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I really dont know where to start on this one. When I first saw MGRover release this motor I knew I had to have one. In recent times I had bought classic cars including an MG Maestro and a Triumph TR7. I'd always liked my British cars but due to promotion at work I no longer had the time to spend working on older cars, nor could I be bothered with tinkering when I had been at work all day. It was time to by my first ever brand new one, and i couldn't have made a better choice.
I had always liked the zr and as I say i've always liked to buy british where I can so I popped down to my local dealers (Inchcape, Buron On Trent) one morning and had a word. I'd heard bad things about some MG Rover dealers so was pleasantly suprised with my local dealer. A very warm welcome was enjoyed and they'd be quite happy to let you browse without hassling you every 2 minutes. Anyway i'd already decided that I wanted a diesel version because of the number of miles I do because I have a 60 mile round trip to work. MG rover offer 2 diesel options on this car, both powered by the L series diesel engine. They are both 2 litre engines, 1 offering 101 bhp and the other offering 114 bhp. It was the more powerful one that I had decided on although this is about 800-00 more. The amazing thing about this engine is its massive torque. Offering 260nm it pulls like nothing i've ever driven before and offers a 0-60 time of just 8.5 seconds, to match with economy that i have experienced of 55mpg (and i drive shall we say somewhat spirited!).
So we've dealt with the engine, a superb torquey unit if not a little noisy when cold. Hows about the deal? Well the dealer offered me what i think to be a very good deal. The base price for this car is just over 14,000 pounds. For this you get a decent amount of equipment. As it is the + model you get electric front windows, electric sunroof, electric heated mirrors, front fog lamps and so on, along with the standard things such as attractive rear spoiler, 16 inch alloy wheels, sports seats (these offer excellent support), lowered and stiffened suspension and thrills by the bucket load! In addition for the money stated above I specified a cd/stereo. As for safety features you get a drivers airbag (passenger is optional), side impact bars and all the other now standard safety features. Security wise as standard on all ZR's you get a volumetric and perimetric alarm and immobiliser. However it was still a fair amount of money to part with and I wanted a couple of other sweetners to tempt me into the deal. Well hows free insurance sound? Managed to negotiate this with the salesman, saving me due to my age the best part of 1500-00. Next was the sporty side sills that I was going to want. Again some negotiation with the salesman as these were a 250-00 option was required. A deal was struck whereby the dealer would pay the first 150-00 of this. To say I was happy with this would be an understatement!
So with the papers signed and me very happy it was just the agonising wait. It typically takes 4-6 weeks for MG Rover to deliver a new car as all of there products are built to order so depending on the extra options etc... can effect the time it takes. Then the fateful day arrived. My feelings - Quite simply the best car I have ever driven. Very good performance, stunning good looks, superb torquey engine and screwed together very well. I've got friends who bought some of the German and French offerings which are supposedly better built but who've had nothing but trouble. Well im pleased to say that 8 months and 8,500 miles on and i've had no issues with build quality and certainly no issues with the performance. It is the first car I have ever owned where I am always making excuses just to go out for a drive even after this time. The handling on this car is stunning. Thanks to the tuned chassis and suspension you can take corners at unbelievable speed and the car just stays flat, theres no bouncing around on this car.
So whats going to be next for me? Probably the new shape MG ZS. Congratulations MG Rover, you've just secured my custom indefinitely with this superb car. For those who believe the scare stories about MG Rover don't panic - while they are producing cars ike this then they will survive.
Note: For those who would prefer petrol power or a lesser powered diesel, this is the current engine range for the MG ZR:
NIce review, am looking to buy either the ZR or ZS, so this gives me more info, Thanks
xplosiv3 24.03.2008 02:25
Great review ....i really want this car so bad im reading many as review i can to make sure make the right choice on this ...thanks
SNOWY1976 23.01.2005 22:09
As a zr owner my self i must agree that mg/rover has done magic turning the boring rover 25 into a goodlooking exciting hothatch which is highly under-rated and you ve done it justice with this review--Adam