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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Big, practical, cheap and fun to drive

Against Styling might be too lairy for some tastes

Verdict A capable load-lugger and so much more

Go for… 1.8T

Avoid… 4.6-litre V8

MG Rover ZT Tourer
  • 1. If you go for the 1.8, keep the coolant levels topped up at all times because it’s prone to overheating and blowing its head gasket
  • 2. Suspension problems can be hard to fix, so steer clear of cars with signs of uneven tyre wear
  • 3. The big boot means the ZT-T's practical, but the garish styling might put some people off
  • 4. The manufacturer’s warranty is worthless, so you might want to budget for an aftermarket package
  • 5. There's plenty of passenger space and lots of kit as standard
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MG Rover ZT Tourer full review with expert trade views

The Rover 75 Tourer was always a decent estate car, but the drive only suited people who favoured Victoria sponge comfort over everything else. The strengthened and stiffened sports version of the ZT-T puts paid to that old-man image.

The ZT-T manages to keep the 75’s smooth ride and refinement, but adds more poise, better grip and sharper responses to make it a very enjoyable drive.

The engine range is the same as you find in the ZT saloon, and all but the entry-level 1.8 give strong performance. They do need to be worked hard, though.

Iits big boot means it’s practical as well, but the garish styling might put some people off. Cabin space is good for four, though, and lots of kit came as standard. Best of all, the car was built when BMW owned MG Rover, so quality is good.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Sporty-looking saloon or estate. Brakes and handling sharp but feels old. Avoid green

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

We’d recommend the turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine. Its 0-60mph time of 8.9 seconds isn’t too far behind the bigger 2.5-litre V6 engine, but it improves your average fuel consumption by almost 9mpg.

The entry-level 1.8 is even more frugal, but it’s too weedy to make the ZT-T feel like a proper sports car. The same goes for both the 2.0-litre diesel engines.

The V8 isn’t a great choice. It’s very quick, but an average of 21.5mpg makes it very pricey to run.

Trim levels reflect those found in the saloon. There are two for our favourite engine: ZT-T and ZT-T+. The standard car has lots of toys, including remote central locking, air-conditioning, alloys, electric front windows, a sunroof and a CD player. The ZT+ won’t cost you much more, and it adds climate control, electric rear windows and a CD changer.

Trade view

John Owen

If you're not into tweeds and flat caps this is the 75 for you

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

MGs were always cheap to buy, and the poor residuals that put many new car buyers off make the ZT-T a cracking used buy.

Servicing costs were never steep, the costs for maintaining the ZT-T being comparable to those for a Ford Mondeo. Mind you, because MG Rover main dealers are a thing of the past and you have to go to an independent, servicing is now even cheaper.

Remember, though – the manufacturer’s warranty died with the rest of the company, so you might want to budget for an aftermarket warranty package.

Insurance costs are reasonable, as long as you don’t go for the group 20 V8. The entry-level car is group 10, while our favourite version sits in group 15, along with the 2.5 V6.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Sporty-looking saloon or estate. Brakes and handling sharp but feels old. Avoid green

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Because it was developed and produced under the watchful eye of BMW, this was probably the best-built car that MG Rover ever made. The materials are chunky and fairly classy throughout, and the assembly feels reassuringly solid.

Most owners have reported trouble-free motoring, but front coil springs have been known to corrode to the point of breaking. Check the electric seat adjustment, too, because the motor isn’t hugely reliable.

The 1.8 engine also needs to be watched. It’s prone to overheating and the head gasket is a bit fragile, so make sure the coolant levels are kept topped up at all times. Check the oil filler cap regularly – if you find white residue, you’ve got an expensive problem.

Steer clear of cars with signs of uneven tyre wear. This indicates suspension problems, which can be hard to fix on the ZT-T. Finally, on diesel models, check that the clutch is sound.

Trade view

John Owen

If you're not into tweeds and flat caps this is the 75 for you

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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