MG & Rover - XPower Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,833 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Another week another new MG.
since the marque was rejuvenated,it has turned out everything from an old skool hot hatch to revitalised roadster and aclaimed fast estate.but this automatic version of the rover 75 based ZT is a more confusing offering.Its not just the typically MG name-the full moniker is a ZT+180 sports auto-more the concept. The manual ZT190 has won widespread praise not only for a hugely rewarding font-drive chassis, but also its uncompromisingly sporty nature. It surely isn't a car you'd naturally choose in automatic form.
Thats not to say it doesn't drive well. The 180 features a 175bhp version of the KVC engine and a 5 speed Jatco autobox. The self shifter has 3 modes (standard, sport and snow) and shifts through the cogs crisply enough; in sport, it responds to kick down eagerly and with a pleasant growl from the KV6. Compared with the manual 187bhp ZT190 the performance is slightly blunted at 8.9 secs it is 1.2 secs slower to 60mph and loses 6mph in top speed - but with torque peaking at 4000 rpm you have to work the engine hard to ring the best from it; and that helps explain a combined mpg figure of 26 dead.
Otherwise, the 180 feels like its manual sibling - that means fine handling and body control, communicative steering and aride which stradles the line between firm and harsh. It also means a comfortable, well equipped driving environment.
A strong all-round contender, then, and at £21,695 its good value to. Yet there is a whiff of pointlessness about a car which really seeks to involve drivers whilst simultaniously distancing them by shifting gears itself.

Verdict:
Talented sports saloon thats a viable good value alternative to the Germans - but we'd rather have the manual.
 
G

·
I sort of agree with the Autocar Editor. If I wanted an Auto R75/ZT I would buy a R75 as its more fitting for the image.

An AUTO MG sounds a little unlikely - hopefully the marketing types have done their homework!
 

·
Former ZT-T 260 owner
Joined
·
2,256 Posts
On the other hand jerry, I doubt that it's cost them much to implement it (just using existing products in a different package really), so why not offer it as an option....
 

·
the voice of reason!!!
Joined
·
12,407 Posts
Are they perhaps looking at other markets.

A friend from the States, whilst over here on a teacher exchange, found great difficulty getting used to driving a 'stick shift'.

Brother in law won't have anything other than an automatic either.
 

·
aka Simon
Joined
·
579 Posts
Might be faster

I wouldn't be surprised if the auto was faster in a lot of "real world" driving. The 190 engine is pretty cammy, and needs a fair bit of gear-changing to keep it on the boil. A decent 5-speed auto might well let you spend more time in the power zone on a twisty road.
I still chose a 190 manual though! One for the more "mature" contributors: did the original MGB V8 have an auto option?
 
G

·
This is what Auto Express have to say:

If the ultra-trendy new MINI can have an automatic gearbox, then there is certainly no reason why MG owners should have to shift cogs themselves! We've already been impressed by the company's transformation of the Rover 75 into the ZT, but were worried that an auto might take the edge off the MG version's sporting dynamics.

However, the firm needs to offer the option because an increasing number of buyers in the executive saloon sector demand it as they downsize from bigger cars. Thankfully, we needn't have lost any sleep – the ZT 180 is still a superb driver's machine, even if the self-changer takes away some of the ZT's grunt, with 10bhp knocked off the overall power output as a sympathetic gesture to the more delicate gearbox. That means the 0-60mph time of 8.9 seconds is 1.1 seconds slower than the 190 manual's.

Put it into sports mode, though, and you would be hard-pushed to notice the difference without the help of a stopwatch. This remains a car that will surge towards the horizon with gusto, but it's now much more docile and friendly when it comes to town driving.

The auto glides through its ratios smoothly and still allows you to press on if you wish, kicking down a gear quickly and without fuss.

Add in a £20,995 price tag, glorious V6 engine soundtrack, supportive seats and a solidly made cabin, and the ZT looks like a good-value alternative to a German prestige saloon.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top