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I've owned a very early 190 ZT for three years now, it has been fitted with a torque chip, induction kit & twin stainless exhaust making it look like the V8. This only added about 6BHP to its power output according to the rolling road but torque is incredible, first gear is no longer used unless I need super quick acceleration. Despite the cars incredible weight it will fly from the lights, pins you back into your seat and suprises the boy racers in their flimsy plastic hairdryers on wheels.
Reliability is amazing, other than servicing items it has cost me nothing yet. Like most modern V6 engines cambelt changes are expensive although not required as often as 4 cylinder models so it probably works out reasonable on the whole.
It was once left over winter for seven weeks on the drive in freezing temperatures and snow but as soon as I turned the key it was like it was started 5 minutes ago. Its well worth finding an independent Rover specialist for servicing as they seem to be more knowledable about faults and charge a fraction of the MG/Rover dealers
It returns around 30mpg on a run, bit less around town, parts vary from old-fashioned cheap to average, eBay is a very useful source of new-old stock. Mine has the stiff suspension so no Jag ride comfort around town but fine on the open roads & nothing will out-handle it, it beat the more powerful Mondeo ST220 around the Top Gear track due to its handling. Insurance is costing less than my work van, can't work out why as its in quite a high group but every quote I've had has been reasonable and I'm 30 with 3 points.
An LPG conversion is available for it that fits where the spare wheel is giving a 75 litre range I think and fuel at well under 50% the cost of petrol, that's equivelant of 60/70MPG without losing any boot space so that really makes sense. An average mileage driver will recoup their costs in 12-18 months of driving.
Build quality unlike 1980's/90's Rovers is superb and safety is top notch, the car did very well in the crash tests. Security is also good with standard alarm/imobilizer as well as single-entry unlocking and dealer programming allowing things such as doors to automatically lock at speeds of 5MPH.
Boot is well shaped with split/fold rear seat and ski hatch. Rear boot spolier a bonus as it helps when reversing. Rear legroom is good but not amazing, front has acres of space. Climate control is a major advantage and doesn't seem to effect the fuel consumption. Clutch and steering is a little heavier than a lot of cars but you have to remember this is a proper car, OK maybe more of a sports tourer than an all-out sports car but it really has got a feeling of being built like a tank just like 1960's Rover's were
Road noise from the tyres has been mentioned in certain reviews, this is effected by the choice of tyres, the cheap ones that were originally fitted did produce above average noise but the Continental's fitted now are superb. The wheels are 7.5 inches wide and a diameter of 18 inches with a 225 section tyre so you've got to expect a bit more than an average car
I am not a rich man or even moderately well-off but I really cannot think of another family sports car that can be run on this kind of modest budget with such reliability and staggering performance...........and its British!
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