How do Brits like current MG models?
November 18, 2004 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I am a certified vintage British car nut living in the States. My question is for the Brits here. What is the general opinion of the modern MG automobiles currently sold in the UK? Do they do justice to MG's heritage...or is this brand engineering of the worst kind?
posted by punkfloyd to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
As a former MGB owner, if the new models don't break down every month (at least) and are impossible to find parts for (Moss Motors represent yo!) then they're not only doing an injustice to MG's heritage, they're ruining the entire history of British automotive engineering.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2004

It's not brand engineering of the worst kind, but they're not brilliant. We had an '99 MGF soft-top which was fun in the summer, but never tracked correctly, overheated and was icy inside in the winter! We suspected the chassis was not aligned correctly. The newer model MGFs are meant to be better.

We now have a Toyota Corolla which is dull but surprisingly nice to drive.
posted by Huw at 2:06 PM on November 18, 2004

The saloons might look like re-badged Rovers, but they're actually surprisingly capable cars. Don't forget that MG have been re-badging very dodgy cars for over twenty years now, and the current crop are way, way better than that (and the MGB, although loved by many, wasn't really all that to drive). They also make the unique(ly hideous) SV, which is a true enthusiast's sports car, if nothing else. Lots more info here
posted by jonathanbell at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2004

Are you talking about the MGF/MGTF or the MG Rover crossovers?

The MGTF is a fairly fun little car, but it's basically ten years old now, and it's showing its age massively. In road tests it repeatedly fails to the MINI convertable and the MX5 (Matia?).

The Rover clones are averagely decent cars. They're much better than the Maestro / Metro / Montego mess that got rebadged not that long ago, but they aren't quite as thrilling as I feel they should be. The little MG (who's name I've forgotten) is a cramped little car too - I'm six foot four and there's no way I could drive one off the forecourt, let alone drive it any distance.

Styling wise, they do seems a little too much like Rover took the car to a ricer shop (Halfords or Ripspeed in the UK) and poked around for a while. The insides are better, but not superb.

The SV looks like an incredible car (in all senses of the word), but it's also around £70k when you can get an XK8 for around £50k. I can only assume they are for sale to meet a racing criteria.

Stepping back up to the Corolla comment above, I own an 01 Corolla SR, which is a wonderfully fun car to drive. They didn't make many of them (Toyota intermitantly decide they never made that model, for example), but I love it.

Back onto the topic, The only real UK cars nowadays are probably TVR, Aston and the Lotus Seven clone cars.
posted by twine42 at 3:05 PM on November 18, 2004

Would it be all right to expand the question to include British bikes? I once had a Triumph 650 which I loved, despite the time one had to spend tinkering with it and cleaning up the oil puddles. In fact, maybe because of that, at least in part. I often think of picking up another bike but somehow the Asian crotch rockets just don't attract me in the same way. What are current British bikes like compared to, oh, vintage 1968? (If this is considered a topic derail, please ignore.)
posted by jfuller at 6:02 PM on November 18, 2004

The last I knew of British cars, Lucas was still the Prince of Darkness. If you can now drive a British car home in a rainstorm with the wipers and headlights on, it's a vast improvement.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:44 PM on November 18, 2004

jfuller - The current Triumphs (aka Trumpets, to other bike enthusiasts) are astoundingly awesome. I've been tempted to buy a Sprint ST on more than one occasion, and everyone I know that has a Speed Triple or Bonneville (and there's a lot of 'em) loves 'em.
Triumph radically redesigned the Sprint ST for next year, and it's got me drooling almost as much as Aprillia's Futura has for the past few years.
It's also worth noting that in the states, the RAT groups (Ride A Triumph) ... RAT is to Triumph what HOG is to Harley ... are very close-knit and diverse, from old-school bikers that can disassemble their rides on the side of the road using nothing but a pocket knife and their bare hands to the type of people you'd expect to find at a BMW meet ... lawyers and doctors and whatnot.
posted by SpecialK at 10:11 PM on November 18, 2004

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