Great older car, lots of fun
The only minor fault I had with my car was the lacquer on the paint work began to degrade, and the paint became patchy and faded all over the car. Though this was only cosmetic and didn't actually lead to rust or water ingress anywhere. Though having seen a few other older Rovers, it appeared to be a common fault.
Though old and perhaps a little dated as well, this car served me extremely well for the time I had it.
The Honda D-Series engine under the bonnet of this Rover, though only a 1.6, was strong and fast.
The torque developed by this engine was very good; even in high gears it would pull at low speeds, and that made it a joy to drive around town.
On the longer journeys, it fared well for both comfort and speed, and was quite happy cruising at 80-90mph, and could pull past other cars at those speeds as well.
Though the Rover SLi was the "sportier" model 216, it didn't boast much of an improvement other than the Honda engine and some interior trims. But the car more than made up for it with its above average performance for a stock road car.
It handled very well even in the wet and at high speeds, and was sure footed even on the tightest turns. Most front engine, front wheel drive cars can suffer with both braking under-steer and lift-throttle over-steer at speed. But not the Rover, it was planted, and if anything did slide, all four wheels would progressively "feel for grip", and four wheel drift if none was available, making it very predictable and consistent, even when pushed hard. It never felt unsafe.
If I could find another example like this, I would take it over my current car in a heartbeat; the Rover 216 SLi was great to drive and hugely reliable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th January, 2013