1997 MG F 1.8i from UK and Ireland


Great fun, great ride, great handling even for a hairdressers car


When I first acquired this car, I didn't realise that the ride height was too low, and when I first took it to the dealer about another matter the mechanic exclaimed that my MG was 'on its knees'. It cost about £30 to pump the Hydragas suspension up a bit. Unfortunately I had driven it for about 1000 miles whilst it was too low and this led to excessive wear to the front tyres, which is a common problem of too low a ride height.

The car also needed a new rear brake pipe which had become corroded. This was identified at it's first service in my possession.

Also identified at this first service was a worn track rod end, and top ball joints to the rear. The service and all of the repairs mentioned above cost me £600.

More recently, the central door lock solenoid on the drivers side broke, but I think this was caused by myself, removing the inner door trim whilst the battery was still connected...

Just last week I needed a new radiator fitting which was also badly corroded. That was £280.

Whilst the car was at the dealers, I got the to look at excessive play in the gear stick. They remedied that, but took £100 off me...

General Comments:

Ride is fantastic, not too hard, but you do learn where the pot-holes are on roads you use regularly!

Handling is great, this is the first car that not only gets me from A to B, but gets me there with a smile on my face!

Being rear wheel drive, the car is extremely predictable. If I had to fault the handling, I would say that it tends to under-steer a little now and then, but nowhere near as bad as an Audi TT!

It really is a fun car, I often find myself smiling when I am driving. It isn't the fastest thing on the road, but open top motoring is not about getting there fast! If you get one, get some sun cream for your face, I have gotten sun burnt a few times!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2004

1997 MG F VVC 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


It's a girl's car


Very unreliable when bought (from a dealer).

Had to make several trips there, but seemed to find reliability - eventually.

Thank God there was a warranty.

General Comments:

Dead good handling from the mid-engined layout.

Reasonably practical for a two-seater.

It goes! Not the fastest machine in reality but you'll need a something well meaty to beat it and, importantly, it FEELS much faster than it is.

Fun roof-down action, great on sunny days. Bloody noisy on rainy days, especially on the motorway.

Overall, great fun. Only problem is IT'S A GIRL'S CAR (and NO, I'm not a girl).

I have argued with my mates what a top bit of fun this car is, given all the good reasons for having it and defended it 'til the end. But, they're right - it's not something other blokes tend to admire.

But I don't care. I'm happy and that's all that's important!

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

Review Date: 15th February, 2001

6th Mar 2004, 02:59

A girls car? It may not be the most powerful or fastest car out there, but 0-60 in 7secs (1.8vvc) doesn't sound girlie to me. That will see off most boy racers, in style. What it is that actually makes this a girls car I don't know, but what I do know is that I'm looking to get one for the summer, and with me being a male, if it appeals to girls then that's just fine!

28th Sep 2004, 06:01

Having owned an MGF 1.8 VVC now for 6 months I have heard the 'girls' or 'hairdressers' car comment several times. I think it's because it's quite a 'pretty' car to look at and not aggressive. One thing I have noticed is all the people that have called it have been A. Male and B. Driving some family saloon when they would rather be driving something sportier.

My response has always been 'why should girls and hairdressers have all the fun!'

29th Nov 2004, 11:54

I can see what you mean by calling it a girls car is because I agree it is a pretty car, but I have driven one and now am looking to buy one in the coming weeks. they are amazingly fun to drive and they leave most other cars standing (Toyota MR2 + Mazda MX-5 especially) which I believe it was originally designed to do.

17th Feb 2005, 08:47

No. Jealous people (Toyota corolla drivers and such) will call your rag top car girlie for 1 reason only. Its got no roof. A word from a Porsche 911 owner, "people still call mine a girls car, and always will if its got no roof"

Its not a girls car (unless you got the 1.6 version)

9th Apr 2005, 17:42

I`d call an MX5 a girls or hairdressers car, but not an MG F, it`s a great looking car that handles well and is rewarding to drive, BMW did not do anything for MG, they only wanted to get the Range Rover so they could copy the design for their own off road vehicles.