The next-generation MG 3 hatchback has been leaked ahead of its July 2024 launch in Australia.

    Previously revealed in patent images and spy photos, this is the first photo of an MG 3 in the metal without any disguise, courtesy of Spanish site Coche Spias.

    The new generation of MG 3 will be the first to offer a hybrid powertrain.

    Like the Toyota Yaris, it’ll be offered with both petrol and hybrid options. But while it’ll offer more safety equipment than the current model, MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao told CarExpert in 2023 the new model is unlikely to earn a five-star ANCAP safety rating like the Yaris.

    “It will definitely be a hybrid and it will have a lot more safety equipment, too, but it won’t get a five-star safety rating,” Mr Ciao told CarExpert.

    “It’s important that MG Australia offers some of the most affordable cars in the segments we compete in and we want to continue that with the new MG 3,” he added.

    The new MG 3 will include autonomous emergency braking, mandatory on all newly introduced cars in Australia from March 2023. The current model doesn’t have this feature.

    Other new safety technology we are likely to see on the next MG 3 include traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, and tyre-pressure monitoring.

    The current MG 3 dates all the way back to 2011, and has only an expired three-star Euro NCAP rating from 2014.

    The new MG 3 will use the same platform as the i5 from fellow SAIC Motor brand Roewe, which entered production in 2017.

    But while that platform supports electric power, MG has previously poured cold water on the idea of an electric MG 3, saying it would be prohibitively expensive.

    MG hasn’t confirmed specifications for the new model, but it offers a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain in the ZS-based VS crossover in Thailand.

    The VS marries a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 80kW and 142Nm with a 70kW/200Nm electric motor and a 2.1kWh lithium-ion battery.

    The hybrid crossover has a combined power output of 130kW, with claimed fuel consumption as low as 5.8L per 100kms.

    The MG 3 wears more curvaceous and aggressive styling than the current model, aligning it visually with the larger MG 5.

    While the current MG 3 is one of MG’s lower-volume models in Europe and the UK and is no longer sold in China, it remains extremely popular in Australia.

    The MG 3 started out as a recycled Rover following SAIC Motor’s acquisition of MG Rover assets.

    It was a rebadged version of the Rover Streetwise, effectively a black plastic cladding-covered version of the Rover 25 hatch that was only ever sold here in hot MG ZR guise.

    The current generation, the first to be offered here, entered production in 2011, and has received two facelifts – the most recent being in 2018.

    Despite its age, the MG 3 has grown in popularity and held a whopping 43.3 per cent share of its segment in 2023.

    It’s also now the cheapest car in Australia, with Kia increasing Picanto prices as part of a mid-life update that brought a raft of new safety features. It’s also the only car to slide in under $20,000, just, with a price tag of $19,990 drive-away.

    MORE: Everything MG 3
    MORE: 2023 MG 3 review

    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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