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New MG3 will square-up to supermini rivals like the Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris with full-hybrid power

The new MG3 is expected to feature a full-hybrid powertrain and our exclusive image previews how it could look

The new MG3 is primed for its world debut on 26 February at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show – more than a decade after the current car first landed in showrooms.

The MG3 has never been a strong contender in the supermini class, unable to match heavyweights such as the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa, or hold a candle to our reigning Supermini of the Year, the Dacia Sandero, when it comes to value for money.

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The outgoing car’s one claim to fame is its title as one of the UK’s cheapest new cars. With the new model, however, MG probably isn’t going to be too concerned with retaining that title. Because, while the MG3 will still utilise a petrol engine, we believe it will be part of a full-hybrid powertrain like those already found in the Clio and Toyota Yaris.

The full-hybrid setup in the Clio E-Tech, for instance, pairs an engine with an electric motor and starter generator. This allows the car to be driven on pure-electric power for short distances on the open road, or for a good amount of the time when pottering about in town at low speeds.

The electric assistance will help boost refinement, and offer improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to pure-petrol cars. Unfortunately, no technical details about the new MG3’s powertrain have been officially released yet.

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Despite MG’s success with value-focused EVs such as the award-winning MG4, the new MG3 will not be offered with an all-electric powertrain at this stage – even though recent spy pictures showed a car with a green flash on the number plate, hinting it was an EV.

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We’ll know more about what’s under the bonnet soon, but we already have a pretty clear idea of what the new MG3 will look like, thanks to the company’s latest teaser picture, and a set of patent images that leaked online last year. 

Our exclusive image shows how the new MG3 will draw on the Cyberster sports car, with similarly swept-back headlights, flowing bodywork and a tapered bonnet that leads to a sharp nose. The production car also appears to feature a large chrome badge on its nose, with a camera below it.

Of course, unlike the electric Cyberster, the MG3 needs a grille to feed air to its engine and radiator, and it looks like it’s going to be an absolute whopper, stretching across the full width of the car. The front end is completed by a large set of intakes, plus an equally aggressive ‘carbon fibre’ splitter. To the side we can pick out the rising window line and five-spoke wheels, while the five-door bodystyle of the current car will also be carried over. 

Expect useful gains in cabin space and refinement compared to the current MG3, plus a brand new interior that should feature the same infotainment system and 10.25-inch touchscreen as found in the MG4 hatchback and MG5 estate.

As mentioned, the current MG3 is one of the UK’s most affordable new cars starting at just £14,320 for the entry-level Excite model. That car uses a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol motor, so the addition of a full-hybrid powertrain will cause the price to climb significantly. 

That said, even if the new MG3 attracted a starting price closer to £20,000, it should still undercut the Renault Clio E-Tech, which currently starts from £21,295.

Looking for a bargain? These are the cheapest cars to buy...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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