Morgan 4/4 Sport 1.6 review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

18 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Morgan 4/4 Sport 1.6 review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Morgan 4/4

Morgan 4/4

Sport 1.6 review (2011 onwards)

Motoring Research

The Morgan 4/4 Sport is the ultimate retro car. And no pastiche, like a ‘new’ Mini or Fiat 500. From its rail chassis to its hand-beaten aluminium bodywork and wooden frame the Morgan 4/4 Sport proves they do indeed make ’em like they used to.

Based on a design first seen in 1936 and little changed since then, the Morgan 4/4 is, literally, from another age of motoring. And you might think, therefore, little more than a curiosity for an eccentric band of customers looking for a blast from the past.

Look deeper though and the Morgan has more relevance for the modern age than you might think. The 110hp 1.6-litre Ford engine and gearbox in this entry-level Sport model are mechanically bombproof. And that traditional build is very light.

So it’ll do 44.1mpg and emits just 143g/km of CO2, making it surprisingly green. Makes you wonder where the last 75 years of progress has got us indeed. At £30,895 it’s not cheap and there are certain compromises, more of which later.

But also surprises.

Where does it fit?

Motoring Research

If you want to spend more and/or go faster Morgan also makes a 2.0-litre +4 and V6 Roadster Sport versions. Even by Morgan standards this 1.6 is back to basics but perhaps makes more sense because of it.

This kind of money could get you in a Lotus Elise or very well specced MX-5. But the most obvious rival, and closest in spirit, would be the basic Caterham, which in Roadsport form uses the same 1.6-litre Ford engine. And costs quite a bit less too.

The Caterham is a very different proposition though. Sure, you’ll endure similar compromises in practicality, refinement and weather protection. But the 54-year-old, Lotus 7-derived Caterham is a much more serious driving machine and, compared with the Morgan, a mere youngster.

That leaves the Morgan as something of an indulgence, the very definition of the weekend plaything. But if those weekends are precious and you want a classic car you can drive rather than spend endless hours tinkering with it makes a great case for itself.

Is it for you?

Motoring Research

This particular car’s eye-catching paintjob – literally a work of art by Danish painter Christian von Hornsleth – certainly jars with the Morgan’s otherwise old-fashioned ways but proved warmly received wherever the car went.

Whatever the paintjob the Morgan stands out from the crowd so you’ll need to get used to that. It’s hard to feel glum at the wheel though and even if the reality is a dreary dual carriageway your heart will always be on a sun-dappled country road.

The engine and gearbox are, as you’d expect for Ford kit, as easy to use as any modern car so there are no special techniques or allowances required there, once you’ve got used to the fly-off handbrake. It’s blustery, basic fun in the classic style.

Morgan 4/4

What doesn’t it do well?

Motoring Research

Dynamically the Morgan feels its age. The leaf-sprung solid rear axle hops, skips and jumps over bumps and the skinny old-school rubber means there’s a degree of old-school slithering about in the wet. There’s no ABS and you do feel vulnerable at times too.

This is to be expected of course, ditto practical issues like a roof that takes an age to install and doesn’t hold out the rain particularly well anyway. The ugly steering wheel and bland engine note also disappoint – a bit more noise would liven things up no end.

Combining these old-school vibes with a modern, reliable powertrain is Morgan’s real trick though. So you get all the character of a classic car but reliability, factory back-up and dependability of a modern one. Rationally the Morgan makes little sense.

But that’s what makes it so wonderful.

How green is it?

Motoring Research

Here’s the big surprise. The Morgan demands a lot of compromises over conventional modern cars but one area you don’t have to make any excuses for is the surprisingly eco-friendly combination of a lightweight build and modern drivetrain.

It’s not fast but it’s eccentricity is hugely appealing. There’s no point making rational comparisons with modern cars when it comes to practicality either – just be thankful Morgan is still thriving and, if you ever get the chance, have a spin yourself. There’s a lot more than meets the eye.

Morgan 4/4
Morgan 4/4
Morgan 4/4
Morgan 4/4
Morgan 4/4

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