2004 MG ZS 180 from UK and Ireland - Comments

12th Jun 2009, 15:15

I'm the original author of this review.

I still have the car. It is now on 114,000 miles, approximately 28,000 miles per year.

The car has had no serious faults. There have been two issues:

1. I've replaced the VIS motors due to two failures. A failed motor causes a loss of power, noticeable if you drop a gear and floor it.

2. The positive cable to the starter motor worked loose, so I had trouble starting the car one day around 50,000 miles. I wasn't stuck, but it was a moment of unnecessary worry.

Otherwise flawless. I really am very happy with the car.

Some other comments I have based on four years running the car:

1. Good choice of tyres is essential. If you drive a high mileage, use hard wearing tyres such as Continental SportContact 2 (lasting 25,000 to 30,000 miles per set).

Softer tyres do offer better performance, and if you drive less motorway mileage I'd recommend Bridgestone RE040 for some cornering fun (at a cost of 15,000 to 20,000 miles per set).

Some tyres, such as Pzeros, wear on the inner or outer edges in a pattern looks a lot like tracking or alignment problems. I spent a fair bit of money of this without cure until I switched back to SC2s - at which point all those problems disappeared. SC2s on my car wear down perfectly flat across their surface.

2. Replacing all three cambelts on both ends of the engine is very expensive, and is required every 90,000 miles.

3. Changing the near side headlight bulb is awkward and needs nimble fingers. But at least not Mondeo-awkward (on the Ford, the whole headlight assembly needs to be removed).

4. It's worth spending a little extra for quality components. The only mechanical parts replaced on the car have been brake pads and it is really quite obvious that I've skimped on them. The performance has lost the edge that the OEM pads have.

5. You can get good MPG if you can drive motorway journeys at a constant 60MPH. I can get a consistent average of 39MPG (peaking at 41.5MPG). Expect 33MPG in mixed driving.

6. Resale value of the car is very little now, but then it's getting on a bit and the mileage is beyond the psychological 100,000 mile barrier.

9th Mar 2013, 17:41

Time for another update.

I still have the car. I've had a succession of second cars, but this has been the keeper.

My annual mileage over the last three years has been around 5,000 miles driven at 30MPH, and the car seems as happy doing that as it was doing 30,000 at 70MPH.

Total mileage on the car is just shy of 150,000, and it is now 8.5 years old.

But the luck is starting to run out. 9 months ago the front right brake caliper seized. 2 months ago the rear right, and last week the rear left. Coincidence, age or mileage, I don't know. I replaced the front right, but the rears were disassembled and cleaned at minimal cost. Beyond that and normal servicing, over the last 3 years I've replaced the brake discs, put a couple of exhaust boxes on, fitted the "Sheddist" clutch hydraulics and a new battery. That's it really: the car is still overall reliable.

There's no visible rust on the car's bodywork, but underneath there is now some forming. Mostly on the suspension components and brake calipers, but also there is surface rust on the underneath of the driver's side footwell.

I guess that's it - the car is still fast and handles great, and provides uneventful motoring for year after year to boot.

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