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MG 3


Hyundai i20

Summary

MG 3

This story has been updated in February 2022 to reflect market changes and pricing adjustments for the MG3. It was originally published in the first half of 2020.

My time at CarsGuide started in October 2017, and since then I’ve booked literally thousands of cars across Australia. One car that has eluded me - and the CarsGuide team - over that period is the one you see here: the MG3. Or the MG MG3, or MG 3, if you wish.

Despite asking MG’s Australian arm countless times to loan an MG3 hatchback over that period, the company in charge of the brand’s PR in Australia refused to agree to loan us a vehicle to test. Now the company has an in-house PR team with a pretty decent fleet of press cars, yet still, no MG3.

Over the years, our desire to review the MG3 hatch - and to help you decide whether it's right for you or not - has only gotten stronger because sales have skyrocketed. Back in late 2017 the brand was averaging only a handful of cars per month - indeed, just 52 examples of the MG3 were sold in total in 2017.

Since then, the MG3 has skyrocketed, and it is the best-selling light car in Australia. In 2021, the brand moved more than 13,000 MG3s - meaning it is averaging 250 cars sold per week. Makes the paltry 2017 numbers look a bit meagre. In becoming the number-one seller in the segment, it has beaten big-name rivals including the Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and now defunct Honda Jazz, while also being well clear of the cheaper Kia Picanto, which is what many people will be shopping this car against if price is a key driver for their decision.

And that's the case in point, really - a lot of its success comes down to the price of the Chinese-built, British-badged city car. It’s cheap - but is it a cheerful experience? We got the chance to find out in 2020, thanks to a friendly MG dealership in NSW - and this review has been updated with the most current pricing, because nothing else has changed.

Safety rating
Engine Type1.5L
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.7L/100km
Seating5 seats

Hyundai i20

Start occupying the top step of the World Rally Championship podium and the brand benefits are huge. Just ask Audi, Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and the many others which have done exactly that to great effect over the years.

And Hyundai’s most recent foray into the WRC has focused on the compact i20, and here we have that rally weapon’s civilian offspring, the much-anticipated i20 N.

It’s a lightweight, high-tech, city-sized, hot hatch designed to steer you away from Ford’s Fiesta ST or VW’s Polo GTI, and add even more lustre to Hyundai’s N performance badge. 

Read more Hyundai reviews

Safety rating
Engine Type1.6L turbo
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.9L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

MG 37.1/10

Aside from its safety shortcomings and underwhelming powertrain, it’s easy to see why the MG3 has become a successful part of the brand’s line-up. If you’re driving around a rural centre like I was, it makes a lot of sense.

Whether you choose the Excite model, which has a bit more visual pizzazz, or the Core model, which is our pick of the range, the MG3 is well priced, has the media tech buyers are after, is a charming looking thing that comes in a range of great colours, and is smartly packaged, too. 

Thanks to the team at Orange MG for assisting us with this the loan vehicle for this review. Head to Orange MG for more information.


Hyundai i208.4/10

The i20 N hatch is so much fun, and not in a special occasion kind of way. It’s an affordable, compact performance car that’ll put a smile on your face no matter where or when you drive it. The Fiesta ST and Polo GTI have a worthy new playmate. I love it!

Design

MG 38/10

It’s a fresh looking thing, the MG3. 

From its attractive front-end with “London Eye” LED daytime running lights, its Euro-look angular front bumper and chrome-trimmed grille, and its angular window lines, it really does have a distinct personality.

It looks a lot more modern and enticing than the first version of the MG3 sold here, and I have no doubt that a lot of buyers of the MG3 have been attracted by its sharp styling first and foremost. MG has done a tremendous job of creating a family look - it just happens that the family looks like it has been taking good care of itself, keeping active and trim, too.

The rear end isn’t quite as attractive, with the vertical tail-lights making it seem taller than it is. It’s still a nicely sculpted back-end, though.

On the Core model you’ll get some lower blacked-out design trim bits, and the wheels fitted are 15-inch alloys. 

The Excite model seen here is a little more, dare we say it, exciting to look at. That’s down to its body kit, consisting of lower chrome elements on the front bumper, a set of black side skirts, and a hatch-mounted rear spoiler. You get 16-inch alloy wheels, too. 

In terms of dimensions, it’s closer in size to the Kia Rio than it is the Picanto. With a length of 4055mm (on a long-for-its-size 2520mm wheelbase), a width of 1729mm and height of 1504mm, it’s a pretty chunky little unit. 

It is rather conventional in the way its interior is designed, however - there’s no sliding second row (like the Suzuki Ignis) or flip-folding seats (a la the Honda Jazz). Check out the interior pictures below to see for yourself.


Hyundai i208/10

Hyundai’s current WRC challenger may be a coupe but this angry little five-door hatch absolutely looks the part.

We’re assured the N is the only current-generation i20 we’ll see in the Aussie market, and it runs with a relatively low (101mm) ground clearance, a grille pattern inspired by a chequered flag, black mirror shells, and menacing, angular LED headlights.

The ‘Satin Grey’ 18-inch alloys are unique to this car, as are the side skirts, raised rear spoiler, darkened LED tail-lights, a ‘sort-of’ diffuser under the rear bumper and a single fat exhaust exiting on the right-hand side.

There are three standard paint options - ‘Polar White’, ‘Sleek Silver’, and N’s signature shade of ‘Performance Blue’ (as per our test car) as well as two premium shades - ‘Dragon Red’, and ‘Phantom Black’ (+$495). A contrasting Phantom Black roof adds $1000.

Inside, the N-branded sports seats, trimmed in black cloth, featuring integrated headrests and blue contrast stitching, are unique to the i20 N. There’s a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, handbrake lever and gear knob, as well as metal finishers on the pedals.

The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and same-sized multimedia screen look slick, and ambient lighting heightens the hi-tech mood.

Practicality

MG 37/10

If you’ve owned the same old car for years and you’re setting foot in an MG3 for the first time, you’ll probably feel amazed that you can get an interior with interesting finishes, a high-tech screen and decent materials at this price point.

Earlier versions of the MG3 were nowhere near as good inside as the current model, which has been on sale since 2018. It’s not perfect, but there are plenty of things to like.

The seats offer plenty of adjustment, including a huge amount of height adjustment for shorter drivers. The seat is comfortable, though some drivers might find it hard to get the right position: there is no reach adjustment for the steering wheel (only rake adjust), and you can’t adjust the seatbelt height, either. 

I really like the seat trim which is a broad tartan design (with “synthetic leather” bolsters and contrast stitching in the top-spec Excite), mirrored by an etched tartan aluminium trim piece on the dashboard - it looks really smart, even if my OCD radar was set off by the fact the trim wasn’t aligned to match perfectly between the cushion sections. Take a look at the interior pictures to see what I mean.

There are some really nice elements to the cabin. Things like the 'lock' and 'unlock' button on the driver’s door, which looks like it has been stolen directly from Audi’s parts catalogue. The same can be said for the speedo instrument font. 

There’s no doubt that it’s built to a price, but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as cheap as you might expect. We’ve criticised Audi, VW and Skoda for cutting costs with hard plastic trims on doors and dashboards, and the MG has plenty of hard plastics, too - but it’s expected at this price, not double it.

There’s a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with AM/FM radio and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, plus USB connectivity and smartphone mirroring - meaning you get Apple CarPlay, essentially negating the need for sat nav if you use an iPhone. You can option a GPS navigation system on the Core model, but satellite navigation comes standard on the Excite. There's no Android Auto mirroring available at all, though.

In previous models from the SAIC stable - including the LDV T60, and MG ZS - I had troubles with the media screen, but the version in the MG3 Excite I drove was quick and problem free, even when disconnecting and reconnecting my phone multiple times. 

There are other little things that could be improved, like the fact the trip meter is difficult to navigate, and there’s no digital speedometer. Also, the digital climate control in the Excite model shows up on the media screen, though by way of a graphic rather than a temperature number. In the base model Core there’s a simpler manual a/c system. 

The steering wheel has a part leather trim with perforated edges which makes it look and feel a little bit sporty – and it has a flat bottom as well, which will appeal to the sporty-minded buyer. There are stereo and cruise control buttons on the wheel, but the stalks behind are “back to front”, with the left stalk for indicators and lights, and the right for wipers. 

As for storage, up front there is a single cup holder between the seats, a couple of small storage sections including a trench for a wallet, and another storage section in front of the gear selector - that’s where the MG3’s single USB port is, too.

The front door storage includes bottle holders, and there are soft padded elbow pads on the front doors - which is more than we can say for some of those aforementioned Euro brands.

With the driver’s seat set in my position (I’m 182cm tall), I had enough back seat space to be comfortable. There was enough knee room and toe room, and reasonable headroom if I sat perfectly still - although the slightest tilt of my head to the outer side of the car saw my noggin contact the headlining. Rear seat comfort is okay - the backrest is a firm, but there’s good visibility out the windows. There are dual ISOFIX child seat anchor points, and three top-tether points for baby seats. 

In the back the storage is minimal. There are two map pockets, but no door pockets, and there’s no flip-down centre armrest with cupholders. But there is one large pocket in front of the middle-seat rear passenger which would do for a bottle. The back seat also misses out on soft elbow pads on the doors. 

Boot space is good for a car in this size segment. You’ll only really do better if you buy a Honda Jazz or Suzuki Baleno, as the MG3 offers a deep and boxy cargo zone, with a cargo capacity of 307 litres to the cargo cover. 

Need more luggage capacity? The back seats fold down in a 60:40 split, alleviating 1081L of space - though the load-through is limited as the seats don’t fold completely flat. Or you could fit a roof rack. 


Hyundai i209/10

Although it’s just 4.1m long, the i20N is impressively space efficient with decent room up front and a surprising amount of head and legroom in the back.

Sitting behind the driver's seat, set for my 183cm position, I had plenty of head and legroom, although, understandably, three people across the back will need to be kids or understanding adults, on a short journey.

And there are plenty of storage and power options, including the wireless device charge pad in front of the gear lever, which doubles as an oddments tray when not in use, two cupholders in the front centre console, door bins with room for large bottles, a modest glove box and a lidded cubby/armrest between the front seats.

No armrest or air vents in the back, but there are map pockets on the front seat backs, and again, bins in the doors with room for bottles

There is a media USB-A socket and another for charging, as well as a 12V outlet in the front, and another USB-A power socket in the back. Hyundai suggests the latter could be handy for powering track day cameras. Great idea!

Boot space is impressive for such a compact hatch. With the rear seats upright there’s 310 litres (VDA) available. Fold the 60/40 split-folding rear backrest and no less than 1123 litres opens up.

A dual-height floor can be flat for long stuff, or deep for tall stuff, there are bag hooks provided, four tie down anchors, and a luggage net included. The spare is a space saver.

Price and features

MG 38/10

The success of the MG3 in Australia has been largely driven by its price. 

And no wonder - pricing for cars of this size has increased steadily, and plenty of brands have found their light cars in the "too hard" basket as a result.

But the MG3 is still relatively cheap. Prices have jumped over the time since we drove this particular car, but they're still sub-$20K for all models in the range.

For context, the 2020 model started at just $16,490 drive-away for the Core model and topped out at $18,490 drive-away for the top-spec Excite, and those prices were the RRPs listed on MG’s site at the time.

But now the MG3 has become a bit pricier - the current pricing for the range is up, with the base model Core now $18,490 drive-away, while the Core with Nav model costs $18,990 drive-away, and the top-spec Excite grade is a Macca's meal short of twenty grand at $19,990 drive-away.

Wondering what features you get when it comes to the models in the range? It's pretty simple, so let’s run through what each model gets.

The Core gets 15-inch alloy wheels, cloth tartan finish seat trim, auto on/off halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, manual air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, and a leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons. There’s a space-saver spare wheel, too.

The media system includes a 8.0-inch touchscreen with USB connectivity, Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and AM/FM radio. There’s no CD player, and the Core model gets four speakers. If you're keen on sat nav, you can step up to the Core Nav model, which adds $500 to the bill.
Stepping up to the Excite nets you a few extras like 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels and a body kit, body-coloured mirrors, vanity mirrors in the sun-visors, and synthetic leather trim on the seats with contrast stitching. 

The Excite also includes GPS sat nav as standard, and steps up the sound system to be a six-speaker unit with “Full Vehicle Yamaha 3D Sound Field”.

Interested in the safety spec inclusions? Read the safety section below for what’s included, and what’s missing.

Our friendly MG dealer let me know that he can’t get enough of the Tudor Yellow models, and that colour - as well as Dover White and Pebble Black - are no-cost optional hues. You should bare in mind that Regal Blue metallic, Scottish Silver metallic and Bristol Red metallic (as seen here) will set you back an additional $500. Looking for orange, green or gold paint? Sorry, no can do.

As for accessories, beyond floor mats there’s not a lot to speak of. Oh, and those wishing for a sunroof? No chance… unless you’re handy with a Sawzall. Note: do not cut a hole in the roof of your car. 

While the prices have gone up since we originally published this review, the MG3 still scores strongly for pricing and specs, because the market has moved up, too, and like-for-like it's still cheaper than almost all of its rivals - Picanto excluded.


Hyundai i208/10

At $32,490, before on-road costs, the i20 N is to all intents and purposes the same price as Ford’s Fiesta ST ($32,290), and the VW Polo GTI ($32,890).

It’s offered in one spec only, and aside from the standard safety and performance tech, this new hot Hunday boasts a solid standard features list, including: climate control, LED headlights, tail-lights, daytime running lights and fog lights, 18-inch alloys, Bose audio with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and digital radio, cruise control, nav (with live traffic updates), rear privacy glass, keyless entry and start (as well as remote start), sports front seats, the leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, handbrake lever and gear knob, alloy-faced pedals, auto rain-sensing wipers, power-folding exterior mirrors, plus 15W Qi wireless smartphone charging.

There’s more, like the 10.25-inch ‘N Supervision’ digital instrument cluster, plus a same-size multimedia touchscreen in the centre of the dash, a track maps feature (Sydney Motorsport Park is already in there), as well as an acceleration timer, g-force meter, plus power, engine temperature, turbo boost, brake pressure and throttle gauges. 

You get the idea, and it goes toe-to-toe with the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI.

Engine & trans

MG 36/10

Keen to know the engine specs for the MG3? Well, it’s pretty simple on the specifications front.

There’s just one motor available: a 1.5-litre four-cylinder non-turbo petrol engine, dubbed NSE Major by MG. 

It has class competitive outputs of 82kW (at 6000rpm) and 150Nm (at 4500rpm). It is only available with a four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. There’s no manual transmission available anymore - it was available in the earlier MG3s, but no more. 

While some competitors offer higher-powered flagship variants that act as the horsepower hero of the range, there’s no such variant in the MG3 range. Not yet, anyway. For now there’s just one engine size, no turbo, and no diesel or EV models to speak of either.

The tare mass/tare weight for the MG3 hatch is 1170kg, which is a bit heavier than a Mazda 2, but pretty much on par with a Kia Rio. 

Considering a caravan holiday with your new MG3? Maybe think twice - the maximum towing capacity is just 200kg. 

If you’re worried about engine problems, clutch problems, or have questions about the battery, gearbox, or the oil requirements, be sure to stay tuned to our MG problems page. And if you're curious about whether it has a timing chain or timing belt? It's a chain.


Hyundai i209/10

The i20 N is powered by a turbo intercooled 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and Torsen-type mechanical limited slip differential.

The all-alloy (G4FP) engine features high-pressure direct-injection and an overboost function, producing 150kW from 5500-6000rpm, and 275Nm from 1750-4500rpm (rising to 304Nm on overboost at max throttle from 2000-4000rpm).

And the engine’s mechanical ‘Continuously Variable Valve Duration’ set-up is something of a breakthrough. In fact, Hyundai claims it as a world’s first for a production engine.

Not timing, not lift, but variable duration of valve opening (managed independently of timing and lift), to strike the optimal balance between power and economy across the rev range.

Fuel consumption

MG 37/10

The combined cycle fuel consumption claim - which is what the brand claims the vehicle should use across a mix of driving situations - is the same across the MG3 line-up: 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

During my time with the car - which consisted of exactly 100km of mixed driving - I saw an at-the-pump fuel economy return of 7.7L/100km, which is decent.

The fuel tank capacity of the MG3 is 45 litres - meaning a theoretical mileage per tank of about 580km. It runs on regular unleaded (91RON), too.

Just be aware, the filler neck of the fuel tank is a little less angled than some other cars, so you might find it can splash back when it ‘clicks’ the first time.


Hyundai i208/10

Hyundai’s official fuel economy figure for the i20 N, on the ADR 81/02 - urban, extra-urban cycle, is 6.9L/100km, the 1.6-litre four emitting 157g/km of C02 in the process.

Stop/start is standard, and we saw a dash-indicated average of 7.1L/100km over several hundred km of city, B-road and freeway running on the occasionally ‘spirited’  launch drive.

You’ll need 40 litres of ‘standard’ 91 RON unleaded to brim the tank, which translates to a range of 580km using the official figure and 563 kays using our launch test drive number.

Driving

MG 37/10

You might think of MG as a sports car brand - that’s what they built back in history, after all, and those are the reminiscences the company is hoping you’ll have when you see the famed octagonal badge.

And of the current crop of models that MG sells in Australia, the MG3 is undoubtedly the sportiest. 

That comes down to its driving manners, steering and ride - but not the engine and transmission.

The powertrain feels to be lacking enough power and torque to make it feel light and zippy when accelerating. The automatic transmission doesn’t make the greatest use of the engine, and can be indecisive when climbing hills or when you ask more of the car. Oh, don’t even think about a 0-100 performance claim - no such number exists.

In urban driving at lower speeds it’s fine. Between traffic lights and encountering roundabouts, and there’s not much to complain about. It doesn’t have any lag or lurch from a standstill, and is smooth and quick enough to get away from rest, too.

It’s just once you start to ask more of the engine and transmission that you notice that things could be better. There is, at least, a manual shift mode for the transmission to allow you to take control of the shifts, and there’s a sport mode too, which will hang on to gears and quell the indecision of the transmission to a degree.

On the open road it gets along fine, sitting at the speed limit without much fuss - although once you encounter a hill, you will notice the speed drop off a little. And the cruise control seemingly has a bit of a mind of its own, with a set speed displayed at 100km/h, I noticed the speed varying between 90km/h and 110km/h, depending on the terrain.

It’s the road holding, grip, handling and steering that help it live up to the badge, with steering that has a nice hefty weight to it and good directness at pace or around town. It even offers a little bit of feel through the wheel, which is welcome. That grip was surprising given the tyres fitted to the Excite’s 16-inch alloy wheels (Giti GitiComfort 228 tyres in 195/55/16 size).

The ride is tuned with a firmer character to it than you might expect. It’s not to the point of discomfort, and nor is it fidgety or clumsy over potholes or sharp edges. And that tune for the Macpherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension means that it feels plenty grippy in corners. Over my drive loop - incorporating sweeping bends and tighter twists - the MG3 stuck itself to the road commendably, with no noticeable skittishness to speak of. 

Indeed, I kept thinking that the suspension tune reminded me of a VW, Skoda or Audi city car - assured, confident, and ultimately a bit of fun.

The braking performance was good, too - it pulled up true and straight under heavy braking, and offered decent response at city speeds, too.

One minor criticism was some noticeable wind noise from around the windscreen pillar / mirror area, which was evident at speeds from 70km/h up.


Hyundai i209/10

Unusually for a manual car, the i20 N features a launch control system (with an adjustable rpm setting), which we found fiddly to get working, but with or without it, Hyundai claims a snappy 0-100km/h time of 6.7sec.

And it’s such a pleasure to steer a car with a slick-shifting manual gearbox. The six-speed unit features a rev-matching function accessed via the press of a racy red button on the steering wheel. 

Buf for those who prefer an old-school, double-shuffle, heal-and-toe tap dance across the pedals, the relationship between the brake and accelerator is perfect. 

And if you’re keen on Walter Rohrl-style left-foot braking, to help steady the car or steer it in fast cornering, the ESC is switchable through to Sport mode or completely off, allowing fuss-free simultaneous brake and throttle application.

There’s even a shift-timing indicator near the top of the instrument cluster, with colour bars closing in on each other as the tacho needle pushes towards the rev limiter. Fun.

Engine and exhaust noise is a combination of a raspy induction note and adjustable crackle and pop out the back, courtesy of a mechanical flap in the exhaust system, adjustable through three settings in N mode.

Traditionalists may not be thrilled by the addition of in-cabin synthetic enhancement of all of the above, but the net effect is thoroughly enjoyable.

It’s worth remembering in this context N stands for Namyang, Hyundai’s sprawling proving ground south of Seoul where the car was developed, and the Nürburgring where this go-fast i20 was fine-tuned.

The body has been specifically reinforced at 12 key points, along with additional welds, and “bolt-in underbody structures” to make the i20 N stiffer and more responsive.

The strut front, coupled (dual) torsion beam rear suspension has also been set up with increased (neg) camber and a revised anti-roll bar at the front, as well as specific springs, shocks and bushings.

A compact, mechanical LSD is added to the mix, and grippy 215/40 x 18 Pirelli P-Zero rubber was produced specifically for the car and is stamped ‘HN’ for Hyundai N. Impressive.

The end result is outstanding. Low-speed ride is firm, with suburban bumps and lumps making their presence felt, but that’s what you’re signing on for in a hot hatch at this price point.

This car feels balanced and well buttoned down. Power delivery is agreeably linear and at a fraction over 1.2 tonnes the i20 N is light, responsive and nimble. Mid-range urge is strong.

Steering feel is good, with assistance from a column-mounted motor taking nothing away from an intimate connection with the front tyres.

The sports front seats proved grippy and comfortable over long stints behind the wheel, and playing with the multiple N drive modes tweaking the engine, ESC, exhaust, and steering just adds to the involvement. There are twin N switches on the wheel for quick access to custom set-ups.   

And that Torsen LSD is brilliant. I tried my best to provoke a spinning inside front wheel on the exit of tight corners, but the i20 N just puts its power down without so much as a chirp, as it rockets towards the next bend.

The brakes are 320mm vented at the front and 262mm solid at the rear. Calipers are single piston, but they’ve been beefed up and fitted with high-friction pads. The master cylinder is bigger than the standard i20 and the front rotors are cooled by lower control arm mounted air guides blowing through vented knuckles.

The launch i20 N fleet of around half a dozen cars copped an hours long hot lap pounding at Wakefield Park Raceway, near Goulburn NSW without drama. They’re well up to the task. 

One niggle is a large turning circle. The data sheet says 10.5m but it feels like the car is carving a wide arc in U-turns or three-point turns.

A 2580mm wheelbase between the bumpers of a 4075mm car is substantial, and the steering’s relatively low gearing (2.2 turns lock-to-lock) no doubt has a lot to do with it. The price you pay for quick turn-in.

Safety

MG 36/10

Safety technology is the MG3’s biggest shortfall. There’s no ANCAP crash test safety rating to speak of, and the MG3 doesn’t come with any form of auto emergency braking (AEB), which is disappointing given the tech has been available on affordable city cars since 2013 (the VW up! was an early benchmark). 

Even the facelifted Mitsubishi Mirage has AEB with pedestrian detection, but the MG3 doesn’t. Nor does it come with lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert or rear AEB.

So what do you get? The range comes standard with a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, electronic stability control, and six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain). And that may be enough for you, but we know you can get more safety tech in rival cars, so it can’t score well against this criteria.

Where is the MG3 built? It’s made in China. 


Hyundai i208/10

Although it hasn’t been assessed by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, the headline on active safety tech in the i20N is the inclusion of ‘Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist’, which is Hyundai-speak for AEB (city and urban speed with pedestrian detection).

And from there it’s assist city, with ‘Lane Keeping Assist’, ‘Lane Following Assist’, ‘High Beam Assist’, and ‘Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.’

Followed by all the warnings: ‘Blind Spot Collision Warning’, ‘Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning’, ‘Driver Attention Warning’, and ‘Parking Distance Warning’ (front and rear).

The i20 N also features a tyre pressure monitoring system and a reversing camera. But if, despite all that, a crash is unavoidable there are six airbags on-board - driver and front passenger front and side (thorax), and side curtain - as well as three top tether points and two ISOFIX locations across the back row for child seats.

Ownership

MG 38/10

I kept thinking about one particular thing over my time in the MG3 - the warranty. It’s such a great peace of mind move from the company to back its cars with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan

If your brain works like mine, you could calculate it out and see the purchase of the MG3 completely differently: what about thinking of it as a $2500-ish-per-year investment, and at the end you get a free car…! The same can be said of the Kia Picanto and Rio, though.

That warranty should put your mind at ease when it comes to reliability, problems, common faults and issues, as any required fixes are set to be covered by the brand over that period. And buyers get seven years of roadside assistance included, too.

Maintenance is required every 12 months/10,000km, whichever comes first. That’s a bit more regular than some rivals (most have 15,000km intervals), but the brand backs its cars with a seven-year fixed service cost plan. Servicing costs averaged out over the first seven years/70,000km of ownership equate to $382 per visit (before GST), which isn't cheap, but nor is it expensive.

Here's a rundown of the recommended service costing (all prices pre-GST): 12 months/10,000km: $231.76; 24 months/20,000km: $385.23; 36 months/30,000km - $379.72; 48 months/40,000km - $680.74; 60 months/50,000km - $231.76; 72 months/60,000km - $533.19; 84 months/70,000km - $231.76.

Keep the service logbook stamps up to date in your owners manual - it’s a ticket to better resale value. 


Hyundai i208/10

Hyundai covers the i20 N with a five year/unlimited km warranty, and the ‘iCare’ program includes a ‘Lifetime Service Plan’, as well as 12 months 24/7 roadside assist and an annual sat nav map update (the latter two renewed free-of-charge each year, up to 10 years, if the car is serviced at an authorised Hyundai dealer).

Maintenance is scheduled every 12-months/10,000km (whichever comes first) and there’s a pre-paid option which means you can lock in prices and/or fold service costs into your finance package.

Owners also have access to the ‘myHyundai’ online portal providing details on the car’s operation and features as well special offers and customer support.

Service for the i20 N will set you back $309 for each of the first five years, which is competitive for a hot hatch in this part of the market.