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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Rover 25

Please,does anyone have knowledge as to the satisfaction of this model to buy second hand?
Which engines are the most desirable?

The 25 has never featured high in the reliability stakes, better than the TF/F, but not in the league of the 75.

That said, the original 200 version was a strong seller in the late 90s but priced too high aginst the Fiesta etc. The 25 re-pricing structure in 2001 made it more competitive, but it was probably too late and it lost market share.

The latest 25s had a facelift in common with the rest of the range last year, but depending on the intended use, the best engine in my experience would have to be the 105Ps 1.4L 16v.

My wife has a 214 1998 model which has about 40k miles on it, and it certainly goes quickly. The car is very light as is the engine, so it can spin its wheels at intersections in wet weather. The inlet manifold gasket was replaced to stop a water leak, and the power steering pump hoses were tightened up, but apart from the cam belt change (100k km or 5yrs) there's been no real expense and it sails through the MOT each year. One small problem that I sorted was the rear washer pipe which had snapped where it passes from the body into the tailgate. There's no rust anywhere, and tyres seem to need changing on age rather than wear.

The interior is a bit plasticky/rattly and the switch gear is still the Honda stuff (latest facelifts have new dash and switch gear). I am comparing that to my 420/75 and ZT, though. Compared to a 206 I hired, though, it was on a par for quality, I thought.

I hope others can add to the comments.
Martin Williamson

We had a 5-door 1997 Rover 214Si before getting the 75. It really was a brilliant little car - and I am sure that the Rover 25 face lift version will be no different.

BTW we didn't find the interior at all rattly? Even the sunroof was quiet. Nothing went wrong on it over 40k miles (I think we sold it with 60k on the clock) except the inlet manifold gasket - which like that on early MGFs are prone to failure. This part was long since superceeded by the time the 25 arrived however. Reliability wise, it is many many times better than the 306 that the in-laws owned - which felt insubstantial in comparison, and suffered a miriad of electrical faults - they ended up getting a ZS to replace it...
Rob Bell

We have a Rover 25 1.8 Steptronic (=CVT automatic) with 155.000 km on the clock. I like this setup very much because when you drive slowly the engine hardly revs (about 2000 rpm) and even at 130 km/h it only turns about 2500 rpm. In sport- or manual mode it's much more agressive but I never use it.

The car is pleasingly different from other euroboxes and has a reasonably solid feel about it. The 15"wheeled versions look much better than the smaller wheeled ones.

If you can, find a car that has been dealer maintained and one that already has it's headgasket changed with the correct metal fixing-pegs. If you don't want the automatic I'd go for the 1.6?
The drive-shafts are prone to failure, making clicking noises and giving the impression that when driving it feels in the steering wheel as if a little stone is wedged in the tyre. ABS-equiped driveshafts are expensive.
The CVT has two weak spots: the main bearing will fail and has top be replaced immediately if it whines and the fixed clutchplate will rattle as if a heatshield is loose, irritating but not self destructing in the short run.
Willem van der Veer

I echo the praise of the 21X series as have had a
218 GSD for 12 years and 210,000 kms and am sorry to have to give it up soon as it is unlikely to pass the next control without expensive repairs. It performs as well as a new 92HP C4 diesel and very large numbers of these cars are still on French roads.

As a "different",and smaller/inexpensive replacement was therefore considering a 4/5 year old 25 using petrol since MGR diesels have not been up to the standard of the Peugeot based 218GSD
Thanking all who express their comments.

Had a 1995 N plate Rover 214GSi last year,renamed the Labrat by Dr Rob,
after some experimental surgery went like the clappers. redlined in top! 123mph in a 1.4!

easier to work on than the F by a long way, so it brought out all those bad darkside tendencies.
Had to sell it to avoid getting NOS for it or crashing it at some point. Opted to buy a sensible slow and economical "family" car instead.

Handling not the best in the world, but the MG versions of the 25 were way better. brakes liked to fade quite readily, but you could screw some decent performance out of it if you were brutal enough, handling was always predictable.
unfortunatley never had the chance to track day it may have shocked a few people!

I always ranted that MGR shuld have made a cheapo MG ZR with the 1.4 Mpi engine and better brakes and no frills!

I have to say that if I ever get a 214 again I'll be after a set of 220 hub carriers so that I can fit bigger better brakes.

ps got the ZT260 to experience brake fade ona recent run in Yorkshire ...hmmmmmm!! DO BMW M3 brakes fit!

Neil - find out what brakes they were using on the ZT385...
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 17/08/2005 and 18/08/2005

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