MG Motor UK MG3 1.5 Hybrid SE 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/Electric Hybrid
  • 64.2 mpg
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 100 g/km CO2
  • 100 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 64.2 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 8 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 194 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The MG3 supermini takes a big step forward in this second generation form. There's now a self charging full-Hybrid powertrain, plus a higher quality cabin, more sophistication and extra interior space. In short, this is a much more credible kind of MG3. But it's still affordable.


The original MG3 wasn't the first of this modern era Chinese brand's offerings in Europe but it was the first to sell in any numbers. This little budget supermini was launched back in 2013 and was originally partly British engineered and put together in the old MG Rover factory at Longbridge from kits built in China by parent company SAIC. By the time of the car's extensive update in 2018 though, full Chinese production was in full swing and since that time, MG has become a significant volume player in our market, with much of its growth in EVs. There's no EV version of this second generation MG3, announced in Spring 2024, but this fresh design does offer the brand's first non-plug-in Hybrid and it's that Hybrid+ version we're looking at here. The Chinese makers importers hope to hoover up a lot of customers who would previously have chosen the now-discontinued Fiesta in the supermini segment.

Driving Experience

The original MG3 had one of the oldest and most inefficient engines it was possible to buy in the 21st century's third decade. So it's something of a pleasant shock to find this new generation range headlined by a powertrain that's really quite sophisticated. It's a self charging non-plug-in Hybrid (MG's very first). Yes, like you can get in this segment (for significantly more money) with a Toyota Yaris or a Honda jazz. But this front-driven powerplant gives you a lot more power than you'd get with those established rivals (presumably because MG also wants to use it in other heavier models). It combines a 101bhp 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 107bhp electric motor to give a combined 192bhp total output. Hence the quite eager 0-62mph time of 8.0s (1.2s quicker than a Yaris). Full-Hybrids always come only with automatic transmission, but this one is unusual because it only has three speeds (one less than the clunky auto of the old car). MG says this gives more responsive acceleration. As usual with self-charging full-Hybrids, the battery pack (1.83kWh in this case) isn't large enough to take the car very far on electric power alone. But EV assistance cuts in and out frequently during town travel to aid efficiency. The car can also be driven in Series mode with the engine acting as a generator. Or as a Parallel Hybrid where the two power sources work together to generate the full 192bhp output. One of the redeeming characteristics of the first generation model was its sharp handling, developed by a British R&D team. They also contributed to the dynamics of this MK2 version, though this time round, chassis tuning was more of a collaboration between China and Europe. MG says it benefits from the use of new ultra-high stiffness components and lighter suspension. Optimised engine mounts and extra sound absorbing materials have also improved refinement.

Design and Build

Unlike MG's Cyberster sportscar, there's nothing particularly show-stopping about the looks of this second generation MG3, but it's a neat piece of design that for real supermini status needed to be a bit larger and wider than its predecessor - and is. Flowing bodywork sweeps into a fairly generic rear section. So the bits you'll notice here are all at the front with its swept-back LED headlights. Pronounced bonnet lines ease down into a sharp nose with a large chrome MG badge above an enormous grille flanked by large air intakes. A carbonfibre-look splitter can feature below. The minimalist interior borrows its architecture and design cues from the successful MG4 EV and is a big step forward from this MG3 model's cheap-feeling predecessor. There's a couple of 'floating' twin monitors, a 7-inch instrument display and a 10.25-inch centre touchscreen. The software is responsive and the graphics are quite sharp. In terms of overall cabin ambience though, superminis like Peugeot's 208 have shown that it's possible to make the interior of a car in this class look more appealing than this. Still MG's value pricing may well mean you can afford better trimming - the faux-leather upholstery of the top 'Trophy' version for instance. Cramped rear seat space was a failing of the original car. But a 50mm increase in wheelbase length (to 2,570mm) has improved things a bit. And helped boot space too. At 293-litres, the car now has one of the larger trunks in the segment.

Market and Model

Hybrid+ prices start from around £18,500, which gets you base 'SE' trim. The plusher 'Trophy' version you'll probably want costs from around £20,500. MG aims to have a price advantage over obvious rivals of around 10% and is looking to sell around 10,000 examples of this model per year in the UK - which is nearly three times the sales of its predecessor in its best year.. Both MG3 Hybrid+ models come with dual screen technology, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and a 7-inch digital instrument screen, along with a 10.25-inch colour central touchscreen incorporating navigation, 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring and a reversing camera. You also get the 'MG Pilot' package of drive assist and safety camera features, including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Emergency Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. The 'Trophy' MG3 Hybrid+ included a 360-degree camera, heat for the front seats and steering wheel, keyless entry, privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, rear privacy glass and LED projector headlights. There's also keyless entry and leather-style upholstery - plus some extra camera features - Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Zone Detection with Lane Change Assist. 

Cost of Ownership

Advanced, smart features of the Hybrid+ system include a drive and charge system that allows the petrol engine to drive the wheels whilst also charging the battery through the generator. You'll need to stay away from that feature though to achieve the claimed best efficiency figures - up to 64.2mpg on the combined cycle and 100g/km of CO2. That's better than a Vauxhall Corsa Hybrid (62.8mpg and 102g/km). But not quite as good as a Renault Clio E-Tech full hybrid, which manages up to 65.7mpg and up to 96g/km of CO2. To achieve this MG's stated figures, you'll obviously have to regularly select the provided Eco driving mode - the other two settings are 'Standard' and 'Sport'. What about other running cost issues? Well, all versions of this MG come with an impressive seven-year, 80,000-mile warranty as standard - which is better than most rival brands can offer. You might be aware that rival Kia offers a seven-year 100,000 mile package, but MG still reckons its deal is preferable because it's backed by full factory support throughout, whereas direct manufacturer support for rival warranties declines the longer they go on. In many cases they don't go on too long. Many competitors still limit you to a three year back-up package; a few offer five years. MG does better: this is the brand putting its money where its mouth is. The warranty is fully transferrable to future owners. Additionally, there's a six year factory warranty against rust, while a year's breakdown cover is also part of the deal. The MG dealer network is growing all the time - the brand expects to shortly have 120 outlets in the UK. At those outlets, a full digital service record of checks and maintenance provides the customer with complete transparency and full access to the service history of their vehicle. You'll be offered a range of MG servicing plans to spread the cost of maintenance for up to seven years.


This is a very different kind of MG3 and certainly deserves a place on any supermini browser's shopping list. The Chinese brand's value pricing means you could properly get yourself this Hybrid model for the price of a European maker's supermini with a conventional engine. And that Hybrid has class-leading reserves of power. True, this second generation design could have been given a bit more character inside and out. But it's a big step forward in every respect from the original. This might not be the supermini you'd intended on choosing. But it may very well be the one you actually need.

  • 1 x USB port at rear for charging only
  • 6 speaker audio system
  • DAB audio
  • Radio, MP3 and AUX/USB
  • USB ports (2x front, 1x rear)
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body coloured door handles
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V socket
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Front centre armrest with storage
  • Front cup holders
  • Front sun visors with driver and passenger mirrors
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Tilt adjustable steering column
  • 2 x adjustable rear head rests
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Active emergency braking with pedestrian/Bicycle detection
  • Drivers seatbelt reminder
  • Dual front airbags
  • Front and rear passenger seat belt reminder
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • Front seatbelts (3-point + pretensioner + load limiter)
  • Front side airbags
  • Rear child locks
  • Rear ISOFIX child-seat upper tether & lower anchor
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alarm & Engine Immobiliser
  • Remote Central Locking with Fold-away Key
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 1.8
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 100
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1498
  • Compression Ratio: 16.0:5
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 72
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 92
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Gears: 3 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 4.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 64.2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 194
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: Hybrid
  • Coin Series: SE
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 23A
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 80000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8
  • Engine Power - BHP: 194
  • Engine Power - KW: 143
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5171
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 313
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 43.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 425
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2586
  • Top Speed: 106
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: ATLAS
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Height: 1502
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4113
  • Wheelbase: 2570
  • Width: 1781
  • Width (including mirrors): 1797
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 36
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1746
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 983
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 241
  • Max. Loading Weight: 448
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 500
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1298
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.5