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MGTF v MR2 v MX5

5035 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Neil Courtney
Decisions, Decisions. March is looming fast and I need a new car, the problem is which one of the above. MR2 getting thumbs down due to storage or lack of it.
Choice will be TF160 or MX5 1.8 Sport.
Looking for opinions please.
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MarkP said:
.....................Choice will be TF160 or MX5 1.8 Sport.
Looking for opinions please.
Firstly Mark welcome to the Forums. :) I can answer your question but I'm biased and not subjective. My wife has an MGF Trophy which we think is great. There are still some available (Kernahan of Witney - have a RED one in stock at the moment). I would imagine with a good discount - mention where you read it first!

The TF with the same engine and brakes, with updated suspension and better looks :rolleyes: should be a great proposition.

There's no denying the MX5 is a great car too, but it is not mid engined. I've only driven the base 1.8 and was disapointed in its performance. But, the dash IMHO is of much better quality than the F/TF. The only answer is to test drive back to back and then it comes down to cost/running.

I'm sure there are owners out there who have had a MX5 and can give a subjective answer.
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Choice will be TF160 or MX5 1.8 Sport
I can't give you wholly objective opinion but I have owned a Mk1 MX-5 and my sister owns a VVC F.
My sister has had a lot more trouble with her F than I had with my 5 over the same duration and mileage. Also, don't be worried about the 5 being front engined - Mazda have applied a lot of effort to get the polar moment of inertia very low, so it handles superbly. :D
However, I would say that the interior of the F is significantly superior to the 5. I suspect that the TF160 will be quicker - having more power - and will pull more g in the corner - the 5 is quite softly sprung - but the 5 is still a hoot to drive on the twisties.
If you are into tweeking your cars, guys in the States have blown their MX-5s (well, Miatas) to ~350bhp and there are plenty of suspension mods available as well.

In a nutshell, they are fairly different cars but both will put a smile on your face with the top down. Go and drive them both a couple of times and then buy the one that suits you.


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Fly the flag, I wouldn't be bother with a pretender, give me an MG, PLEASE!
Fly the flag, I wouldn't be bother with a pretender
I could never buy a car just because it was a British car. I drive a ZS180 because it is the best car for me. That it is also British is an added bonus.

Regarding being a pretender, MG had long since forsaken the affordable roadster market when Mazda revived it with the MX-5. MG, as well as others, was forced to respond with the F. I think you could argue that, despite the history of the marque, the MG is the pretender in this case. ;)

Having owned a "Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious" Lotus, buying british is not high on my agenda especially as I drive an Audi at present. But I do want a cheap(ish) fun roadster. If it is British, then all the better but knowing German reliabillity for the past 4 years (longest I have ever kept a car)it will be hard to beat.
Unfortuantely I havn't 28K to spend on a TT or Boxter.
MG can never be a pretender, it was the first popular affordable sportscar, MG has simply made a come back. And ofcourse I wouldn't buy a car because it's a Brit, but it does help. Don't take me too seriously:)

February's issue of "CAR" would be usefule purchase; it has articles on our favourite cars = Long termers you have considered.

1. TF main article (words on main site - see What's New).
2. F main article.
3. Long Term - MR2.
4. Long Term - MX5.
5. Long Term - Vauxhall VX220 - my list. :p

On the letters page - two folks talking about a budget MGR and positive MGR letter bestowing the new "Z"'s. Plus another fine letter complaining about the cost of extras - CD & metallic paint!
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It's arrived !

Just had a call from local MG dealership.
New TF just arrived this morning for the showroom, demo will be here next week.
Only having the 135 as demo rather than 160 but it's better than nothing.

I'll let you know when i've seen it later.

MarkP said:
New TF just arrived this morning for the showroom, demo will be here next week. I'll let you know when i've seen it later.

Just signed back on as my altar ego. :)

Would appreciate a first hand review for the main site if you would like to write something? So far it's all journo & press release stuff! :(
I'll get what I can and post later.
Thanks for tip on Car Mag, some light reading for this evening before I hand over any money.
I've seen it in the flesh !

Well, that's it, it has arrived at the local dealership in Chester. A 135 in Trophy Blue with blue soft top. I reckon I spent at least an hour reviewing options and prices etc and I would like to thank Alex Robb for spending so much time with me.
Verdict.....Stunning.....possibly not the colour for me but still very eye catching. Alex pointed out the new strengthening cross beams in the engine compartment as one of the easier to see refinements.
I have in my possesion one of the very limited brochures and price lists if any one needs any info but for those interested in performance, here it is.

TF115 1.6i, 1588cc, 116Ps, 0-60 9.2 top 118mph
TF135 1.8i, 1796cc, 136Ps, 0-60 8.2 top 127
TF120 Stepspeed 120Ps, 0-60 9.7 top 118
TF160 1.8vvc 160Ps, 0-60 6.9 top 137

on the road prices

TF115 £15,750
TF135 £17,245
TF120 £18,245 stepspeed.
TF160 £19,995

From a side view it looks just like the Lotus Elan of which I was a big fan.
If you are thinking of getting one, definately add the front fog lights.
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Is that dealer James Edwards, down on Sealand? Heard some good reports about them. MG-R dealers for years.

Quite correct, James Edwards on Sealand Road, Chester.
And yes, extremely helpful.
Luck you

My London dealer will not allow us to see the TF until the official launch day - February 8!
Re: Luck you

Ted Newman said:
My London dealer will not allow us to see the TF until the official launch day - February 8!
Firstly Ted welcome to this Forum.

What a strange thing to do! Yet Mark (a punter) has driven it!

Hopefully, you can twist their arm Ted - it maybe a potential sale lost. :D Surely, they know the enthusiasts know all about the TF - read the magazines - surfed the web - appetite suitably whetted.

Now its the dealers turn to sell the cars! Sorry sir not until the 8th. Then again, we don't know what clauses MGR have placed. Marks dealer (James Edwards), maybe breaking the embargo? :(
Just to confirm

Chaps, just to confirm I havn't actually been able to drive one yet but there doesn't seem to be an issue with looking.
Went to another dealer last night who have MG & Mazda. I now sit here confused again as I was able to compare the TF and MX side by side.
Both had their plus points but I am not too keen on the floodlit instruments on the TF and also the plastic rear screen.
Arranging a back to back test drive next week so that should be the decider for me.
OK ....

Having spent the last 6 weeks trying to decided this very question, I just purchased the MGTF which I hope to get in the next 7 days.

What did it for me...
*better drive
*more room for long legs
*better vision
*head room

down side was the finish of the interior, but looking at ebay you can buy all sorts of little extras.
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Wow talk about resurecting a thread from the grave!

Anyway, good luck with your purchase you know you made the right one!
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