1990 Rover - Austin 200 214 SLi 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Good car, but reliability is a bit suspect


The car had an appetite for batteries - it needed a new one every 18 - 24 months and we could never find out why.

The clutch actuating lever failed.

The distributor rotor arm failed, causing misfiring.

After 6 years, the edges of the driver's seat were threadbare.

General Comments:

My father bought the car new in 1990 for £14,000. I bought it from him in 1993 for £6,000 and ran it until 1998/60,000 miles (fairly normal depreciation for a UK car!)

The 1.4 K series Rover engine was very good - responsive, free revving, and powerful for its size.

This car was one of the early models, and did not have the power steering which is essential on this model, and which became standard on later cars. Other than heavy steering at low speeds, the car was nice to drive and had good fuel economy.

After six years, the only sign of corrosion was the start of rust on the bottom edge of the front wings - the usual place on this vehicle.

I sold the car locally in 1998 for £2000. In 2003 I spotted it in supermarket car park and spoke to the owner. It had changed hands a couple of times, and the last sale price was £200. It now has 80,000 miles on the clock, the rust on the front wings is a little worse, but not too bad, and the clutch is giving a little trouble - not bad for 13 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st February, 2003

12th Mar 2005, 10:29

I saw my old car outside a repair workshop in March 2005 - like seeing an old friend again.

The workshop said the car had been laid up for about a year, but it had "sailed through the MOT test". They were touching up some rust on the rear wheel arches, but overall the car still looked in good condition - not bad for 15 years old and 90,000 miles on the clock.

1990 Rover - Austin 200 Si 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A useful and lovable car


Nothing went wrong with the car, but I replaced the radiator at 105000 after it started to steam a little; minor precaution.

General Comments:

The car is quick off the mark with its 16v engine.

However, the Si model lacks power steering so can be a little heavy.

It drives well and when looked after, will go on and on.

Unfortunately mine was just written off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2002

1990 Rover - Austin 200 GSi 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A fast reliable comfortable bargain


Alternator, expensive to replace, but shopping around paid off. Easy to fit.

Leak in windscreen, difficult to find, yet easy to fix.

Otherwise general wear and tear.

General Comments:

From a reliability point of view the car is very good, with an exceptional engine and gearbox (Honda).

There have been a few problems, mainly to do with wear and tear, but this should be expected with a car that's done nearly 160K and shows no sign of stopping!

The car has very good performance for it's age and millage and still has no problem keeping up with the big boy's on it's 50Mile a day commute on A roads and the motorway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2002

1990 Rover - Austin 200 214 SLi 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland


Get over the stereotypes and go buy one!


Timing belt very nearly broke, but was replaced JUST in time!

Large areas of front sub-frame rotten so failed the MOT.

Rear swing-arm bushes wore out in only 11 months.

Fairly bad body rust, especially front wings.

General Comments:

Great car to own, but Rovers in general have a bit of an image problem.

Once it's warmed-up it's the best car I've ever driven!

We've had the car in the family for the last 12 years and overall it's been the best value for money car we've owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2002

1990 Rover - Austin 200 216 GTi DOHC 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


This car is for life, not just for Christmas


2 batteries blown.

Distributor worn out at 148000 miles.

Lots of seized up bolts.

Ignition module.

General Comments:

This is a great, very reliable, and fun car to own. Its performance in my opinion is in the best of its class and can even challenge the likes of some much more powerful vehicles. the car is extremely reliable when properly serviced, I've only called the RAC out once in the last four years that I can remember.

There are some minor problems with the car which I believe can easily be sorted. The suspension is far too high in standard form, so lowering with just replacement springs by 30mm makes a big difference. The only other thing I would change is the brakes and for not much more than the price of the standard ones you can get excellent grooved discs and sports pads.

A car I would recommend 100 times over.

But do not take it to a garage you don't know.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2001

5th Jun 2014, 01:52

This car is for life, not just for Christmas ?

Nahh! - I was well rid of mine after 4 years, 2 head gaskets and a blown engine... so much for Honda with their D16A9.

At the same time I owned this, my dad had a E30 318iS; the Rover could barely manage 55k miles of stick from me, yet the BMW easily coped with 80k of the same and didn't need a head gasket, nor a replacement engine.


5th Jun 2014, 20:03

You did see that the reviewer kept the car for 9 years and 137,000 miles. Clearly had a far better experience than you did.