I am generally pleased with the car. The ride and chassis have that MG sports feel, which is appealing and makes for a fun drive.
The new trim and exterior do tone down the "boy racer" image, add a little more quality, and the car is much more "modern" looking inside. BUT I was very disappointed with the MG Rover dealer experience. The car had to go back three times before it was in anything like brand new drive-away working condition (no heat in the heater, rear fog lights not working etc).
The preparation and presentation of the vehicle for driving out of the showroom was very poor.
With the right attention to detail MG Rover could have a cost-effective sports saloon rival for the pricier IS200 and Mazda 6 but a bit more build quality as well as customer care needs to be employed first.
I have the the 1.8Zs but there seems to be a lot missing of the spec, like elec windows, apart from that the ride is very good and performance is responsive, the noise inside the car can only be improved when driving at high speeds, overall very pleased.
I love the car. Good power and torque to pull you out of (or in to) trouble. The handling is also great in the dry but not in the wet, although that could be down to the tyres I'm running.
I have problems with the traction, it really could do with traction control.
The reliability is very poor. In the space of a year of ownership I have had a new engine (first one starved itself of oil); front fog light (original steamed up); seat cover (the leather driver's-side bolster wore through to the material underneath); power steering pump (the original just became very noisy and then packed in).
All of these were done under warranty, which is good apart from the engine - which took them six weeks!
Apart from the reliability and very old-looking interior (mine's pre facelift), it's a brilliant car to look at and drive.
Set your expectations realistically, and you'll be delighted. I bought the facelifted ZS120+ from online broker Drive The Deal for an impressive two and a half grand below list, not even my local dealer could match this.
It was delivered to my door (by transporter) when promised. The facelift has brought the cabin up to acceptable levels, and everything is where you'd expect it. In ZS+ trim equipment levels are just about acceptable with Air Con, electric front windows and a CD player as standard.
Where this car does shine is in its handling. The 120 does 0-60 in nine seconds, which is more warm hatch than hot, but it's the way it does it that matters. Cornering and steering are first class, you know where the car is going at all times, and although wind noise does get in the cabin at legal speeds, the sweet sounding exhaust balances that out.
On the outside the updates have all worked, from almost all angles it looks like a driver's car. All in all, when I looked at value for money/space/performance there wasn't anything to match it.
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