MG ZR (2001 – 2005) Review

MG ZR (2001 – 2005) At A Glance


+Quick enough in 160 guise. Tidy handling.

-Overheating and head gasket failure with K series four-cylinder engines. Not that roomy.

Based on the Rover 25, the MG ZR is a hot hatch that picks up where the 200BRM left off. Launched in 2001, it featured a sporty ehxhaust note, uprated suspension and more aggressive styling over the 25.

Three versions were available: The 105, 120 and 160. The 105 featured a 1.4-litre engine that produced 102bhp. The 120 got a 1.8-litre tune to 115bhp while the 160 had the same 1.8-litre producing 159bhp.

Two diesels variants were available - the ZR TD 100 and 115, both using the the 2.0-litre L-series engine with tweaked performance outputs.

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Ask Honest John

What do you think will be a classic in the near future?

"Will a Mk1 SEAT Leon Cupra, MG ZR, Renault 19 or Abarth Grande Punto ever become a classic as I would like to buy one of these as I have previously owned them. "
All have the potential to be classics (arguably, some of them already are). Buy whichever one you miss the most (and can find a good example of!) and don't worry too much about whether it counts as a classic car. For the sake of insurance purposes, many companies class classic cars as being more than 20 years old... that might be something to bear in mind as it'll unlock cheaper classic car insurance policies.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is a difficult to close tailgate an MoT failure?

"The tailgate on my MG ZR opens but sometimes is hard to close as one hinge is out of alignment due to wear and some corrosion where it bolts on to the car body. Would this be an MoT failure when due, because the tester might have a problem shutting the tailgate? All other components on the tailgate work fine."
One of the MoT criteria is that load space doors must be able to be secured in the closed position. Failure to meet this criteria is listed as a major defect. Even if it's hard to close, as long as the tailgate locks in place, this won't be an MoT failure.
Answered by David Ross
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