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New MG3 Hybrid Coming Soon: Specs, price and release info

The new MG3 is bigger, higher quality and will be available only as a (surprisingly powerful) petrol-electric hybrid.

Mark Nichol

Words by: Mark Nichol

Last updated on 22 March 2024 | 0 min read

MG has unveiled the brand new MG3 small hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show. It’ll only be available as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid this time around – the first hybrid of this type that MG has ever done - which means it’s pleasingly efficient. But it’s also surprisingly quick, because its petrol engine and electric motor combine to produce 191 horsepower. That’s more than a Mini Cooper S, for context. Nonetheless, it should be priced aggressively too, pitched as a lower-cost alternative to the Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris.
Here are the highlights… • Hybrid-only drivetrain combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 134 horsepower electric motor • 0-62mph in eight seconds; up to 50mph possible using electric motor alone • 1.8kWh battery is more than twice the size of Yaris Hybrid’s, meaning its electric range will be better • 64mpg quoted efficiency and 100g/km CO2; the MG3 will be cheap to run • Two trims for UK: SE and Trophy. Specification and prices will be confirmed in March • MG promises “generous levels of driver assistance and entertainment features as standard” • Every car gets twin ‘floating’ driver displays with smartphone mirroring • Starting price should be less than £20,000

Design and models available

MG has evidently tried hard to make the MG3 look interesting – the metal here is more intricate than a Dream Theater gig. There’s not a flat panel in sight. We count seven creases on each side, and the ‘shark nose’ front end and wide grille are...intricate, it’s fair to say. Not necessarily beautiful, though. You might disagree.
The only drivetrain option will be the hybrid, and history alone tells us that MG will be aggressive with both the specification and the pricing. An SE car will feature twin digital displays, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, parking sensors, and a reversing camera. MG also says that the software powering the screens will be much more intuitive than previous MG systems. This is good news, because MG infotainment systems tend to be a bit clunky, it’s fair to say. Stump up for Trophy spec and you’ll likely be sitting on heated leather-style seats, while getting your hands warmed by a heated steering wheel. Adaptive cruise control and 360-degree parking cameras will be yours too.

Interior and tech

The new MG3 is longer and wider than the outgoing model – a car that traces its lineage all the way back to the Rover 25, incidentally – which means it has a decent amount of rear space. The boot is bigger too, now 293 litres, which is a little more spacious than the Yaris Hybrid’s. Interior quality has taken a significant hike as well.


MG calls the 3's drivetrain a ‘Hybrid Plus’, which seems fitting because it’s significantly beefier than we might have expected. And more complicated. The 1.5-litre petrol engine has 100 horsepower and the electric motor 134, but more significantly, it has 250Nm of torque. That’ll give the MG3 a sense of low-speed responsiveness, of basic quickness, that’ll be very suited to busy town roads. And all while returning a claimed 64mpg. And being as quick as a hot hatch. Well… almost. It should be capable of a few miles on electricity alone - most 'self-charging' hybrids can only muster a couple, and at low speeds - but the numbers aren't confirmed yet.
On paper the hybrid system seems like overkill for a small hatchback. It uses a separate petrol generator motor to keep the battery topped up, or to power the electric motor directly, while the 1.5-litre engine is linked to a three-speed automatic gearbox. The system can drive the wheels using only the electric motor, or the petrol engine, or a combination of both; there are five drive modes that the hybrid can switch between at any given time, in addition to the three selectable driving modes (Eco, Standard, Sport). Like we said… complex. It’ll be some achievement if MG has managed to make this feel like an ‘ordinary’ automatic car to drive. We’ll let you know when we get behind the wheel.

Price and release

Pricing will come in March, and while we know that MG will stick with its ‘high value, high equipment’ blueprint, it’ll be significantly more expensive than the outgoing car; at around £15,000, the last MG3 was one of the cheapest new cars in the UK. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid costs from just under £23,000, and the Renault Clio Hybrid from just over £21,000. Therefore, a price point less than £20,000 would make the MG3 look highly alluring. Order books open in March, with first cars hitting the roads in the middle of 2024.

What other cars from MG are due this year?

MG showed the Cyberster electric sportscar in Geneva, which is already available to order for Summer 2024 deliveries. It has butterfly-wing doors, and the quickest dual-motor version has more than 500 horsepower and will crack 62mph in three seconds. The company also displayed various models from its ‘IM’ brand, which makes high-end electric cars (think "Genesis rival") and is coming to the UK in 2025. The IM L6 saloon made its debut in Geneva, a Tesla Model 3 rival (of course).

What other cars that are upcoming will this compete with?

With manufacturers now focusing more on electric, small petrol cars – even clever hybrid ones like the MG3 - are a dying breed. See Ford Fiesta (RIP) for details. The MG3 is most squarely pitched against the Toyota Yaris Hybrid and the Renault Clio E-Tech Hybrid. But, as a circa-£20k small hatchback, it will appeal to anyone looking at a Vauxhall Corsa, a Seat Ibiza or a Citroen C3.