2005 MG ZS 180 from UK and Ireland - Comments

26th Aug 2006, 13:49

BTCC car also uses the 2.0 K series 4 pot now, so I belive. Still, its supposed to be a fine driving car.

Gray.

29th Oct 2006, 02:42

The engine is all Alloy!, the ZS180 doesn't have speed sensitve Power steering!!

4th Jul 2007, 17:36

"The steering is sharp and precise due to the fact that it has a higher geared rack than the standard 45, plus MG fitted much stiffer poly bushes instead of rubber ones to the ZS’s all-round double wish bone suspension."

Sorry buddy, but you're very wrong on that comment, just normal rubber bushes for it I'm afraid!!

20th Jul 2007, 10:40

A performance bargain. Still feels tight with just the odd trim rattle at 7 years old and 53k miles! Depreciation is massive, but they can be had cheap in the first place so this is not a real problem.

There are so many miss-informed people who state that the kv6 is prone to head gasket failure. This simply is not true! Look through the enthusiast forums and compare with owners of other performance cars. The k4 has suffered from a bad cylinder head/cooling system design, but the kv6 is super-reliable in this respect. The only verified weak point is the inlet manifold with its switchable inlet tracts... but that's another story.

Power output varies between certain cars, but performance tends to give 0-100mph just under 20 seconds. (0-60 is well below 8 seconds, so I am not sure where the above figure is from). To quote EVO -...straight line performance it gives nothing away to the Clio (172). A Clio owning pal will verify this as we have done a 30mph rolling start side by side starting in 2nd and by circa 100 we were roughly level still.

Very underestimated drivers car with a bit of an image problem.

19th Aug 2007, 04:22

Palmjinda:

You are clearly repeating what someone has told you, and if you will read what has been repeatedly said on these reviews..

The Head Gasket concerns apply to the K series, and earlier KV6 units, not the KV6 in the MG.

Yes the occasional one will fail, but it is by no means a common problem.

ZS 180, 8.1? Where did you get that? I understood it to be 7.3.

This will continue to be debated, because the problem is the majority of the owners love them, and the doubters are playing the childish game, whenever someone gives a reasoned, educated response to their ignorant comments, they stuff their fingers into their ears and sing "LALALALALALALA" and then continue to repeat the same drivel about their "Saxos, Like, are totally fast, yeah, like took on an enzo, and like well kept up wif him yeah?"

Anyway, I am considering using a ZS180 as a trackday car, because I read reviews by people who know how to drive, who all seem to love em. Tiff Needell, Evo Magazine, Car Magazine, Autocar, it's a big list.

Oh And I even read a review by Clarkson (on the ZT190, not the ZS) where he compared it to the BMW 320 Sport. (I think, my memory ain't perfect).

His conclusion? England (MG) 5, Germany 1 (BMW). No surprises it was just after the football match with the same scoreline. And this is from someone who is known to be an MG naysayer.

10th Sep 2007, 07:36

Just one more factor to add in over rivals including the Focus ST, Clio 182 and Honda Type R - the ZS was built with the future BTCC championship and jet pilots in mind. As such MG intended it to be in a different class with the V6 and it is - much more like a BMW 3 series in fact - power and refinement, a fine balance that allows pant wetting sprints alongside Sunday afternoon smooth cruises from the same vehicle. Grown up drivers like this because they live in the real world.

Having driven many (fast) cars professionally, including latter day sinners like the Mk2 RS2000, Lotus Carlton and Seirra Cosworth I would much prefer the ZS at the sacrifice of a little edge, against the teeth chattering, noisy (rattles not engine note), cheap build (mm thin plastic), torque steer, and tram lining of ALL the aforementioned 4 pot buzz boxes. I've had a couple and I hated them - got rid of one after just 10 days!

And for all the chavtastic numptis who have argued their case for performance over the ZS by quoting bhp per ton, a decent driver can take seconds out of you on the first set of bends... I do all the time so you'd be better concentrating your efforts on learning how to drive... and that doesn't mean screeching off at the lights or pulling the handbrake on in the ASDA car park.

The Dude.

25th Sep 2007, 22:48

I have owned over the last 6 years a MG120 ZS & now own a Mk.2 ZS180 saloon variant. I have nothing but praise for the power, build & sheer driving enjoyment of these cars.

A couple of mods for my Mk.2 have been completed:

X-Power exhaust

Cold Air Induction system.

Love driving the car & a credit to the engineers who re-designed & built the ZS's. How they pulled off the road handling with such an apparently tight budget, I do not know. What I can say, is that every chavved up Saxo & in one case a Scoobie had a very nasty surprise!!!

20th Jan 2008, 14:21

How can you say this car is a dark horse when it looks faster than what it is? Its done up like an Impreza or EVO.

10th Feb 2008, 02:40

I know what he means. It's a dark horse because the uneducated don't take anything with a Rover badge seriously.

The ZS180 is a great car. All the car mags raved about its handling, and with good reason. It also had the same guy work on the chassis as worked on the McLaren F1. Not saying it's anywhere near in the same league, but that's not something your average Japanese or French box can claim.

10th Feb 2008, 11:44

I'm not saying I don't like the look of the ZS, I think it looks great. But I'm also aware of how fast they are (not that fast), so with those looks it's hardly a dark horse. And you're right, Evos and Imprez's can't claim to have a chassis designed by a man from McLaren, but they can claim to have better handling than the ZS.

11th Feb 2008, 07:59

Evos and Imprezas have all-wheel drive and cost significantly more to buy, run and insure. There would be something massively wrong if they didn't handle better. It's an irrelevant comparison.

In terms of front drivers, the ZS is one of the very best handling cars around, and as a package for the money, it really takes some beating.

9th Jun 2008, 04:35

173bhp from a 2.5 V6; Pathetic! Fuel consumption is an utter joke, reliability is also poor, and the car is a VERY dated under-performing joke! 0-60 in the "real world" 8sec, 0-100 21-22sec. MG over-quoted the perfomance figures to try and sell this old badger. This car having a BAD IMAGE is an understatement!

9th Jun 2008, 10:37

Never taken one round a track then. Tiff Needell claimed it to be one of the best handling front wheel drive cars he had ever driven.

But what does he know about the finer points of handling? Less than you, clearly.

22nd Aug 2008, 05:25

0-60 for the ZS 180 is 7 seconds, not 8 seconds.

22nd Aug 2010, 06:10

Well I've owned Scoobys all the time, and yes a ZS 180 is not as fast as some Scoobys, but a standard turbo 2000 will not get away from the MG ZS, nor will an RB5. I love my MG ZS 180 mark 2 for handling. Love the drive as well. Well done MG.

26th Oct 2010, 09:36

I've had a 2005 180 for a couple of years now, and although it feels reasonably fast up to around 4500 RPM, it has a bit of a flat spot that you can rev through. By 5500 RPM it starts singing and keeps going to the red line. Not sure if they're all like that, but it is annoying.

It's certainly not the very fast car people seem to be saying it is. It's OK, but disappointing for the displacement. 177BHP from 2500cc? Not brilliant. It's pretty thirsty too, and the turning circle is poor.

The panel gaps are shocking. The engine note with a standard exhaust is boring. Never thought I'd say that about a V6. There you are - an honest review..

12th Feb 2011, 13:06

Well it's 2011 now, and I have an MG ZS 180 Trophy yellow mk 2 (rare colour). Had a few Subarus as well, but the MG ZS is awesome to drive, handles as good as a Subaru in dry, not the wet.

As for 0-60 time, it's a lot to do with driver as well, and it's not 8 seconds, more like 6.9.

Anyway, all I have to say drive one, and then comment on here about it. Best front wheel drive car I've ever had?

23rd Feb 2011, 05:59

175 BHP from a 2.5v6, 0-60 in 7.5 - 8sec and a high thirst for fuel with reliability issues. Hmm...

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