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MG MGF Technical - Shall I or shant I ?

Hi Guys

Newbie here...looking for some honest opinions.

On my travels looking to purchase a Mazda MX-5 (hope thats not a swear word here!) I stumbled across a red MGF and it was lurve at first sight :) All thoughts of MX-5 are way behind me now but I keep hearing this niggling buzzing noise in my ear from various locations about reliability with MGF. Now I have read the board and some have problems and some do not, which is totally as it should be in this (fairly) balanced world of ours....but I do so hate it when people say 'I told you so' and Im wondering if that may be something I hear regularly if I take the plunge.

Looking to buy a used car 3 or 4 years old 1.8i (no VVT) full service history, warranty etc, one lady owner ;)

We all know there are no guarentees in life but I reckon your opinions will really help me out if you have time to give them.

Ta muchly

The MGF can be reliable if the service it receives is good - it is a more difficult car to service than the MX-5.
If the car you are looking to buy is not modified, has been garaged, has a full service history and comes with a warranty then it's probably a good buy.
You will need a good garage (not necessarily an MG dealer) to look after it

If you're at all unhappy about the servicing prospects then go for the Mazda.


Hi Kelli,

I've owned my MGF for approaching 7 years now, and frankly, it is the most reliable car I have owned :o)

If you can, buy as recent a model of MGF as you can - post 2000 is preferable. These cars had numerous detail changes to improve build quality and finally solved the problems that some earlier cars had with their head gaskets (the year to avoid there is 1997, it seems!)

A buying guide can be found on a number of web-based resources - here's just one:

A model guide can be found at

And other bits of information you may find helpful (and links to other web sites and mg specialists) found at )

Hope that helps, and good luck!
Rob Bell


The MX5 is a mass produced Japanese car and therefore is likely to be more reliable than the F that is, by comparison, built in far smaller volumes at dear old Longbridge with far less automation. As Rob has already pointed out, this does not mean it is not capable of offering very reliable transport. Ours is now 5 years old and the only thing it has cost us is the annual services and has never let us down.

We have also been on some excellent trips around Europe in company of many other Fs to enjoy the empty roads and more liberal attitudes to speed! The collective mileage on all these trips is probably over 100k of hard driving. The only mechanical problem in all this was this year when a stepper motor needed cleaning to restore smooth running on one car!

The worst thing that can happen to an F is the head gasket going and this does appear to happen too often. MGR do however seem to have fixed the problem.

If you are working in London why not come along to the drink up in the 4th October at the Banker (see post on CoPLUC!) and hear our experiences first hand!

This is the firt of many plugs for the prooposed revised CoLPUC!


Patrick Beet

This thread was discussed on 17/09/2002

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.