MG ZS 180 | Auto Express

5 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on MG ZS 180 | Auto Express

With no cash to all-new products, MG Rover easily have given up. But the ZS is a example of the …-hard spirit has kept the firm going. The lacks the quality of some but the ZS 180 is visually and dynamically accomplished.

The is in applying its appeal to lesser

The engineers at MG Rover are a talented and the current MG range is proof. the ZS line-up: it was originally launched years ago, and the lacklustre 45 chassis and dowdy styling tinkered and tweaked until the car a cut-price Subaru Impreza – striking to look at and to drive.

Has the magic worked again? The new ZS its first bow at the British Motor – and Auto Express the keys to one of the stand cars for a exclusive first drive.

is a crucial vehicle for the firm. the first in a line of revised charged with breathing life into its mid-size in order to bring in revenue to an all-new car. And although still based on the 45 – can trace its roots back to the Rover 400 – the initial are promising.

Chief designer Peter is to be commended, as the ZS is a fine example of can be achieved on a limited budget. BMW-style headlights, a low spoiler, and a mesh grille, the front end heavily from MG’s SV supercar. Bulging wheelarches, alloy rims and dummy vents in the wings maintain the and while the rear is bland in the ZS looks good overall.

Improvements have been inside as well. The facia a new centre console and four air reminiscent of the Audi TT. But similarities the German brand end there, as the in our test car felt cheap in and the finish wasn’t great. The new stalks are a vast improvement the shiny plastic ones of the ZS, but the same can’t be said of the switches.

While the driver’s is on the door, the controls are way back on the centre making them tricky to


The cabin is comfortable up front, to a good driving position and of space. Occupants in the rear fare quite as well, due to the legroom and low roofline.

By far the car’s feature, however, lies the bonnet. Where most make do with a turbocharged or tuned four-cylinder, the ZS 180 uses MG 177bhp 2.5-litre KV6, an which is renowned for its linear delivery. Mated to a precise manual gearbox, it provides unruffled acceleration.

MG’s engineers have worked hard to improve the dynamic ability without its smoothness. Revised spring deliver a firmer ride, is a bit jittery on uneven surfaces, but the is even more grip. The is sharper and delivers improved while the brake pedal is progressive and provides better power.

Although the ZS still has its faults most of which are due to the fundamentally old – the facelift gives it appeal. Its visual impact should be enough to keep ticking over until an car arrives. A flawed but commendable

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