Rover - Austin P6 Reviews from UK and Ireland

1972 Rover - Austin P6 2000TC 2.0

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership1985
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carFiat 127

Summary:

Old-fashioned good engineering

Faults:

Valve seat came loose, cost a bomb to repair head and set seat back in place. Fantastic head/cam design is a real pig to work on.

Rear carburettor was so far out of tune that gas was draining into sump. Clue... steadily-falling oil pressure and steadily-rising oil-level. Note to self, don't use that tuning company again.

Exhaust header broke near bottom.

Rear end tie-bar bracket snapped, temporarily had rear-wheel steering.

Really bad brake squeal, fixed by aftermarket shims on front.

Gear lever broke off while reversing into parking spot; a little stub remained, changed gear with a mole-wrench to get to a scrapyard for a replacement.

General Comments:

Smooth, fast luxury car, the last of the true Rovers. (Apres moi, le deluge de Austin/Morris)

I really loved the full-size canvas sunroof, when open it transformed the whole car.

This car would cruise at 100mph+ all day.

I weekend-commuted 200+ miles for 6 months when it was 13 years old with only one breakdown.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2003

1972 Rover - Austin P6 2000TC 2.0

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance43000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin 600

Summary:

A car from the best of the old-school

Faults:

A 31-year old car...

So far.

A temperamental oil pressure gauge.

General Comments:

This is when the British car industry was at its best making very advanced cars for the time.

The 2000TC was only the one up from the lowest spec 2000 SC (Single Carb).

Yet, this car has...

All round disk brakes (servo assisted)

An instrumentation set that would shame a £40,000 BMW (Oil pressure, Electric Current, Temp, Oil Temp, Rev counter, Speedo, Trip, oil light, ignition light, choke light)

Not to mention a totally adjustable seating position and the steering wheel adjusts for rake.

Two different internal lighting set ups.

Intermittent wipers, electric screen washer jets.

Passenger heating vents and front and face vents, just behind the steering wheel.

In fact most of the mod-cons you'd find in a car today.

But it's when you drive it, you realise a lot of effort went into the suspension and handling. I failed to avoid a pothole and gritting my teeth expecting a almighty thunk, it rode over the pothole without so much as a dip or wobble. It's a very solid car with and incredibly stiff chassis and yet very supple and pliant suspension. I was aiming the thing at potholes just to feel how the 31-year old car could just traverse it without so much as a sound or shake.

The 2 litre twin carb engine can easily keep up with traffic, it's a bit gruff, but it a pleasant gruffness and happily cruises in 4th at 30mph at a meagre 1500 rpm.

A lot of car manufacturers today could learn a lot from a Rover P6.

To sum up the experience of driving the car for the first time, it was the most fun I'd had since I immediately passed my test.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2003

27th May 2004, 14:02

I enjoyed reading this review and agree with most of the observations, but I don't think the Austin reference is really quite correct. I've never seen or heard of these cars being referred to as Austins other than in this article.

Rover company wasn't part of British Leyland when they designed and built the P6's and the original Land Rovers. After they became part of the fold of the nationally owned company it's name at some point eventually changed from British Leyland to Austin Rover and then to Rover Group, which is now called MG Rover I think.

1972 Rover - Austin P6 S 3.5 V-8 petrol

Year of manufacture1972
Engine and transmission 3.5 V-8 petrol
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10

Faults:

Collapsed water pump, burnt out ignition contacts, front and rear shock absorbers. Noisy hydraulic tappets, worn camshaft.

General Comments:

The old Rover is a superb performer still clocking 0-60 in just under 9 seconds. The ride quality is superb, and the handling is again pretty good for a 26 year old motor (although the suspension could do with being stiffer). Fuel consumption is horrendous (8mpg) around town, but who cares when you can scare the pants off XR owners?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd March, 1998

23rd Feb 2001, 06:33

If you are only getting 8 miles to the gallon something is seriously wrong! You should get around 19 / 23 to the gallon.

These cars are the forgotten classic. Easy to work on, parts are easy to get and they turn heads like nothing else on the road. If you want the best look for a Monza red car with buckskin (cream) leather interior. If anyone needs help to locate a car then email me on roverman@strayduck.com

29th Aug 2001, 07:31

Great to see a P6 review. These are seriously under rated cars, and like you say frighten the life out of XR/GTi/Civic drivers. On the note of fuel consumption (which should be around 18-22 MPG) I read an article some time ago about fitting different carbs, which I suspect is what you need. Holly and Weber 4 choke carbs were found to increase power, torque and fuel consumption. Worth keeping in mind if you decide to up-rate.

17th Jun 2003, 11:44

The Rover p6 is a great classic and a piece of Great British motoring history. Mike Sturrock (Inverness)

18th Jun 2007, 06:35

I have owned an example of every P6 model. Moreover, I have owned many other makes so feel that I can comment without bias.

My thoughts are these:

1./ The Rover 2000 automatic is an absolute slug.

2./ The Rover 2000 manual is a bit of a slug.

3./ The Rover 2000TC is quite fun to drive (I used to do a 2000 kilometre round-trip in it over 3 days, once a month), but slightly sluggish.

4./ The Rover 3500 V8 automatic is just brilliant, and the extra power allows one to forget about acceleration issues and marvel at what a fine handling and intelligently designed car the P6 really is.

5./ The Rover 3500S V8 manual is a cracking motor vehicle! Don't take my word for it, just, but a good one and start giving Jags a run for their money. (Trust me, they're fabulous. Once you've owned one you'll never turn back).

But that's just my opinion...

28th Jun 2014, 02:39

Not noticeably faster than a 2000 in SC form, it just has more mid range torque. The 2200 TC is not far off as quick as the V8.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 3 reviews