1998 Rover - Austin 100 GTa 1.4 8v from UK and Ireland
Underrated and often undervalued; a corking little car, with lots of bang for your buck
Mechanically very little.
Rear arch corrosion problems; mainly rust and bubbling paintwork.
Central locking motor on driver side has failed, a common fault, but easily fixable.
On the whole, a lovely, pokey and underrated little car.
I only paid £740 for my 1998 1.4 GTa with 57,000 miles on it and so far she has proved to be a little gem of a car.
Fashion victims will naturally hate it, as it is not the most fashionable car at the moment, but if you prefer your cars good, rather than 'cool' then the 100 should be at the top of your list.
Regardless of the stigma, the 100 is surprisingly well made - for such a basic car anyway. You will find no rattles of squeaks coming from the dashboard, and control switches are logically positioned. The seats are surprisingly comfortable, however, the steering wheel offers no adjustment what so ever, but that is only to be expected for such a basic little run around.
Performance is very good, and the engine will easily return 40 MPG on a combined run.
The only problems with the car that I have noticed is action of the gearchange and clutch. The gearbox is a Peugeot-sourced R65 model, which as any 106/206/306 owners will only know too well can be awkward to operate at the best of times, but this is just a matter of getting used to. The clutch is also stiff and has a very narrow bite point as well; it's very hard to simply find the point between lurching forward or rolling back, certainly not as smooth to operate as more modern rivals, but again you will get used to this very quickly.
Steering is also very light, despite not having power steering, but on the whole very good; turn in is excellent compared to more modern rivals of the time.
On the whole, worth every penny, and excellent value for money.
I would recommend one to anyone.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th April, 2006
Hi, I am the original poster of the review. After 8 months on ownership I sold my GTa about 4 weeks ago for ten pounds more than I paid for it, but considering the jobs I had done to it, I was nowhere near breaking even.
From when I wrote the review, to the day I got rid of it I had quite a few jobs done. Firstly, the rotten wheel arch was replaced at a cost of £125. A few weeks later I decided to have the cylinder head gasket replaced as emulsified oil was working it's way into the cooling system, £150.
Most of the exhaust system was replaced, around £150 including fitting.
Four new tyres, £125.
Under-floor side sills needed replacing due to excess corrosion, £150.
Hydragas suspension pumped up, £25.
Would I buy another, well yes actually, simply because they are such corking little cars to drive. I have since upgraded to a MKIV 1.6 Golf and it is nowehere near as fun to drive, nor as easy to maintain. I'm dreading the first bill I will have to fork out for.
My advice to future 100 owners, as long as the head gasket is fine and there is no corrosion, buy one, and fall in love with the old dear just like I did!