1994 Rover - Austin 400 GSI Turbo 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Rare surprisingly fast beast


Nothing during my ownership.

Top end engine rattle/knocking.

Oil leak.

Noisy gearbox.

Bad rust on one arch.

Sticky electric windows.

General Comments:

I bought the car cheaply as a stop-gap, but despite the aforementioned common problems it has lasted beyond the stop-gap period.

In terms of performance the car puts a smile on your face and wipes it off others! Very quick, handling good and well mannered round town. The problems I listed haven't affected the performance of the car (comparing it to my girlfriend's 420 Turbo).

Practicality is good for a car with the performance it possesses, cabin and boot room probably no smaller than a Cavalier saloon (I've owned three).

Half leather seats are comfy, but rigid, however this has proved better for my back on longer journeyss.

Petrol consumption accords with your driving, I get 25-35 miles per gallon.

I love the car and hope it lasts a bit longer. If you can find a nice one I would certainly recommend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2005

1994 Rover - Austin 400 420 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Lovely car, rubbish (Rover) engines



Otherwise, nothing.

General Comments:

I thought this was a fantastic car.

I now have a 620, but the 420 beat the pants off it in every sense.

Performance is very good, 0-60 around 9.2 seconds. The engine is very willing and economical (around 35 mpg at 85 mph and 26 mpg around town).

Handling is no problem, suspension is taut, but not too stiff, so it's OK around town.

The only problem is the engine. Why can't Rover make an engine that can keep it's head together? When it works it's a class-beater, but it's so unreliable. I love Rovers, but it's no wonder their rep has gone down the pan.

I'll still keep buying them. In fact, I'm in the market for a 216. Looked at one the other day and walked away because it was a rover engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2004

3rd Sep 2004, 14:39

Get a 416GTi instead. The engine is a Honda Twin Cam giving 128-130bhp. It is dead reliable and performs as well as if not better than the Rove 2.0 litre version.

5th Nov 2004, 08:34

Sorry, the 2.0 'T' Series engine is superior to the honda unit for refinment and speed.

Rover make excellent engines, its just that during the BMW years, Rovers budgets were cut drastically, thus making most 94-2000 Rovers having less that perfectly reliable engine.

I'm on my 'k' on nearly 140k without a problem!


16th Apr 2005, 10:06

How can you tell the difference between the M series and the T series engine.

4th Sep 2007, 10:30

Head gasket failure is very rare on the T series engine (after 92, ALL will be T series). If it went twice then it wasnt fixed properly the first time! I would guess the head wasnt skimmed or cleaned up properly.

1994 Rover - Austin 400 416 SLi 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A Very reliable and economical car


A CV Boot/Gaiter split at about 95k miles Rear Silencer changed at 86k.

General Comments:

Excellent reliability with the Honda engine and gearbox. Fit an induction kit and it is real quick.

Good alarm and immobiliser as mine got broken into, but the immobilizer did the trick nicely. I have 15inch low profiles 195/50 and road handling is improved.

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

Review Date: 11th December, 2003

1994 Rover - Austin 400 420 GSi Turbo 2.0 16v turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


The ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing


Passenger door central locking motor packed up.

Weeping cam cover gasket.

Driveshaft joint started knocking.

General Comments:

For a practical joke, take off the small Turbo badge and replace the 420GSi one with a 414i item. Then play BMW 328i's at their own game and flash them out of the way at 130, laughing at the exasperated expression on the driver's face as he can't shake the boring looking £800 Rover sat behind him. I did just that and was smiling for weeks. Of course the BMW is a much finer car all round, but it gives you an idea of just how quick this old bus is.

With 200 bhp and very little weight, it's not surprising, but I've long been a fan of this Rover 2.0 turbo powerplant. It has virtually no lag, and delivers massive shove all through the rev range, although sticks the biggest grin on your face between 2,500 and 5,500 RPM. Reliable too - 100k and a tiny (barely worth fixing) oil week from a £5 gasket has been the only mechanical hiccup. Starts on the key, uses virtually no oil and has never been apart. There are lots of horror stories going around about these engines, but providing they're given proper servicing with quality oil and the turbo is treated with consideration, they are as reliable as anything else. My boss ran an 820 Vitesse Turbo up to 160k with no mechanical faults - this car shows no indication of being different.

The car looks sedate and dull, but quickly proves otherwise when you floor it. Reliable too - just £200 spent outside normal servicing in 3 years and 30,000 miles. Not bad for a car that's just clicked over the 100k mark.

For £800, you just can't go wrong.

Interior is well built and still pleasant on the eye. Half leather sports seats very comfortable.

Handling OK, brakes reassuring, steering too light, dealers helpful and reasonably priced. A good package.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2003