1997 MG F 1.8VVC 1.8VVC from UK and Ireland


A great, cheap, classic British sports car with a great heritage


Handbrake warning light flickered on and off.

Heater temperature control knob broke.

Started to idle at 1300rpm.

General Comments:

Reggie, as my red MG was christened, was great fun in the three years I owned it. He was quick, reliable and fantastic to drive around the Yorkshire Dales, the Devon hills and the Cheshire countryside.

He was also exciting to take around the circuit in Anglesey, as featured on TV's 'Fifth Gear' programme.

Only a few niggling little faults came to light, which I am sure will be easily fettled by the dealer before he goes to a good home.

Reggie has now been replaced with Reggie the Second - a Solar Red MG TF160 Sprint, which is even better...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2006

28th Jul 2016, 17:45

Idle speed is easy to fix. Very simple DIY reset (warm engine, ignition on (don't start), foot on throttle for 5 secs then press/release pedal 4-5 times, all within 20 secs, ignition off. Done)

1997 MG F VVC 1.8i from Australia and New Zealand


The best car in the world, bar none


Rear window zipper slider broke.

General Comments:

I feel in love with the MG-F after a quick test drive in Jan 2006 but the dealer wanted a ridiculous price for a 1996 1.8i. I bought one on an auction site and it's the best. Drove it 200km home after buying it and no fatigue. I drove a Mazda 323 (Neo) with 17" alloys, but always got sore shoulders. Not so with the comfort of the MG. It is simply a dream car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2006

1997 MG F 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Avoid an MGF at all costs


Head gasket 3 times.

Cam-belt many times.

Wiper motor 4 times.

Radiator three times.

Suspension many times.

Electrics constantly.

Brakes constantly.

Cooling system constantly.

Alloys wheels crack many times.

All tyres deflate because of under-engineered alloys.

Constant rust everywhere - no evidence of galvanizing.

Lights fault all the time.

Brake lights constantly faulty.

Constant coolant loss.

General Comments:

For its size this is a stunning looking car. But it is extremely under-engineered and very dangerous to rely on where very reliable performance is essential.

The seats and driving position are beyond awful. It was bought from a car supermarket and it has had repairs in excess of £13k in 4-5 years.

A very consequential, indeed, life-changing mistake - £30k for 4-5 years of misery, constant tension and utter unreliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th October, 2005

17th Oct 2005, 06:27

I sympathise with you mate, I owned one of these - 1997 as well. Cost me a fortune, I, d fix one problem, drive it for a few weeks then something else would break, not minor problems either (although I had my share of those as well). Sorry to hear it cost you as much as it did, I managed to offload mine in part-ex at below book price, happy to just cut my losses and let someone else have the heartache. Driving a bland, but utterly reliable and stress free Nissan now and loving it.

Anyone reading this, you have been warned. Avoid an MGF at all costs...

27th Jan 2006, 03:52

You just have to face the fact that you got a lemon. Could happen to anyone with any make of car.

11th Feb 2006, 01:49

Hard lines Buddy.

Just last night my head gasket went for the second time in 12 months on my MGF.

Devastated. Now looking around at options to either get rid of the thing, or price up a repair myself.

It could have been such a GOOD car, not a constant worry like it has been. MG, with more care towards quality of product, could have survived-maybe even prospered.

5th Sep 2007, 13:40

I've read the reviews of the 1997 MGF and they all pretty much say to keep well away from it. Yet the comments on the 1998 MGF are all good. I'm confused. Does this mean its OK to get a 1998 MGF? As this is the year of the one I'm looking to buy.

12th Jun 2009, 18:08

How much is it to fix the head gasket?

Thanks, Mel =)

22nd Mar 2010, 05:34

Spoke to an MG specialist at Nepean Sports Cars Sydney Australia. He said don't touch the MGF as they are a "ticking time bomb". A head gasket replacement can cost over $3,000.

22nd Mar 2010, 15:38

Head gasket failure is more common than on most cars, but it only costs between £250 and £500 on average at most decent local garages.

There are people who will come out and do it for you, who specialise in Rover K series head gasket repairs. It's best to get the Landrover MLS replacement as it's a bit better.