2003 MG TF 135 1.8
A delight to own and drive
Chattering from the locks.
I fancied something a little different to the norm and grabbed myself a TF135 on a whim. I guess the opposite end of the scale to the S-Type it replaced. I actually prefer the looks of the MG F (more classic), but couldn't find one I was happy with. I think it's an OK looking car, but don't go for the "envious looks from other drivers" thing... it's a 12 year old MG after all!
I'm 6'3" and find the car pretty comfortable. OK I sometimes struggle getting my hand between my left knee and the wheel, but this really isn't an issue. I do have shorter legs and a long body though! The seating position is slightly high, but this really makes no difference to me. I suffer with lower back issues and I find that having to sit with my bum slightly forward helps - simply suits my situation.
The ride is tough by default; I mean real tough, but for me this was part of the appeal of the car. If I wanted a smooth ride I'd have gone for anything other than the TF.
I had a Rover 216 GTi TC in my late teens/early twenties and this little 1.8 unit brings back memories. Near no torque low down, but it loves to rev and gets going once you get above 3500 RPM. Makes me smile every time things get a little frisky! It's not a fast car by any means, but I'd say the engine matches the chassis and the average person's driving ability.
Handling can be very VERY interesting in wet and/or icy conditions. I'd heard this prior to purchasing, but didn't appreciate how real the warnings were. My first experience came mid roundabout, taking it real easy, and off the throttle, and the back snapped. Thankfully I caught it. If you grab one, ensure you check the tyre pressures every few weeks and take it easy.
Kit level... non existent.
Summary: I love this car! It's everything my wife doesn't want me to own. I grabbed it as a summer car with a view of shifting it due to the mileage I cover (80 miles a day commuting). I now plan to keep the TF as a second car after getting something a little more family friendly next year.
You hear lots about head gasket failures, but these are usually caused by coolant leaks etc. Just grab one that has been well maintained. Check for leaks under the car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th September, 2015