Review: MG TF (2008 – 2011)
Fun, stylish and mid-engined. Handling and ride improved over the 2002-2005 car.
Reported issues with build quality, corrosion and patchy dealer/factory support. Buy cheaply and wisely.
Recently Added To This Review
Reader suffered sever problems gertting a TF LE500 fixed by the factory. They took car back to the factory and after 2 months delivered car with only 1 of the 3 items sorted. Many promises made, none... Read more
SAIC officially handed in a recall order tothe General Administration of Quality Supervision for its MG branded TFRoadster, Xinhua reported today. The recall will begin immediately with 181 vehicles... Read more
Sussex MG dealer Sterling MG launches MGTF Sterling. The LE500, the TF135 and the TF 85 th Anniversary Special Edition have now reached the end of production at Longbridge. Sterling MG launced a... Read more
MG TF (2008 – 2011): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 113% of the official MPG figure
What does a MG TF (2008 – 2011) cost?Get a finance quote with CarMoney
MG TF (2008 – 2011): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 210 litres
Inside, the trim has a higher quality feel than its older cousin even though very little has changed visually. Piano black surrounds look and feel good, while the leather upholstery felt acceptable to us, looking reasonably hard-wearing too. A close examination reveals that the vents and switches in the centre console look like recreations – they’re minutely different, while the main change is limited to the instrument pack. That part of the update, it has to be said, hasn’t exactly been successful – the warning lights are small and poorly lit, while the dials themselves are gaudy and look like they’ve been sitting in Proton’s store cupboard for the past 20 years (despite being designed by MG Rover).
We did find that the TF LE500 had a gear change upshift light… but, at first, we thought that a warning light was trying to tell us about some impending calamity.
Under the skin, it’s also a very familiar story – the N-Series engine sounds and smells roughly like the original and the chassis settings are an evolution of the softened 2005 set-up that finally earned the TF serious praise. You’re going to be disappointed if you are looking for something new but, if you’re after the reassurance of familiarity, then the TF is right down your street.
Child seats that fit a MG TF (2008 – 2011)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the MG TF (2008 – 2011) like to drive?
With 135bhp on tap, the TF’s never going to be considered a road burner. The vital statistics paint an accurate picture though – 0-60mph in 8.5secs and a top speed of 125mph mean that it’s brisk enough but, for your £16,399, there are plenty of ways to spend your money and go faster. However, that’s not what the TF is about really – it was always a tactile and pointy car and one that’s best enjoyed on a B-road, alone, with the roof down. Taken in that context, it’s absolutely fine.
Fire it up and there’s the reassuringly familiar K-Series bark, but slightly watered down. It’s difficult to put one’s finger on it exactly but, in N-Series trim, you’re treated to a slightly different soundtrack; it’s rather like they took the original and washed it through a noise filter. The sound is still there but, somehow, the emotions it evokes are different.
In more objective terms, considering the damp-liner K-Series has been around for so long and it’s only been treated to the mildest of makeovers by NAC MG, it’s still an effective engine. In third gear, from little more than a trickle, it pulls cleanly, but becomes more purposeful as the revs pass 4K – and because the ratios in that fine-shifting ‘box are quite long, third makes for a very effective B-road gear. The induction noise is appealing too, as it adds an extra dimension to the hard-edged note of the N-Series, when floored from low revs.
The brakes have excellent feel and progression. Here, at least, it seems that great progress has been made. The official line on fuel consumption is 35.8mpg on the combined cycle, although you’re looking at a real world 30mpg-plus if you drive carefully and just below that once you start hooning it – or decide to make heavy use of the air conditioning system.
Here’s where you’d expect the TF to score well and you’re not going to be disappointed. We’ve already mentioned that the LE500 rides on 16-inch alloys and has adopted the softer chassis settings of the final 2005 cars – and, even armed with that knowledge, the TF’s ride still impresses on your typical British roads. It’s no Citroen, but attack a pock-marked secondary at any kind of speed, and the TF shrugs it off effectively. There are also far fewer rattles and squeaks to listen to now. That could be down to the quality of the dashboard, which comes as a welcome surprise.
The TF still scores well for steering – the gearing is quick (but the turning circle is poor) and being in touch with the road encourages you to press on. For those looking for a go-kart, though, it might be best to shop elsewhere. The TF remains as friendly now as it ever was at sensible speeds.
Head for the corners and the TF feels nicely planted. The supple suspension means that you’re not constantly trying to dodge potholes and mid-corner lumps won’t necessarily through throw you off the road, as they might once have done. Body roll is reasonably well contained, although it’s not eliminated. In short, it’s a good B-road companion which handles in a novice-friendly manner but can also cover ground incredibly effectively if you want it to.
|135||36 mpg||8.4 s||185 g/km|
|LE 500||36 mpg||8.4 s||185 g/km|
Real MPG average for a MG TF (2008 – 2011)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the MG TF (2008 – 2011)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
Should I buy a Daihatsu Copen or will it be problematic to source spares?
What Cars Are Similar To The MG TF (2008 – 2011)?
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.