What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The ZR is cheap and has keen yet frugal petrol engines, which make it entertaining

Against The looks are too brash for some, the diesels are rowdy and build quality is poor

Verdict Fun, low-cost hot hatch, but unrefined and looking very dated now

Go for… 120 1.8 16v 5dr

Avoid… 2.0 turbodiesels

MG Rover ZR Hatchback
  • 1. The petrol engines can suffer head gasket failure if the coolant runs too low - look for oil leaks between the head and block of the engine
  • 2. Take the car for an extended test run to make sure it isn’t prone to overheating
  • 3. The ZR's looks make it popular among less experienced, hot hatch wannabes, which can end in tears. Look for signs of crash damage
  • 4. The car should track straight and the steering should be accurate. If not, walk away as the suspension might be damaged or worn
  • 5. Electrical problems are the biggest cause of complaint among owners, so give all the kit a thorough once over
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