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MG ZT & ZT-T Published: 10th May 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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The ZT might have a faint whiff of Rover about it, but that’s okay because this MG make over is done well to make a splendid sporting saloon of the frumpy 75 while the classy, cultured commonsensical Tourer estate could well be the true modern alternative to a Reliant Scimitar GTE.


The Rover 75 was inherently a good car in its day and the ‘sportifying’ to make it an MG makes it better still. Performance from all models (available in 160, 177, 180 and 190bhp tune from a 1.8 MGF ‘four’ and 2.5 V6) is as good as any rival; the V6 makes for a particularly velvety drive and the front-wheel drive chassis is composed (on the right dampers) and grippy although the ride quality is understandably harder than in the Rover alternatives.

The fast if not exactly furious V8 Mustang-motored flagship is real monster as it’s an old school V8 256bhp teamed up with an uniquely engineered rear wheel drive chassis for classic old school handling. To our minds, this hybrid hot rod harks back to the days of the Rover SD1 Vitesse and that was a car which, in turn, was likened to something Aston Martin would be proud of making!

If you’re after a cheap-as-chips daily driver with a touch of class then a zesty ZT – the real modern Magnette – will suit you to a tee.



This is the best bit. Even the odds on to be collectible Mustang engined ZTs are sub £10,000 buys and you’ll have trouble to spend much over two grand for front-wheel drive models, with general ‘smokers’ less than half this. Naturally, this makes projects plain daft although if you have the spare space to hand it’s worth buying a basket of a case for beer money simply for those essential future parts you’ll bound to need.



2001 Launched three years after Rover 75, ZT was initally 2.5 V6 in 160bhp and 190bhp tune with special MG-themed interior. Estate (ZT-T) also available as are BMW turbodiesels

2002 ‘180’ engine tune (a mix of Rover 75 (175bhp) and MG (190bhp) parts) but as an automatic only

2003 Range expansion sees a top and tail with a 120bhp MGF engine as entry model and the 260 as flagshio, Ford Mustang 4.6-litre V8 powered, it’s also rear-wheel drive and almost a new design (Rover version is auto only). Another addition is turbo’d MGF engine, good for 150bhp

2004 Facelift


Top five faults



Despite BMW’s help and build quality improvements, these old Rovers had their share of issues, not least a depressingly propensity to rot terminally for such a modern (sills and subframe in the main) don’t get taken in by the outside

K series

Has tendency to pop head gaskets; after 2002, but improved gasket designs are now available. However, we’d think twice about the 1.8T given the K Series’ reputation KV6 Rapid KV6 engines can pose a major reliability concern, (pistons mainly) not least because parts are drying up, so check for a good service history


Electronics are simple but water leaks can ruin the ECU while on the 260, there are known problems with the marriage of Ford and Rover electronics, plus its special rear axle and brake system can be problematic

Help at hand

As with the ZR and ZS models, there’s a growing army of new enthusiasts’ websites and forums catering for the ‘Z Cars’ such as


Best models



Clever rethink of 75 creates the Magnette for the Millennium. Good choice of engines (nice diesels too if you want) and trim; best avoid 1.8T though



Either as a Rover or MG this is a worthy successor to the Scimitar GTE, coming with a useful split rear tailgate, it makes a working cheap yet classy classic



This really is a redesign with a MG body plonked on top and can be likened to the Cosworth Sierra but with V8 grunt. Greatly undervalued still – in both senses

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