1996 MG F MPi 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Best car I have ever had (by a huge margin) - get one, you won't regret it


Head gasket at 91,000 miles.

The odd leak from the hood.

A flat battery once.

Inner rim tyre wear.

General Comments:

Handling is exceptional, especially when coupled with he ride quality.

Design isn't faultless, but is extremely pleasing to the eye and functional.

Build quality could be better, but it isn't bad, just not up to German standards - certainly much better than I expected (it is after all a British sports car).

Hydragas suspension is fantastic - this makes the car in my opinion, it is a perfect compromise between handling and comfort - all the other competition suffer from bone jarring rides.

The car is quick, but isn't necessarily fast. It is more than capable of keeping up with most things on the road, but will eventually be lost on a straight run. Bends and roundabouts however and you'll be hard pressed to loose an F - the handling is superb.

Boot space is ample, the best in class when launched, except it's an odd shape so squashy bags rather than suitcases are the rule.

Cabin is well appointed and nicely designed. Feels well screwed together (with one or two exceptions) and very comfortable.

Driving position is great except for the steering wheel which is a little offset to the lower left - this can cause problems for those with long legs.

Hood is a work of genius, can be opened and closed from the driver's seat in less than 5 seconds, folds into an incredibly small space too - very clever. Newer cars have a revised design, older design hoods can have (very) minor leaks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2003

20th May 2004, 04:41

So glad to see a good comment about the MGF, I have a 1997 MGF I bought it secondhand it had one previous owner, so far I have had to replace the coil which took the garage 2 days to sort why it wouldn't start, had new radiator also, just run of the mill things I suppose, but having left my car standing for 1 week outside during Jan 2004, while on a skiing holiday I returned to find it wouldn't start. My partner removed all the plugs cleaned them etc and off it went, other than that I love my MGF its not superfast, but it handles like a dream, Hope to buy a new one when I have saved some more cash.

1996 MG F 1.8i from UK and Ireland


A nice looking car, a mechanical bag of crap


My head gasket blew at 45,000 miles.

SRS airbag system is continually faulty.

Head and block reported as porous, and needs to be replaced.

General Comments:

This is the worst car I have ever owned. I would recommend that you avoid the MGF like the plague. Buy an MX5 if you want a soft top car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd July, 2002

13th Aug 2002, 10:21

I agree buy an MX 5. Rover dealer gave me that advice too!

28th Dec 2002, 17:35

Cooling problems and head gasket failures can be a nightmare. The MGF has everything I want from a car - apart from reliability.

28th Aug 2006, 10:53

Can someone please tell me what the clutch is like on this model. Is it light or heavy? Same with the steering? Would appreciate a reply.

21st Aug 2007, 07:35

Clutch is quite light, similar to a Honda Civic (the F has a Honda gearbox funny enough), steering is about right, not too light and not too heavy.

24th Oct 2012, 01:52

I have had an MG, year 96. It was a green one, and constantly overheated, and left me having to walk home with the thing sitting at the side of the road, with a face like a smacked bum!

Many times having it fixed, costing me money all the time, only to have it leak and overheat, and I was glad to see it being driven off on the back of a scrapyard's truck.

1996 MG F 1.8i from UK and Ireland


Fusebox meltdown, leaks through hood, boot and footwells, alarm going off at random, poor paintwork, front tyres wearing unevenly... Abysmal dealers incapable of fixing faults and occasionally adding some new ones.

General Comments:

As a company car it was great fun, the faults meant less to me. I'd never own one privately.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th August, 1999

1996 MG F VVC 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland


Engine reluctant when left parked in rain overnight (water in spark plugs?)

Had to go back to have windows adjusted.

General Comments:

Excellent handling, faster than most coupes, great fun to own.

Main dealer servicing exorbitant.

MPG very good, insurance not bad, in all I have yet to find a car in the same price range that I'd swap it for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 1999

1996 MG F 1.8i from UK and Ireland


Nothing. Honest!

General Comments:

Superb handling, but extra care needed in wet weather as rear wheel drive.

Lovely rasping engine.

Induces grin on face when driven.

Minor niggle - huge glove box but lack of other storage spaces from drivers seat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 1999

1996 MG F 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland


24 warranty claims in three years!

Worst: head gasket (6 days off road), numerous oil leaks, numerous hood leaks resulting in new hood, failed electric windows.

General Comments:

Shame about the faults from a car which is nice to drive. Dealer was doing really well until the head gasket failure left me without a car for six days....

Worrying about having to pay for its regular garage trips caused me to sell it for a different maker's vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th November, 1998