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Reader test: MG ZT160

2011-02-15 13:25

BUT THAT'S NOT A DIESEL!: Eben's search for something to replace a turbodiesel Renault put him straight in the driver's seat of this MG.

Eben Engelbrecht

So here it is - my 2004 MG ZT160. I bought this car about a year ago whilst I was out shopping for a new ride to upgrade from my Renault Clio diesel.

At first I was out to get an Audi A4 or A3 TDI, until I walked into a pre-owned dealership and found this car on the floor. I was instantly attracted to it and without another thought I completed the forms and I was the proud owner of this luxurious MG ZT160.

So when I bought the car I never thought twice that - uhm - MG has left the country. And I was told parts were pretty much everywhere, which was not the case. In the end I have found British Auto Parts who import parts for this car and, by accident, I found a pretty decent MG workshop in Benoni (Magnette motors) who have helped me a lot along my journey…


Well now, more about the car. I must say the MG has turned out to be quite the head turner; almost everywhere I stop people always ask me what it is.

My car is equipped with a 1.8 turbo engine which pushes out 118kW and 215Nm. From my own experience, I average 8.2l per 100km, which his is not bad, I think, for a car of this size. I commute between Pretoria and Kempton on a daily basis and I regularly make journeys to Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal, and I have found this car to travel extremely smooth on the open road.

The car looks and feels the part… It came standard equipped with a Harman Kardon sound system with all the controls on the steering wheel, the leather seats make the car look even more sportier and with our hectic summers the climate control does the job perfectly.

I have not seen many of these cars on the road, but when we do we sure notice each other and wave knowing we are driving a legend from the past.


I haven't had any major problems so far. I just had to replace the master and slave cylinder when I just got the car and, from my service history, I can see that the head gasket has been replaced. I have read is a common problems on these cars, so if you are looking to buy one of these make sure to do some research and know the common faults and problems

On this model, the only standard part I have replaced is the 18-inch factory wheels that got damaged on our beautifully tarred roads with sinkholes in them.

I tried having the originals repaired, but in the end they could not save them, so I settled for a set of 18-inch VW Scirocco wheels that I found at Autostyle in black. These were the only wheels that I found that kept the sporty look of the car without making it look like a rice mobile.

Also the parts don’t come cheap, there are very few parts you can get from your local Midas store!

Overall, I am not disappointed with my purchase. And there are still some service\parts agents out there, so if you can’t resist the temptation, go and get yourself one. They are reliable and for the price you will be getting more than you bargained for!

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