As with the title of my review of the ZS. "read the owners reviews not the press reviews"
The press are only interested in something new. Today that means an interior like a cheap stereo and everything else compromised to reduce cost. The ZS/45 platform was engineered just before cost became THE major driver of new vehicle development. It is none the worse for that.
Had my 180 for 18 months now, been to Spain and back twice in it in that time maintaining high speeds all the way and it was faultless. Love the thing to bits and it sounds fantastic, just it's thirst prevents it being perfect.
It's only ignorant and ill-informed comments like those from that dope about the KV6 being "crap" that irritate a bit.
Top motor for the money.
I agree, the car is fantastic, so much so I want to change my Saab 93 Aero for one, the only problem is I can't find a 4 door x power grey one with full leather for love or money. As soon as I can find one I'll be the first to buy...HELP!!!
Where do I go now?
I've had my ZS 180 for nearly 3 years and had nothing wrong with it. Nothing. Nada. Rein.
I am considering other options now with the demise of MG Rover and struggling to come up with a viable solution. All reviews of my shortlist highlight problems with the build quality of the cars, issues with the dealers and so on. I have had no problems with MG Rover or their cars. this is my second in 6 years and I have covered over 120000 miles in total with no need for Roadside assistance cover.
Why is it the British press got away with slating supurb cars at every opportunity?
MG ZS - quite simply the best FWD drivers car for the money. Nothing comes close in handling and power. It might not be the prettiest interior, but who cares? you shouldn't be looking at the inside of the car when you're driving!
Another good thing about this car is the way it puts it power down. Quarter mile times for a ZS180 with just an air-filter have been as low as 14.8seconds. Totally standard they usually do it in mid 15 seconds.
Oh, and I've seen the 0-60 time for a friends ZS at 5.3seconds (with NOS engaged in 2nd gear)
My 1.8 Rover eats saxos for breakfast (It's stock too!). How do you think a bloody V6 is going to compare!??!
You must have mistaken. you have missed a decimal place in 180. You should mean a Saxo VTR against a MGZS1.8 which is more in Saxo league, but the 1.8 still faster in a straight line and handle better round corners.
Some of the comments on here have been very useful - and grateful for any further advice from current ZS 180 owners.
Until now I've been a frustrated performance car owner - i.e. I haven't had one, instead having to deal with a number of stock hatches. I currently have 5-5.5 k to spend on a car and the sensible choices are an 2001 1.6 Focus or Seat Leon, both decent and worthy cars, but not particularly exciting. For the same money I can get a 01 ZS 180.
I would like a Focus ST 170, but despite sharp handling all the press has pretty much called it a "warm hatch", whilst low mileage Seat Leon 20VT are hard to find. Both these cars are still 8-10k for a decent example. Oh and in response to some of the above comments - an Evo or a scooby would be nice, as would a higher end 2000-on 3series, new golf GTI or most other performance 4 seaters, but you're not going to get one for 5k are you?
A couple of questions:
MPG - weekdays my wife drives the car (I commute on the train, mostly in town and on local roads - is she likely to see 29mpg? I drive weekends - how low does the MPG plummet with a heavy foot?
Headgaskets - a few of the buying guides and other forums mention this as a problem area for the MG ZS180. Is it really? What happens if it fails, and how much does it cost to fix?
Parts - since the demise of MG Rover (blame the greedy hands of the Phoenix bosses for that one) is anyone having difficulty finding parts? I'm going to keep the car for at least 2-3 years so this is a consideration.
Thanks to anyone who can come back on these questions.
A few last points - I am widely read of the motoring press and the ZS180 has had great reviews for its handling first and performance second (particularly in EVO, who are rarely wrong), but criticised for new price, image and dated interior. I'm going to buy used so someone else has taken the depreciation hit (this will hopefully have levelled off at the 5k mark?), I like the image (in metallic blue it reminds me of a subaru) and I already own a 98 Civic that the interior is based on (so no worries there!). Finally, I have no idea who the saxo loving idiot is and where he gets his facts from (I guess he doesn't get much further than the breasts in MaxPower), but most people realise that a standard unmodified VTS/VTR saxo is good lively fun, but generally unreliable and difficult to own (the saxo was voted the worst car in Britain in 6 different categories in last year's Auto Express car ownership survey), the lift off oversteer is lethal, build quality appalling (made of Kit Kat wrappers anyone?) and unfortunately seems to have been adopted as the car du jour by the nation's Chavs. If that particular chap wants to come back on these comments, then please do, but if idiotic or abusive I will use the request to delete option for all his previous comments.
Thanks to all.
Head gasket failure on the ZS 180 - any evidence of this?
I have never heard of a 180 suffering from this.
It would help if this review was made by Zs owners only because at least the comments are based on fact.
All the negative comments seem to be coming from owners of non Mg's so how can anything they say be worthwhile?
I own a Zs 180 (05 plate) and its excellent. There may be a few 'quality' issues, but for the money and enjoyment its well worth it.
You can't put a price on this cars character, no other car for the money has such a unique image and no matter how bad people think they are it is British and parts will never be a problem.
All the while there is a market for parts there will be the supply - no question about that!
It drives well, is comfortable and looks good. I would never buy a French car nor a German car so I am pleased I went for British.
My next car will be a Swedish car - Saab's top the list!
Incidentally I have owner a focus and my brother has a st170 and they are nice solid cars, but lack the 'x factor' of the Zs 180.