This car replaced a 1992 Astra (mk3), and in turn was replaced by a 1997 Renault Megane. With hindsight, I think it was a better car than either of them.
Good quality trim with light, airy colours and half convincing wood bits, good seats, reasonable equipment, solid build quality, (then) classy looks, low noise levels, and excellent performance from a gutsy, sweet 1.6 litre Honda engine.
Other things I remember distinctly:
Motorway cruising ability ruined by a stupidly low 5th gear - 70 mph = 3,500 RPM.
Economy not great, particularly on the motorway due to above.
One of the most dreadful standard fit stereos I've ever heard in any car.
Reliability flawless apart from a failed igniter unit (common fault apparently) which did in fairness cause a breakdown.
Hard to believe Rover is now dead and buried when a decade ago it was making cars that stood comparison to any mainstream competition. On the basis of comparing this car to others I have owned, Rover would not have been at the top of my list for likely bankruptcy.