What is it?
Examine the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' sales figures for July compared with last year and you’ll discover MG’s rate of growth has been spectacular.
No less than 167%, in fact, at a time when most marques are experiencing a slight sales slump — not least value-proposition opposition Dacia.
MG, it seems, is flying, but that Bentley recorded 103% growth gives some indication of the underlying reasons for such a statistical surge. The truth is that it’s taken four long years for the Chinese-manufactured MG 3 to amass 10,000 sales in an out-and-out volume segment, and so the only way truly is up. Ford, for reference, sells the British public around 5000 examples of the Fiesta every month.
But if the 3 is some way off the pace in sales, the lightly revised version tested here also remains some way off the price. Even in top-spec Exclusive trim, it comes in at only £12,795; and if that’s not thrifty enough, consider that in entry-level Explore guise this car costs a mere £9495 — almost a match for the basic Volkswagen Up, which is a full segment below the 3.
You’ll need mid-ranking Excite trim if you’re to enjoy 16in diamond-cut alloy wheels instead of 14in steelies, reverse parking sensors and a sharp new 8.0in touchscreen (without navigation, but with Apple CarPlay and a DAB radio), and only Exclusive comes with part-leather sports seats.
The infotainment display is sleekly integrated into the dashboard (although it still sits awkwardly below your eye line) and, in fact, the entire interior is more credible than you might expect both in terms of materials and fit. Along with exterior design tweaks, chief among them the adoption of a larger, chromed-rimmed grille, the 3 cuts an attractive figure.