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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - I've broken my ZS180 already


I got my 180 at the end of July and was back to the garage within a week, problemo's as follows ;

1st week August
1) Aircon - worked very noisy and couldn't be fixed. MG say this was also a problem on 45's. The garage is awaiting a solution from MG ( but still nothing as of 3
0th Sept )

2nd week August
2)Return to garage as boot release won't work

3rd week August
3) Return to garage as passenger door won't close unless slammed. Gearknob goes flies off whilst shifting into reverse.

2nd week Sept
4) Piston gone in engine, new engine due next week. 'Old' one being sent back to MG for investigation. 5000 miles on the clock

Lastly a piece of weirdness..........

I managed to set off 5 speed camera's in 2 days whilst under the limit ( honestly ! ), speedo check outs, whats going on ? I have been setting off camera's at a rate of 1~3 week since I've had the car, nothing horribles arrived in the post zs 180 is trophy blue

Date of manufacture - 5 o'clock on a Friday afternoon perhaps ?

Anybody else having nitemares ?




I picked my ZS 180 up on Tuesday 25th Sept and have done 540 miles so far just about managing to keep it below 3000rpm. Although I have no major nightmares there are a few minor problems:

1. The reception on the Kenwood MP3/CD unit is poor 50% of time I cannot get stereo and most of the time the RDS indicator blinks meaning no RDS. Dodgy aerial cable connection maybe?

2. The one-shot operation of the drivers window does not go all the way down - it needs another press to do the last 3cm. An ajustment to the window electrics may do this.

3. The wiper baldes seem a bit dodgy - when they are damp from previous rain and it is lightly raining, they judder loads therefore not clearing the window. Maybe I should clean the windscreen and wiper blades.

I also noticed passengers having to slam the door a bit, but it doesn't seem much different to my previous car which was a Rover 420GSi. The car is back at the dealers on Tuesday morning to get points 1-3 fixed, which shouldn't take too long.

So far the engine is doing fine so I'm relatively happy. I'm carefully looking after it and not yet taken it over 4000rpm. One major annoying thing is that I srubbed some of the rim of the nearside rear alloy on the kerb earlier today. :-( It was either that or hitting an oncoming bus.


P.S. Maybe you should get a radar/speed-camera detector!

the only problem i have with my zs180 is that i could do with a extra 25bhp, its amazing how soon you get use to a power level then start lusting for more :o)
kevin neal

1. The reception on the Kenwood MP3/CD unit is poor 50% of time I cannot get stereo and most of the time the RDS indicator blinks meaning no RDS. Dodgy aerial cable connection maybe

Possibly, but my money is on the unit itself, or the aerial amp. Is the situation the same with aerial removed? These factors are also determined by location, signal strength, etc...

3. The wiper baldes seem a bit dodgy - when they are damp from previous rain and it is lightly raining, they judder loads therefore not clearing the window. Maybe I should clean the windscreen and wiper blades.

A common problem with residual wax. Use a solvent cleaner on windcreen, and clean blades with mild detergent.

I'm worried. There should be NO problems whatsoever with these cars - this is very disheartening. Sounds like the pre-delivery inspections are not being carried out correctly or quality control is dropping.
John G Hackett


Thanks for the advice concerning detector Alex, afetr reading the press recently I think a cheaper buy would be a variety of wigs so the back of my head can't be recognised on the photo ( or join the police force ! )

One good thing to come out of returning the car so often is that I have had a chance to take the others ( ZR+ZT ) as loan cars for a few days.

The ZS is by far the better drive, all the 3 models are surprisingly different. The ZR is very twitchy not handling that well, the ZT is very boring to drive and feels so heavy. The interior of the ZT190 is far more stylish than the ZS180, but the big cliff face of black plastic that is the stereo is horrid.

I have yet another couple of small whines ;

1) Because there is no air vent on the side doors the side windows take an age to demist. This defeats the object of heated mirrors when you can't actually see them thru the window !
2) I have the single CD player which only gives traffic infomation when it feels like it
3) As I pre-ordered the car ( a bit like catalogue shopping ! ) I never got to see or drive one until it arrived. After seeing the interior of the ZT190 and comparing it to my 'top of the range' ZS180 I feel a little cheated
4) Cubby holes ? A little sad I know, but where do I stand my Cuppo~mocca~latty-choco-chino ? Where does my map go ? At the garage they asked if the service book was in the car - No ! I had to take it out so that I could fit a CD in the glovebox

Unfortunately I also kerbed the alloys to avoid a bus, perhaps a strange urban myth may soon develop ! My last car was a lorry magnet, it was hit 3 times whilst parked.

All in all the thing which really counts is the drive -that I cannot fault.


Using a ZS120+ with Kenwood radio cassette:

I too have noticed inferior radio reception compared with my Rover 414. I put this down to the stubby helix antenna. If I get a chance I will try replacing it with the antenna off the 414.

Many of the faults described sound like the garage not doing the PDI properely. MG pay them to do this - so if you are unhappy let MG/Rover know.


Our ZS180 was the demonstrator, so I guess that all of the minor faults had been ironed out before we got it. Probably run in at 6500 revs though. Totally love the car, only two problems;
1. Every time it is driven, sh*t gets thrown up the sides off the front tyres..... hurry up and produce some front mudflaps please.
2. The car is so good that the MGF has't been out of the garage since we got it....
Nik & Anita

> I too have noticed inferior radio reception compared
> with my Rover 414. I put this down to the stubby
> helix antenna. If I get a chance I will try
> replacing it with the antenna off the 414.

The dealer fitted my Blaupunkt MiniDisc deck into my ZS180 and the reception is fine - better than when it was in my old car in fact - so I suspect that the problem is with the unit and not the antenna.

For the record, my car is in have its' courtesy check, including fixing the new car niggles, today. The list is:

1) The ventilation control is poorly adjusted.
2) There is a 3-4mm gap between the top of the N/S indicator and the bodywork.
3) There is a spring hanging down under the passenger seat and the handle at the side if the seat doesn't spring back properly.
4) The rear bumper is a bit 'flappy' (technical term) behind the O/S rear wheel.

This is the fourth new car that I have bought and, so far, would rate it second in terms of lack of new car niggles. There's still time for that to change, of course...


P.S. Agree about the extra 25bhp
Steve H

I'm borrowing the dealer's ZS180 and so far everything has been fine, although I have had the gearknob come off in my hand while shifting into reverse as described in an earlier posting. Incidently I was a little dissapointed that the logo(?) on the gearknob was a badge rather that what appears to be a milled aluminuim insert in the sales doesn't affect the driving though so it's not a major problem!

I don't have the vehicle manuals as it isn't my car at the moment, but I can't get the heater to do much in the way of heating, aircon (at least the cool air) works fine, am I doing anything stupid? Turn the middle dial into the red, turn the right dial up a few notches?

Funny you should mention the radio reception- we had a ZR160 test car a short while back- the radio reception was so appalling I thought that the dealer had forgotten to plud in the aerial lead... Only had the car for a couple of hours so no time to investigate...

A problem with these Kenwoods or a problem with the dealer installation?
Rob Bell

Could Brett be kind enough to give us his impressions on the acquired ZS 120 (and how it compares with the Rover "equivalents") ?

I went to the dealer on Tuesday to get my problems fixed, as described above, while I sat there for 15 minutes and had a cup of coffee and read the morning paper.

Apparantly, the aerial lead was not inserted all the way into the back of the Kenwood unit. The reception has since improved, but it still is a little weaker than I am used to. It looks like I'm just going to have to put up with this.

The drivers window was "sticking", so they did something that made it un-sticky (I have no idea what) and it now works fine. Plus, I properly cleaned the windcreen and wipers and now that is OK.

Everything seems OK now. I have now managed to do 1200 miles in 8 days, so I'm keeping out of the car until the weekend when I'll be adding another 600 or so.

>>>>>The car is so good that the MGF has't been out of the garage since we got it....

Sh*t! Is it that good? I find that hard to believe!

David Bainbridge (MGF, Y69 RVS)
David Bainbridge

Sorry, but I've just got a boring 45 Impression S Diesel as my company car, but I can share some gripes.

The one shot down on my window stops about 30mm too short and requires pressing the button again to lower it, I don't belive your dealers claim it was sticking, I suspect the stop for the one shot system needs adjustment.

The wipers are helped by cleaning the wax from the screen I think part of the problem is also the strength of the springs of the wiper arms which should settle over time.

Side window demisting a major headache. I found that lowering the windows did not clear the outside at all, so applied Rainex which has improved matters considerably.

The main problems with the car centre around the fitting of the tow bar (yes not an issue to Z owners I'm sure) where the dealer lost the CD autochanger then claimed Rover never fitted it, but Rover did apparently fit the bracket cable and radio cassette, the rubbish from fitting tow bracket was swept into the spare wheel well and the rear bumper and boot trim was not re-fitted correctly.

When will car manufacturers realise they need to kick their dearlers into touch and get them improving the quality of their cars before delivery to the customer and not the other way around?


An ironic typo, shouldn't they really be 'hatelers'?
Paul Hunt

I can concur with many of the points raised here, not all the problems though.

There is definately a need for front mudflaps. The wider tyres and their ability to move huge volumes of lying water does mean that they move crud in similar quantities that is left up the lower sides of the doors. I currently have streaks of grease from something I have driven through together with considerable dirt.

I wonder if the one shot down stop point is actually intended to stop short for some reason. I simply haven't seen another car, inc 45's, where this is any different. If this is a problem then there will have been so much feedback to Longbridge that it is unreasonable not to have expected a line rectification. The fact there appears to be no change points to another issue. I will ask my contacts tomorrow for a view on this.

Interior demisting is not as strong as it could be unless the air con is active, then the glass clears in seconds. I have not found problems on the outside side windows at all. First thing in the morning with a heavy covering of condensation I simply wipe over all body glass to provide immediate view. Beyond this when driving the first two or three miles, I see the usual initial misting up again on the front screen but intermittent wipe is all that is needed. I haven't suffered form further side window misting. I am a fan of RainX and it's effects and have some to yet apply.

The offside rear panel is definately more flexible due to the greater intrusion of the exhaust cut out. This can be seen by moving the edge near the whee and notig that the exhaust cut out is acting rather like a pivot point.

The large rear spoiler has some negative points in respect of rear visibility and yes it does create a blind spot. This is not an issue where you are used to driving vehicles that don't have interior mirrors and correct positioning of the fdoor mirrors fills the gaps. I have noted though that the lower centre part of the glass, which is now bordered by the spoiler gives a distorted view. On the positive side the spoiler acts as a very effective block to the headlamps of following vehicles, which with my frequent travelling in darkness becomes a real bonus.

I find that reception in the base Kenwood is slightly weaker than any of my other cars except the V8, which has it's own radio station - transmitting from the exhaust!

Last door shutting, whichever that happens to be, demonstrates the effective sealing as slightly extra force is needed to fully shut it. This is proven by the simple expediance of lowering a window a couple of mm and then finding that the all doors will shut with the very minimum of effort. The feature of auto window dropping found on some cars to overcome this issue and avoid the need to 'slam' a door is one that should be adopted. Peoples perceptions of a cars quality often comes from the sound and effort required in opening and shutting doors. A smooth, light, silent operation sets the stage for a good perception.

The final point is that the dynamics of the car are superb and indeed since I have had the ZS the F has largely been confined to the garage. However weather has been more saloon friendly lately!

Roger Parker


further to my earlier posts ;

i received a new car on Friday and am therefore best pleased. the dealer first mentioned that a new engine was on the way. Apparently there were no spare engines to be had from MG, so I got a new car instead. Well chuffed, as I 've now got a new reg ( rather than Y ) as well.

The other thing is that the new car has the full monty spoiler rather than the discrete one ( sorry boss !!). I love the big spoiler it sets off the whole car, when summer comes round again I'm going to detatch it and learn to surf...........


>>>Apparently there were no spare engines to be had from MG<<<

Hmmm, call be suspiciously minded, but I wonder if there is a little more to this individual car than an engine????

However the end result is certainly not a backward step.

Roger Parker


Fitting MGF alloys to my Montego means I get similar crud build up off the front wheels. I removed some front mudflaps off an MG Maestro breaker car, (they cleaned up like new) and fitted them. Much improved.

Roy, Essex,

Cant be bad or what? I lurve a happy ending.
John McFeely

Thanks John,

The issue is negotiating the niow larger and different shaped side skirt fronts which ideally demands a properly moulded flap.

Roger Parker

Ahh the ghost of good old red robbo lives and is in good form at Longbridge.

Come on know what happened last time you didnt put the cars together properly...and this includes designing them so that they can be put together usuing decent parts

A recession is on its way and you have simply GOT to get the cars together!!

The replacement car is now run in with no huge problems, but still a couple of niggles persist ;

1) Rear demister doesn't work
2) Clutch pedal squeaks when depressed ( pathetic moan I know, sorry )
3) Heater dial doesn't turn all the way round

I may have a very suspicious mind but..........

This replacement 'new' car, didn't smell well, new.


This is WHY MGR are going to the dogs. To think the had the nerve to wirte back to me and complain about me calling them a "Dead beat company"!

Well I have has my ZS120+ for three weeks and I haven't found a single thing wrong with it. In fact, I am delighted with my car.

Sorry to spoil your fun.

AS Honda will from time to time make the odd bad car, than MGR is likely to make a Good one. I would look after it Brett. In years to come it will be the only still working!


Pray why do you frequent this BB if all you do is complain! I am contemplating buying a ZS180 in lieu of my Rover 75 2.5 Con SE and a EVO VI GSR, so I have c onfidence in the product!

Most of the motoring press can't be wrong, so please go away and frequent the Honda boards. Doubt anyone is there though as they don't have a historic following, like we do on this BB!

For details of my Cars for Sale see or

Jerry Flint

I will say what ever i want and as ofter as want...OK!


Free speech and all that - carry on saying what you want. However, most on this BB will ignore what you say, unless it's constructive!

Personally, if you havenít bought a MGR product, but only threaten to buy, your points of view should be regarded with some sceptiscm! ou can only judge from experience and if you check my Forum you will notice that I've bought a few MGR products over the years. The worst by far was a Spitfire 1500 with overdrive, which even the dealer said sell within 7,000 miles. However, the rest have been great even the Sprint and TR7/8.

Just my point of view an of course Iím allowed my view as well (me thinks you are a fishermen).

Jerry Flint

Although i have great personal regrand for you, please don't try to tell me what i can or can't say! As a matter of fact, i owned a TR7 which could only just beat a 2 Litre Ford OHV. I made a little mod to the car (i fitted the 3.5 V8) and that was that. I also brought a almost new MG Metro which was not a bad little car.

I brought a Metro GTI (1400 mpi) which was the bigest pile of s**t. The componts on the car where the main problem. I think that MGR HAS to understand that cheapper is not better. When Honda worked with them they could not understand WHY Rover would buy from such crappy surppilers!

I keep on about it because i would like someone from MGR (and yes i know for a fact that they READ this web site)to tell the mangerment!

I try to be "Helpful" but i will not Gloss over the fact that like LOTUS, MGR has to understand and make there cars better. Starting from the incoming Parts!

mega i have done 5500 miles in my ZS180 and have had no problems what so ever,about 6 people in this thread have said they have faults (most minor), which hardly constitutes a proper sample to make a logical conclusion that MG Rover are "going to the dogs"
you seem to judge car ownership on the performance of the car only,owning a MG is about more than the car its a way of life.
wake up smell the coffee :o)
kevin neal

Jerry Flint, Middle England WROTE (rest snipped):

<< Most of the motoring press can't be wrong, so please go away and frequent the Honda boards. Doubt anyone is there though as they don't have a historic following, like we do on this BB! >>

Tell you a "funny" story. Back in the 1960s, I entered a competition organised by Honda UK with the slogan something on the lines of "Honda has no past history only a future". Did not win a thing of course but you know what, shortly afterwards I saw an advert with similar wording ...... never entered one since.

I have bought both new and used Honda products over the years. They do have problems just as any other ordinary production car. A neighbour had a Honda back in the late 1970/80s. Not one made in Swindon but a Japanese built imported one. The chrome on the bumper bars was of the finest quality I've ever seen. Still very bright some years later. Trouble was all the base metal of the bumper was of such poor quality that it had completely eroded away leaving a thin shell of nice chrome only. The rest of the car rusted worse than any Maestro or Montego I've seen. I could go on with other examples like my brother's Honda engine which seized up shortly after he took delivery and there was the time this year when a colleagues Accord developed a serious gearbox leak which would have been an expensive repair for a car out of warranty. Honda are one of the few Oriental motoring companies I have real respect for but the likes of MEGA do perpetuate the myth that if it's Japanese or foreign, that automatically means superior. According to our Scouse contributor; One good MG = One bad Honda. In my books that does not equate - and I speak from the finest evidence available. That of my own direct experience.

I bought my first car back in 1959. A good old pre-war Morris 10-4. Great! Since then I have had a succession of Abingdon, Cowley, Solihul and Longbridge products, both new and used, purchased by me or by my employer. I have rarely had problems with them, and nothing really serious. Sure the odd bonnet rusted through after five years but was replaced FOC despite my failing to honour my part of the six year corrosion warranty or whatever it's called. I am a very hard user of vehicles but I rarely abuse them. All my vehicles have given excellent reliability and longevity and I dispose of them when the mileage exceeds 100,000 often much higher. With each new car one or two years Free AA membership is included. I HAVE NEVER CALLED OUT ANY RECOVERY SERVICE in over forty years of driving BRITISH cars. I've explained this on other BBS threads before and have been accused of being lucky. I can tell you there are more lucky people than unlucky ones. Some people make their own luck of course.

MEGA can and no doubt will repeat himself on this BBS as long as he likes of course, but, he does appear to steam on a bit such that I suspect that in addition to his back being hurt when he dropped his Yamaha, he may have acquired a chip on his shoulder at the same time .... :o))
John McFeely

I would like to add to John's comments about British cars.I have had Minis,Avengers,Chevettes,Marinas,Triumphs,Princess,sorry no MGs,
and have had very few problems with any of them over 40 years.The only breakdown was in the Marina when the fuel line broke and that was on my driveway.Most of the cars did between 70,000 to 100,000 miles and the Marina did about 150,000 miles with one clutch,a slave cylinder,recon radiator,a head decoke & valve grind being the only major work in from 1974 to 1989 not bad for a car that gets ridiculed a lot.
Terry Milburn

PS John,
I forgot to mention I was from Cheltenham.
Terry Milburn

I would agree that owning a MG is a way of life. I VERY deeply respect all MG owners, what other brand of car would generate such passion. (I Know the spelling is crap/been out all night) I have already remarked on when a chap broke down in his F loads of people stopped to help. I don't see this happening with the likes of BMW owners!

It isn't the factorys fault by enlange, its the poeple who surppile them. I dont think that they can work to BS5750 or ISO2000- whatever. Last year in car magazine there was a story about Rover. They where give sercet files that shows how bad things had got.

They know what everyone else knows that no two MGFs drive the same. Some are good other very bad and the crushing thing for me is THEY DONT KNOW either.

I want to buy a MG, i would like to be part of the "CLUB" but looking though rose tinted glass is no good for anyone.

If i buy a MG it would be a ZS 180. Lets face it its a Honda Civic (which Honda surppied tooling)Which they have been building for years. So they should get that bit right. The engine was helped along by BMW which should mean thats ok. They did go though prolbems with the cam shalfts snapping. In fact one went as the BMW top brass where pulling out of the gates at Longbrige!

No wonder they "Baled out".
Anyway time will tell, hurray up with those seats Mr Oldker.

"the base metal of the bumper was of such poor quality that it had completely eroded away leaving a thin shell of nice chrome only"

BMC beat them to that, I remember seeing just that in the 60s, they were referred to as 'bacofoil' bumpers.
Paul Hunt

Paul and MEGA,

Almost certainly an accurate observation Paul but that was in the 1960s. However, one I did not personally witness. Unlike that of some 1960s Fords and especially Vauxhalls from my own personal observations. So definitely worth a mention to if only in the interest of balance.

At least in so doing BMC beat Honda at something ...... :o)) Had Hondas been around in any numbers in the 1960s (the interesting S800 being a real rarity then) instead of the 1970-80s, they could have at least have made a dead heat .... :o))


The sale of Land Rover for 1.8 billion aint exactly bailing out! Other disposals and/or holding onto other useful parts of the former ARG aint exactly bailing out either! Please tell it like it is. Thanks to the bigots who infest so many aspects of British commerce and elsewhere, for all the average Joe knows the whole lot went for a tenner. Are you an average Joe MEGA or are you simply one of those permanently in an anti-brit mode, and there's a few about, hell bent on knocking anything British.

What's Cherry Picking Dad? What's selective memory Dad? - Shaddup and get on with your homework!
John McFeely

Terry NZ,

Nice to have a kindred spirit down under and a little to the south west ... that makes several .... :o))

P.S. Cheltenham's still there BTW.

John McFeely

NO NOT ANTI-BRIT, some things we do very well and with a bit of help very very well (Look at JAG). Even LOTUS now understand that the car has to be built well. I think that MGR are a lot better than Alfa (so do J.D POWER)
but if they would just try a bit harder.

I drive some 40-70k miles a year in company cars, and having driven product from most major manufacturers, here are my observations.

1x Astra 1.7TD Est...No real problems. Had to have tappets re-shimmed on a regular basis. Rear WW assy fell to bits after 20k.
1x Cavalier 1.8 After a lengthy legal battle, this was returned to Luton after 8 months as "Goods unfit for the purpose" To much to list here.

Peugeot 405 2.0. Rattles, electrical grief, speedo packed in 5 times in 6 months. HRW never worked. Refused to drive it after it exploded at traffic lights in Stoke, shorting electrics and trapping me inside. Rescued by passers by who smashed window.

Toyota Carina 1.6. No real problems, except for a curious frequent misfire, never traced/rectified.

Ford Escort 1.8d. Engine mounts worked loose every 2k.
permanent fix by me with araldite on threads. Ford never accepted this as a problem Delivered with a hair under the paintwork.

Rover 820i hatch.
In garage for 6 days in first month. Then no other attention whatsoever bar servicing, for 155k. Still in use in the district as a taxi.
ARG Montego (X 2) 1.6 Lx.... No.1 had no problems for 85k, bar fag lighter packing in. No.2 had an engine rebuild after 6k, then needed a HG every 10 thereafter. (Done at service intervals). Also had x2 alternators.

Mercedes-Benz C230 Est.
Ongoing problems with engine reaching operating temp. Never solved. Dissident Merc fans say it Was fitted with 50 degree ambient rad/hoses and the like.
Fuel consunption never reached spec (Overcooling?)
Had a power steering pump, and headling worked loose.

When subjected to intensive work, there is nothing between ANY of them.


<<<Delivered with a hair under the paintwork>>>

might it have been a rabbit?

Earlier contributors wrote:

<< They know what everyone else knows that no two MGFs drive the same. >>

In over 40 years of driving cars, I would also say that the same is true of many other makes and models, irrespective of origin. They all look the same clones as they roll off their mass production lines but no two appear ever really alike behind the steering wheel.

... and then goes on to say whilst talking about the KV6 in the ZS180: << The engine was helped along by BMW which should mean thats ok. >> "Helped along"? Not in my books and what exactly is meant and where did this stuff come from anyway. Oh, I get it someone put it in print someplace so it must be true ...... DOH

ALSO: << BMC beat them to that, I remember seeing just that in the 60s, they were referred to as 'bacofoil' bumpers. >> At least that is British Aluminium (BACO). Much preferred to Nippon Chrome .... :o))

Dave, Staffs drives 40-70,000 miles pa. so must spend most of his waking hours behind the wheel. I love driving but you can have too much of a "good" thing.... :o)). Interesting experiences too with various motors Dave, and one many other high mileage drivers will confirm time and again. Your closing remark: << When subjected to intensive work, there is nothing between ANY of them. >> is probably spot on.
John McFeely

Hi everyone.

Firstly,After driving all the new MG 'Z' models,I will say that all these models have one thing in common,they need more poke,especially the ZS180.
I found that driving this car on the track,I got so enthusiastic on my first few laps,then got bored towards the end.It was easy to get used to the way the car handled,and it didnt take long for me to be able to go round Thruxton flat out most of the time,and find myself jeering the car along wanting at least another 50bhp.

What I did notice was this.Drive the ZT190 and despite its obvious weight,it felt alot more livelier in its throttle response compared to the ZS180.The change in ignition timing in the ZS180 has made the car slightly flat on its power curve.

I am going to see if the ZS190 ECU will fit the ZS180,thus instantly giving 10bhp.I consider that this small upgrade will satisfy those of you that want it to be more eager.

For those interested in seeing ehat a ZS180 can do,I will be launching a 'Precision Driving Technique School' next year,and will be using a ZS180,though it will be modified to cope with some of the stunts it is going to be put through.
I am waiting for a response from MG Sport and Racing(was Roversport) as I will not need to purchase through a dealer and want paint and mechanical warranties.Dont think they would pay for worn cv's etc,but it will be a good way of testing what punishment this car will take.I have been using a 420GSI Turbo,and at the moment I've only blown up the original box,other than that it is going well.
If you are interested in receiving details for the stunt school next year,please leave your email address on the site,and I shall send details of the schools web site once the site is completed.

Happy motoring

George Mackmurdie

Hi George
Thanks for your "Review" of the ZS, i think its the first time for somone thats had it on a track. I love to know alittle more about the tset drive, such a:-

what did you think of the steering, brakes,etc?
Did it roll to much in the conners?
what where you happy with and what (besides engine) needs improveing?

I think you will also be interested to hear that a new version of the ZS has been spotted, testing on the M6 at night. "Darth vader" is its nick name. Sorry thats all the information we have as yet.

Hello Mega

Thanks for your reply,just to answer your questions that you placed earlier.

The ZS180 does not suffer too many probs when it is asked to work hard,the only thing I noticed was a rubbing noise from the nearside front wheel when cornering hard.

This could have been just a fault with this particular car,I did look to see what it was after,but couldnt see anything obvious.I think it could have been the inner wheel arch liner,but couldnt swear on it.

As for body roll,there is a little,but it is nowhere near what you might expect from this sort of car,in fact I expected a bit more roll.The ride is stiff but not uncomfortable.

The brakes are first class,I didnt at anytime have my confidence broken when I pushed that middle pedal.However,I will say that the feel of the brakes was alot better if you took the abs and electronic brake distribution off line.

However,unless you are an experienced driver,i.e you have a professional competition licence,I wouldnt recommend it for road use.

Other than more oomph the car is perfect,yes it is a bit cheap in the interior package compared to the ZT,but then this is not expensive for what you get.

I found it quite exciting to drive on the road,I can honestly say that MGROVER have certainly got the suspension set up just right,if you are cornering on the road at high speed and hit a bump,the suspension is forgiving enough not to throw you off course.This is an ideal road car for the more demanding driver

Hope this answers your questions.

George Mackmurdie

Thanks George
I think you need to chat to a guy called Roger Parker. He on this BB from time to time. I have found him to be very knowagable on the four and six pot engines.

He tells me that the exta 10 hp comes from the induction system and cam shalfts. It know that he is working on a replacement system using his ZS180 as a test bed.

If someone knows Rogers E-mail please can you tell George.
Thanks Mega.

The E-mail for Geroge is


Just got the latest insurance schedule listing our company cars - it includes a, a, a,

Morris ZS 180


Roy - It's not the end of the world. They just forgot to add the word 'Garages'. At least they didn't call it a Rover ZS180.
Alex Rogers

George - I suspect one would *always* want 50hp more after a few laps - even in a 700bhp F1 ...
Paul Hunt

I've done 366 miles in my new ZS180 5 door,
The servo assist on the brakes failed suddenly for the second time this a.m.
Not quite the exciting ride I was expecting!

The local dealer is contacting MG,
Could be the start of a re-call?

The dealer looked at the drivers window problem when they tried to fix the brakes the first time, still doesn't work properly.
They lent me a 45 with 3,000 mile on the clock the window didn't park correctly on that either.

I'm now driving one of the dealers staff ZS120s at the moment, it's done 800+ miles, amazing loud rattle from the gear leaver when accelerating, noisy A/C fan.


I am the Service Manager of a busy motorsport-orientated MG Rover Dealership in Devon.(Check out our Website at and click on the MG Rover, Tiverton link) I have a ZS120+ as a company car and love it. From the mediocre fuel consumption (400 miles to a tankful) to the superb handling I won't let go of it for love nor money!The ZS180 is nice (What a lovely engine noise) but it does seem to like its juice!The window one-touch problem I am seeing here is a simple adjustment an dlubrication concern - not to difficult for a dealer to remedy, surely?? For the record, radio reception with my MP3 CD Tuner is just fine, but other cars with the basic radio/cassette have awful reception.The MP3 feature is great - imagine a CD holding 250-odd tracks!! We will be looking into this problem and I will report back as soon as I have any findings. I took the MD's ZT190 home tonight and just loved those Xenon headlamps......but have to agree its not such an entertaining drive as the ZS180.But it still made an effortless motorway cruiser.Regarding ZS rear spoilers, I find the big one too restrictive for rearward vision - the more conservative one on my ZS120 is far more agreeable.But, for looks, the big one wins hands down!
Brett - ref your 'MGR pay the dealers to PDI vehicles' You are very wrong - we have to PDI them ourselves at OUR cost. Shoddy dealers may well do a shoddy job.


David Lacey

Interesting comments from George and in fact it was driving the Z cars at Pembrey circuit that provided me with the urge to go for the ZS180 rather than replace wife's Rover 218iS with a ZR, which was the logical route. The problem I am finding now is keeping the keys away from her!!

I can fully understand the comment of the chassis being well capable of handling the power that the 2.5 gives. It is very much like the situation when the MGF was launched, a car with a chassis easily capable of handling another 50 bhp to the benefit of all aspects of the car.

The differences between the ZT190 and ZS 180 engines are as far as I am aware limited to a 4 degree advance on the inlet cams for the ZT, together with external changes to the inlet and exhaust. Remembering at the time that the cars specs were being developed the prospect was for all engines to be bought in from BMW as they then owned Midland Powertrain. Any engine spec changes would sure be expensive for a customer to shoulder and so concentration of small changes which has a mild effect along with keeing costs down has to be a logical route. Now though I know someone who is very involved with some interesting developments!!

I imagine, I can't be certain without parts slifdes, that the 4 degree advance was achieved simply by the expediant of a cam wheel with a different position for the locking roll pin. Induction and exhaust changes provide the extra breathing capacity and then the engine management is very slightly tweaked to ensure fuel and ignition control is maintained in the optimum window for all legal aspects.

Looking at ZS and ZT inductions alongside each other shows some clear advanatages to the ZT design. Initial work with my ZS shows there is space for a set up that will use airflow to advantage, but it will not be as simple as an MGF induction system change. Not least of which is a massive big resonator box in the space behind and below the nearside indicator!

The Siemens engine managment does seem to have an interesting characteristics, providing an interesting step on full thottle acceleration as you pass 4500rpm. THis is not something I see on the original (design pre dates BMW) MEMS set ups that were fitted to later Rover 800's. owever as the miles increase on the car the pleasure factor also increases and I am more and more pleased with my choice.

I do find that the fuel consumption is the worst aspect, being slightly lower than the published figures for mine, whereas the MGF on the same runs is usually sligtly better than it's published figures. However I accept this as being a price for the 6 cyl sound which is a pleasure to the ears each time I drive. Also a pleasure is the first class build quality which has so far resisted many really rough roads where it would not be unexpected to find things not screwed together start to come loose. I must say that I would have expected some slight rattles to develop on a car with such a firm chassis, but so far it hasn't developed a squeak.

I agree with what David just says about the rear spoiler, but I find I can accomodate the restriction in rear vision. Extra movement of the head has now become almost a habit together with external mirror use, but with an HGV 1 (C+E) licence, door mirrors are second nature.

Roger Parker

"Brett - ref your 'MGR pay the dealers to PDI vehicles' You are very wrong - we have to PDI them ourselves at OUR cost."

Fair enough but I suspect MGR would say that the dealer profit margin has been calculated to allow for PDI.

Either way, dealers are certainly responsible for the quality of the PDI.

"Shoddy dealers may well do a shoddy job."



Having spent along time away from the MG Forums (Hi Rog, yes its me...:-) ) I thought i'd better take a look in.
Funnily enough I e-mailed Turbo Technichs ealier to find out if their perfomance tuning of the 4 cyl K-series would be extended to the reply as yet.

Why did I ask about modifing an MG ZS??? Well, Currently I'm driving a SEAT Leon TDi (only 5 days from its 145bhp chip), and I'm hoping to get a Petrol car next year when my petrol is paid by the company.
My options are a SEAT Leon 1.8T Cupra with a 300bhp kit, a Skoda Octavia RS or 1.8T 4x4 Estate also with 300bhp conversion or and imported Leon 2.8V6 Cupra 4x4 with 280bhp ABT Kompressor conversion.....
As you can see MG 177bhp V SEAT/Skoda 280+bhp is alot considering the excelent deals on imported Seats, making a fully modified one about £16,000!!

Neil Turner

Not very patriotic though is it buying a Seat or Skoda :-)


Hi Kelvin,

I wondered if you would add to my comment....LOL

Neil Turner

Someone has got to keep an eye on you!! LOL.. I've seen an MGZS 180 for 13,995 :-)


Oh, new or 2nd hand????

I e-mailed a couple of import places today, but it seem that European dealers haven't yet got prices for RHD ZS180's yet......hence the imported Leon V6 came to mind.....2.8V6, 204bhp, 4WD, ESP, TCS, Recaros, Climate control etc etc....£14,600...

Don't worry Kelvin, I'm sure insurance on the ZS180 is gonna be cheaper and less hastle than a car thats not available in the UK, I've been quoted less than £700 fully comp (Direct line) inc. my small prang in March!!!! and therefore be 1st choice...
Neil Turner

I don't think one has to be "patriotic" in these things any more,but what about image?
Having owned MGs,Triumphs,Alfas and Rovers,was thinkng of getting an Astra Coupť.
"You can't possibly do that" said my daughter-it won't fit your image!!
Imagine an extreme situation where VW put all their engineering in a 250 HP Lada which they
sell for £12,000.Would you put that on your drive and say to yourself that I am a smart guy ?

The difference is I'm a Seat owner who also owns 3 Montegos (MG EFi racer, GTi Estate in MG spec and a show room condition 1.6L), now I want a reliable car to do 35,000 miles a year which the company will give me £450 per month to pay off, and full petrol paid.....

In answer to your question, if it wasn't for the great handling and sound of the ZS180, I'd get the better built Skoda or Seat even if the handling, especially on the Seat isn't as good.

So yes, I believe i am a smart guy who bought a Leon TDi that does 48mpg on a heavy foot and has not suffered one problem in 26,000miles over 7 months, but will also offer (with the 145bhp chip) 130mph top speed and sub 9 seconds to 60....

Neil Turner

I realise that my situation does not apply to everyone Kevin and did not imply that one necessarily has to buy an MG- nor deny that many cars were much more reliable (eg Toyotas)
As long as you have thought about all the issues & are happy with your final choice...........
But let's also have your answer to the Lada question !

If VW put enough money into making a Golf/Audi A3 Based (as the Seat Leon, Toledo, Skoda Octavia, Audi TT, VW Bettle, Bora...blar blar are) Lada that was top quality the only thing to stop you is the badge.... But for £12,000 I can get a new Leon Cupra anyway!!!! :-)

Unfortunatly I'm stuck between power and handling...with one thought...
I can make a 300 bhp Leon handle better quite cheaply, I can't make an MG ZS more powerful cheaply...unless Rog wants to give a little away:-)
Neil Turner

My dig at Neil was light hearted, as a friend, he knows that! :-) The ZS I have seen is an ex demo, Blue. Hope to talk telephone numbers later this week :-)


Damn it Sir,

What about your patriotic duty?

If you have money for a new car it is surely much better to buy and MG Rover and provide work for Muslims in Birmingham than some German machine which will make work for Turks in Munich!



PS A joke....

Be careful with Demos Kelvin-they may have been pushed too hard to get the full power( which does not really come through before at least 2000 miles have been done)

No probs with Demos on my side...
Primera GT was Demo with 1500 miles,
My Leon TDi, Demo with 3500 miles,

Apart from a manuafactuing fault on the Primera which caused 2 cluches to go within 15k miles of each other it was and still is a bloody excelent flying machine, now with over 60K miles!!!
Neil Turner

...unless Rog wants to give a little away:-)

Not yet, but I know of a couple of routes currently being evaluated.

Roger Parker

Just picked up my x-demo ZS180 all appear to be going great so far. Few minor niggles:

1) One of the blanking plates for the rear electric windows option is missing.

2) As with others I note, the one stop option on the window does not go down all the way.

I am awaiting the garage to call me back

Haven't even tried the stereo yet, enjoying the engine far too much!

Apprently all the cars coming from the factory have the window problem it can be fixed, but my dealer has advised that he will need to book the car in for the day to do this :-(

Well Ive done it now!,
pick up new MG ZS180 on Monday


Well done Kelvin! Nice choice. Hope you got a good deal - did you px the 600ti?

BTW, what did you do with your Montego turbos? Do you still have one or both? The white one looked resonably tidy IIRC.

John McFeely

PXed the ti, got a crap deal, but I had to have the ZS anyway!! :-)


The window lowering problem we are experiencing is not a days work as you are being told! It is simply a glass run channel adjsutment and a spot of lubrication to the seals. Probably an hours work at the most!
David Lacey

Thanks for that info David. One hour's work eh, that's more like it!

It's false info that can give any product an unjustified bad name.
John McFeely

Simple basic engineering.....they cant get right! and this is a firm that is going to rewite the sports car rule book over next couple of years?

The rulebook they are re-writing is not to pay any attention to ill-mannered ignorant people such as yourself....

I think you guys WANT crap cars. If MGR made good ones i think you would be very unhappy! As for "Illmannered Ignorant" I have seen there crapness for myself and so has J.D.Power! Stop looking though "Rose tinted" specs Pal!


Simple basic engineering indeed - clueless or what? Do you advise (con and thus excessively charge) your imaginary still ANONYMOUS engineering company customers that line of Bullsh*t?

Nothing wrong with the engineering you anti-brit anonymous nonentity, it's a simple case of adjustment SIMPLETON!

No need to ask again, I'm not in a bad mood. Rarely am. Simply trying to correctly advise those seeking worthwhile advice on simple tasks simpleton bullsh*t vendors like you would falsely purvey ......

Please go away and when your old enough buy your Fraud with those "fab" seats you regard so highly! .... and stop poncing about on your Dad's pc - I've told you before and dont want to have to tell you again.... now off to bed with you it's well past your bedtime.
John McFeely

A couple of points to note on Kenwood radio installations from the above...

* Roy, Essex; "the big cliff face of black plastic that is the stereo is horrid". Early ZT & ZT-T were fitted with the same non Kenwood radios as R75 that was rather black & cliff face but later ones have Kenwoods. All colourful glitz, and stupid little buttons, with non dimming illumination...

* ALL Kenwood radio fitments are done by your selling dealer at PDI, and not the factory. My ZT-T had a crap installation with the faceplate dislodged and the wires trapped behind. Come back factory fitted radios, all is forgiven!
Dave D.

This thread was discussed between 29/09/2001 and 21/11/2001

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