Really impressed with this car.
A friend got it recently, it was a steal, as indeed all MG's are at the moment.
I have liked these for a long time, and every time a friend of mine went to look at a Clio 182, or Civic, I recommended they drive a ZS180. They all refused, because they are fools who care to much about image, but its their
A different pal got one, and it has given me a chance to drive one at last.
Well what can I say? I drive an ST Diesel Mondeo, which has glowing reviews for handling, and I have been very, very impressed by the MG.
Granted it is stiffly sprung, but that gives it no body roll, and I would not describe it as a harsh ride, it is just firm. The firm ride comes with excellent handling, and the turn in is lovely. Feels direct, and honestly, it feels better than my ST, which is high praise indeed, it means I rank it above my Audi S6. MG diesel outhandles Audi S6, you read it here!!!!
I also like the interior, I am a fan of the details. The dash is simple, and the two outer dials (temp and fuel) are angled toward the driver. Nice touch, and also has a little nod towards MG's heritage, think of the MG Midget Dash. I will comment that here is the biggest place the MG falls down. Compared to class leaders like the Golf and Focus, the materials seem second rate.
It seems well screwed together though, the interior doesn't rattle, no bits are falling off, it is better built than people give it credit for. The slightly sub-par materials have given it a reputation I dont think it deserves.
The Engine is an Old school diesel. It likes to clatter and rumble. Compared to a modern common rail diesel, it sounds like a right old tractor!!! Smooth though, and pulls cleanly. We are both not certain, but we think this one is not developing full power. I have driven a 115TDCI focus, and that felt pretty torquey and day-to-day felt fast. I dont think the MG can be developing that, it feels too slow. I readily admit though, that since driving the Focus, I used an Audi S6 as a daily driver, and now the Mondeo ST, which are both quite rapid, So maybe I am just overestimating 115bhp.
All I can say is that at about 60mph, the Mondeo pulls quickly away from the MG, I would have expected a slow pull away.
Regardless of this, I really like this car, and I if I wasn't set on RWD, I would defo be looking for a ZS180 as a track car.