2004 MG ZS 180 2.5 V6 from UK and Ireland


Dated Average Performance Lemon


Engine coolant leak within the first month of ownership, followed by warping brake discs, cuts out in traffic and then fails to START!!!


General Comments:

Purchased this car after falling for the overrated HYPE!

Previously owned a Xsara VTS, which I owned for a good few years (quite quick & no problems with it), but traded it in for the MG ZS 180 thinking I was buying a REAL hot hatch.

I was Very Dissapointed to find that performance wise there was nothing between the two cars! Don't get me wrong, the car isn't slow, its just that it isn't that quick either.

Fuel consumption was a nightmare, especially when giving plenty of throttle, I wouldn't have minded this as long as the performance outweighed the high fuel bills! (BUT IT Didn't)

Eventually replaced the car with a SEAT LEON CUPRA, its better built faster and Has better fuel consumption.

The ZS180 is more of a warm hatch being similar in performance to the xsara vts.

0-60 mph took about 8sec on average, which didn't impress me much!

Average car/Average pace = No Hot Hatch!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th November, 2005

16th Nov 2005, 14:52

Sorry guys, but if you can only managed 0-60 in 8s then there was either something wrong with the car or your driving ability.

You just had a bad car with the reliability issue. Nothing major has gone wrong so far with mine. The ZS180 is faster than the current Ford Mondeo ST220 and Leon Cupra, but not the CupraR.

2004 MG ZS 180 2.5 V6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Underrated dark hose



General Comments:

So why did MGR go out of business when teenagers think their friends dad's car is cool?

The handling of this car is superb and does not seem to stress the tyres which are wearing evenly showing just how good a job was done setting up the suspension. Ride is firm, but not harsh and intrusive as the suspension and body keep the wheels in the right place. A bump on a bend is just a bump not a cause for violent correction of steering.

Performance is great with normal driving not stressing the smooth engine that has plenty of torque at low revs, but loves to be revved.

Cabin space is surprisingly spacious compared with some "larger" models and press criticism. Seats are good and supportive.

Overall build quality of car is solid with no rattles. Some parts deleted to reduce cost have been restored to reduce noise, which was my only critisism of this car. Easily fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2005

4th Dec 2005, 00:42

With cautious scepticism I bought a new shape 2004 ZS 180 recently. Only complaints so far:

1) very intrusive road noise from the fat tyres.. but I'm getting used to that.

2) Standard rubbish Kenwood Stereo and equally rubbish speakers

3) Slight knocking/clicking noise from passenger side every time I pull away or go over minor bumps. Thought it was coming from the passenger seatbelt anchor at first, but it's more to the rear and lower down. It's starting to drive me bonkers now. Any clues anyone?

In general I can't really fault the handling and performance... even though the engine only really comes to life at 3000 rpm and above.

2004 MG ZS 120+ 1.8 from UK and Ireland


I can't praise this car enough in one sentence!


Nothing is wrong with this car really, though there is a slight knocking noise when reversing. I'm sure this is minor, as the handling any drive are not affected.

General Comments:

I'm absolutely over the moon with this car. I bought it from a local Rover dealer as a nearly new model, with only 2,000 miles on the clock a month or so ago, and have experienced no problems at all.

It was a great value buy, at only £9,000. I know people have got them for less since the demise of MG Rover, but as I intend to keep it, I'm not bothered about the value it keeps.

The ride is comfortable for a sporting saloon. In fact incredibly so, though it's obviously not as comfortable as my previous "long distance cruiser" type cars (3 Series, Laguna, Mondeo).

The performance is well above that I'd expect from a standard 1.8 engine, with plenty of torque available in all gears. I have read reports that report the acceleration in fifth as laughable, which I entirely disagree with. The car is very versatile. If you want neck breaking performance in fifth, buy an Evo car. My car provides far more than sufficient to keep up with, and overtake, British traffic.

The build quality is generally very good indeed, with only a few minor rattles from the dashboard, which can no doubt be sorted on a Sunday afternoon with a screwdriver and some determination.

The stereo is of a high quality, and is easy to use, with great sound quality from the standard fit speakers.

The seats provide excellent support, and although supportive, are not constrictive.

The gear change is direct and smooth, with a clutch that while biting quickly when you want to press on, is not grabby, and allows for smooth power delivery if you'd rather cruise at a more sedentary pace.

I have carried myself and four passengers in comfort, thanks to the generous interior space for the class of car.

The boot space is more than enough for my needs, and I'm sure would allow for a family's luggage for a weeks holiday.

All of the electrics have proved reliable so far, and the layout of the controls has proved very logical and generally easy to use.

In addition to all of the above praise, everyone in my office building have commented on how great the car looks, and that they would definitely consider one seriously for their next car. This opinion is only strengthened by having ridden in it!

If the British press had not been so derogatory and encouraged people to just give it a try, I'm sure that the ZS and the Rover 45 on which it is based, would have continued to be a success for many years to come. Ignoring fashion, which dictates that we all ought to drive the newest design we can afford, there is absolutely no reason not to go out and bag yourself a phenomenal bargain! Do it now! You'll thank me later.

In summary, an excellent drivers car with the capability of being comfortable when travelling long distance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2005

23rd Nov 2005, 13:15

The reason why people put Mg ZS down so much is because people who own them love to "OVER HYPE" their cars performance etc..

Example.. one "idot" said his mg zs180 done a 13sec quarter mile!!

Also MG are "poorly" built, have "reliability" issues, are very "dated", poor "handling" and are basically a "rover 45"! Oh and did I mention them being "SLOW"!

Other than that, they are OK if you can pick one up for a grand or so, and you it as a load lugger, which will get you from A to B.

8th Dec 2005, 13:42

The person who wrote the above comment, obviously has never driven one, probably ain't got a license, as he clearly knows nothing. These cars are far from slow, have great handling and traction, mk2 build quality and dash is good, also the 180's weigh only 1285kg which for its size is extremely lightweight, Cossie's weigh 1304kg and they handle great too.

Seat Leon's on the other hand, have very poor build quality, reliability issues big time, awful handling, terrible after sales service, overpriced rubbish. Yeah they're fast, but show it a corner and it's in the hedge. Also the engine won't last more than 60k as too overpowered, same engine as golf gti t, but with remap and boost increased. Engine is too powerful for the chassis.

20th May 2008, 18:43

I have a ZS 120plus and it has been fantastic. OK, I have to top up the coolant on a regular basis, but it has been bloody fun...

2004 MG ZS 120+ 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Read owners reviews not press reviews!


Just bought the car, but first observations:

High efforts to open doors with poor door handle feel - feels like the latch mechanism is "grating" Once the latch mechanism has bedded in, it should be OK.

General Comments:

First impressions:

Solid interior feel with controls well positioned.

Good supportive seats.

Fine handling- goes where it is pointed. Makes a change from previous wallowing Corsa or Laguna.

Ride very good considering suspension stiffness, body accepts poor surfaces without protest.

No gimmicks- less to go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th February, 2005

20th May 2005, 15:25

3000 miles on.

Nothing has gone wrong.

Engine has settled down nicely.

Handling is superb.

People who were ignorant of this car's capabilities have now revised their opinions.

3rd Oct 2005, 15:14

"Read owners reviews not press reviews"

100% agree with title!

8th Jan 2006, 12:40

That's one of the merits of being a modern MG fan; you can take satisfaction in the fact that you can see past this stupid concept of badge snobbery that has pretty much gripped th UK and the USA.

Their car industry is facing a similar predicament as ours had at the moment as well.

27th Dec 2010, 14:54

Having owned an MG ZS 120+, I wasn't very impressed. It was serviced every 8k without fail, but the head gasket went at the same time it needed 2 rear calipers, because both were binding, and after that, things began to fall off, and it slowly started to die. Not what I was expecting from a 2003 car that had less than 65k on it, and was very well maintained by the local dealership.