Suzuki Swift SZ-T vs MG 3 Exclusive

The now Chinese-owned MG Motors brand has been making some headway with sales in the UK since the release of the MG 6 in 2011 (the first new MG car in the country for 16 years) after production restarted in 2007. Since then and with a focus on affordability, MG Motors have released a number of other new models into the UK market, one of those being their compact city car - the MG 3. Like the Suzuki Swift, the MG 3 is a dark horse in an already busy compact car market and has stiff competition from household names like the Fiesta, Polo and Corsa, so we decided it was only fair to see how they both faired in a head-to-head review.

The Models

Exterior

Both the Suzuki Swift and MG 3 have their own unique set of exterior features, showcasing alloy wheels and sleek body lines. There is one noticeable difference on first glance however, which is the lack of front fog lamps on the MG 3. This isn't just a missing feature on the Exclusive derivative either - it's not available throughout the range, which is an odd decision from MG given that the exterior design seems to catered for their inclusion.

Both cars come with daytime running lights as standard, but the Suzuki Swift excels over the MG 3 by being equipped with automatic headlights, and when it comes to peace of mind the Swift SZ-T also comes with rear privacy glass.

"The latest Swift is a fine all rounder: able and amusing."

Top Gear

'Under the Hood' - The Engines

The Suzuki Swift hybrid model is mated with the 1.2 dualjet engine also seen in the Ignis, lauded for its fuel economy and peppy response. Conversely, under the hood of the MG 3 is a thirsty 1.5 engine providing more power than the Suzuki's but at a cost to fuel economy and emissions.

The numbers speak for themselves - although the MG 3 is just over 1 second quicker than the Swift from 0-60mph because of the extra power generated from the 1.5 engine, it has a combined MPG of just 42.3 vs the Swifts impressive 56.4. This means you'll be visiting the petrol station much less often in the Swift. CO2 emissions on the MG 3 are also much higher, coughing out 152g/km vs 113g/km which equates to a whopping £540 in 1st year road tax (£365 more than the Swift).

Safety

Both vehicles received a 3 star rating from NCAP, however the Swift has the option of adding 'Radar Brake Support' to the SZ3 and SZ-T (it's standard on the SZ5 model) which increases the score to 4 out of 5 stars. Radar Brake Support monitors the road ahead for potential collisions and will make an audible warning then apply the brakes if necessary. The MG 3 lacks this additional safety equipment and has no option to add it on.

Both cars are also equipped with a rear parking camera, and the MG 3 is also coupled with reversing sensors giving you additional confidence when maneuvering.

Read more about car features and what they are

"The MG 3 is not quite the awful snotter we were expecting. But it is ruined by an awful engine."

Top Gear

Reliability

The MG 3 surpasses the Suzuki with it's 7 year / 80,000 mile warranty, compared to the Swifts 3 year / 60,000 mile warranty, which will give some buyers extra peace of mind. However, in the latest Manufacturer Reliability Index, MG scored an average ranking of 17th out of 40 manufacturers whereas Suzuki ranked an exceptional 3rd out of 40. (Although Daihatsu ranks 1st in the list, this is deceptive as it hasn't produced a new vehicle in the UK since 2011 - so we can technically place Suzuki 2nd in the chart and MG 16th.)

Similarly, Suzuki also places 3rd (2nd if removing Daihatsu) in terms of average repair cost, vs MG's 10th (9th) position - meaning that in the unfortunate event your Suzuki needs repairing it will cost on average less than the MG.

Click here to view the whole Manufacturer Reliability Index list

Features & Conclusion

Both cars score well in the amount of bang you get for your buck. The Swift SZ-T has front fog lamps and automatic headlights as well as rear privacy glass which the MG is lacking, but equally the MG 3 has cruise control and reversing sensors not available on the Swift.

Both cars offer good value for money for the features available, but we've scored the Swift SZ-T higher and therefore our winner, because of its cleaner and more efficient engine as well as its better safety rating. It is also over £1,000 cheaper currently than the MG. The much better fuel economy of the Swift means that it'll be kinder on your pocket throughout ownership as well. Although the MG 3 has a longer warranty period, the reputation and reliability performance of the Suzuki should mean that the Swift SZ-T causes you less problems throughout your ownership.

Take a closer look at the Swift SZ-T

Side-by-side Comparison

Suzuki Swift SZ-T Hybrid 1.2 DualjetMG 3 Exclusive 1.5 VTI-TECH
RRP On The Road£15,049£13,295
Current Offer Price£12,049*£13,295
Combined MPG (WLTP)56.442.3
CO2 Emissions113g/km152g/km
1st Year Car Tax£175£540
Doors55
Engine Power90 HP106 PS
0-60mph11.5 seconds10.4 seconds
Top Speed111 mph108 mph
Euro NCAP Safety Rating★★★★ (with Radar Brake Support)★★★
Warranty3 years / 60,000 miles7 years / 80,000 miles
Manufacturer Reliability Index3rd (out of 40)17th (out of 40)
Average Repair Cost3rd (out of 40)10th (out of 40)
Radar Brake Support✅ (Option)
Rear Parking Camera
Reversing Sensors
Air Conditioning
Front Fog Lamps
Automatic Headlights
Daytime Running Lights
Apple CarPlay / Android Auto
Cruise Control
DAB Radio
Alloy Wheels
Leather Steering Wheel
Rear Privacy Glass
Score1812

*not available with 0% APR representative finance. Prices correct at time of posting.