GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - MG - ZT - 260 V8 sedan

Launch Story

MG logo7 Oct 2004

By BRUCE NEWTON

FORGET about the comparisons with local V8 iron and the ZT260 stands stronger in your estimation. In isolation, it is a solid, impressive and fun car.

The urge is there without being overwhelming, it handles more than competently and rides firmly without killing your back and behind.

Sure, it joggles along somewhat on choppy roads, but there’s nothing too problematic in that.

It is the sort of car that you could comfortably drive for hours in a relaxed manner, yet also press on with some purpose when the spirit and opportunity takes you.

There's oodles of grip with the traction control engaged and lots of communication back from the chassis when it’s off. In true rear-wheel drive tradition, it can be given a bootfull and break traction for a bit of a thrill.

But there’s no panic, no surprises and a lot of composure.

The engine is pretty keen and pretty responsive despite the 1680kg kerb weight, it’s just that you have to get right up in the rev range to start appreciating the sound it makes.

But there are accessory exhausts offered if you want to up the decibels, or if you don’t want to bother with that rest easy in the knowledge that it sounds better from the outside.

The clutch and gearbox are a surprisingly useable combination. Neither is too heavy or notchy - just about right and far better in set-up than most local metal we’ve sampled. Third gear is a wonderful, wide and flexible ratio.

The gearbox is actually used by Ford and FPV, but for these purposes MG Rover has developed an all-new gear selection system and bespoke hydraulic clutch.

There’s a little clunking and groaning back through the driveline but it’s nothing dramatic or imposing. For fans of these sorts of cars it’s actually a level of tactility and earthiness they probably appreciate.

Inside, there are new wider bolsters for the front seats that make the going easier for wider drivers and the seatbacks have been scalloped to allow more rear seating room. Certainly, most people won’t have too many concerns riding in the back.

The driver’s comfort is also aided by re-positioned pedals – although it’s still tight down there in a manual car - and a meaty, leather-clad steering wheel with rake and reach adjustability.

The rest of the interior is styled very neatly. Presented in a combination of dark shades including gunmetal, it has a uniformity, functionality and sportiness that works very cohesively. There’s even a fold-out cupholder in the dash that challenges the Saab 9-5 for design complexity.

But for all that we like about this car, we were disappointed by the quality of build. It seemed a little loose and underdone for a new car.

That was particularly the case when at high speed an annoying squeal emerged from behind the dashboard, possibly related to a malfunctioning speed limit warning buzzer. Whatever it was, it was disconcerting and annoying.

This is a pity, because for the most part the ZT260 is very much the opposite of that. Good, solid engineering in a decent looking package which is enjoyable to drive.

Yes, only a few will be sold but the people who buy them should be happy. Just as long as they don’t mind Holdens and Fords smoking them at the lights.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New ZT

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.