Fleet News

MG TF 160 - 4,900 miles

Review

GIVE your drivers a free choice with a list price of about £20,000 and you would probably end up with a variety of cars, although along similar themes.

The most likely choices would be premium upper-medium saloons, with a strong possibility of being powered by a diesel to benefit from low and stable benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax.

There might also be those who plump for loaded upper-medium or lower medium cars from volume manufacturers – a well-equipped Mondeo or Golf, perhaps.

Whether they are able to choose a powerful yet surprisingly frugal roadster depends on the fleet policy, but the MG TF 160 appears keen to fit the bill. Following its major facelift earlier this year, MG Rover has ditched the Fisher Price looks of the original MGF and given the new TF a thorough going over from the ground up.

It still retains the mid-engine/rear-wheel drive layout, but looks more aggressive and gets a more driver-friendly interior.

What makes this TF the pick of the range – in fleet terms as well as driver terms – is the fuel-efficient VVC engine, which offers better fuel economy and lower emissions than the less powerful TF 135.

Do the number crunching and the TF 160, which has a CD/radio and ABS as standard, comes out as a better BIK tax bet than the TF 135 fitted with the optional CD radio and ABS.

And, our run-in example, which had nearly 4,500 miles on the clock when it was delivered, is proving more economical than we expected, exceeding the official combined fuel consumption figure, with around 39mpg on its first tank of fuel.

This is close to what you might get with some diesel saloons and even closer when you consider the current forecourt price difference.

This year, with carbon dioxide emissions of 179g/km, the MG TF 160 falls into the 17% band for company car tax – the current minimum for diesel is 18%.

And with a predicted residual value of 40%, according to CAP Monitor, the TF should hold its value about as well as an Audi A4 or BMW 3-series.

Our test car is finished in anthracite metallic (black to you and I) with a grey hood. The cost of these is £345 and £150 extra, respectively, and they look rather menacing from certain angles, especially when you glimpse the red AP Racing brake calipers through the 11-spoke alloy wheels.

The cabin – with Grenadine red interior and black leather/red alcantara seats – seems nicely finished, too.

Fleet News staff are looking forward to putting in some miles behind the wheel of the MG throughout the summer, but it will be interesting to see if demand wanes as the weather becomes more inclement.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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