From £8,6957
Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

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 MG's steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake

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.

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There are four trims to choose from - 3Time, 3Form, 3Form Sport and 3Style. The entry-level trim includes LED day-running-lights, electric windows, USB connectivity, hill hold assist, cupholders and sports seats as standard, while upgrading to 3Form adds a rear spoiler, a chrome square exhaust, DAB radio, smartphone integration, Bluetooth, air conditioning, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, and remote central locking.

The mid-range 3Form Sport models gain a sporty bodykit, and the range-topping 3Style trim adorns the MG with automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and rear parking sensors. 

No fitted navigation system is offered, but if you have your own TomTom or Garmin, MG will sell you a mounting kit for the roller-covered connectivity cubby for £15. Likewise, MG will do you one for an iPhone or offer you a universal smartphone mount.

The same cubby is also where the USB and aux-in jacks are, potentially providing power for your phone while it’s navigating. The 3Time model gets a simple four-speaker audio system with an AM/FM CD tuner and USB and 3.5mm inputs.

The six-speaker set-up on the other models gains extra tweeters, DAB, Bluetooth audio streaming and steering wheel-mounted controls. Which seems a lot for under £10k. The audio quality is more than passable, too.