Review: MG TF 2002

Car: MG TF 2002 Getting a Chinese takeaway has never been simpler or cheaper.

Getting a Chinese takeaway has never been simpler or cheaper. In fact MG since the 1920’s has always been an order by numbers kind of car. The company has covered more miles than some of their cars, from William Morris in 1924 to Morris Motors to BMC to British Leyland the Rover Group through British Aerospace to BMW and finally with NAC in Beijing…phew…the company has had more owners than some of their cars!


History: In 2002, the MG TF was released, named after the MG TF Midget of the 1950s. Based upon the MG F platform, but heavily redesigned and reengineered, the most significant mechanical changes were the abandonment of Hydragas suspension in favour of conventional coil springs, the new design of the air induction system that along with new camshafts produces more power than in MG F engines, and the torsional stiffness of the body increased by 20%. Various cosmetic changes include a revised grille, redesigned front headlights, bumpers, side air-intake grills, rear boot, etc. It held a decent amount of sales despite problems including uneven shut lines on the drivers door on models for the United Kingdom. Production was suspended in April 2005, when MG Rover collapsed.

Problems: Unfortunately the front wings are particularly vulnerable to rust damage. The good news here is that this is a bolt-on panel, so replacement of rotten panels is a doddle, particularly if you can find good same-colour replacements. Rot is commonest along the edge adjacent to the front bumper, where the bumper mounting flange is a double skinned panel, likely representing moisture/condensation trap: Unfortunately, Rover’s K-series engine have become synonymous with head gasket failures (HGF), a reputation that is perhaps only partially deserved. There are plenty of these engines on their original gaskets with 100+ thousand miles on them, but many owners were not mechanically sympathetic. Therefore there is a good chance that what ever car you look at has had its head gasket replaced.

How many 2002 cars left? 845 on the road 112 on SORN.

Buy, Hold Or Sell? If you’re buying get a 2005 version, certain bugs had been ironed out from the earlier cars. Value? Used price range: £740 – £2,485 . Pay top price for a top car, but don’t expect fireworks on increasing values. These cars are great runarounds but not money in the bank. We say they are still a long way from being appreciating assets. If you want an asset get a MGB V8 GT and sell it to a man with a beard!

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