Review MG TF (2002 – 2005) Used car

30 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Review MG TF (2002 – 2005) Used car

(2002 – 2005)


The MG TF is a car that was far sharper its predecessor but which may have the very market that the TF to such dizzy heights. The driver may find the TF experience a ‘full-on’ and defect to something a less intense. That release a number of TF models the used arena and bargains can be Although with many models the more powerful seem a little overblown, not the case with the TF.

The more you can afford, the more fun you’ll

The MG TF range vies with the MX-5 as Britain’s favourite A development of the massive selling MGF the TF offers a more upmarket and improvements to the driving characteristics. The TF has to sell well despite a market for roadster models, to its enduring appeal.

Offering styling, an evocative badge and punchy engines at attractive the TF makes a decent used With a decent number of low cars now appearing on the used the TF looks an attractive bet. TF haven’t proved as resilient as MGF values were, many it as a progression from the MGF rather an all-new vehicle. The market has on as well.

The TF is no longer perched on the edge and is often a little too for many owners who merely a sharper looking MGF. means it can often represent a used buy.


It’s not an exaggeration to say the TF was in a period of intense turmoil at MG BMW had just done their to scuttle the company and the buyout by the Consortium had resulted in a company for new models but without sufficient to develop them. What achieved in such a short of time was little less amazing. Aside from the ZR, ZS and ZT ranges MG Rover also the old MGF into the TF.

Out went the overly Hydragas suspension units and in traditional steel springs. The was given a few nips and tucks to a much sharkier appearance, the being extended to four key identifiable by their approximate outputs. The 1.6-litre TF115 as the entry-level model and three cars were also the TF120 Stepspeed, the big-selling and the range-topping TF160.

A series of modifications were made to the car in for the 2005 model year. A rear screen improved visibility, various trim were altered and the suspension were tweaked to improve comfort. These cars can be by their chrome finished

The TF’s lifespan ended in with the demise of MG Rover.


The TF of course, is the replacement for the MGF, which managed to be the selling British sportscar of the Nineties, despite being at the time by a parent company wasn’t over-keen to promote it. have changed of course then, so you can expect to see one of these on street corner. With the that street corner was to include a hairdressing salon.

Put quite simply, it developed an reputation as something of a ‘girlie’ despite its promising mid-engined Worse, early examples had a build quality record though solved in later blighted the car’s reputation. One of the culprits in this area was the fluid Hydragas suspension which in some instances at some inopportune moments.

the MG TF, the overall story is very – as it had to be. Hydragas (a concept after all goes back to was dumped in favour of more coil spring and damper Moving to the sheet metal, you be surprised to find that of it was completely re-worked for this

At first glance, you might be for seeing this as a minor In fact, stylist Peter dictated that the whole of the TF should be new, with curves that give a aggressive feel to the profile and a look to the whole car. are also bigger air intakes to the mid-mounted engines to gulp in oxygen.

The rear deck, sits above two chromed that displace the foglamps, has a curvy look, now on all variants the small lip spoiler originally for the MGF Trophy 160SE. High stability is far better as a result. it’s the front you’ll first, with projector-style units that also the indicators.

Between them, there’s the MG sportscar two-bar grille and that, a deeper front incorporating a mesh air intake and foglamps. It all looks mean to frighten off the hairdresser types though given that people bought the majority of the MGFs sold here, might not necessarily be something of MG’s shareholders would

With all this effort gone into making the TF its own it’s a little disappointing to inside and find a sense of vu. True, the seat cloths and the graphics are different – but about it. To be fair, the Longbridge probably only stretched so far and in any the cabin did get a bit of a re-work at the turn of the

Still, we could have without keeping the narrow, highly-mounted seats. The Fisher controls for the Stepspeed model’s could have been to history too. This is a car you have to get in and drive – an experience on narrow twisty thanks to the near-perfect mid-engined

The rigid steel bodyshell here too as well as creating one of the cars in the class. That the MG TF is a makes it extremely unusual the ranks of mid-engined cars, due to the of packing the folded hood on top of the bay.

Not only have the designers this (albeit with the of a perspex rear screen), also created so much space that there’s no need to carry luggage the bonnet, where it could with safety. You’ll need to specify the optional luggage rack if you want to more than a couple of bags however.


Prices for the most TF135 model open at on the 51 number plate with 03 cars still fetching Opt instead for the more powerful and you can expect to pay from £4,300 an 03 plated example generally a sticker price of around Insurance starts at Group 11 for the and tops out at Group 16 for the range-topping

TF120 Stepspeeds are still a rare sight on the used though Rover claims an ever-increasing share of TF buyers are to change gear by button than stick.


Check the of base cars carefully and sure everything you want is Look for signs of a hardtop (a rear window switch and a length of plug and cable the driver’s seat are clues) and for its inclusion – a canny may try to sell it separately. Ensure that the hood tonneau (tricky to fit) is with the

Although there were quality problems with trim and poorly fitted generally not much goes with an MG TF. Check for water through the windscreen edges and the tops of the doors and look at the hood for damage – the rear window creases if the isn’t folded correctly. the carpets for signs of damp Telltale clues include or staining of the dashboard trim water has leaked in.

Some doubts over the durability of the and brakes. The recommendation is to take a drive, listen for knocking the front suspension and see if the car has a tendency to to one side. The TF makes a viable day car so look for signs of hard

As always, a full MG dealer history is desirable.


The TF quickly developed a reputation as a car for the driver. How so? Well there’s new suspension of course, which at the end is a completely fresh multi-link and is now mounted on solid sub-frames than wishy-washy rubber in search of sharper handling.

The direct steering rack here too and there are uprated all models also being with improved standard The whole idea has been to something sharper, more and more responsive. It’s a carried forward in the engine where the line-up of powerplants was given a thorough going with badging designating the model’s power output.

The 1.6-litre TF115 variant up the range, just below the TF135, which has a power of 15bhp over the core that most MGF owners to choose. That makes the old VVC redundant of course, but a ‘Stepspeed’ CVT model with ‘F1-style’ gear controls (the replaced it. At the top of the range, the old special Trophy 160SE variant the TF160, and is seriously quick, a 0-60mph capability of under seconds.

The engineers say that the 1.8-litre TF135 variant was to feel a lot more ‘revvy’, when you’re thrashing the along, following some in the cylinder head and around the To compensate for this, the gearing were been raised to those of the TF160 version. The TF a good deal … its somewhat fey origins may lead you to

The suspension is extremely firm and the base TF115 is not what call meek, the engine and tuned for a vociferous vocal


(Based on a 1.8 A clutch assembly is around while a full exhaust is £610. Rear brake should cost £55 and pads are about £75. An will set you back close to while a starter motor is £270.

A radiator is £125 and a headlamp about £170.

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