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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Auto Express Z Cars review

steering wheel
Life can be confusing at the best of times. The
Internet is supposed to have changed our lives, but
all it's done is add to the clutter. Pete Sampras was
odds-on to win Wimbledon, but his fearsome serve
was nowhere to be seen and he exited early. And
someone else always wins the lottery, even though
you leave the newsagents

Typical AutoExpress - missing the whole point of the cars and picking away at minor details which would never be mentioned if the products were German.

Autocar's reviews were all extremely favourable and quite fair in their criticism. AutoExpress irritate me with their prejudice.
John Hackett

The tragic flaw is that they are not available in the US where I want one. Just one is all it would take. I'll move the lawn furniture and mower and bikes. It wouldn't be any trouble really .

Are you listening MGR ?????

Thanks for that Dot, save me bothering to buy Auto Express for their Z car appraisals ....

Got Autocar today - with one exception, I dont regularly buy car mags lately but @ 2.10, not a bad value "one off" by modern magazine price standards. Had a quick read through their appraisals and looks like Autocar view the ZR from a different angle - entry level MG performance at reasonable prices. Obviously aimed at the younger buyer with a spec/price range to suit most so expected to succeed in that area. They also have equal enthusiasm for the ZS and ZT cars too! There is a report on driving the ZT Xpower 500 too which they appeared to enjoy from just about every aspect. Altogether a refreshing change with some nice pictures too! Will read again and take more time when I get the opportunity.

John McFeely
John McFeely

..... just re-read my last effort - far too many toos!:)

John McFeely

Having experienced the same cars at the same time as Auto distress I must have missed the spaceship that transported them to a paralel but mirror universe. That is the only way I can see how they concluded the way they have!!

Roger Parker

Are we reading the same article?

I thought they actually gave quite a fair assessment. The 25 and 45 based MGs are in my mind stop-gap models, good but flawed. The 75 based ZT is reviewed favourably because it is a very modern and thoroughly engineered car. It is very pretty too.

Autocar were indeed considerably more upbeat about the other two models than Autodistress. The editorial to the magazine stated that MG-R had achieved a 3 out of 3 bulls-eye with the new products. Yes the ZR and ZS are hindered by being based on older car designs, but the reaction to the ZS 180 was gushing tempered with genuine surprise. For many, this will be the pick of the bunch for affordability, practicality and sheering chassis ability.

Seems to me that the ZR is being well recieved, but the reaction is more 'luke warm' than from the enthusiasm generated by the other two rivals. It's the car that perhaps required the least work to jolly up for the 'yoof' market- and perhaps recieved the least letting engineers have more time to concentrate upon the potentially more troublesome R45 candidate... What ever, these are fantastic new cars- and I hope that they do well.

BTW I chuckled out loud when I saw the picture of the ZT X500 downshifting from 6th to 5th... about a foot of flame can be seen eminating from both tail pipes... WOW!!!! Cooool!!! LOL
Rob Bell

[Free Plug Warning]
A few pictures from the Autocar review can be seen on
[/Free Plug Warning]

Legal issues withstanding! ;)

Steve Childs

This is the picture I mentioned:


Nice one Steve ;o)
Rob Bell

Rob, how could I not have that one on the site :D

Now, if only they would do a similar feature on the MGF Xpower :)

Steve Childs

"But the trouble is, with its peak torque of 174Nm
developed at 4,700rpm, getting to all this
performance calls for masses of revs ..."

Funny how others raved over the Honda that has to be revved to 6000 ...

Paul Hunt

Got depressed reading the start of this thread.
Hope this cheers you up as it did me:

Angry readers say German cars are not so reliable after all

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

July 11, 2001

Stuttgart (dpa) - Germany's premier car marques come off badly in a survey carried out by the country's leading auto, motor und sport magazine, which puts a dent in the image of Porsche, BMW and Mercedes as paragons of German motoring efficiency.

The magazine asked readers to report the problems they have experienced with German cars and 90 per cent of the several hundred readers letters they got back said owners believed the quality of German cars was declining, despite makers claiming the opposite.

The survey showed that car buyers tend to be irked by the same set of problems. These included warranty periods of just 12 months and a lack of generosity in dealing with major problems that arise shortly after the guarantee has expired. The poor quality of some components and difficulties in obtaining spare parts were also mentioned.

Joachim Jenderny from Bochum, who owns a BMW 540i estate, said the Bavarian maker seemed disinterested when the engine failed after only 18,500 kilometres. "You get the impression that because of the good sales figures and high share price they're not bothered anymore about pleasing the customer."

Porsche can hardly produce enough of its sportscars to cover demand but its seems not every customer is satisfied. Wolfgang Mueller from Munich had harsh words for last year's 911 model: "some of the materials used are cheap, the windscreen wipers don't work properly and the Tiptronic electronic gearshift knob is faulty." Mueller was also fed up with a unreliable navigation device which he called "shameful". The man should know - he has been a Porsche customer for the past 33 years.

Wolfgang Oelschlaeger from Minden said the 911 he bought in May of this year had been plagued with irritating noises such as a passenger seat which just won't stop squeaking. "You can't drive the car without earmuffs," he wrote.

Audi came in for criticism too. Walter Sachs of Munich reported that his A4 2.0 Multitronic needed a new gearbox after 3,500 km, a hairline crack was later found in the computer master chip that controls all the electronics and at 10,500 km the interior was drenched with condensation from the air conditioning. "The A4 is an expensive banger in a permanently critical condition," wrote Sachs.

The brickbats rained down on Mercedes too. A host of electronic failures, faulty sunroofs, defective automatic gearboxes and even rust on the window surrounds of an E-class luxury limousine. Bernd Bloom of Kiel said his S 500 was "the worst car I've had in 40 years."

Copyright 2001 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

John Dalton

I wouldn't read too much into the opinions of Autodistress- they seem to be in the pockets of the German auto industry. Worse still, they use a considerable number of articles from their German sister magazine, usually without due credit to the original authors. IMO the magazine isn't worth the paper its printed on, and even worse, it isn't even printed on soft perforated absorbant paper...
Rob Bell


The reason all these fine German cars are failing is because they subcontracted the assembly work to Longbridge. Everybody involved is sworn to secrecy.

I thought I better let you all know this aweful thruth before Dirk appears to glot about it....



Just jumped in from the MGM mob. AutoExcuse was it's usual tripe where British Cars are involved which is why I gave up buying it about three copies in to its run! Autocar was far more balanced in it's outlook, especially where the 'competition' was compared.
Anyway, Top Gear next week, so we'll see what drivel they can come out with this time (although they have been fairly supportive of Rover so far). And did you know MGZ's have been on display in the USA at an MG meeting? I didn't, but does this bode well for our transAtlantic cousins?
Comment noted on BBC2 last night; BMW 3 series third highest production run of all cars in Germany last year behind the VW Golf and Opel Astra; as they said, Pile 'em high and sell 'em dear. Just proves they're the German Cortina, really!

I hope you've all got your Z-cars test-drive invite for next weekend, then you can make your own minds up.
Paul Hunt


do not forget to watch Top Gear next thurs. BBC2 at 8.30 pm. they are doing a review of the full range too.
ian holiday


This thread was discussed between 11/07/2001 and 04/06/2002

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