2003 MG TF 135 1.8 from UK and Ireland


A delight to own and drive


Chattering from the locks.

General Comments:

I fancied something a little different to the norm and grabbed myself a TF135 on a whim. I guess the opposite end of the scale to the S-Type it replaced. I actually prefer the looks of the MG F (more classic), but couldn't find one I was happy with. I think it's an OK looking car, but don't go for the "envious looks from other drivers" thing... it's a 12 year old MG after all!

I'm 6'3" and find the car pretty comfortable. OK I sometimes struggle getting my hand between my left knee and the wheel, but this really isn't an issue. I do have shorter legs and a long body though! The seating position is slightly high, but this really makes no difference to me. I suffer with lower back issues and I find that having to sit with my bum slightly forward helps - simply suits my situation.

The ride is tough by default; I mean real tough, but for me this was part of the appeal of the car. If I wanted a smooth ride I'd have gone for anything other than the TF.

I had a Rover 216 GTi TC in my late teens/early twenties and this little 1.8 unit brings back memories. Near no torque low down, but it loves to rev and gets going once you get above 3500 RPM. Makes me smile every time things get a little frisky! It's not a fast car by any means, but I'd say the engine matches the chassis and the average person's driving ability.

Handling can be very VERY interesting in wet and/or icy conditions. I'd heard this prior to purchasing, but didn't appreciate how real the warnings were. My first experience came mid roundabout, taking it real easy, and off the throttle, and the back snapped. Thankfully I caught it. If you grab one, ensure you check the tyre pressures every few weeks and take it easy.

Kit level... non existent.

Stereo... naff.

Aircon... no.

Summary: I love this car! It's everything my wife doesn't want me to own. I grabbed it as a summer car with a view of shifting it due to the mileage I cover (80 miles a day commuting). I now plan to keep the TF as a second car after getting something a little more family friendly next year.

You hear lots about head gasket failures, but these are usually caused by coolant leaks etc. Just grab one that has been well maintained. Check for leaks under the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2015

2003 MG TF 160 1.8 VVC from UK and Ireland


Let down by niggles, could have been great


Dashboard flexes and rattles terribly.

Windows rattle in the doors.

Roof rattles.

Caliper and wheel squeaks that no amount of copper grease would solve.

Water leaks in through door seals.

Water leaks in through wing mirror seals.

Doors constantly need re-aligned and will also rattle if left unattended.

Original seats saggy, needed replaced at 25,000 miles.

Paintwork seemed very susceptible to stone chips, which then rust.

Heater controls stick.

General Comments:

One of those cars that no matter how much you treat with kid-gloves, it still seems to want to give you grief.

With that in mind and for some reason you can't quite explain, the thrill factor remains and you still enjoy driving it.

Biggest problem for me were the rattles and squeaks (from everywhere), I know it's a convertible, but surely MG could have used some felt tape around the dash and doors to improve it.

Decent performance, seemed to have a lack of torque though.

Surprisingly practical, big boot. Boot rack adds more carrying capability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th May, 2006

2003 MG TF 135 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Short and sweet - a brilliant car


Nothing yet bar an accident.

General Comments:

Extremely comfortable.

Great legroom.

Limited boot size, but to be expected from a mid-engined car.

Same engine as my dads Rover 75 but this car is seriously quick. Beats the 0-60 of most VW Golf's.

Turns heads everyday and has never failed to impress me.

Great number of styling options means that there is no other car of the same spec in Northern Ireland.

Great value for money, but the running costs are a bit steep. Still running the car in due to my limited mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2004

26th Dec 2005, 20:54

Head gasket blown after 15000 miles, roof leaks, carpets came unstuck..good old english engineering.

2003 MG TF 135 Cool Blue 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Cheap fun


Nothing has gone wrong as yet. Momo gear nob loose, but just twisted it a few turns ;/

General Comments:

The car looks fantastic in silver with the blue hood.

The seats look fantastic in blue alcantara and have a good blend of support and comfort.

The interior doesn't rattle at all and seems well put together, but the dashboard does look cheap with an almost stone fleck like effect. Change the dash switches and the cars a winner.

The engine's a gem and pulls well low down despite what some people say. Nice and revvy and very economical for a performance car. Wouldn't like to work on it though, the engines in a very difficult place for easy access, nothing for me to worry about mind, but something for buyers of secondhand MGF's to think about.

Keep getting admiring glances from elegant ladies in new Range Rovers ;)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2003