2001 MG F 1.6i from UK and Ireland




Indicator lens, roof leak, heater fan speed on 1 & 2, carpet coming loose, oil filler bracket snapped, accelerator cable loose, oh and a small electrical fault behind the dashboard, resulting in the whole car becoming a fireball.

General Comments:

I bought the car for a fun runabout in the summer. The looks of the MGF are probably one of the best for a small sports car in this price bracket. The handling and ride were good, and it looked resplendent in metallic black.

There were quite a few niggles, like the fan speed and leaking roof, but with these sorts of cars you have to expect to get your hands dirty a bit. I really liked the car, the way it drove and the acceleration for a little 1.6 was pretty good. I fixed the minor niggles and fitted a glass rear screen - highly recommended as it is way quieter with the roof up, and visibility was improved dramatically.

Unfortunately the car decided to spontaneously combust. A small electrical fire behind the dashboard resulted in the whole car bursting into flames when I opened the door to get in. I guess this can happen to any car, but maybe it's more frequent in convertibles, as the damp can effect the wiring more???

Overall, a really nice car apart from the little niggles and fireball incident. I'd recommend one if you like tinkering with your car (but get a fire extinguisher). If you want a car that you'll never need to fix anything - get an MX5.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th December, 2010

2001 MG F Trophy 160 1.8 vvc from UK and Ireland


Great fun, would buy another


New front light bulb, 2 new tyres, rear exhaust. Standard stuff for an 8 year old car, nothing else.

General Comments:

This version of MGF is loads of fun. It has grip and performance.

Don't let other people's bad experiences put you off, they tend not to take into account things like previous owners who have probably abused the car and not looked after it, and the age of it.

They are a much better looking car than the MX5. They're a true British mid engined sports car. The build quality on an MX5 may well be that bit better, but for the price difference I didn't find it warrants it, and the money you save, you will have to hand if you need to buy anything for your car.

Get in a Trophy 160 or TF160 and have a go yourself. Don't be put off by people ranting, get out there, have a go and enjoy yourself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2009

2001 MG F 1.8 VVC 1.8 variable valve from UK and Ireland


A baby ferrari without the running costs... buy one!


Nothing Major. The seals around the mirrors leak a little and the boot/cabin carpet sometimes needs tweaking to get it back where it should be... a little double sided tape soon sorted that.

Gear lever is a little too sloshy for fast changes but can easily be fixed with a kit.

Stearing column has bugger all rake change.....either shave your knees or get used to the wheel very near your legs!

Brakes are weak under hard use though ABS is good and does not cut in too early.

Needs carefull planning in the wet...otherwise it swaps ends VERY quickly...no trouble as yet but then I dont drive like an ass in the wet!

General Comments:

After my Jeep Cherokee I was was looking for another 4X4 or at least a decent sized estate/saloon. The MG sat in my local dealers and I had always been curious as to how they drove so I popped in and asked for a test drive.

3 hours later I bought it back wearing a huge grin!

I have a Ferrari 348 spyder too and this reminds me of it in so many ways, it really is a diluted Ferrari, but it does not come with Ferrari running costs.

Oh and for the record... the Ferrari's roof leaks too so the little MG is in good company!.

I recently chose the MG over my Ferrari for a driving holiday up into Scotland... we covered 2000 miles nearly on just £160 worth of petrol...that's fuel consumption over 50mpg and the engine was not given an easy time for 70% of the driving!

Downsides to ownership are just compromises really, no rear seats, no storage space under the front bonnet (I keep jump leads, tow rope, spare oil/ coolant in there and that's the space used up! and you have to plan the weekly shop so you can fit it in the boot!

Actually the boot is not a bad size, we fit four good sized holdalls in there plus walking boots etc... having less storage space makes you do things on the wing a little more rather than packing for a whole regiment... it liberates you a little!

I have fitted a K&N conical filter and a sports exhaust and fuel consumption is hardly affected unless you thrash it. I prefer to just pop the roof and cruise.

Buy one, don't worry about head gaskets, just keep an eye on the coolant level and get on with enjoying it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2007

13th Dec 2007, 07:27

I had one, and always warmed it up before use (to help alleviate the thermal shocks to the cylinder head caused by the idiotic design of the thermostat), and still the gasket failed twice (once at 11,000 miles, and again at 16,000 miles). At that point I sold the car.

The engine has numerous flaws that are thought to contribute to this problem; not least, casting quality that varies dramatically from engine to engine, the aforementioned stupid thermostat location, and a design for sealing the tops of the liners to the head that puts far too much pressure on the gasket. All these conspire to produce an engine which is basically a lottery, but by sheer weight of odds is likely to let you down at some stage.

The very notion that a mass produced four cylinder engine of a piffling 89 bhp per litre needs "warming up" before driving off is laughable anyway, even if it did guarantee trouble free service. We have a Honda CRX Del Sol VTi which makes the same power from 200cc less, is driven instantly off from cold starts on -5°C winter mornings, has skipped two services and has given no trouble whatsoever at 150,000 miles. Yet at barely more than a tenth of that the MG was on its second engine rebuild.

I still have some fondness for the F/TF as a car. It's a great drive, but there is a reason this company doesn't exist any more. When you buy a Honda, you don't even need to consider the possibility that the engine will need repair until starship mileage has been covered.

13th Feb 2014, 18:12

It could happen to any car, any make or model, due to human error.