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XCAR: MG, then and now

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XCAR: MG, then and now

6:27 /

There's a new MG in town, the MG3. We take a look back to the beginnings of the legendary British sportscar manufacturer and find out if the latest ride to brandish the MG badge can live up to its ancestors.

[MUSIC] When I think of MG, I think of something like this, the MGB, the quintessential MG sports car. Such a car driven by a bit of a cad with a cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth, a pretty girl in the passenger's seat, and a big grin on his face. It's good looking, affordable, attainable fun. NG's is a rich one. In the early 20s, Cecil Kimber was the sales and later general manager of Morris Garages, a Morris leadership in Oxford. Kimber took the stock model vehicles his employee was turning out and turned them into faster sportier cars. He badged these cars MG for Morris Garages and they've been known for their affordable performance. MG even made its mark in motor sports as one of the first non-Italian teams to bag a win at the Milia Milia. MGs were a commercial hit too, outgrowing their original home and finding a new one in Abingdon, Oxfordshire where the company would stay until 1980. In 1982 then owned by the British Motor Corporation, MG launched this, the MGB. The MG that pretty much everybody thinks of. It had a pretty innovative and modern design for it's time. It's pretty light, and as such, quite nifty and wonderfully, the majority of them were exported to the US. This is the MGB GT. It's got a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine, which puts out 95 brake horsepower. Top speed is around 105-ish, at least when it was new, and nought to 60 happens in around 13 1/2 seconds. But it wasn't enough. You see, the latter part of the 20th century wasn't great for the British automotive industry, and as such MG kept changing hands over and over again. In 1980 under British [UNKNOWN] ownership, it was killed off to cut costs only to be resurrected again in 1982 not to make cars of its own, but to make performance versions of Austin's. After a brief stint under BAE ownership in 1994, BMW bought the Rover group which comprised of Rover, Land Rover and MG. In 1995, the company launched the MGF, the car that should have taken MG back to the sports car for but it, didn't. By 2000, BMW had lost enough money and sold its British subgrounds. Land Rover went to Ford and MG Rover was formed by the Phoenix consortium and its product line up was interesting. The MGF has been developed as such and became the TF and the rest of the MG's stable would tweaked rovers. Even with a body kit, the Rover 75 didn't really appeal to that many people. That said, the SB Super car was pretty cool. MG Rover lasted five years before lack of interest and therefore sales killed it stone dead. In 2005, when MG Rover went down, many people wondered when they'd see either brand on the road ever again. However there was hope in the form of [UNKNOWN] and then later SAIC, China's biggest car maker. In 2011 the brand launched a new car, the MG6, in the UK. It was dubbed as alright. Now there's a new MG, the 3 and it's a hatchback. [MUSIC] A small hatch at that, it's got four doors and a boos and it's got a racing stripe and a 1.5 liter petrol engine with 106 break horsepower, 101 pound foot. [UNKNOWN] of 62 takes 10.9 seconds. And it's top speed is a whole 108 miles an hour. [MUSIC] This isn't the kind of thing you think of when you see an MG badge is it? Can it really be a proper MG? Proper MGs are fun sporty little cars that don't only offer a good drive but also offer something of an experience. So does the MG3 manage that? In a word, no. It's quite a [INAUDIBLE] hefty little thing. I've been driving it around now for a few days, I mean, up and down the country in it. You wouldn't expect a car built for the city cuz let's face it is a little hatchback city car thing. You wouldn't expect a car like that to be able to have motor weight and things like that. But I drove it up and down to Warwick, and it was fine just [INAUDIBLE]. And it'll happily cruise at 70 miles an hour. It is a little bit noisy and you do have to rev it to get anything out of the engines, cuz you've only got 101 pound foot, so, there's not too much to work with. As an experience, I didn't get out of it and go, ooh, I can't wait till I drive the MG3 again. That's amazing. [MUSIC] No matter how well the MG3 drives, it's not a sports car. It doesn't evoke feelings of misspent youth, and it's not really in any way aspirational. The MG3 does have a party piece though. It is one pound under ten grand, though. If you add a sticker onto it, like this one has, that can push it over, but still, when you think about it, it's quite a spacious car. There's loads of room for people in the back and the booths commody as is for a car of this size. It looks good. It cuts a fine figure and it's cheap. So the latest car from MG the sports car legend is, a cheap hatchback. This bodes well? All told the MG3's not a bad car. It drives well enough, it's good value for money, it's even quite efficient. MG says you can manage near as dammit 50 mpg. But take a look at the B again. That is a proper MG. The 3, it's not. [MUSIC]

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