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A Budget Car Surprise

MG1It’s a fact that nobody really makes bad cars anymore. Certainly there are quite a few so-so ones but, by and large, we motorist have never had it so good. Our motoring history is of course littered with great cars but were they really that reliable or that good? Nevertheless there’s just a hint of pleasant nostalgia when a old name makes a comeback and in this case it is MG.

Recent history has proved it is possible to produce a reasonable car cheaply without it being an offence to the eyes or the wallet. The MG3 shown in the photo is a top of the range version that comes in at just under £10,000, although it has to be pointed out that this particular car is loaded with options listed as ‘Cherry Bomb’ paint with white graphic, Piano Black interior with part leather and white caps on the wing mirrors.

This bumps the asking price up to just over a still not unreasonable £11k. If your budget only extends to the magic £10k figure then you will have to do without these options but in any event it makes only a cosmetic difference to the car and there are other personalising options.

It’s good value. The car comes with Bluetooth, USB, DAB and basic air-con as well as the usual collection of those safety features known only by their initials: ABS, SCS, EBD and WBA. There‘s even hill-hold control. More good news comes with the knowledge that this car is new from the ground up so any connection with the unpleasant memory that is the 1970’s British Leyland (or similar titles) can be expunged from the mind.

The important thing to bear in mind at all times is the price -because buyers on a budget who yearn for, say, a new Citroen DS3 will have to be finding almost three thousand pounds more for a basic model. For this money what you get is a roomy, five door hatchback with an attractively styled body. Sure, the plastics inside are hard and, compared to many cars, the interior looks a bit Spartan but it seems unlikely that this will come as news to potential buyers; especially when they know that the MG3 scores a money-saving insurance group of 4E despite having more power than many rival offerings.

You will be pleased to know that this motor is well screwed together. The 1.5 litre engine performs well but is patently not cutting edge engineering which means emissions of 136g/km, put this car squarely into VED Band E. Acceleration is brisk and whisks the car to 62mph in a passable 10.4 seconds. Out on the road though, progress seems quicker especially if the driver keeps the revs wound up. MG say that 47mpg is possible but, given that many drivers will want to exploit the sporting nature of this model, is probably not achievable.

The MG3 drives very well. The designers have certainly made it steer and handle in a proper fashion. On faster A-roads, the steering has plenty of feel and is responsive and quick. The ride is quite firm but not as bad as some. There’s tons of legroom and headroom in the back, better than many in this segment.MG2

It’s possible that the buying public remain a little suspicious as we’re not seeing many about just now.  The dealer network is small and the promotion of the car has been low-key to say the least. It’s early days yet and the used car market will want to see how it fares on residual values, servicing costs and reliability before an absolutely final opinion can be heard at the dealer‘s tills.
As standard there is no reason why this car should not be popular across the board. In sporting guise it should appeal to young drivers, especially with the low insurance valuation. Worthy of consideration.

About Geoff

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