New MG 3 is the UK's cheapest full hybrid car at £18,495

“A very iconic car has disappeared, and I think there’s a great opportunity for someone to come and sweep up for those people that don’t necessarily want an SUV and still want a 4.1-metre supermini that pretty much ticks all the boxes,” he said.

“I don’t think we will pick all of it up, but I think it will give people a choice, and that’s important. The B-segment isn’t where it was in terms of the model choices that are available, and you’ve only got to look at the rise of the SUV and the decline of the B-segment to see what’s been happening.”

The new 3 is expected to cost around £18,000 in hybrid form and as little as £16,000 in pure-petrol guise with a manual gearbox – with bosses planning for it to have a roughly 10% price advantage over both its pure-ICE and electrified rivals. 

Making the 3 as accessible as possible is important, Allison said, because “it gives us a point of difference, and that’s important, because while we’re very close to being in the top 10, we’re still quite invisible.

“People are quite familiar with the [MG] badge, because it’s been around for 100 years and their grandad used to drive one and all that good stuff, but I still think there’s a lack of recognition of what we sell today. Our job to tell people we exist is still really quite important.”

mg3 rear seats

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