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This was my very first opinion on Ciao, and I thought that now I have had a touch more experience writing I would take a chance and re-write. So here goes…
My husband convinced me to buy an MGF when I was looking for a new car in October 2000. Well he didn’t have to twist my arm that hard, but having always been quite ‘sensible’ in my choice of car, it was a big step for me to even consider being behind the wheel of a little sporty number!
I had in mind another small car to replace the Vauxhall Corsa I had at the time, and was considering a Ford focus, Renault Clio or similar. I reconsidered and decided that it was about time that I had a fun car, and we bought a 4-year-old MGF from a car supermarket in Birmingham.
We had the choice of three MGFs. We eventually settled on the Red 1.8 model, which suited our budget, and tastes in colour more than the slightly newer and sportier, burnt orange model parked nearby.
Our MGF cost us around 9,000 pounds, and we opted to pay by credit agreement, which the garage set up with the minimum of fuss. All we had to do was return a couple of days later to collect our newest family addition! I could hardly contain myself.
My hubby was particularly kind to me when we went to collect the car, and he allowed me to drive it home. This was a huge concession on his part, as we ladies all know men love to be behind the wheel of anything that may get them noticed, go faster than the local boy racers Nova, or which oozes Testosterone.
My first drive of a sports car proved very different form my trusty Corsa. The seats were low, the rear screen was tiny, and it shifted like whatnot off a shovel. COOOOL!
It is a fabulous car to drive - very fast (the speedometer is marked up to 150 MPH) and has good handling. However it can be quite noisy at speed, as the soft top vibrates, as do many of the other convertibles on the market, this means that on a motorway, or dual carriageway you will have to turn the stereo up mega loud to hear anything at all. Just remember to turn it down when you slow down, or else your ears will begin to bleed!
My car has very few special features (e.g. CD player, electric mirrors etc.), but that really does not bother me. When I am out in the MGF I just enjoy the drive!
Now for the bad points…
Consider how important seeing out of your rear screen is. I have found the small plastic screen of the soft top allows only for poor visibility, partly due to size, but also because it is quite cloudy, and steams up easily. I have yet to discover if there is a special way of cleaning it to help this.
Another thing to watch out for when buying an MGF is how flush the windows are to the hood. The rain does seem to leak into the car quite easily through the small gaps between the glass and the hood. I think this may be common to most convertibles.
If you suffer from a bad back, which both my husband and I do, then think twice about buying such a sporty number. Recent research by a Physiotherapist supported this idea, and he even went as far as to advise leading sports personalities against having such cars ( I can just see David Beckham in a Ford Focus!). Apparently the driving position puts strain on your back, and also your Achilles tendon. So beware!
…And the really, really bad points!
When my husband was on the M42 in summer last year, the engine of the car overheated to the point of totally melting! This was very unexpected and annoying, especially as we had only recently had the car checked over, and serviced. Needless to say we were not too pleased when the warranty company refused to pay up.
Apparently we should have realized there was a problem, but with no dials showing any overheating, how could we have known? Even the independent engineer that the warranty company sent out to assess the damage said that he would not have spotted the problem, as the whole incident almost certainly happened in the space of 20 seconds!
According to a leading motoring publication, there is sometimes a problem with the MGF losing coolant, but I suspect that if you are a normal driver, you don’t check the levels of coolant and oil very often. Well may I suggest that you do check it weekly, as new engines are not cheap at around 2000 pounds including labour. You may just prevent massive engine damage, and a large hole in your wallet, by investing a few minutes of your time.
We are currently considering changing the car, but we have yet to decide upon a suitable replacement. Any ideas on a postcard to…
Good op. A friend of my wife's traded her MGF for a Peugeot...whatever number their roadster coupe is...as her MGF had a disconcerting balance problem which had her facing the wrong way down the road a couple of times. Thankfuly not dual-carriageways or motorways, but a disconcerting problem altogether! Who wants to be spinning round on a London street without having first TWOC-ked the car and being trashed on Special Brew? I'll stick to my Honda (see op...yonks ago) for fun, frolics and road-borne angst.
COOOEEE 23.03.2002 19:13
I did not see the original op but this is fine. Fiona