1997 MG F MPi 1.8 from UK and Ireland


You can't drive on wishes


Head gasket failure at 134,000 miles.

Head gasket failure at 134,500 miles.

Head gasket failure at 135,000 miles on brand new engine with upgraded HG, etc.

Water pump leak.

Cambelt went, bent valves.

Block cracked due to leaking water pump.

Corrosion at subframe mounting points.

Exhaust flexi joint.

Lambda sensor.

Backbox totally rusted out.

Catalytic converter disintegrated.

Trim loose and easily broken.

Radio stopped working.

Driver's window loose and lets in rain.

Hood doesn't close properly and leaks.

Ball joints need replacing every couple of years.

Underfloor coolant pipes rusted through.

New underfloor coolant pipes rusted through.

Sensors and ECU's randomly fail.

Loads more.

General Comments:

The car keeps in the tradition of British made car, in their quirkiness and their unshakable unreliability.

A standard car that wasn't built to last, with an engine that wasn't tested or developed properly. Not fast, and handling isn't really that great; at the bottom of the list in all departments compared to MX5's, MR2's, etc. A fact that is often questioned, but is true I'm afraid.

If you buy one, you will be constantly paying out for repairs. Fans of the car seem to be blind to this, and also to the awful reliability of the engine, but I can no longer keep paying out for it.

Constantly checking the coolant temp gauge level and hoping the water is still at the same level, just isn't worth it for a very normal, under-developed car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th April, 2011

28th Jul 2016, 17:33

The most biased review I read in many years. 3 head gaskets with only 500 miles between each!!!??? Admitted these cars aren't the most reliable, but what are obviously shoddily carried out repairs don't make it a bad car.

31st Jul 2016, 18:26

I have to agree - somebody has not done their homework here if 3 head gaskets were needed in such a short space of time. The belt should have been checked and done at the same time thus saving the valves. The exhaust and associated rusted out boxes and catalysts are just wear and tear, and to buy a 14-15 year old convertible and expect it to be watertight is unrealistic.

Personally I wouldn't have one of these under any circumstances, but the OP's expectations from a car of this mileage and age I fear were unrealistic. That coupled with what I suspect was cut price repairs was never going to end well.

1997 MG F VVC 1.8i from UK and Ireland


Fun, gorgeous, pokey cheap sports car!


The fast speed on my window wipers didn't work when I bought the car.

The right window has stopped working, window glass just fell down 1 day!

Leaks in rain or when washing, but hardly ever!

The display light on the oil indicator has never worked.

General Comments:

This car is the second car I have owned. I bought a Fiesta Ghia 1.1 when I was 18. I am now 22, and bought a second hand MGF VVC 1.8i 6 months ago. I love this car. The thing that drew me to it were its looks, and the speed!

The first thing I noticed was that the petrol went down rather quickly compared to other petrol cars. But I have since discovered that driving sensibly, the fuel is fine... Drive like a nutter, the fuel's gonna go!

It hardly ever leaks, corners amazingly, and is quite pokey; when you put your foot down, you're gone!!!

I think I will keep this car for a few years, or for as long as I can. It has given me no major problems so far, so who am I to say it's unreliable!!! People who drive like idiots, should know that their car is going to break. Have fun, but be careful, you'll be fine!!!

Any opinions, below please :)

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

Review Date: 25th February, 2009

1st Mar 2009, 06:31

Love the fact they are rear wheel drive and that VVC engine is smooth and progressive, just wish you didn't have to worry about head gasket failure. If you only give it welly once warmed up it shouldn't be just as likely to happen - but still wouldn't hold my breath. For the cost you can get these, as long as you factor in the price of getting the HG done, you won't be disappointed, and they are still good value for money.