1994 Rover - Austin 200 214SLi 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A cracking first car, fast and comfortable


The alternator belt snapped taking the power steering belt with it.

That's about it!

Oh and the clutch went.

General Comments:

Got this as a first car, when I was 17.

Paid a lot for insurance (£1700) but a great first car.

Quick (well for a 1.4!) and comfortable, and had a fantastic load carrying ability, with could take 4 of my mates in comfort.

Never missed a beat apart from the usual maintenance.

Handling was a good laugh, you could throw it into corners with gay abandon.

Even the police were surprised at the speed of if (but that's another story!)

Once I put some Yokohama A539 tyres on it, it just gripped through the corners.

Now sold to my brother as I now have a 220 Turbo Coupe!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2004

1994 Rover - Austin 200 220 Coupe 2.0 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Great car, if it is looked after


Clutch cable



General Comments:

This car is a very quick car. The handling is very very good. It has all the usual tricks, but the engine is a real negative. If the engine is running well, then the car is unstoppable, but if the engine is running badly, get out your cash book.

If you are looking for a car like this, buy as new as possible, 1996 was the last and best year, and low k's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th April, 2004

1994 Rover - Austin 200 214 Si 1.4 injection from UK and Ireland


Excellent value 2nd hand motor


Alternator failed. Bad replacement eventually resulted in broken mounting and wiring.

Battery installed in 1995 failed in 2003.

Loosing coolant, 200ml a month or so. Headgasket may be going.

Sunroof front edge rusts, causing it to stick up slightly. Not a problem generally, but causes lots of wind noise at 60mph+.

Clutch is starting to ride high - obviously 130k wear is starting to overtake the auto-adjust mechanism.

Gearbox is getting very noisy in 1st to 3th. This is common to all these gearboxes. Mine probably should have been replaced by now.

General Comments:

With proper servicing the engine responds very well, able to pull away from the 1-2000rpm range with no problems for pottering about town. The 100 horse power from the 1.4i K series engine also shows nicely if you let the revs venture up over 4000.

The car is good for motorway cruising, holding 70mph at 3500rpm. Overtaking is good, from 60mph up it'll pull nicely in 5th, but from 40 or 50mph you'll need to drop to fourth for any real go.

Fuel economy is excellent. It returns 35-40mpg easily, and unless my measurements have been completely off I've had up to 50mpg on straight 100 mile runs down country roads at a steady 50mph.

Increasing engine revs while braking causes the brake pedal to move as more servo assist comes on. Not major issue, but disconcerting at first!

Clutch is quite heavy in use.

The gate on the gear stick isn't brilliant, getting from 2nd to 3rd at speed needs some practice..

Reverse can be difficult to select, often needs a quick flick of the clutch in neutral to spin the gearbox into a more favourable position..

Power steering is very light, perhaps too light - the steering often feels dead when you want to know what the front wheels are doing (but then, without PS these cars have *very* heaving steering!).

Cramped legroom in the rear, but huge boot space, especially with the seats down - plenty of room for a washing machine or a pair of DEC MicroVaxes! Comparable to a hatchback Sierra.

Bodywork is very good, surprisingly little corrosion, there's some surface rust on the driver's side sill and along the top of the windscreen, but other than that the only other visible rust is where previous owners have scratch the rear arches. That said, I've seen some comparable '93-94 214s about with badly rusted front wings.

Thus far this car has cost me about £400 to run for more than 10,000 miles. This includes the original purchase price! The Mk2 214 is very cheap to buy and run if nothing major goes (like the common gearbox bearing problems, so listen for whiny gearboxes when you test drive).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2004

21st May 2004, 08:09

Update on the car, 21/5/04 at around 131,500 miles:

Found the coolant leak, which wasn't the head gasket at all. The bottom pipe under the radiator had rusted through. It was leaving a good sized puddle at standstill and a trail of water on the move. A £3 replacement from a scrapyard (and £30 fitting by a pro) sorted that (I hope, it was done today, but certainly looks dry so far).

What I thought was the water leak out of the headgasket is actually oil and is likely coming from the camseals. About half a litre of oil used every month or two; not sure as it is actually quite variable, sometimes staying level for ages. A job for the future or something I'll just not bother with.

The car needed two new door mirrors and a new windscreen, thanks to some nasty little kids smashing the car up one night. They also badly dented a new bonnet and wing I'd fitted, and the roof stamped in so badly that the sunroof is locked in place and needs taping up anyway or it leaks. The car was presentable until this point. Now it looks like a wreck.

The gearbox is still whining as badly as ever, but hasn't failed yet. All the joints on the gear change rods had dried up, causing difficult and stiff gear changes when hot, but half an hour forcing grease in past the rubber seals sorted that out for next to nothing. The clutch is still working fine, the bite as high as usual. I reset the autoadjust on the clutch cable (I think I did anyway, lots of clicking as it took the cable back up anyway), but it just went straight back to a high biting point. Grease on the clutch cable & pedal hinge has helped hugely though, driving the car constantly the gradual stiffening of the clutch can easily be missed - taken to conclusion this would result in a frayed cable and eventual breakage.

The number plate lights failed sometime just before MOT, after a lot of searching I eventually found the a broken pin in the plug connecting the bootlid to the chassis loom. Cost nothing to fix, but hours of my time..

Also failed the MOT on slightly high emissions, due to a misfire. Changed the HT leads (sparkplugs were done at last service, 129k) and this cured it. The engine is also certainly a lot smoother under power too.

In general, and in spite the best attempts of the local scallies, the car is still doing the job and doing it well.

26th Jun 2004, 14:26

Update 26/06/2004, 133800 miles:

Traded the car in this morning - and I got another Rover.

The 214 was asked to run a hundred+ miles a day for the last month and it did it faultlessly. The oil leak on the cam seals was loosing half a pint of oil every couple of weeks, but even this had no ill effect. The whine on the gearbox and the high biting clutch remained the same until the point I sold the car. I had no real problems driving the car around; indeed the steady 38mpg (going up to a confirmed 45mpg if I went no faster than 60mph (I may have done 50mpg once, but didn't manage to replicate it, perhaps because I don't like driving 50 miles at 50mph!) ) was great considering how many miles I need to do now. This is also the main reason as to why I got another Rover with the same engine.

It's a shame I had to sell it before its time, because I know the car is unlikely to be sold on. It's more likely the garage will scrap it.

I bought the car as a temporary solution, knowing the gearbox and clutch weren't perfect. It far exceeded my expectations and I would recommend a good example of one of these cars to anyone.