Product Type: Rover cars
Newest Review: ... and added casually that this must have been a manufacturing defect! A phone call to Rover led to a curt 'Car out of warrenty' res... more
Great Car, Dodgy Build Quality
Rover MGF 1.8i VVC
Member Name: mrabanal
Rover MGF 1.8i VVC
Date: 17/05/02, updated on 17/05/02 (7034 review reads)
Advantages: handling, looks, fuel consumption
Disadvantages: build quality, storage space, practicality
A few years ago I fell in love with and bought an 'N' Reg British Racing Green MGF VVC. At the time it was 2 years old.
I loved it, it drove live a dream, plenty of acceleration, fantastic handling, amazing cornering - you could throw it any old how into a corner and it just went round. Added to this it had classy classic good looks, easily did 40mpg and you could sunbathe in it.
However when the car was just on the 3 years, out of warrenty point, it started to sound like a tractor. I took it back to the dealer and was told by the mechanic 'Oh that'll be the VVC controller failing' before he had even heard it. Apparently this was extremely common in the early models. I contacted Rover and they were OK, offering to pay for the parts and half the labour to get it fixed.
Worse was to come, a couple of months later I got in it to drive it home and found it had lost 90% of its power. As it was quite late I drove it extremely slowly the few miles home. In the morning on inspection it looked as though it might have a blown head gasket, as the oil looked quite sandy. I wasn't convinced that this explained the loss of power, but anyway it was clear that the car needed to go back to the dealer.
Having stripped down the engine the dealer announced that the piston liners had dissolved and added casually that this must have been a manufacturing defect! A phone call to Rover led to a curt 'Car out of warrenty' response. We argued that a manufacturing defect surely indicated that the car was not fit for purpose when sold, but they weren't interested. Finally a couple of months of threats and arguments later, the Rover 'Customer Services' department said that they expected the engine to last 100,000 miles and as it had only done 45,000 they would pay 50% of the cost of a new engine, but no labour. The dealer, who had originally sold me the car was totally disinterested. Eventually as the dealer was thr
eatening to charge storage I had to accept the offer and get the car fixed.
During the time I had it, the car also had some minor faults; the fusebox cover broke, the interior fuse box didn't always stay shut, the wing mirror adjusters came off in your hand and the window adjustment went a couple of times. Only niggles, but indications of poor build quality.
I have now sold the car and I miss it. I have driven a Lotus Elise, a Mazda MX5 and cars like the Subaru Impreza without finding anything to come close to being as easy to handle and as fun. I would buy another one tomorrow, but only if I was certain that the quality had improved.