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Most reviewers agree that the 1.5 engine is underpowered and noisy and would benefit from a turbo. But I have seen some owners say it really improves after a few thousand miles and actually becomes quite nippy.
Can any long-term owners say whether they are happy with the performance and overtaking ability of the MG3?
 

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It’s a dog - plain and simple. Utterly gutless and ruins an otherwise decent package. We had to get rid of ours after a few months it was so disappointing and I think successive EU-led emissions remapping have made it worse still.

I think some owners just get used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It’s a dog - plain and simple. Utterly gutless and ruins an otherwise decent package. We had to get rid of ours after a few months it was so disappointing and I think successive EU-led emissions remapping have made it worse still.

I think some owners just get used to it.
Many thanks for replying James.
What I don't quite understand is that some owners have said it's very slow getting away (let's say 0-30), while others complain at it's lack of speed for overtaking (say 30-50 or 50 -70). But how does it achieve the 10.4 seconds for 0-60 claimed by MG?
 

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By only using 1st and 2nd gears.

Apparently all of the power is at the top end of the rev band requiring you to stay in gear for longer.

The ZS has the same problem in first gear where the gearing produces all noise but pretty much no torque.

Cheers..
 

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Don't forget that MG changed the 1.5 litre VTi-Tech engine to be the same Atkinson cycle engine from the ZS in the facelifted model. This one will be different from the older MG3 cars and may be tuned for emissions and not performance.

Cheers..
 

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'06 MG ZR +120 (HQM) '04 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
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What I don't quite understand is that some owners have said it's very slow getting away (let's say 0-30), while others complain at it's lack of speed for overtaking (say 30-50 or 50 -70). But how does it achieve the 10.4 seconds for 0-60 claimed by MG?
I would say that they don't know how to drive it properly - although I haven't driven one, I get the impression that the 1.5 behaves very similarly to how the 1.4 K series did in the ZR 105 - you need to use the upper half of the rev range to get the torque and performance, and low down it will struggle.

And tbh, 0-60 in over 10 seconds is not that impressive for a 1.5 in the first place....
 

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Many thanks for replying James.
What I don't quite understand is that some owners have said it's very slow getting away (let's say 0-30), while others complain at it's lack of speed for overtaking (say 30-50 or 50 -70). But how does it achieve the 10.4 seconds for 0-60 claimed by MG?
if I recall, you have to absolutely floor
It to get off the mark quickly - revs must be above 3000rpm. There’s a sweet spot in 3rd at a little over 3000rpm but it’s so fleeting you’re never quite sure when you’ll get it.

Teamed with the rather rubbery gear shift, every journey was a new experience as you’re usual instinctive sense of how much to push down the pedal and in what gear didn’t really work with this car.
 

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ROVER 25 and a ROVER CABRIOLET
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When a group of us had a good look around the engine of one in about 2013/14 we came to the conclusion that it looked a lot like a K-Series, you never know it may have been the basis for the 1.5, especially when you see the power is in the top end but I will agree, its gutless, I do believe that China have a 1.5 Turbo ?

I would just rip the 1.5 out and throw in a 1.8 K turbo like KMAPS have done, the power the car deserves.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And tbh, 0-60 in over 10 seconds is not that impressive for a 1.5 in the first place....
It's not express of course, but it's not far short of the 0-60 speeds achieved by 'Fast Fords' such as the XR2 and Sportka that had 1.6 engines. Going back a few years, I know!
 

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I've found it's pretty much down to how you drive it, as it is with most budget cars. If you floor while cruising in a high gear, not a lot is going to happen, but if you drop a gear or you pull away with decent revs it picks up pretty quick.
 

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Exist one chinese version, with 1.0 with turbo.

I check many reviews of MG for Latin America, and all of them say no good evaluation to the automatic gearbox. The electronic configuration of the gear is to be "economical" and when need power to accelerate, the gearbox is a mess. All recommendation for MG is in mechanic Transmission.

Now IN relation with power/consumption, the manual of the NSE motor, says the need of the soft use the first 1000 miles (1500 km), supposed, the need to seat the engine.
 

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It's not express of course, but it's not far short of the 0-60 speeds achieved by 'Fast Fords' such as the XR2 and Sportka that had 1.6 engines. Going back a few years, I know!
Comparing it to a XR2 that came out in 1982 and finished in 1989 isn't saying much ;)
 

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mg_tf
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My wife has a 15 plate 3 which she’s had since new, the engine definitely freed up as she put more miles on it. The car definitely isn’t a GTI but she finds it more than adequate, on the few occasions I drive it I don’t feel disappointed by the performance and although I’m no racer boy I’m certainly no Miss Daisy either.

I feel that if people want GTI performance they should buy a GTI, I wouldn’t buy a Big Mac and complain it didn’t taste like a fillet steak.
 

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Most reviewers agree that the 1.5 engine is underpowered and noisy and would benefit from a turbo. But I have seen some owners say it really improves after a few thousand miles and actually becomes quite nippy.
Can any long-term owners say whether they are happy with the performance and overtaking ability of the MG3?
It is no longer true, if it ever was, to say that the early reviews calling the engine "coarse" represent a considered majority view - were they all copying off someone who hadn't really tried it?
It really depends what you are comparing the engine with. It is not a Polo GTI engine but it isn't the 60/75PS level which opens the batting on the Fiestas and Fabias etc. either - and even then, with no kit, those cars are dearer!
The engine does loosen up after say 10,000 miles and has plenty of oomph for trans-European cruising. It isn't noisy either.
I went from ZS180 to 3 and I hardly ever miss those extra horses, though I do like the fuel saving lol.
 

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rover_25
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Our 68 plate MG3 has 20k miles, i didn't notice a difference in between new and 20k miles, its still horrendously slow, and when we go to Cornwall twice a year to see family it really struggles. i sooo wish they offered a sportier engine. once the lease is up we are getting rid of it. on the plus side, it makes my 25 190 feel like a rocketship when i drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It is no longer true, if it ever was, to say that the early reviews calling the engine "coarse" represent a considered majority view - were they all copying off someone who hadn't really tried it?
I'm actually referring to YouTube road test reviews and if anything, criticism of the engine has increased for the 2018 facelift MG3. Typical of such criticism can be found in reviews by Car Obsession ("a real sticking point"), Auto Bears ("the elephant in the room") and Furious Driving ("there's nothing there"). Apart from this, they mostly praise the car for its value for money, and compliment the improved interior and the way the car handles.
But they reckon that being naturally aspirated, the engine is old-fashioned, suffers from a severe lack of low down torque and needs to be revved very hard for any acceleration.
The review by Planet Auto is an exception - he doesn't have a problem with the engine, but does say he does like to drive his cars hard like in an old style hot hatch.
 
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