Familiarity with the MG 6 gave us low expectations of the 3’s interior, but the smaller car exceeds the standards of its bigger sibling by a distance. Between material quality, space, equipment and even a peppy sort of style, there is very little to find serious fault with here and quite a lot to like.
With its black and grey seats, red stitching and matching red fascia highlights, our test car did a lot to conjure the memory of the MG ZR, and even the MG Metro and Maestro before it. Dubious reference points they may be, but they’re about all that Longbridge has got to refer back to.
The 3 is sufficiently stylish and well turned out to feel connected with those cars but, more important, also to look and feel like a typical modern European supermini.
The car’s driving position is sound, its seats providing good lateral support and long-distance comfort. There are no ergonomic howlers to report: plenty of adjustment on the steering wheel, well sited secondary controls and readable instruments.
The cupholders are a bit small, but if MG commits any more serious crime in here, it’s only in making an interior that looks slightly dated. It’s still quite racy and appealing in its own way. A few of the materials aren’t up to prevailing class standards, but only a few. There’s certainly no austerity feel.
It’s also a spacious cabin. The maximum headroom and legroom measurements that we took beat those of plenty of much more expensive superminis, and the boot is wider and taller than that of a Dacia Sandero, which – aside from being another budget supermini – is also one of the most accommodating small hatchbacks of its kind.