TVR Griffith Reviews from UK and Ireland

1994 TVR Griffith 500 5.0 Ltr V8

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 5.0 Ltr V8 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired46500 miles
Most recent distance49000 miles
Previous carTVR Tasmin

Summary:

Stunning performance for the money and great looks make it the best sports car I've ever owned

Faults:

Alternator failed, thanks in part to sitting over the exhaust manifold and air flow under the bonnet is very poor. A few electrical gremlins, but nothing that could not be sorted out with a decent meter and a bit of electrical knowledge. Most of it down to the fact that the car is 10 years old and some poor repairs have been done in the past.

General Comments:

The Griffith has stunning looks, a wonderful V8 burble and provides breath-taking performance all for the same price of a new family saloon car. Straight line performance is astounding which is thanks to the mass of torque on tap making overtaking a breeze in any gear. The chassis is much improved over the older Wedge cars too, but you will still need a great deal of commitment round the bends to hang in and feathering the throttle out of bends is essential.

It will not take kindly to sitting in traffic, especially the early 500s, which shunt and jolt the transmission in traffic. Heat soak in the passenger compartment is also a problem, but as long as the cooling system is well maintain it should not over heat.

Non-PAS cars are extremely heavy on steering especially at parking speeds.

For me the car is everything I have ever wanted in a sports car, but it is not my every day car and I would never entertain this as a practical idea. I think this would spoil my enjoyment of the car and cost far too much in petrol, servicing and depreciation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2004

2nd Oct 2004, 13:11

Brilliant review, I'm a TVR fan and I think this guy has hit the nail on the head. Let's hope the new ones are up to the 911's every-day standards.

Peter Wheeler, we salute you!

21st Feb 2006, 06:22

I've had my early Griffith 500 for about 8 years now. Nothing major has broken - just odd bits and pieces which I've generally replaced myself. The speedo works half the time and the heater motor is noisey, but I'll fix these when the weather improves.

It's brutal and I love it! When I feel like finesse, I use my lotus instead...

I took a friend out last night to demonstrate the difference between this and her 1.9 Z3... she was screaming to the smell of burning rubber by the time we maxed out in second gear!

1995 TVR Griffith 500 5.0 V8 petrol

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5.0 V8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired26000 miles
Most recent distance29500 miles
Previous carPeugeot 306

Summary:

Oh yes!

Faults:

Clonk from the front suspension.

A few electrical gremlins.

General Comments:

What a car! Sounds like nothing else on earth (blip the throttle anywhere and at least forty heads turn), and the performance is just plain ridiculous. Will happily light up the back tyres in the dry in first and second (and third on one famous, nappy filling occasion), and tries its hardest to kill you every time it rains! But there isn't another driving experience like it.

Fuel consumption isn't too bad - I average low 20's which is outstanding for a massive prehistoric V8, and for a 4 second-ish 0-60 time. You can hit single figures on track days though! :(

Reliability too is okay, although dealer work costs a small fortune! One of the things that packed up was the stereo, and I didn't notice for two weeks - that's how good the car sounds!

In these days of automotive anonymity, boring tin boxes and EC drive-by noise regulations, it's good to see at least one manufacturer having the balls and the soul to build something like this. It's crude, loud, evil and often downright scary. More importantly though it's stupidly fast, gorgeous to look at, sounds like a million dollars, and of course, it's 100% British (yes, I know the engine was originally from Buick, but it's barely recognisable these days!)

The Griff' is a car you buy totally with your heart. It's a total animal and I love it to bits!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2002

28th Mar 2004, 13:51

I agree with you entirely...It's a car to be bought with your heart not your brain. I've had my Griff a week now and I still get out of the car with my hands shacking and wearing a stupid 'Goofy' grin (you know the one.. somewhere between delirious and ecstatic).

My only criticism is the cockpit cooling system... it has only two settings, hot or very hot... thank god the roof comes off.

20th Oct 2008, 18:59

I agree totally with all the points mentioned, I've had my 500 hc just over a year and it's been the most exciting car I have ever driven or been driven in. You get massive respect from general on lookers, which Porsche or Ferrari drivers don't. I will keep hold of my Griff as it is a timeless beast that will always make you smile, and sometimes nearly soil yourself! Proud to be British, what a CAR!

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 9 reviews