Really disappointed with this car. I've always thought the 25 is quite a good looking little car, and I know the K-series engine is a corker, so in a fit of misguided trust and even misplaced patriotism, decided to buy one.
The engine is the one part of the car that has met my expectations. Ridiculously punchy for a 1.4, it gives acceleration which matches my old 1.6 Fiesta, and makes a lovely growl at high revs. Frugal too - 35-40 mpg however it's driven. Totally reliable too, although at less than 7,000 miles, I would expect it to be. It's a world class engine alright, and rivals anything comparable from Honda.
Unfortunately the car its bolted into is not world class, and harks back to the 80's Maestro / Montego era. It quickly becomes apparent that the smart "corporate nose" facelift is but paper over the cracks of an outdated and uncompetitive design. I have never known a car in which the "new" feel wears off so quickly. After just 500 miles, there were squeaks from the interior and the clutch was juddering. After running the car in and starting to push on a bit, I also discovered handling which was lifeless and dull, and steering which gave little clue as to what the front wheels were up to. My biggest moan dynamically though is the brakes, which are some of the spongiest, least responsive stoppers I've ever experienced. I'm sure they weren't like this when I picked the car up.
Switchgear is low rent, and the whole car feels dated. These two items were noted on the test drive, and alone wouldn't have bothered me, but as the car is proving to have 80's quality and reliability to go with it, they are perhaps more galling than they otherwise would be.
Dealers are very polite and usually try hard, but I get the impression they are overwhelmed by the problems they are getting with the cars.
Sorry, but as much as it pains me to say it, if this is what MG Rover consider to be a class-worthy small car, they may as well give it up now. It's an embarassment to the little union flag badge on the tailgate. Disappointing beyond words.