1988 Rover - Austin 200 Review

1988 Rover - Austin 200 216 Vanden Plas EFI 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance92500 miles
Previous carFiat Panda


A Sedate Sports Car


Throttle switch failed.

Rear brake cylinders seized.

General Comments:

The car is very fast, but really needs power steering.

The interior is well designed, however, the seats could benefit from height adjustment.

A fuel warning light would be useful.

Fault with engine revving and dipping when warm has been under investigation for some time. It has been narrowed down to a temperature sensor control that connects to ECU.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2002

24th Feb 2004, 08:08

Wouldn't get too excited about temp sensor theory. I had the same problem in a 1985 216 Vitesse. Took throttle body off and cleaned out holes in bottom with pipe cleaner and it was right as rain, for a while.

Dealer could never figure it out.

It went away for nearly a year and then came back.

This is comfortably the worst car I have ever owned, no matter how well it went.

Engine mounts broke, rust everywhere. Nice seats in Vitesse though!

23rd Sep 2005, 05:33

I had the same symptoms on my 1986 216 Vitesse EFi which turned out to be nothing more than a dirty throttle potentiometer. This is officially a "sealed unit", but I managed to carefully open it up and clean it out with some electrical contact cleaner. Refitted and adjusted it, and the car was still running smoothly when I sold it 2 years and 30,000 miles later.

Other than that, and a burnt out electric window motor (expensive!), the car needed nothing, but routine servicing in the 2 years I had it. From memory it wasn't a particularly outstanding car, but was lively, comfortable, good to drive and well equipped, certainly. Handling nothing special though, even with "sports" suspension. Lots of roll, lots of oversteer and not much steering feel.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 1 review