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MG TF (2002 - 2005)

Last updated 27 February 2019

 
3
Good looks, excellent handling and strong brakes. 160 quick enough. Good crash test rating. Better drive than MGF.
Head gasket problems with K-series four-cylinder engines. Dash trim feels cheap. No glass rear window.
Updated 12 February 2002

On sale in the UK in February 2002 at prices from around £15,750. Excellent, confidence-inspiriring roadholding and handling, good brakes, enough performance from 160. Four star NCAP crash safety score...

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Introduction

Launched in 2002, the MG TF was based on the MGF. Heavily reworked, the most notable change was the shift away from the MGFs Hydragas suspension to a more traditional springs and shocks arrangement.

Other tweaks included increasing the car's rigidity in a bid to improve dynamics, and a redesigned airflow path for the cooling system to prevent the K-series pulling its usual party trick of overheating.

As well as the side air-intake grilles you can tell the MGF and TF apart thanks to redesigned headlights, bumpers, grille and the rear boot.

Those looking for at-the-wheel thrills had little to complain about. The TF is a mid-engined sports car with double wishbone suspension and delivers on its promise to entertain.

Where it fell down, however, was in terms of build quality. The cabin was a thorn in its side when new - although classic owners have tended to be more forgiving of its shortcomings.

It's still very much a soft-top bargain, however, with low-mileage cherished examples available for not much more than £1000.

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