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Is the TF's biggest threat another TF?

MG is looking set for its return to the UK, with a growing dealer network and loyal customers already putting down deposits for the TF LE500 model it launches with.

I'm pleased to see a brand like MG back in the market, but I think it'll be a rough road for the brave dealers who get on board this early.

The manufacturer announced prices for the new TF this week - and it's taken a price drop of around £2-3000 (comparing similar spec cars) since it last appeared in UK showrooms.

It's had a few minor revisions, such as slightly revised bumpers, a piano black dash insert and a better level of standard equipment.

For a 13 year old car it's aged well, but I can't see many reasons to buy new.

For starters the Mazda MX-5, one of its closest competitors and a much newer design, is only £293 more in almost equivalent spec.

But, with a car this old, there are also a plethora of considerably cheaper used examples available.

A quick browse of Auto Trader reveals leather clad, air conditioning equipped pre-collapse 1.8 litre TFs in good condition, many of which are below £4,000.

At that price, does buying new make any sense?

Used TFs will have been through the bulk of their depreciation, and with the spare £13,000 it wouldn't be difficult to find change from a hard top, new stereo and can of piano black spray paint to bring it up to 2008 spec.

In fact, even with a new set of bumpers, warranty and personalised plate to hide the age of the car there'd probably be enough left over for a summer holiday in France to go and enjoy it.

Early interest from customers does seem to be strong though, and I do think MG will find a loyal enough group of fanatics to buy the TF, but it's a shame they don't appear to be going for new customers yet.

After all, the MG Rover was blighted in the past by a lack of cash which forced them to tweak old designs and sell them as new models.

If the new MG proves a success, they'll need to be quick on their feet bringing out an all-new car to sustain interest.


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