11th Sep 2005, 06:27

The Rover 200 on which your car is based was actually designed in 1994.

The Eighties Rover 200 to which you are alluding was actually a rebadged Honda.

7th Jan 2006, 22:06

I hope you realise that 90% of 'boy racer' cars barely touch the 1400cc mark...

9th Nov 2006, 17:58

Thanks for the word of warning, iam in the market for a nice motor I can do up, I don't want fast just reliability. as I already drive a merc 190 which is spot on.

13th Nov 2006, 06:22

I agree with most of the comments from 29/12/05, plus a few others. Mine is a '03 VVC model with nearly 70k on the clock. I have driven all, but 15k of these as it was my company car originally, and the only thing to go wrong was the generator pulley coming adrift (albeit twice) in the first 5k miles.Reliability has otherwise been spot on.

Interior wise the car still looks almost new, with no special treatment on my behalf, although I do agree with comments about the paintwork being a little soft (trophy yellow) and rust spots being quick to develop. Still, what do you expect for the money?

My only real gripe is the performance of the VVC unit. It just doesn't seem to go like a 160bhp motor should, particularly in such a small car. Is it possible to bring more of the power in at lower revs so that I don't have to scream the engine to get anywhere quickly?

20th Nov 2006, 12:35

I don't agree with the comments made about the fact that the zr is a bad car. I have owned my zr 105,52reg (solar red) for 18 months, I have never had any problem with it considering the fact that it has done 57000 miles. the interior and body work is still as good as new. to me it just shows if you look after a car and service it when needed you won't really have any problem.

27th Nov 2006, 16:06

My theory for this is because the VVC develops the same amount of torque throughout the whole of the rev range so the 'effect' of that torque would 'feel' as if it was less so the faster you go.

You see, Where as a less advanced engine such as the ford ZETEC for example will only develop its max power at one point on the rev band. So you will 'feel' the power climb to a 'peak' and then drop off. The 'ROVER DEVELOPED VVC' however (not to be confused with the HONDA's less sophisticated V-TEC copy) will have a flat power curve, developing the same amount of torque from 1000rpm all the way up in till it hits the limiter.

I'd get the iTg maxogen induction kit for it. its not cheap tho, but it is the best. worth another 10 brake.

If your budget won't stretch that far, you can buy a BMC CDA with cold air feed. Its cheaper than the iTg kit, arguably just as good. (tho if it were my car I'd have the iTg.)

The exhaust esp the manifold on these cars is very restrictive. Buy the Janspeed Exhaust & exhaust manifold complete with 'sports cat' and that's worth another 10 brake.

The sports cat is expensive however so you could save your self some money and buy the De-cat pipe instead & is a lot cheaper & also worth more horse power. The down side is you will need to put the old exhaust back on for the MOT as it will fail with out the CAT. Or do what I do and have a friend who works at the test center who puts the emissions probe in to the exhaust of the car next to mine instead.

Once you have the Exhaust and induction sorted, you should be looking at about 180.

There's also a new 'Exhaust cam' you can buy for this engine, start off with the induction side of things first & see how you feel about the car then and if you want to go even further. (throttle response will be much better)

I think HKS also sell an exhaust for this car too.

7th Dec 2006, 07:29

Sorry did I read that right you think rover VVC is better than a honda VTEC!!!

Wake up and stop dreaming. and honda copying vvc where did you get these silly ideas from?

6th Mar 2008, 15:47

Errr, Rover never copied Honda. Fiat were in fact the first people to develop a Variable Valve timing engine; however, the Rover does not alter the valve timing, but the cam phasing. The VVC is arguably a far more complex unit, but is not as reliable as the VTEC unit. The VVC unit allows fantastic torque throughout the rpm range, whereas the VTEC allows a switchover point to a 'wild' cam.

Rover build quality is brilliant. It is a shame so many people are quick to think of the rusty 70's and 80's. Granted, all cars have their problems, but there are a lot of rovers on the road.

I own two rovers; one 214 iS with 111,000 miles on her (owned her since new) and my 200Vi that is my track car. Both are reliable and fantastic to drive. My Vi, which has had a lot of headwork done, certainly catches your plain and boring cars out. The K series engine is still one of the best engines to date, whilst Honda have only recently (S2000) managed to catch up with the Rover design. The K series engine shares similarities with F1 racing engines.

7th Mar 2008, 04:58

Yeah my mums astra shares similarities with F1 cars too, they both have 4 wheels, does that count?

31st Mar 2008, 15:34

I have an '04 MG ZR and I have never had any of the problems you have listed, it's been a brilliant, peppy, fun to drive little car with excellent road holding and gorgeous looks.

Aside from the rattling interior which is more of an occasional irritant than a problem it's a well made and stylish small car; it has good front speakers to compensate for this anyway.

People who criticise it merely for its Rover 200 underpinnings are either ill-informed or, quite simply jealous; the Rover 200 was a good car. I would take a ZR any day of the week over a Corsa SRi/Saxo VTR or any other such ill-conceived crap.

You bought a lemon.

5th Apr 2010, 14:58

Sorry, you Honda Civic boy racers, but a Rover 200 Vi knocks the socks off your little hot rods. The Rover is most likely one of the most reliable engines in recent years, and does not need buckets of wedge thrown at it to make it go. I have had my Vi for 2 years, and believe me there is not a lot in bog standard trim to catch it. You can talk all day about your unreliable, expensive to run buckets, but the Rover will, if tuned, outrun any of your Civics without spending a fortune to accomplish this. So, stop dreaming and get real.

6th Apr 2010, 08:40

Eh... no it doesn't. The Vi has 143bhp, the Civic Type R has 197bhp, and even on bhp per ton trounces the Rover.

As for people talking about tuning the 1.8 k series, you're living in a dream world. The MG ZR 160 is the same engine as was used in the Vi and BRM, but tuned to its maximum (160bhp). Exhaust and breathing mods will add very little to these engines on their own, it's common knowledge on the owners forum.

With an Emerald map (not cheap at all) and some porting work I have seen these run 190bhp as about as high as they can go, but most owners who want more power just drop in the T-series 2.0 turbo from the Rover Coupe, as it's much easier to tune.

I don't doubt a Vi that's tuned can catch or beat a CTR, but spend the same amount on tuning the CTR and the gap between the two cars only gets bigger.

The Rover/MG 1.8VVC is a cracking engine (although I've seen a fair number of head gasket failures on friends cars and even a couple of VVC failures) and works well as it is. If you want it to be faster then just buy the Elise with it in, not many Civics will keep up then!

1st Dec 2010, 05:22

I have an MR ZR 120, and it's now running 198bhp, with a low ratio box; not a good top end, but boy it goes like a stink...

Civic Type R hmmm... bye bye! I only spent 5k on this 52 plate dream; that's including buying the car. My MG will outrun and out handle any Civic Type R.

11th Dec 2010, 06:28

I'm considering buying a 2003 MG ZR, it's a good price, but has 94,000 miles on the clock, which is making me hesitant. Are there any recurring faults specific to this model that anyone is aware of. Or does anyone own one that has exceeded that mileage without any noteworthy issues?