The MG3 is expected to cost just under R160 000 when it goes on sale in January.
The MG3 is expected to cost just under R160 000 when it goes on sale in January.

Johannesburg Motor Show - The MG marque, which has been resurrected by SAIC of China, is ready to take on the B-segment brat pack with its MG3 that's due to go on sale in January 2014.

Local distributor CHM expects the pricing to range from R159 000 to R179 000, although that's not set in concrete as yet - given that the rand could still dish up some surprises between now and then.

While no fire-cracker, the MG3 does offer a bigger engine than most of its rivals, this coming in the form of a 1.5-litre 16-valve CVVT petrol unit with 78kW on tap. The company claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 11.5 seconds and a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.6 litres per 100km.

There will be a wide choice of specification though, with four distinct models to choose between: 3Time, 3Form, 3Form Sport and 3Style. Buyers will also be able to personalise the exterior roof and mirrors through a series of graphic wraps that will cost in the region of R2000.

Judging by my brief tyre-kicking experience at the show, the MG3's interior appears to be solidly built and the neatly-styled dashboard conveys an impression of quality.

Like its MG6 counterpart, the MG3 was designed and engineered at the MG Birmingham facility in the UK and while the bulk of the car is put together in China, final assembly takes place at the Birmingham plant.

Currently there are 15 MG dealerships in South Africa and MG South Africa's General Manager Derrick Bishop expects that tally to rise to 30 by the tail end of 2014.