this update in the Chinese press around a year and half ago. Even the Dian market will be getting this model this year. 

https://gaadiwaadi.com/india-bound-new-mg3-revealed-in-china-887346/

much better looking then the original and Sandero, especially the interior. Would actually consider it if they put bigger wheels and more eco engine.

4 April 2018

The new interior and dashboard is a vast improvement on what has gone before the new nose is pretty effective as well. With 115BHP on tap not many basic superminis will keep up with that a lot of performance for that sort of money

4 April 2018
GODFATHER wrote:

I saw this update in the Chinese press around a year and half ago. Even the Dian market will be getting this model this year. 

https://gaadiwaadi.com/india-bound-new-mg3-revealed-in-china-887346/

much better looking then the original and Sandero, especially the interior. Would actually consider it if they put bigger wheels and more eco engine.

You're so... with it!

4 April 2018

"Due in Britain this March". We are the 4th of April.

4 April 2018

India Autos Blog and presumably Autocar India have photos.  The new grille is like the ZS and the instruments are more comprehensive, although the present car's simplicity was part of it's appeal if, like me, you yearn for a less complicated life.  I looked at an MG3 at a local dealer and felt it was well put together and a pre-registration car with no mileage at just over £7k looks an attractive prospect on Autotrader.

4 April 2018

They should also add the option of the 3 cylinder turbo from the new ZS, with a 5 or 6 speed manual gearbox, boost the engine to around 125BHP, should be a cracker.

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