The MG marque has a rich history, which began in 1924 as part of the MG Car Company Limited. The company was founded in Oxford by Cecil Kimber, who named the company after his employer William Morris, with ‘MG’ being the initials of ‘Morris Garages’.
Barring World War Two, the MG marque was used by the original company for 56 continuous years following its inception and focused predominantly on the production of two-seater sport cars at the factory at Abingdon, around 10 miles south of the Morris factory in Cowley, Oxford. Despite a number of competition-winning cars being produced in the Abingdon factory, it was closed in the autumn of 1980 and production of the flagship MG B was discontinued, signalling a temporary death knell for the marque.
The MG marque was resuscitated in 1982 by Austin Rover on the sportier variants of the Metro and was also used on the Maestro and Montego models until 1992, when it was temporarily discontinued. It was revived yet again in the MG RV8 in 1993, which was essentially an updated version of the MG B Roadster, equipped with a Rover V8 engine, although less than 5% of the new cars parts were interchangeable with those found on the original 1970s model.
The RV8 was produced in low volumes and as such the MG marque temporarily disappeared from view again, until the release of the MG F – a two-seater roadster – in the summer of 1995. It sold well until 2005, when parent company Rover went into receivership.
The MG F model was revived in 2007, when the MG marque was sold to Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and gives its prestigious name to a subsidiary company, MG Motor.
The MG marque has a long association with sporty cars which are thought to exude a certain amount of glamour and fun, available at a reasonable price.
The latest model, the MG3, has been released and is available through a small number of distributors in the United Kingdom, with CarShop entrusted with being the sole distributor in the Norfolk area.
Jonathan Dunkley, CarShop chief executive, said: “Our partnership with MG has provided us with a very exciting opportunity to gauge our ability to retail new cars as well as used.”
How does the latest model, the MG3, fare up to the legendary reputation of its marque?
Well, it is a budget car with a starting price of £8399 for the base model and a top price of £9999, and as such, it is certainly reasonably-priced. The top-end model includes DAB radio, iPod connectivity, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, parking sensor, cruise control.
This car is aimed at young people and has enough legroom and headroom to comfortably seat four six-foot teenagers, and with an impressive adjustability on the seats and steering column, this is certainly a comfortable little car, with good all-round visibility. While not glamorous or sporty in the way that MG models have been in the past, its aforementioned low price makes it an absolute bargain.