By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Last October, MG gave South Africans a taste of its new MG3 at the Johannesburg International Motor Show, and announced that the new compact hatch would reach showrooms by January 2014.
Yet so far it has stood us up. What exactly happened then?
MG South Africa's General Manager, Derrick Bishop, explained that the Chinese assembly plant simply wasn't able to allocate cars to us. “Because of supply issues and the UK getting first choice, we simply didn't receive stock,” Bishop said.
However, there is a new factory in Thailand which is set to start production soon and this plant will be supplying South Africa. MG expects to launch the MG3 here at the beginning of the second half of the year.
ONE ENGINE, THREE FLAVOURS
The hatch will be available in three grades, namely the entry-level MG3, mid-range MG3 Wired and flagship MG3 Style. MG tells us that pricing will be announced closer to launch, although the local MG website lists the MG3 at R159 900, the Wired at R175 000 and the Style at R189 900.
All three are powered by a normally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The motor delivers 78kW at 6000rpm and 137Nm of twist at 4750rpm, allowing for a (claimed) 0-100km/h dash in around 10 seconds and a top speed “in excess of” 175km/h.
South African MGs are distributed and sold by Mandarin Motors, which forms part of the CMH group. There are currently 15 dealerships in SA and the company plans to add 10 more this year.
Let's just hope that they hold the MG3's pricing around the R160K mark in the face of our weak rand.
Would you consider choosing this over a Yaris, Polo or Clio?