MG TF - Used Car

Review

MGTF, rear
MGTF, side
MGTF, interior

ONthe right country road, and the right bright day, one of the best reasonable soft top cars to be driving has to be the MG TF.

I love open topped cars of all descriptions after having a couple of classic MGs years ago, but bought carefully, the TF can be as much fun as any of them.

Of course, they are getting pretty long in the tooth these days and some people consider them classics.

The very best examples, with low mileage and full service history, are certainly going up in price, but there are still plenty of decent, honest cars out there and many of them go for very little money.

Incidentally, you'll rarely see owners of open cars driving them with the roof down on the motorway because the normal speeds are too fast to be fun - you get turned inside out by the buffeting.

TFs are all mid-engined, giving excellent balance and the consequent superb handling and road holding.

All-petrol engines range up from a 1.6-litre with 114bhp to a 1.8 with either 118, 134 or 157bhp. Later models between 2008 and 2011 all have the 134bhp 1.8-litre.

Drive is to the rear wheels through a five speed gearbox and this has close ratios in the MG tradition, to make the best of the power.

The engines rev sweetly all the way to the red line and even the lower powered models are willing and fun, offering plenty of performance with a 0 to 60mph time of nine seconds.

With the hood in place - which is good and watertight - things do get noisy at speed, both from the wind and the engine, which is behind your left ear.

But then, it's even noisier when the roof is down.

The direct and positive power steering is a joy to use, with loads of feel and the TF looks great from all angles.

Buy a hardtop and you can dismiss the noise problem in winter.

There are still plenty around - although you might have to travel a few miles to see them - and most will be from private sellers.

Only buy the best with full history and bear in mind that they can be a little fragile as they get older.

In the mid-range TF 135, equipment includes alarm, remote locking, part leather sports seats, CD stereo and electric windows and mirrors

Pay about £4,600 for a '10 10-reg 1.8 Style, or £5,600 for a '11 11-reg LE500.

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