New MG 3 Hybrid+ revealed: hybrid power for budget small car

Hybrid MG 3 promises 64mpg and improved performance than its rivals...

2024 MG 3 front three quarter, red

On sale Summer | Price from £20,000 (est)

Speculate to accumulate, so the saying goes. But when it comes to choosing a small hybrid car, you often have to dig deep to save on your ongoing fuel bills.

But with a likely starting price of £20,000, the new MG 3 Hybrid+ could change that – potentially undercutting the Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris hybrid by several thousand pounds.

Yet with that anticipated starting price, the MG 3 isn’t short on specification. It mates a 100bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined 192bhp and a 0-62mph time of 8.0sec – a full second less than the Yaris. In keeping with MG’s budget ethos, no plug-in hybrid versions will be available, since those would inevitably push the price up.

2024 MG 3 hatchback rear, blue

The MG3's powerful electric motor means it is able to take over more of the time, even at motorway speeds. That goes some way to delivering an official fuel economy figure of 64mpg, although that is also less than the Yaris – one of our favourite small cars – can manage. It also means the MG can run in five modes which mix petrol and electric power, including fully electric for as long as the battery has charge in it.

Unusually for a small hybrid, the MG 3 uses a three-speed automatic gearbox, rather than the CVT that’s more commonly used in cars of this type. This should eliminate coarse noise and vibration under hard acceleration, and MG says the gearshifts will be smooth and refined.

The MG 3 is longer and wider than the current car, which allows more space for occupants. Its 293-litre boot is slightly larger than that of the Yaris, so should be able to swallow the same five carry-on suitcases. If outright room is of a concern, the non-hybrid Skoda Fabia has a significantly larger boot and is able to swallow six carry-on cases.

2024 MG 3 hatchback dashboard

Two trims will be available: SE and Trophy, and both are fitted with a 7in digital instrument cluster and a 10.25in central infotainment touchscreen which appear to be closely related to those fitted to the larger MG 4. In that car we found the system fiddly to use, and the lack of physical climate controls frustrating.

Satellite navigation comes as standard on all models, alongside Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Trophy models also feature keyless entry, heated front seats and a 360-degree parking camera.

As with other MGs, the new MG 3 will be covered by a seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.

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Read more: Best hybrid cars >>

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