Following a correct guess via our FaceBook page to the original competition (at the bottom of this page) we can now reveal that we’ve been driving an MG 3FORM Sport. And we’ve had great fun with it. Allow me to elaborate…

mg3 review (11)

We don’t often do conventional car reviews on MotorPunk, we’re more about automotive adventures than MPG stats, but now and then something comes along that we feel is worth a special mention. MG to us ‘punks previously meant hot Metros and Maestros, models long gone, along with the Midgets and MGBs we have in the barn undergoing a slow restoration. So why the cryptic nature of this feature, why a competition? We wanted people to really look at the car, question it, without any preconceived ideas about what it might be or how it might perform. Here, have a look at a few pics now we’ve dropped the guessing game, review to follow below.

This model, the MG 3FORM Sport, costs £9899 new. You can get the same package, without the sporty bits for £8399. That is not a lot of money for any new car, let alone one that drives so nicely. It’s a fair-sized five door hatch with just enough grip, very little body roll, good brakes and a chassis that allows you to scythe around corners at quite a pace. Ride is firm. We like little cars with lots of guts, like this. The engine has 106PS, it’s an old fashioned 1.5 litre,  4 pot with 16v and natural aspiration, with a five speed ‘box. Nothing radical there. On paper it will do 50MPG (combined) but we only managed 35MPG because we were too busy enjoying driving it. 0-60 takes 10.4 seconds but it’s a noisy affair to get up to speed quickly, so you drive it without wanting to brake, ever, and rely on the grip and chassis to carry speed along. It’s a really rewarding way to drive and a credit to the Brummies who designed it.

It isn’t made in Brum, though. It’s made in China. Like the phone or monitor you’re reading this on. And that’s why it’s cheap, I guess. But the important bits; the development, the design – that’s done in blighty and SAIC employ 275 Engineers and 25 Designers at Longbridge who should be credited for making me feel as good driving this as I did in a Maestro turbo back in the days before Leicestershire Police could afford a helicopter. I’d love to have them turbocharge this car. MG, not the Police. MG’s new GS has 166PS from a turbocharged version of the same engine. The MG3 can clearly handle more power and with a stiff chassis and good steering feel it would make an excellent low-cost hot hatch with a difference.

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So what don’t we like? Do you remember at school, when you forgot your PE kit and the sadist teacher would make you wear shorts from the lost and found bag? The seats in this sport model are made of the same material as those. The trim quality won’t bother Audi much and the stereo isn’t the most intuitive. The drivers door shuts with a ‘spang’ rather than a ‘thunk’. But – the model I drove has aircon, Bluetooth, cruise control, DAB, parking sensors, lots of legroom front and back and ‘leccy windows all round and (and this is the important bit) all for less than £10k. Also, I think it looks pretty good. Compare it to the Corsa, Fiesta or Fabia, for example. This has an edge, a chunkiness, particularly in this grey paint scheme, and it’s a cracker to drive. Actually, MG are pretty confident this car stacks up against those rivals as it does the comparison for you on their website, here.

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Thanks for all the guesses, from Focus RS to Subaru Levorg we had plenty, but the answer to what we’ve been driving is this MG 3FORM Sport. Go and try one for yourself, eyes open, quiet b road, and you’ll have as much fun as we did.

Rich Duisberg.

—- original competition below, now closed —-

There have been quite a few interesting press cars pass through our hands in recent years, our favourites being any of the Morgans, the Caterham 160, that slightly flakey Maserati Quattroporte and a thumping Jaguar XJR. We usually rely on the hard-working Rad Pajor for pictures of them, or Dr O on his iPhone with the perpetually broken screen, but this week when something interesting arrived the office chimp got the job of photography and what a mess he made of it! So – We thought we’d have some fun.

We’ll regularly publish two pics of the actual car (taken by aforementioned chimp) plus one random photograph of something else. The first person to guess make, model and trim level of our latest press fleet blag correctly will win a signed copy of my badly written book.  We’ll post three pictures at a time until someone gets it right, and then we’ll give you a bit of a review and some decent pictures. So, here are your first three pictures, leave your guess as a comment below (or stick it on social media where we can see it). Good luck!

Day four’s pictures;

It’s not a Seat or a Subaru, and the Ka pics were fakes, sorry about that. The hat in day three is an abstract clue, though. Here, have some more pics and keep guessing. I’ve made the fake pic a bit easier to spot this time. A few words on how it drives; there is loads of grip unless you’re on tight lock and hoofing it (when the TC grumbles a bit) the chassis is way better than you might expect and it handles better than anything in it’s class we’ve driven. We’d love to turbocharge it for even more fun, maybe the manufacturer will do that on future models?

Day three’s pictures;

OK, there’s a bit of an abstract clue to help you now. Also, the gearknob pic from day 1 was the fake.


Day two’s pictures;

Thanks for the guesses yesterday. ‘Focus RS’ was the best guess we received, but it’s still a mile off. Sorry. Here are three more for your perusal. Two real pics, one fake. Surely one of you owns something from this marque to help you get close to a guess?!

Day one’s pictures;


About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

7 Responses

  1. Alan Wardle

    Hi Motorpunk,
    Here’s a wild guess based on the abstract clue – the photo of a hat. . Is the car a Seat Ateca, trim level S?

    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      No Sir, it’s a little less oriental than that. More pics soon and thanks for the guess.

  2. rich

    looking at the photos my guess is Suzuki Swift but the hat is a traditional baker boys hat and the only bakers boy I can think of in the car world is Pagani.


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