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Being a teenage girl and having only held my license for a year or so made it incredibly difficult finding a convertable which I could insure at a reasonably low price.. Then I found the MGF, not only is it very nippy but it is also fairly attractive, great fun in the summer and reasonable to insure!
I've had a couple of problems with it but nothing too serious and I can only blame them on my lack of vehicle knowledge. I am aware that they are prone to issues with the head gasket but having not experienced this myself I am unable to comment.
Personally I've also found the parts quite cheap - especially if you have a look around, as an example, I picked up a new alloy & tyre in relatively good condition for around £15 on ebay!
They have a reasonably sized boot and the roof is very easy to put down.
All in all if you're looking for some reliable fun but only have a small budget I would definately recomend this car.
I believe my money was well spent and I have lots of happy memories with her.
I should call her a disaster waiting to happen, but that's really not fair...
Truth is, when the guys from MG decided to create the F, they were pretty ambitious: The MGF is probably one of the most complex cars every built on such a tight budget. Did it work? Not really!
This becomes most obvious in the fact, that the engineers seemingly took pride in the fact that they managed to hide every component of the car so well (including the engine) that every garage bill will turn out twice as high as one would expect, just because nobody can reach anything without seriously taking the car apart...
Anyway, as the common weaknesses of the MGF are fairly known (head gaskets!) I'd like to concentrate on my personal experience with driving this little Diva (can't think of any better name) for 2 years now.
One word to describe her: FUN! Even in the VVC version, the 1.8l Rover K-Engine isn't really the most exciting power source, and the sound isn't anything special either, but it's certainly enough to seriously negotiate twisty country roads... you get the idea! After all, while not being a Lotus featherweight, the MGF is still a light car. Even better, it's rear wheel drive, and trust me, that's still the main ingredient of a proper sports car.
There is a downside, obviously, because having so much fun can't be that cheap... an extremely sensitive cooling system (common with mid engine cars). Gremlins in the electronics (the system must have been developed by a genuine madman... more than 20 fuses for each and everything, but power steering and indicators running through the same one!). Quality issues. Parts rattling and coming loose. That Diva certainly is a moody lady that required a lot of attention!
I don't regret buying an MGF... the roof is open within seconds and unless it's raining this is the best way to brighten up your day! Driving her is very involving, which I miss in most modern cars. I always found it funny that you can drive 100 mph more effortlessly in a family saloon, but then again, driving a sports car is all about experience, not the number that your speedo is telling you. Even nicer, it's still an MG, so the folks driving MGB and Midgets do greet you! You're part of the family!
But, as the story continues, I'm about to sell the Diva. Why? Well, other MGF drivers don't greet each other. The F remain stuck between the worlds. She's not as comfortable and practical as a modern car. But she's also not a real classic, one that you would accept all the moods as part of the deal.
I would recommend giving her a try if you want good fun on a budget. Maybe one day she'll even become a classic. I would always prefer her to the MX-5, just because of her unique character, she's a true brit lass!