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The updated 2018 MG 3 range has been scheduled for a third-quarter arrival in Australia, the company has told CarAdvice this week.

A firm date is yet to be confirmed, but the new MG 3 will get a significant update inside and out, likely mirroring the changes seen in its home market of China (pictured).

Compared to the current version – which looks a little like an insect – the new model gets a more conventional and upmarket-looking frontal treatment, sporting the company’s new corporate face debuted on the ZS crossover.

The changes lend the MG 3 a far more premium fascia, while also bearing resemblance to the current Mazda 2 – right down to the ‘London Eye’ LED daytime-running light signature with a lot of ‘Kodo’ in it.

At the rear, the updated hatch gets a revised tail-light design likely incorporating partial LED lighting – we can’t tell from the information on the Chinese website – along with updated bumpers and new alloy wheel designs.

The biggest change, however, has been made in the cabin, with the MG 3 adopting an entirely new dashboard layout which in higher grades incorporates the ZS’s 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. A new steering wheel is also included.

In its home market, the new media unit features 4G connectivity and parent company SAIC Motor’s intelligent voice-activated assistant on the high-spec model, while lower versions get a more basic satellite navigation system with Apple CarPlay compatibility.

For Australia, MG is almost certainly going to offer the latter as it has done with the ZS, with the deletion of factory navigation.

Regardless, the new layout and likely fitment of nicer trim and materials should make the MG 3’s cabin a much nicer place to be, and a far more competitive prospect against increasingly upmarket rivals like the Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Polo.

In terms of powertrains, it’s unclear whether Australia will get the more powerful 1.5-litre ‘Plus’ petrol engine, which develops 86kW at 6000rpm and 150Nm at 4500rpm – the current model manages 78kW and 137Nm.

The new engine gets a new Aisin-sourced automatic transmission as standard, though the amount of gears isn’t specified on the Chinese website. Fuel consumption, meanwhile, is rated at 5.9L/100km on the Chinese combined cycle – 0.1L more than the current manual-only MG 3.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more details about the updated MG 3 closer to its launch in the third quarter of 2018. Click the photos tab for more images.

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