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MG3 set to be discontinued in Australia at start of 2024, electric replacement on the cards

Curt Dupriez
Deputy editor

Cheap and cheerful Chinese hatchback is entering the twilight of its lifecycle and it set to be replaced by a techier and safer electric successor  

The MG3, the most affordable automatic-equipped new car sold in Australia, looks set to be put to pasture within the next 12 to 18 months. And the petrol-powered price-buster is confirmed to be replaced by an electrified successor.  

The current MG3 generation launched globally in 2011, and locally in 2016. And it does look as if progress in technology – and regulations in safety – are finally catching up with it.  

MG 3 2021 front driving
The MG3 isn’t long for this world

Today’s compact hatchback model range, starting at $18,990 driveaway, doesn’t currently offer autonomous emergency braking, a safety technology now considered near essential new car inclusion and one that’s touted to become mandatory fitment with forthcoming ADR stipulations arriving in 2025. 

With that, the MG3 is likely to head into a runout phase some time within the next 12 months.    

Yet that hasn’t slowed its sales success, with the MG3 finding over 16,168 buyers in 2022, far ahead of it’s next closest competitor in the ‘light car’ segment, the Suzuki Baleno, with 6124 sales, followed by the Mazda 2 (5146) and Kia Rio (4576).

Kia Rio 2023 front ground
The MG3 even outsells the popular Kia Rio

“Obviously [the MG3] is reaching the end of its lifecycle, but it’s still serving Aussies and still essentially the best-selling car in its segment,” says MG Australia PR manager David Giammetta. 

“[The MG3] still gives people the opportunity to have a brand new car with a seven-year warranty and all of the comfort and safety features as well,” says MG Australia marketing manager Rick Whaite. 

“It is approaching the end of its life but we do have a thick pipeline around [aspects of MG3] that are in its future.”

When asked whether a replacement for today’s MG3 would be fully electric, Giammetta responds that “there’s a high likelihood that it would [be] but at this point we can’t really say.”

Given no replacement for the current MG3 has been teased or suggested, what form might a new MG3 be? 

MG 3 2021 rear
A successor could potentially go fully electric

“We could essentially take other models from the parent company (SAIC) and it could then take that [MG3] nameplate,” Giametta adds. 

“The next 12 to 18 months is incredibly exciting,” says Whaite, while stopping short of confirming an end date for the current MG3’s release.

“We’re keen to start sharing teaser products with you and [MG3] is certainly one of them,” adds Giametta. “There’s a demand for MG3 [and] we’re keen to continue with the model, whatever that looks like in the future.”

Understandably, a ‘new’ MG3 model would inevitably offer a higher level for core safety and tech than is currently offered in today’s lineup. 

MG’s latest “take charge” marketing catchphrase strongly suggests an inevitable BEV future for its strong selling compact runabout. 

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