Chinese-owned iconic British brand MG is targeting 2150 vehicle sales this year and 5000 in 2019 with the refreshed 2018 MG MG3 launching this week from $15,990 driveaway.

CHINESE-owned British brand MG sold just 600 vehicles in Australia last year, but it is now on track to secure 2150 sales this year and is targeting 5000 units next year, with this facelifted MG3 light car pushing the barrow with automatic availability for the first time.

2018 MG MG3

Launched in 2016 only with manual availability, the facelift MG3 five-door hatchback range has now gone the other way, just landing on-sale with a four-speed auto-only range priced from $15,990 driveaway for the MG3 Core and $17,490 driveaway for the MG3 Excite.

2018 MG MG3

New front-end styling featuring LED daytime running lights teams with 15-inch alloy wheels, dusk-sensing headlights, rear parking sensors/camera, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, leather steering wheel, cruise control, power windows/mirrors, and keyless entry.

2018 MG MG3

Beyond that MG3 Core list, the MG3 Excite adds 16in alloys, mirror-mounted indicators, chrome front bumper highlights, rear spoiler, fake leather and tartan-cloth trim, six-speaker audio, climate control air-conditioning and vanity mirror lights for its $1500 surcharge.

2018 MG MG3

The facelifted MG3 also upgrades its 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine from 78kW to 82kW of power at 6000rpm, and from 137Nm to 150Nm of torque at 4500rpm, with the 1170kg hatch claiming on average to drink 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

With only four gears, however, that’s up on the 5.8L/100km of the pre-facelift manual, and the MG3 continues to require 95RON premium unleaded fuel as well. MG also says an auto with a greater number of gears isn’t compatible with the current light car platform.

Beyond six airbags, ABS and electronic stability control (ESC) there aren’t any driver aids, either, and the power steering is an old-school hydraulic power-assisted set-up.

The calling card for MG will continue to be a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty matched only by Kia. Interestingly it offers only a four-speed auto with its light car competitor, the Rio S, which misses the MG3’s alloys, leather wheel, and cruise control. At the time of writing it was advertised for $17,490 driveaway, too, which is $1500 more…

Coinciding with the reveal, MG has also expanded its dealership network by four outlets to 22 dealers nationally, with Adelaide giving South Australia a presence for the first time, Ballarat and Bundoora added to Victoria, plus a forthcoming ‘flagship’ store for Sydney.

2018 MG MG3

Of the 1252 MG vehicles sold in the first seven months of this year, only 72 units of the MG3 have moved, but MG insists that it will dramatically boost sales due to auto availability for the first time, which it claims makes up 88 per cent of sales in the light car segment. So far this year its sales have been the weakest of any model, with the MG GS medium SUV (164), MG6 Plus small hatchback (227) and MG ZS small SUV (789) outselling it by a huge margin.


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