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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - MGF to ZT...Help!

Just found a ZT 190+ with 81k on it for 6995 and want to swap it for MGF but I am wary, can I have some advice as a F'er looking to get on the Z register? What do I need to look for on it. Is that too high mileage?

Hi Paddy,

as an F'er with a 75 (that's about to be traded for a ZTT), I think that you'll not have too many concerns about buying a 190 ZT. They are superbly well built, and the engine is very reliable. To be honest, I can't think of any specific weakness with the car! Early KV6s had a reputation of using oil at low mileages - but at 80 odd thousand miles, that has long past...

Great cars to drive too - I'm a fan! :o)
Rob Bell

In the past 3 years or so I've had an MGF, MX5, Audi A4 Cab and now a ZTT.

I must say the ZTT is a great drive - I'd probably put it above the MGF and below the Mazda, with the Audi something completely different!

I was a bit worried moving from the Audi to the ZTT (moving house, so need to save money) but so far the drive is better, it's (much) more practical (obviously) and the performance from the 160 Turbo is excellent.

I really thought I'd miss my V6, but the turbo kicks in in just the right place for my driving and needs.

Heartily recommended.
A Bradley 1

I have both a Trophy 160 se and a ZT, if needs must,and you have to choose then, the ZT is an excellent beast with no known gremlins apart those mentioned already.
Mike (Mersea Office)

Yep, my ZT 190 is an excellent car too - no real problems to speak of (but then my previous ZS was practically faultless too). It's great to drive, comfortable to sit in, looks cool inside and out, performs and handles superbly - i really can't think of anything bad to say, apart from maybe a squeaky seat (but this is probably more to do with the weight of the driver! LOL :-) )

Seriously, here are my criticisms...

1 ) 190 V6 is a bit thirsty (for the performance)

2 ) The fuel tank could do with being a bit bigger

3 ) In extremis, there is some torque steer (more than my ZS 180, but a *lot* less than my old 2.0 EFi MG Montego!)

4 ) Tyres are expensive (circa 150.00 each for 18" rims)

Can't think of much else, the first two are related and not really an issue, it is a 2.5 V6 afterall. The third one isn't very noticable, only in extreme overtaking manouvres and then not anything major and the last one caught me by surprise - check the wear on the tyres of the car you are looking at - 4 tyres = 600.00 :-O


3 types of headlights available for the ZT, halogen, projector and Zenons. All are pretty good, but Zenons are the best. They are also not retrofitable (too much messing around with the loom apparently), so if you want them, you need to find a car that already has them fitted.

Large size rear numberplate looks good, can be had from most places (i got mine from )

There are a number of 'programmable' extras you can have, these can be programmed into the car's computer by your dealership. Things like lazy locking, anti car jacking locking etc.

Scarlet Fever

You can also have it programmed to close all the windows and sunroof (if fitted) on locking with the key - nice :o)
Rob Bell

Just to add to the common thread here...

We own a MGF and a ZTT190. We love both of them.
The ZTT is a classy car. The quality is very high.
80k sounds not bad mileage and there are (so far) no notorious points to watch for with the ZTs.

Only point to watch is fuel bills. The ZTT is a little thirstier than the 'F. We manage a reported 28mpg.

Obvious, but drive it lots. If you like it. Buy it. :-)

Paul Nothard

I have my old F still (couldnt bear to be parted from it) and a fabulous bright red ZT260 with matching dash and blinging 18" wheels

in a few hours I will be flying back to blighty and I am already looking forward to getting into my big bad car at the airport using airport transfers tunbridge car I've ever had, love it to bits...evertything is superb on it

and 21mpg for a 4.6 aint that bad really actually

...convinced yet?
go get


I've always wondered - what is torque steer?

"Torque steer is a side effect of high horsepower front wheel drive cars, especially with unequal length driveshafts. In essence, the twisting force of the engine is so great that it can actually make the car turn under hard power. Your car has equal length driveshafts and not enough power to get torque steer. It sounds to me like something is loose in the suspension. When the load of the suspension is changed through the application of power and the resultant weight transfer, the geometry is changed and the car begins to wander.

Or to put it another way,

You plant your right foot heavily, the car launches down the road, but starts to wander off line little, you steer a little to correct it.

In my old MG Montego it was an issue, you needed to be aware of it and ready with the steering when you performed an overtaking manouvre. IMO this added to the appeal of the car, made you felt like you were driving something ferocious if you know what i mean.

The ZS, despite more power and a bigger engine than my old MG Monty never suffered from this as far as i can tell, you put your foot down and it went in a straight line, no fuss, no drama. I guess this is one of the reasons so many driving pundits lauded the ZS when it came out as one of the best FWD handling cars out there.

The ZT has a marginal amount of torque steer, i have only really noticed it once or twice and then only when i am REALLY going for it. It's not really an issue.

Scarlet Fever

Thanks for the advice so far. I still am wary because I do love the F, and I dont really need the space. I just sort of fancied something a bit more user friendly for the winter months, and climate control for the summer.

To add to the details of the car on offer, it is LPG converted and has the xenons. Is the LPG going to be an issue I wonder?

Still need Help...

LPG seems a great idea - especially given the cheap cost of the fuel compared to Petrol. I know that Paul was looking into this for his 190.

Regarding the conversion - I don't have any expertise, but if it was performed by a reputable company, I can only see it as a postive thing.
Rob Bell

I guess it just really comes down to a matter of which is best for me then.

Last question then. Seeing as both cars are worth about the same, which will go on to suffer worst from depreciation. I think it will be the ZT personally as big cars tend to. Opinions anyone?

At the price your paying for the ZT I would say that you wont see much more depreciation over the next 12/18 months, its hard to say beyond that.

ZT suffers from high initial depreciation, although once that phase passes, it is pretty glacial. This seems to be a general trend for all MG products at the moment, although I am told that the ZR is currently an exception (Kelvin, do you know?).

Over a much longer term, historically, softtops always command higher classic values than tin tops - but I guess that is not what you are asking...

In the medium term, there probably isn't too much in it TBQH between your F and the ZT.
Rob Bell

Hi Paddy

I have a ZTT 190 + with the rover LPG conversion - best thing i ever did, drives well and cheeper to run than my dads 45 TD I have also has a zs 180 LPG (non rover conversion) that was fine too


We're collecting the diesel on Saturday, so a little late for me, but how much does the LPG conversion cost for a 190 David?
Rob Bell

So those of you that have both an F and ZT do you find that you drive both cars 50/50 or do you favour one over the other. I am seriously thinking of getting a ZT but would like to keep the TF as well but wonder if TF may stay in the garage too long?


My wife loves the ZT and I like the F, so they get used almost as much as each other, the F is more economic so gets used more often, unless we need extra space.
Mike (Mersea Office)

Jan, our current milage is also about 50:50 - but whether that'll change when bambino arrives - well that remains to be seen...
Rob Bell

Interesting, as hoping to be a grandma next spring if all goes well, and it was the extra space that we were thinking of and splitting the mileage so that it does not go onto one vehicle. Having test drove the 160+ turbo was very impressed, especially with the computer and extras and fuel consumption. So will probably keep an eye out for a good used one due to the depreciation on a new one.


Happy hunting Jan! :o)
Rob Bell

Best of luck

but fear ye not you can get amazing reductions on new ones too


LPG conversions can cost up to 2500 and you can buy a lot of petrol for that. However that ZT190 on Autotrader with the 81K already had it and it at 6995 it is a bargain.

As someone else has paid for the LPG conversion you're quids in. Also you don't have to pay the congestion charge in central London because they are environmentally friendly.
Matthew Semple

Well guys having read all the thoughts on here I am now totally confused. Either I have been a very unlucky person, done something wicked or you are all living in cloud cuckoo land.
First of all a ZT 190 with LPG and Xenons and 81k mileage for 7000 is a rip-off! You can get the exact same car on an 03 plate with 20k miles for less than 8000, try autotrader!
Next, 12 months ago I was the very proud owner of an MG ZT, 135 CDTi+, with sat nav, cruise, alcantara seats, power roof, in fact it was the dogs wotsits. I drove away from the garage and immediately found the handsfree kit didn't work. After 5 months and 12k miles, with a further 12k miles done in the courtesy car, I had received 3 new clutches, 2 gearboxes and a management system. MG decided enough was enough and replaced the car with a brand new one, just as the new style was released. After another 6 months, 3 exhaust systems, 2 clutches, 2 management systems and replaced reae suspension I decided enough was enough and chopped the car in for a Saab 95.
I had had 2 Rover 75's prior to the MG's without any bother in either.
Call me synical but I am totally disiilusioned with the marque. By the way I could give you a long list of people with the exact same hassles and problems.
My ZT was 23,000 on April 29th 2004 and I have just sold it (after 3 months of trying) for 11,500, my dealer says that is a good price as he would have given me less than 10,000. 64% depriciation in 5 months is not what i would call acceptable but nor is unreliability.
Jon Tippett

Clearly cars in your neck of the wood are a lot cheaper than down here: an '03 ZTT (that I was looking for) go for 14k with average miles.

Next time, I'll head up to Daventry... :o/
Rob Bell

jon..... i thought i made it more than obvious...remember to release the hand brake when driving
jons driving instructor

Obviously your experience has been an unhappy one, but as the others have posted mine has been a sublimely easy and happy one. By comparison to my T plate 75 the ZT has been a breath of fresh air. The 75 suffered from squeaky dash, loose driver's door panel, SRS warning light, heavy oil consumption, and several other small niggly faults so I traded it on a new ZT which is now at the same mileage as the 75, and has been back once for new butterfly valves which was dealt with promptly in under 12 hrs from the initial query to the completion. Other than that none of the niggles that I had on the 75. As to the 75, I bought it second hand in 2000 at 12k with 25k miles and at 3yrs (2002) and 60k miles with its full service inc. cambelt and fresh MOT, one dealer offered 6k, another 7 against the ZT. The dealer that offered 6k then had an identical spec car on a T plate on their forecourt for 10k 6mths later. The car would have been 21k new with the extras at list price. So I am surprised you are comparing what a dealer would have given you against what you sold privately - this differential applies to any car.

I doubt that anyone actually buys a car at full list price, with the PDS available to members of MGOC, Xpowerforums etc discounts of up to 25% are available on some models. Given that I bought my 160 V6 new for under 17k with sunroof and paint and Straights, then comparing to what I have just seen on Autotrader, the only cars under 8k showing up are 01 models out of their 3yr/60k warranty. Admittedly this appears to be all dealer stuff, so a trade-in offer on my 02 ZT right now would depend on where and what I was buying to replace it, obviously, and I would be hampered by having a V6 and not a 1.8 turbo 160. As a private sale it may be more around 6-7K, considering that the cheapest private sale on Autotrader appears to be 8.5k for a 3yr old 190 with the owner looking for a quick sell.

So perhaps you could show us where you have seen newer 03 cars at a cheaper price than what I can see on Autotrader?

Martin, happily on cloud cuckoo land!

Martin ZT

Depreciation on the Maybach...250,000 in 3 years!
that's 10 ZT's outright


Jon said:
<<First of all a ZT 190 with LPG and Xenons and 81k mileage for 7000 is a rip-off! You can get the exact same car on an 03 plate with 20k miles for less than 8000, try autotrader!>>

There are currently 4 ZTs on Autotrader nationally under 8000. The newest is a 52-plate and it has over 76K miles.

There is no way you could get a 2003 model with 20K miles for less than 8000.
Matthew Semple

Just traded my mgf vvc after four and a half years happy motoring, for a 9 month old ZT 260. Early days yet, but I reckon in 20 years of car ownership, the ZT is the best car I've driven. Thirsty, of course, but on a recent long run I got about 25mpg. Somewhat less er, economical around town. And the stereo isn't as good as the mgf. And it's not as much fun driving around corners. And I had to cough up a few grand to make the change. But no regrets...
Shy Ted

Hang on a sec.

i)"And the stereo isn't as good as the mgf"---Shy ted how can this be so? I have the MGF CD, and 4 speaker set out and its rubbish. It cant be that bad surely?

ii)Can you get LPG for the ZT 260? And is it as great as it looks on paper?-the car that is.

iii)Neil, makes the Maybach a bargain in three years dont you think? I want one....Now where can a get a driver?


Shy Ted wrote of his MG ZT 260:

>>And it's not as much fun driving around corners. <<

Give yourself a little more time with the car - you may just change your mind....;)
John McFeely

Ted, It IS the best car you have driven!
It's the best car I have driven! and I'll be blunt here ...Yup no doubt it is better than my early F, albeit a very different experience and much quieter
;) but really controlled superb handling.

When you get it into the corners, I tell you it is telepathic... just superb.

So the Eutopian position is

1 TF/F in the garages for summer/sunny day blasts
2 The ZT for everything else


Paddy - my mgf had the 6 speaker system which really was the biz - at speeds less than 50mph with the roof up. The ZT 260 came with a standard Kenwood unit, nuffink special which I intend to upgrade ... when I deserve it. Just bought some mg foot mats for 60 squid so one treat at a time.

John, Neil I think I see where y'all be coming from. Took the car out for a spin on Sunday and had the time of my life. This is a serious motor and I am treating with respect but it clearly can deliver more than I have asked for so far.

Shy Ted

It is a mk2, so 6 speaker if you count the tweaters. Still pants tho

This thread was discussed between 01/10/2004 and 11/10/2004

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