2004 MG ZT-T 260 4.6 V8 from UK and Ireland


Slightly mad, collectable investment car


Air conditioning radiator disintegrated.

Air conditioning pump failed.

SatNav not working from purchase.

Controls on the steering wheel don't work (radio, cruise control).

General Comments:

Much has been written about the madness of MG-Rover producing a V8 version of the 75/ZT so I won't retread that ground.

I've looked from afar at the ZT 260 since it was announced. I've had a succession of MG-Rovers, including my long term ZS (16 years, so far!) and a Rover 75, but this is my first ZT - I had had a ZT190 on my long-term wish list. I skipped the 190 and got a 260 when the stars aligned for me and this opportunity came up.

This is a car built as an MG-Rover director's company car. One of the good guys there at MGR, I'm happy to say. It's a ZT-T estate, in monogram flip paint, with every option box ticked. Most of those options are still working! I prefer my cars to be understated, so this particular ZT-T is a little out of character!

My car has had a real life for some years, clearly being used as a daily-driver for the first half-decade of its life. Since then it's been kept mostly garaged - MoT'd but driven a dozen miles a year - though sadly neglected and it took me a fair bit of work to get it back to an acceptable standard. Service your cars, people.

Let's go through the car's aspects:

Firstly, the noise. On standard pipes alone, this thing barks. Let's be honest: this is why I bought it. Over a decade of YouTube clips of ZT 260s finally got me.

Comfort and practicality: it's an estate! And the backseat legroom is really good. The seats themselves are super comfortable: I'm a big fan of the MG ZS/ZT seat shape. The ride is surprisingly nice, but then it does have tyres with good sidewalls - much more comfortable that my MG ZS. Also much quieter inside and comparable to my 75, so I guess the ZT kept its sound insulation (the ZS famously is stripped compared to the 45).

Performance: it's quick enough. As everyone says about these: you want it to be quicker. But honestly, get it in the right gear and press the throttle pedal and it does move with haste. Get some sticky tyres (I'm really liking the Proxes it came with, so had new ones fitted) else it'll be wiggling when you hit the power. The traction control is really naff and just cuts power suddenly, not at all like a modern system.

Handling: absolutely sublime. Like the ZS, the car comes alive when pushing on.

The downsides are that I worry taking the car anywhere. The monogram paint is good at the moment, and any damage will be costly to repair. I'd hate to have a ding from someone opening their door into it, or worse to have it keyed for no reason at all. This isn't a huge worry as the car is more of an investment and toy than an everyday car. I'll be garaging it over winter ready for it to come out and play next spring.

Summary: it's fantastically mad. You have to be a little crazy to get the 260, and a lot crazy to get a monogram. But I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2021

14th Dec 2021, 15:49

Excellent review. I don't think Rover/MG were half as bad as the motoring press made them out to be. I had a Rover 620i saloon in the 1990's, and a mate of mine had an MG ZR in the early 2000's. Reliability was as good as any car if looked after.

2004 MG ZT-T + 2.0 CDTI turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Looks, handling, build quality, what else do you need except maybe another one in a different colour


Clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder.

Rear wiper not completing a full wipe.

Headlight washers stopped working.

Handbrake not very good.

Snapped rear springs.

General Comments:

This car is totally under valued. Those who know, know how good it is, others just won't appreciate it until they have been in one. Yes you get the ooh nice Rover (snigger, snigger) remarks, but only from the un-educated.

It may well be a Rover with a bodykit, but even the Rover is a good car, but suffers from badge snobs.

Performance as standard is a little slow as this was a 115 BHP, but through the 75 and ZT owner's club it has received the X Power upgrade so now has 160 BHP and the 320 owners now have to move out of my way.

Handling is amazing for a car this big; yes it can be firm, but it is supposed to be sporty; want comfort then get the Rover.

Build quality is superb; you can tell BMW had the money. Equipment levels vary between cars; some had lots of equipment, some didn't.

Mine has cruise control, rain sensing wipers, climate control, 4x electric windows, heated electric mirrors, electric sunroof, headlight washers, and projector headlights to name a few.

The colours of the MGs are better than anything else offered by other manufacturers, and one of the hardest decisions is choosing the colour as they all look so good.

Check for clutch problems as the master cylinder on top of the pedal can leak as it's plastic, but for about £100 can be replaced with a metal one through the club; fitting is straightforward, but fiddly due to its location; also if it needs a new clutch, change the slave cylinder as well.

The handbrake as renowned for being poor, but again it's a simple fix by fitting a new adjuster.

I fixed all my problems myself except the clutch change.

Rear wiper just needed the rear window adjusting.

Headlight washers just needed cleaning.

Rear springs were a simple job - just 3 bolts to undo, not including the wheel ones :-)

However due to the build quality it can sometimes take longer to fix things than on other cheaper simpler cars.

Check the plenum where the ECU sits for water; there is a drain plug, but it sometimes gets blocked.

Otherwise take one for a drive and you will want one. Just give it a chance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd April, 2017