MG3 (automobile)

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MG3 Exclusive registered January 2019 1498cc (cropped).jpg
2019 MG 3 (United Kingdom)
ManufacturerMG Motor (Nanjing/SAIC)
Body and chassis
ClassSupermini (B)
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorMG ZR
Rover 200 / 25

The MG3 is a supermini car produced by the Chinese automotive company SAIC. The first generation, marketed as the MG3 SW, is based on the British made Rover Streetwise, which itself was based on the Rover 25, while the second generation, introduced in 2011 is marketed simply as the MG3. It is the most popular Chinese manufactured car currently on sale in the United Kingdom.

First generation (2008)[edit]

First generation
MG 3 China 2012-05-20.JPG
ManufacturerNanjing Automobile
AssemblyChina: Pukou, Nanjing (Nanjing Automobile)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
RelatedRover Streetwise
Wheelbase2,500 mm (98.4 in)
Length3,980 mm (156.7 in)
Width1,736 mm (68.3 in)
Height1,495 mm (58.9 in)


Rear view (China)

The first generation MG3 SW is essentially a rebadged version of the Rover Streetwise, which had ceased production in April 2005 after the bankruptcy of predecessor organisation MG Rover. It started production in 2008 at SAIC's Chinese factory in Pukou, Nanjing.[1][2] The MG3 SW is only on sale in China, and cannot be exported by SAIC.[3]


Petrol engines
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque Top Speed 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) CO2 emissions
1.4 N/K-Series I4 1,396 cc 76 kW (103 PS; 102 hp) at 6,000 rpm 123 N⋅m (91 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 115 mph (185 km/h) 9.7s ___ g/km

Second generation (2011)[edit]

Second generation
MG 3 VTi Comfort 2014 (15024946359) (cropped).jpg
ManufacturerSAIC Motor
AssemblyChina: Pukou, Nanjing (Nanjing Automobile)
United Kingdom: Longbridge, Birmingham (all parts, until 2016)
Thailand: Laem Chabang (SAIC-CP)
DesignerAnthony Williams-Kenny
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
  • 1.3 13S4C VTi Tech I4 (petrol)
  • 1.5 15S4C VTi Tech I4 petrol
  • 1.5 15S4C VTi Tech I4 FFV petrol (Thailand)
Transmission5-speed manual
5-speed MG AMT SeleMatic automated manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,520 mm (99.2 in)
Length4,018–4,079 mm (158.2–160.6 in)
Width1,728–1,739 mm (68.0–68.5 in)
Height1,507–1,528 mm (59.3–60.2 in)
Rear view (pre facelift, Chile)

The second-generation MG3 was shown at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, in the form of the MG Zero concept car. The new model uses an all new automotive platform with a wheelbase of 2.5 m, featuring MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle. The development work took place in the United Kingdom, with production initially in China.[4]

The car went on sale in China in the spring of 2011. Engine options at launch consist of a choice of 1.3 (1343 cc) and 1.5 litre (1498 cc), rated at 68 kW (91 bhp) and 80 kW (107 bhp) respectively, with either a five speed manual transmission, or an Italian AMT transmission called e-shift.[5]

MG 3 Xross[edit]

MG3 Xross (Chile)

The second generation MG3 is also available in a crossover style variant (similar to the Rover Streetwise and MG3 SW), known as the MG3 Xross.[6] The Xross is only available with the 80 kW (107 hp) 1.5 litre engine.

Facelift (2013)[edit]

MG3 (facelift, United Kingdom)

A restyled version of the MG3, with a revised front design, was announced in the spring of 2013, with sales in the United Kingdom beginning in September 2013, but only with the 1.5 litre 105 hp (78 kW) engine option.[7]

It was claimed that it would be built for Europe at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham alongside the larger MG6. The MG3 was assembled there from 2014 until 2016.[8][9]

For 2016, the MG3 received several alterations to improve it: the installation of an EU 6 derivative of the standard 1.5-litre engine, developed by SAIC Motor UK, a stop start was fitted, and two-tone colour schemes, primarily on the red and yellow MG3's which can have either a black or white roof, were offered as options.


The MG 3 is only available with a 1.5L Engine, which has received an EU 6 upgrade to reduce emissions, and also the addition of stop start.

Petrol engines
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque Top Speed 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) CO2 emissions
1.3 VTi Tech I4 1,343 cc 93 PS (68 kW; 92 hp) at 6,000 rpm 118 N⋅m (87 lb⋅ft) at 5,000 rpm 111 mph (179 km/h) __._s ___ g/km
1.5 VTi Tech I4 1,498 cc 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp) at 6,000 rpm 137 N⋅m (101 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 113 mph (182 km/h) 10.4s 136 g/km
1.5 VTi Tech EU 6 I4 1,498 cc 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp) at 6,000 rpm 137 N⋅m (101 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 113 mph (182 km/h) 10.4s 124 g/km

MG3 Trophy[edit]

MG3 Trophy

MG unveiled the MG3 Trophy Championship concept car at the MG90 event at Silverstone in June 2014.

The MG3 Trophy Championship concept, based on the MG3 production vehicle platform and created to highlight in-house engineering, design and calibration capabilities by SMTC UK at Longbridge, continues the MG tradition of club racing.

The racing concept was created solely by a team of engineers, managed by Vehicle Engineering Specialist Adrian Guyll, and based at SAIC Motor's European Design and Technical Centre (SMTC), located alongside MG Motor UK at the Longbridge site in Birmingham.


  • 204 BHP 152 KW (increased from 106PS)
  • Torque 250 Nm (increased from 136 NM)
  • Boost 1.0 Bar
  • 1.5 Vti Tech engine
  • Full body-lightening programme without compromising on stiffness
  • Limited slip differential
  • Fully adjustable Macpherson strut front set up
  • Bespoke anti-roll bar
  • Adjustable front splitter
  • Twin plane adjustable rear spoiler

Second facelift (2018)[edit]

Second facelift (United Kingdom)

The MG3 was revised in 2018 with a facelift to the exterior and a new interior.[10] The interior redesign now includes space for an eight-inch touchscreen unit, which is fitted as standard to some models. The 1.5-litre engine received minor modifications to bring it up to EU 6D standards, and now rated at 140g/km for CO2 emissions.


Chinese models are available with a slightly more powerful 1.5 litre engine option mated to a four speed automatic gearbox.[11] In Thailand, the MG3 was launched since the 21 June 2018. The models were only in 1.5L engine and four speed automatic. Transmission included 1.5 C, 1.5 D, 1.5 X Sunroof and 1.5 V Sunroof. In Brunei, the MG 3 was launched since the middle of 2019. The models were only in 1.5L engine and four speed automatic. Transmission included Core and Excite.

Petrol engines
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque Top Speed 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) CO2 emissions
1.5 VTi Tech EU 6D I4 1,498 cc 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp) at 6,000 rpm 137 N⋅m (101 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 113 mph (182 km/h) 10.4s 140 g/km
1.5 VTi Tech Auto (15S4C) I4 1,498 cc 111 PS (82 kW; 109 hp) at 6,000 rpm 150 N⋅m (111 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm


The MG3 was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2014, receiving a score of 3 out of 5 stars for safety, with a 69% score for adult protection (lower than the 90% result for the Mitsubishi Mirage),[12] which was valid in accordance with Euro NCAP's testing standards until June 2020. According to analysis of the results of multiple crash tests by Euro NCAP, a number of issues were found including the driver's head bottoming out on the steering wheel through the airbag; "The passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact. The airbags of both the driver and the passenger were not sufficiently inflated to prevent the head 'bottoming out', through the fabric of the airbag, against the steering wheel and dashboard, respectively. [...] However, structures in the dashboard were considered a risk to occupants of different sizes or to those sat in different positions and protection of the knee/femur/pelvis area was rated as marginal".[13] In a rear impact test, the crash test dummy measurements produced marginal results for front seat whiplash protection, and poor protection for rear seat occupants, the lowest score possible.

The facelifted MG3 did not involve a change to the basic architecture underpinning the vehicle, with the design carrying over the same overall shape, and thus the protection afforded by the chassis has not changed throughout the production of the second generation MG3. The rating of 3 out of 5 stars remained unchanged during Euro NCAP's annual review in July 2018, for the facelifted variant.[13]

The MG3 has not been crash tested, nor rated by ANCAP.[14][15] The facelifted variant lacks any active safety features such as autonomous emergency braking,[16] instead including basic safety provisions such as six airbags (two prior to the facelift), passenger airbag cut off switch, emergency braking assistance, electronic stability control, active cornering brake control system, hill hold control, ABS with electronic brakes, automatic door unlocking in case of accidents, front disk brakes, tyre pressure monitoring, speed sensitive door locking, ultra-high tensile steel body, seat belt warning alarm and vehicle immobilizer.[17]

An MG3 was tested by ASEAN NCAP in May 2018, producing a poor score of 2 stars out of a possible 5, with the car receiving a score of 0 in the frontal impact test due to poor protection of the driver's head, causing it to bottom out through the airbag as found in Euro NCAP's testing. Contrastingly, ASEAN NCAP found that the test vehicle protected the occupant's legs better, "The model was tested by Euro NCAP in 2014 however, the performance for both NCAPs are different. In ASEAN NCAP test, the MG3 performed better in the lower legs area. Nevertheless, the driver's head sustained serious injury compared to Euro NCAP's."[18]

ASEAN NCAP 2018 MG 3:[19]
Vehicle Category HATCHBACK
Number Of Airbag 2
Score Rating
Overall 48.80/100.00
Adult Occupant Protection 14.09/36.00
Frontal Impact 0
Side Impact 14.09/16.00
Head Protection Technology 0
Child Occupant Protection 31.43/49.00
Frontal Impact 9.74/16.00
Side Impact 8.00/8.00
Safety Assist 9.50/18.00
Effective Braking & Avoidance 8.00/8.00
Seatbelt Reminders 1.50/6.00
Blind Spot Technology -
Advanced SATs -


Calendar Year Thailand
2015 3,183[20]
2016 5,427[21]
2017 6,565[22]
2018 5,908
2020 4,856[23]


  1. ^ "China Motor Vehicle Documentation Centre – Now in Production". Chinese Cars. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  2. ^ "SAIC MG3 Review". Illustration of Chinese Car. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  3. ^ Ash (26 April 2007). "Are MG Streetwise?". China Car Times. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  4. ^ Ash (29 June 2011). "MG3 – in review". Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Specification". MG Motor. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  6. ^ "MG3 Xross Sighted Out Again". China Car Times. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  7. ^ White, Rory (27 September 2013). "2013 MG3 review". What Car?. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  8. ^ "MG's TF cabrio axed". Auto Express. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  9. ^ "MG will end UK production". 23 September 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  10. ^ "MG gives MG3 supermini extensive makeover with 2018 facelift". Auto Express. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Features & Specs". SAIC MG. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Official Mitsubishi Space Star / Mirage 2013 safety rating results". Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Official MG 3 2014 safety rating results". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  14. ^ "MG 3 (2018 – onwards) Crash Test Results | ANCAP". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  15. ^ DeGASPERI, GoAutoMedia-DANIEL. "MG to fix three-star NCAP MG3". GoAuto. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  16. ^ "2021 MG 3 price and specs". CarExpert. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  17. ^ "How safe is the 2021 MG MG3?". How Safe is Your Car. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  18. ^[bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ "MG 3". Aseancap. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Thailand cars sales report 2015". Thailand. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Thailand cars sales report 2016". Thailand. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Thailand cars sales report 2017". Thailand. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Sales Report ยอดขายรถยนต์ กลุ่มรถ SubCompact Hatchback (ECO / B-SEG) : เดือน มกราคม – ธันวาคม 2020". HeadLight Magazine (in Thai). 12 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2021.

External links[edit]