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MG ZS 2.5 180 £5,995

There’s something a touch sad about an 11yo car that’s travelled only a tiny mileage. A sense of promise unfulfilled, journeys untaken, trips to the car wash not made. And so it is for this MG ZS, brought to you courtesy of our friends Hursley Hill SMG of Bristol. That asking price may look ambitious when you consider that other similar-age (if far higher-mileage) ZSes can be had for £1000 or less. But it falls into place once you learn that this one has covered just 5830 miles in total. So what you’re getting is, effectively, a new car. As you can see from our pictures, it’s as near-perfect as you’d expect. The big question here is whether paying this much for an 03-reg car is sense. Certainly, you’ll struggle to find another like it – at least away from the confines of Hursley Hill’s sales forecourt. The business was a MG Rover franchised dealer, and of late appears to have the market for pristine, tiny-mileage examples of the makes pretty much sewn up. It’s a rarity, so if you’ve set your heart on the car, then that price will one you’ll consider. In fairness to all we must point out that, should you decide to sell such a car after a few months of owning, you’d struggle to recover more than a fraction of that asking price. So if you buy it must be to keep. At least, then, this is the spec to go for. It’s a winning combination of the best engine, body style and paint colour. OK, so this car in its design is a rework of the doughty Rover 45, which in turn borrowed much from the mid-1990s Honda Civic. However, contemporary reviews of the ZS praised the work of MG’s engineers in creating a car that handled well and rode tidily. That six-cylinder 2.5-litre motor could also go hard once roused. Hard enough, in truth, to justify the fitment of that huge shelf of a rear spoiler. Meanwhile, this saloon version’s huge boot and five-seater cabin make it a practical enough proposition as a daily driver. And even though MG Rover’s demise is now eight years behind us, mechanical parts for the car are mostly in good supply thanks to an efficient parts distribution network. And fundamentally, these are simple cars, so most competent mechanics are more than equal to the task of fettling them. So, should you buy? This ZS promises much fun for relatively modest outlay. If you’re a big fan and you can afford what’s asked, why not??

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