MG has launched an ambitious second attempt at cracking into the local small car segment.
The famous British sports car brand is back on the road following an aborted start-up in 2013, returning as a fully-fledged subsidiary of its parent company and China's largest car maker, Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC).
The company will offer an initial twin-pronged small car line-up with the MG3 city car and MG6 small hatchback through a small network of dealerships primarily focused on major metropolitan regions on the east coast. Both its lineup and footprint will be expanded over time with the MG GS compact SUV set to join the range next year and more dealerships in the wings.
Both cars are backed by a six-year warranty with roadside assitance and are officially on-sale now, with the MG3 starting at $13,990 (plus on-road costs) and the MG6 costing from $21,990 (plus on-road costs) and deliveries expected to commence at the end of November.
The MG3, which goes up against the likes of the Holden Spark, Mitsubishi Mirage and Kia Picanto, is powered by a 1.5-litre four cylinder engine that produces 78kW of power and 137Nm of torque and has a claimed average fuel consumption of 5.8L/100km. It is only offered with a five-speed manual transmission across three model grades - Core, Soul and Essence - with myriad of graphic personalisation options.
In its base specification, the MG3 Core rides on 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, cloth trim, a four-speaker audio system and a trip computer. For an extra $1000, the Soul trim level adds 16-inch alloys, chrome exhaust, body coloured spoiler, rear parking sensors and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, while the Essence - which costs $15,990 (plus on-roads) - brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and unique 16-inch alloys.
None of the models feature modern connectivity functions such as smartphone mirroring or safety features such as automated emergency braking or a reverse parking camera. Because of that, the MG3 has a three-star crash test rating in the Euro NCAP program, making it the lowest performing passenger car currently on sale in Australia.
The MG6 lobs into one of the most competitive and popular segments in Australia, going up against best sellers such as the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30. Like the smaller car, the MG6 is offered in the three trim levels - Soul, Core and Essence - but is exclusively available with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 118kW and 215Nm with a claimed average fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km.
The entry-level Core has 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, cruise control and a six-speaker audio system. At $23,990 (plus on-road costs), the mid-level Soul has an electronic front differential, rain sensing wipers, partial fake leather trim and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. For an extra $2000, the range-topping MG6 Essence adds a reverse camera and leather trim with an electrically-adjustable driver's seat.
The MG6 features six airbags and has a four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
As part of the company's marketing plans, it confirmed that it will create a motor racing team spearheaded by James Brock to run an MG6 in the 2017 Australian Production Car Championship - including the Bathurst 6-Hour.
2017 MG3 Price and Specifications
- Price: From $13,990 (plus on-road costs)
- Engine: 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol
- Power: 78kW at 6000rpm
- Torque: 137Nm at 4500rpm
- Transmission: 5-speed manual, FWD
- Fuel Use: 5.8L/100km
2017 MG6 Price and Specifications
- Price: From $21,990 (plus on-road costs)
- Engine: 1.8-litre four cylinder turbo petrol
- Power: 118kW at 5500rpm
- Torque: 215Nm at 2000-4500rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, FWD
- Fuel Use: 7.8L/100kmv