Which used MG ZR hatchback should I buy?
Don't bother with the 2.0 turbodiesel engines. They're reasonably strong, but unrefined, unenjoyable and unsuited to the car.
Of the petrols, the ZR105 is a good, low-cost warm hatch and its 1.4 petrol engine is willing enough. For drivers who want a little more go, there's the ZR160. Its 158bhp 1.8 petrol is hot-hatch swift - 0-60mph in 7.4sec - but the insurance costs are prohibitive.
This leaves our favourite, the 118bhp 1.8 ZR120. It's nippy enough (0-60mph in 8.6sec), but it is stacks cheaper to insure and gentle on fuel.
We'd take the five-door over the three-door, and, for a more modern (or less dated) look, a car made after the face-lift in late 2003. Basic spec is modest. Plusher '+' trim is worth the extra, but even then, safety kit is minimal.
You'll find ZRs at all outlets, but beware trashed ones in the classifieds.
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