MG TF Review from France

2002 MG TF 135 1.8

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired6000 kilometres
Most recent distance20600 kilometres
Previous carRenault Scenic

Summary:

Excellent sporty little car, but could be more reliable

Faults:

It came with a small hole in the roof, the dealer patched it, but the repair didn't last.

The reverse gear regularly drops out with a rattling noise.

The flexible in the exhaust pipe reverberates at low RPM, it will be replaced by dealer.

When accelerating pedal to the floor at 3500rpm in third gear up-wards, the engine seems to strangle, which causes jumps and jerks. This is new and I hope the dealer will fix it on extended warranty.

The passenger electrical window failed when it rubbed against the roof and had to be readjusted.

The water temperature sensor failed at 18000km and had to be changed.

Diverse noises behind the dashboard.

General Comments:

I got the car after 6 months as a demonstration car. As such, it came with a very complete equipment, and except for the hole in the roof was in tip-top condition.

The car is fun to drive, the steering is very direct and engine response up-wards from 3500rpm is excellent. The suspension is very hard, which leads to a very safe feeling at high speed and in curves on an even surface. On bumpy roads, the comfort level drops significantly, and the driving tends to need a lot of attention, especially since the wide tires follow every small uneveness in the road.

The engine makes its presence behind the seats heard, and communication at speeds above 120km/h is difficult.

The brakes are good, but on roads with very asymmetrical friction, the car can sometimes drift to one side. The ABS kicks in early, which can significantly increase stopping distance on wet or gravel.

When driven sportively, as it should, the TF goes through the rear tires very quickly, I changed my first set at 16000km, with some help from a screw that got lodged in one of them.

The TF isn't a great fan of summer heat as we get it here in southern France. On sustained motorway drives with an outside temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, the oil temperature is flirting with the red line, and the air conditioning cannot compensate for the heat from the sun on the black roof and radiating from the engine.

Obviously, the boot is tiny, but with the addition of a boot rack even a camping holiday and longer trips were possible without too much deprivation.

The TF is a great car for summer cruising, and even on sunny winter days an open top drive with the heating at max is possible and fun when a wind stopper is fitted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2005

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 1 review