Well said that man. My wife has an 04 MGZR 160 and it's perfect in every way. The build quality is superb, it goes like stink and looks fab!
If I have a problem it's the ride, which I find just a tad too stiff, but she doesn't complain. My 620ti isn't quite as harsh and suits me better.
I get a little miffed at all of the negativity about these cars: people rave about Hondas, Peugeots and Renaults, but some of these in my experience a plain dire. And many of the problems are hushed up: witness Renault's head-in-the-sand attitude about the Clios bonnet flipping trick, and the fires which occur in the doors because of bad wiring, Honda Civic coupe's leak like a sieve, and have done for years. I've got a service memo from them from 1997, giving details of remedial works required to all Civic coupes from 1992 on.
Not all Rovers or MG's are perfect... and neither are the other makes.
My girlfriend's MG F had its head gasket replaced and the head skimmed. A couple of months later it overheated again, and inspecting the expansion tank I found the dreaded white gunk. Used some kind of Radweld stuff to form a temporary seal and it was OK for a few months, but we got rid of it as soon as was feasible.
Pretty car, decent grip, but being mid-engined, when you lose the rear, it's quite a handful! The engine never felt free revving either. And you can't work on the engines yourself, the engine being crammed where it is.
In the end I persuaded the Mrs to buy an MX5 instead. It's 17 years old, has 123,000 miles on the clock yet sailed through its last MOT. Easy to work on, and so far, in over a year of ownership have spent a total of £50 in maintenance... all which I did myself. I thrash it regularly too and it just seems to love it. Handling is far in excess of the MG F and I regularly show up far more expensive cars on the twisties - my tally so far being a Jag S-Type, VX 220, Audi S3 and Audi TT, all of which were actually trying.
The VX220 must have been parked. Put both cars on ANY track and the VX220 will have disappeared by the first bend or after the first straight, whichever comes first.
No, the VX220 was going for it, flying up behind me at speeds well beyond naughty on the straights. He just didn't have the confidence to do the stuff in the corners. I got about 8 or 9 bends in a row, and left him behind. Lots of drivers out there like that, I had a mate with an Alpina B3 who would floor it on every straight and then tinkle round every corner. We're not talking about track driving and professionals here, clearly the VX220 is a quicker car, but a well driven MX5 on the road is a surprisingly difficult thing to catch.
Apparently I read somewhere that for the MGF, the K series engine they used was bored out to 1.8 litres. In its original form, the K series was designed to displace 1.4 litres only. Increasing the capacity had a negative effect on the long specially designed bolts they used to mate head to block, hence all the tales of blown head gaskets!
I've owned both a 416 and MG ZR 1.4 version of the 'dreaded' K series engine, and in my experience they are as reliable an engine as you can get. Yes, they have a problem with the head gasket, and that problem is people.
Bear with me on this...
Properly maintained and serviced, if you fix any cooling system problems as soon as they arise, the head gasket isn't really an issue eg: Investigate ANY loss of coolant, find and rectify before the car starts overheating.
In my experience, people who don't have the ability to spot these things or can't be bothered to do them are the ones crying over a 'poor engine'.
The 'k' Series has good performance compared to other engines of equivalent size, but the trick is to be a little extra vigilant.
Both the cars I have owned always ran at the same temperature. If you notice a rise in this, do not drive it. Take it to a garage and get it sorted BEFORE it becomes the head gasket, and always get a second opinion.
Some garages will tell you it's the head gasket because it makes them money. Also, there are a lot of mechanics out there that I wouldn't trust with a child's bike, let alone my car.
I've loved owning Rovers/MGs, and I would buy another in a heartbeat.
Hey hi, there you sound like an expert on VVC. You say the noise comes from the VVC mechs; you know, the noise that makes it sound like a 1950's Perkins diesel on warm tick over!! Do you mean the VVC cams themselves, or the actual timing altering mechanism? My noise is the rhythmic fairly heavy cammy sound like you used to get on the old mk 3 Ford Cortinas in the early seventies!!
And hey, I agree with you, my little MGF 1.8 VVC is great fun. It's a bit demanding maintenance wise, but generally it's a good car.