The new MG 3 will cost around $5000 more than the outgoing 13-year-old model when it arrives here mid-year.

    “MG can confirm that, due to advancements in technology, safety and specification, the new MG3 revealed at the Geneva Motor Show will mean the popular model will no longer be a sub-$20,000 car when it launches in Australia this year,” said an MG Motor Australia spokesperson.

    “There will be a price increase of around $5000 associated with the new model, thanks to the introduction of new world-class technology, safety updates and all-new specification.

    “The current MG3 is at the end of its lifecycle which means that now is the best time to buy a brand new car for the price of a used one, before the new model hits our shores.

    “More details will be shared closer to the local launch later this year.”

    The current MG 3 starts at $19,990 drive-away, which would put the new model at around $24,990 drive-away. That would still see it undercut rivals like the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris.

    MG has detailed only a single powertrain for the new hatchback, which was designed in its Shanghai studio and engineered in both China and Europe.

    It features a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with 75kW of power and 128Nm of torque, mated with a 100kW/250Nm electric motor for a total system output of 143kW.

    It features a 1.83kWh battery and, unusually, a three-speed automatic transmission – yes, that’s down a gear on the outgoing model’s auto.

    MG claims fuel economy of 4.4L/100km on the WLTP cycle, and 100 grams per kilometre of CO2.

    In contrast, the outgoing MG 3 uses 6.7L/100km and is claimed to emit 159g/km of CO2.

    MG says it has a 0-100km/h time of 8.0 seconds, which it claims makes it the quickest hybrid hatchback in its segment.

    Like most hybrids, it can run purely on electric power, while it can also operate in parallel mode with both the engine and electric motor powering the wheels and series mode whereby the engine powers the generator, which powers the electric motor that in turn powers the wheels.

    MG says the new hatch features “ultra-high stiffness components” in its chassis, and lighter weight suspension components aimed at providing more athletic handling and a comfortable ride.

    It also says it has focused on reducing noise, vibration and harshness for a “premium driving experience”.

    The MG 3 measures 4113mm long, 1797mm wide and 1502mm tall on a 2570mm wheelbase. That makes it 108mm longer, 68mm wider but 2mm lower than the outgoing car, on a 50mm longer wheelbase.

    There’s 293L of boot space, while MG says kerb weight is 1285kg.

    The styling, which had previously been revealed in leaked images and patent illustrations, is more heavily sculpted than the outgoing model, with less of an upright look. It also has a clear visual kinship with the larger MG 5 sedan.

    Inside, there’s a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. 

    Satellite navigation is standard, as are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Under the touchscreen is a row of piano-key switches that control functions like the climate control and audio volume.

    Also standard on all MG 3 models are air-conditioning, four USB ports, and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

    Higher-spec models add leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, and a surround-view camera.

    The MG 3 has received a major upgrade in terms of safety equipment, gaining autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist.

    It’ll be offered in a range of seven colours, at least in Europe: York White, St Moritz Blue, Flaming Red, Morning Yellow, Pearl Black, Blade Silver, and Hampstead Grey.

    The new MG 3’s price increase should see the Kia Picanto regain the title of Australia’s cheapest car. It had been priced from $18,890 drive-away, until a 2024 update – which brought a significant upgrade in standard safety kit – pushed its price up to $20,690 drive-away.

    But it’s unclear how this new, higher price tag will affect MG 3 sales, given it’s the best-selling vehicle in its price-sensitive segment by a considerable margin.

    Last year, MG sold 15,430 MG 3s. That gave it a 43.3 per cent share of its segment, well ahead of the second-place Suzuki Swift (6914 sales, 19.4 per cent share).

    MORE: Everything MG 3

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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