Sorry for the ramble, but here we go:
I had my Rover 214Si (wedge shape) from new (1993) until Nov 2016, and covered 239,000 miles. It did everything I asked, was on the whole very reliable (Head gasket at 180K, a gearbox rebuild at 120K and then a scrap gearbox at maybe 190K, routine stuff like batteries, alternators etc. - all wheel bearings were original, as were shox, some bulbs etc.). If they still built them Id've bought another like a shot. To say I was gutted when the time finally came was an understatement. I get hire cars regularly for work, everything from Focus to C Series Merc's. Some of the toys were fun (I like reversing cameras
) but was always glad to get back to Ricky the Rover. The latest jobbies were like space ships - just finding the radio on/off switch was often fun. Not. I would often wonder how much to fix some of them if they went wrong, and how many of today's garages could diagnose faults without getting into part swapping. Mind you, the Dodge Charger (a.k.a "The General Lee") hire car I had for ten days out in the middle east was fun
Mind you, fuel was 10p a litre and I wasn't paying for it, nor the tyres.....
I spent a long time looking for a replacement for Ricky (months on the internet) cos' I knew the great racetrack in the sky was approaching. My favourite was Fiesta, but it had to be a 1.4 petrol (no longer made), under 30K miles - ideally a lot less, five door, white, reversing sensors and cruise. Why white? Cos' I know from experience that Metallics are a pig to match if damaged (Ricky had a run in the door paint when new, and it took three goes to colour match it. In the end they had to paint the entire lhs of the car. To say it spoilt the pleasure of buying a new car was an understatement). Many of the darker colours look good (not black, never ever - been there, done that, regretted it and vowed never again) but when scratched show a glaringly obvious white line
Scratch a white car.....shows a white line.....
Anyway, the Fiesta spec I was looking for (Titanium spec) was few and far between, expensive and those I saw weren't worth the petrol going to see. I considered others also - Golf, corsa, mazda, Kia but nothing fitted the bill for the spec, availability, money etc.
Then I came across MG3 (MG UK really need to up their game on advertising, though I appreciate their budget may be limited at present).
It fitted the bill exactly - 105hp 1.5 petrol (I don't want a diesel cos' of dpf issues, and definitely not a Turbo - great when they work, cost a fortune when they don't.) . I keep cars for a long time, when warrantly has long gone. The turbo on my boss's newish jag packed up and cost him £2.5K...
I had a couple of test drives, looked over the car and was convinced it was right for me. I purchased a new style lux (2016 stop/start) from Brown & Gammons at Baldock (EXCELLENT dealer, no connections etc. etc - and with my experience of car dealers they must be good if I'm prepared to say that) and took delivery in late November. I've done 2600 miles so far. Views:
1. Build standard is absolutely fine.
2. Driving is excellent; some don't like the engine power being a bit higher up the rev range but it causes no issues for me whatsoever. After a Hyundai i10 it'll feel like a little rocket...
3. Wasn't keen on the fact that there is a step in the boot when the rear seats are folded flat. But then I asked myself how often do I do that? Maybe 3 or 4 times a year....
4. Servicing seems very cheap - 80ish for the first and third services, with the second about 180 IIRC (B&G prices). Ask what a Ford dealer charges for a Fiesta....
5. Headlights were set on the legal low limit when delivered - it's worth asking for them to be checked on delivery. I also fitted Osram Nightbreaker bulbs (a tenner from Eurocarparts, who usually have 25% or 30% discounts every weekend on their website; oil has been as much as 50% off, which is useful as the stuff the s/start model uses is expensive).
6. Any problems? Only the single (subframe??) "knock" reported in the link above - intermittent and usually only when reversing off my drive in the morning. B&G have checked it and worked on the subframe, but so far no success as yet. It does'nt help that it's intermittent so can't reliably be repeated at the garage. Never heard it when driving etc. and I'm happy nothing should fall off when driving. Just very mildly annoying that I don't know what it is as yet. The next stage (I think) is for B&G to email MG for advice, in case they have a lesser known fix. Others have reported it too, but usually fiddling with the subframe bolts sorts it.
7. Petrol? Not the best. I'm getting 40 at present (20 miles twice a day, a little bit of 30/40mph B roads, mainly A roads and then 10 miles up the Motorway). If you do lots of town work etc. then you'll be in the 30's. How some a getting into the 50's is beyond me. Maybe very long journey's up a motorway a 3 in the morning, at 50mph with cruise engaged? To get more mpg you'll need to spend a LOT more money for a similar spec car (I think a new Fiesta was coming in at 16.8K; I got £2K trade in on a new car so paid £9K. That's a lot of fuel......). Fiesta Ecoboost owners are reporting fuel consumption NO-WHERE NEAR what is promised (i.e. in the 30's.)
8. The JD Power car reliability survey 2016 placed the MG3 24th, with the MG6 35th. The Hyundai i10 came 38th.
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2016 results | Auto Express
9. There are a few reported issues, most notably with the cam chain jumping a tooth, causing loss of power and an engine management light coming on. B&G have seen 3, all on cars that have been way over the service limit and/or driven like Ferrar's. Apparently modified parts are now fitted.
10. It's worth remembering that few people will post good experiences on the internet, but those that have had problems will be all too quick to post doom & gloom stories. Also Trolls, those with an axe to grind etc. There was a thread (on here) where the poster claimed to have (I think) a Rover City. When asked to post a picture he admitted that he didn't have one - it was the first model in the drop-down list so he selected it......
11. MG3 parts seem pretty cheap, though few (non OEM) pattern parts are available as yet. A genuine new wing is £55, a complete electric mirror around £90, a rear bumper is £110 (B&G website). A friend took the wing mirror off a merc recently; the mirror cost £900....
12. Plenty of parts appearing on Ebay. I got a set of new rubber mats with red edging for around £30. Fit is perfect; MG rubber mats don't have the red edging and cost £71.
John Woods Motorcare, Xpart AutoService Centre
MG & AMC Parts
13. Lastly, I'd suggest:
(a) If you can't accept the MPG (think how much money you've saved on the new car price) then a 3 isn't for you.
(b) B&G is just up the road from you and I'd recommend them 100%
(c) Get GAP insurance (mine's from ALA insurance - very well thought of - do a google search for ALA insurance discount code to save a bit of money). Cover provided by car policies has lots of small print (e.g. car has to be on finance, for example). My AA policy only pays out if the damage exceeds 60% of the new car cost. Only they (eventually!!) admitted they may write off a car at less than 60% of new car cost....which means you need to have a REALLY bad smash to be sure of a payout. Don't fancy that somehow.....
Finally, after 3 months and 2600 miles - I'd buy my 3 again in a heartbeat. No question....
HTH (Assuming you're still awake!!)
ps There's a couple of very useful and friendly Facebook groups for the 3 and 6:
MG3 Owners UK
MGCC 635 Register
ps Thereís a couple of Facebook groups useful for the