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MG Motor Australia has confirmed that supply of the popular MG 3 will remain strong in the foreseeable future, as the supermini cements its place as the strongest-selling car in its class.
According to MG Motor Australia PR and communications manager Tim Robson, the factory is committed to meeting demand as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"We have a good supply chain," he explained. "(MG Motor owner) SAIC builds some seven million cars a year, and we have more than 10,000 cars coming in this month and next month, so we’re thankful we have stock in these times."
While that recent rise meant that the MG lost Australia’s cheapest new car title to the Mitsubishi Mirage ES manual from $17,490-driveaway, the auto adds $1500, meaning like-for-like, the latter at $18,990-driveaway is $1000 more expensive than the Chinese five-door hatchback.
Additionally, specifying the Core auto with Satellite Navigation (known as ‘Core with Nav’) only ups the ask by $500, meaning it still costs less than any new Mirage ES auto or Picanto S auto, both without GPS.
Plus, the Mirage will be discontinued at the end of this year, meaning the MG 3 will most likely co-share the cheapest-car crown in Australia with the Picanto manual.
Finally, the top-spec MG 3 Excite with Nav jumps by only $500, to $19,490-driveaway, meaning that the whole range remains a sub-$20,000 proposition in Australia.
The reason for the price rises is thought to be down to increased costs across the chain of manufacturing.
So, what does $18k driveaway buy you in the entry-level Core?
How about an 8.0-inch touchscreen, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay connectivity (but no Android Auto), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, cloth seats (finished in fetching tartan trim), auto on/off headlights, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, a leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons, and 15-inch alloy wheels. No digital radio or CD player, though.
Six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain), stability and traction controls and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, Emergency Brake and Active Cornering Brake Control are also included.
However, the MG’s safety specification betrays its decade-old engineering, with no driver-assist safety technology like auto emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping, blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert, even as options.
Note that in 2014, the pre-facelift MG 3 only managed a three-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
Moving up to the Core with Nav (from $18,490 driveaway) brings imbedded sat-nav, while the Excite (from $19,490 driveaway) adds artificial leather seat facings, sun-visor mirrors, body-coloured door mirrors with turn signals, a rear spoiler, an upgrade from a four-speaker to six-speaker audio system, two-tone alloy wheels, side-sill extensions and a rear spoiler.
Finally, both grades include a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, with a seven-year service cover plan, with scheduled maintenance due every 12 months/10,000km at an average cost of $277.71 per visit over 84 months.
Just the same as before.
There are no changes under the bonnet either, which means the same 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with 82kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 150Nm of torque (at 4500rpm). That standard automatic transmission is a four-speed torque-converter variety, driving the front wheels. Fuel use is claimed at 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, equating to a 159 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions.
MG launched the original 3 in 2011 as the long overdue replacement for the Honda Civic-based Rover R3-series 200/25 hatch that dated all the way back to 1995. It was the first to be fully developed under SAIC Motor ownership, though engineering work was carried out in the UK.
Launched in Australia in 2016, the MG 3 took a while to gain traction in Australia, but has benefited greatly from rivals like the Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia having burst through the $20,000 price barrier – and in some cases, by quite a margin.
More popular than ever before, the MG 3 accounts for nearly one-third of all sub-$25k new-car sales in Australia, with its 10,276 registrations year-to-date to the end of September more than doubling that of the second-placed Picanto. It also represents a 108 per cent leap over last year’s corresponding total.
MG 3 2022 driveaway pricing
|MG 3 Core Automatic||$17,990 (+$1000)|
|MG 3 Core w/sat nav Automatic||$18,490 (+$1000)|
|MG 3 Excite Automatic||$19,490 (+$500)|