If we put to one side the poorly thought out SAIC/MG marketing "reveal" which has generated interest, but dissappointed with detail and look at the article in isolation, I think those knocking it are being pretty harsh.
The Chinese version is obviously about for the journos to drive (already reported on in the Sun) so Autocar are no different form elsewhere in that respect. Where they do appear to be different is in the honesty of the reporting. Right up front they state the UK version will be different and the key areas where:
since the car was unveiled at the recent Shanghai motor show without a visible interior in order to build anticipation.
As a result, we tested a Chinese spec car, powered by a version of the 1.5-litre petrol engine that will reach the UK, but in a different state of tune. Likewise, UK cars will get bespoke steering and suspension set-ups, honed during the car’s time under development in the UK.
Then for the most part it is a stream of positives for the coming car
The overall impression is of a car with potential...
The driving position is good...
...the cabin roomy.
The seats are reasonably supportive, and the rear space generous for the class, as is the boot space.
The dash and steering wheel do not feel cheap..
On the move the engine is refined at low revs...
The performance is perky if not earth shattering...
The five-speed gearbox is well-spaced, too, and the shift action decent. The test track’s two turns, both second gear sweepers, suggested that there was plenty of grip and little roll.
Overall stability was decent...
Braking hard from around 70mph to 30mph suggested decent stopping power and good feel – a progression from when we first tested a Chinese-spec MG 3 around 18 months ago
In all likelihood the engine and chassis dynamics will look adequate against the opposition, with the key differentiator being how successful those personalisation options are, and how well priced the car is against its rivals
MG could have a minor success story on its hands
where it mentions negatives these are generally qualified as being the Chinese version therefore hinting the European version will be better.
So in short it has informed those who perhaps are not on forums like this that
1) the Chinese MG3 is not a bad car
2) the European MG3 will be better
3) Buyers should consider this car when it becomes avaialble.
Which I think is a good thing