1994 Rover - Austin 400 SLI 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A nice car with a few faults


The head gasket had blown when I brought it, which meant I went 5 miles and the temperature gauge was in the red.

The power steering rack went, which meant it had no resistance when you steered.

The front right brake callaper, got stuck on so the brakes where constantly on, and the disk got read hot.

General Comments:

Ran even though it was red hot.

Good looks.

Brilliant condition.

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

Review Date: 7th May, 2003

1994 Rover - Austin 400 SLi 16v 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Value for Money Family Saloon


Alternator went at 72000 miles- was not impressed.

Rear door central locking solenoid went at 74000 miles- was expensive to replace.

Exhaust was replaced just before I got the car- at 68000 miles.

General Comments:

Despite some reservations about the longevity of the mechanical parts of the car, I do like it.

Performance is good when you consider the size of the engine and the size of the car, though it does sound very breathless. It does feel smaller than what it is- it seems to sit quite low, with a very short bonnet. The front doors seem to be oversized, and "clunk" shut because theyre so heavy that over time they start to drop on the hinges.

The interior is a bit dated with the stereo a bit of a reach. Some of the plastics are really brittle and feel cheap. The car feels small and narrow inside. This is not helped by the design of the dashboard. The seats are comfortable though, but there isn't much room in the back.

The handling of the car is excellent, this is a feature I was most impressed with. The car is also well equipped, with electric windows, mirrors and sunroof, power steering, drivers airbag, remote central locking and alarm/immobiliser. I think the car was very overpriced when new, but is now practically worthless so the car was a very good buy as an M Plate for £975. Car just passed its MOT with no problems.

On the whole, a decent car. Not a fan of the styling, its very boring and boxy, but does cut a dash in nightfire red metallic and none of that awful two tone bodywork with the grey on the bottom! For a long time I couldnt make my mind up whether I liked the car or not. I did prefer my previous car, a Renault 21. I am warming to the Rover though... I suppose I would reccomend it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2003

1994 Rover - Austin 400 414 Si 1.4i 16v from UK and Ireland


Special K...Series


New gearbox at 100000.

Engine management faults at 100000 - replaced Engine Control Unit.

General Comments:

The car had 100000 miles when I acquired it and I must say, performance wise, it was highly underrated.

Keeping the car in cruise mode (under 3500 rpm) it returns 36-38 mpg. Foot hard down at 4000 rpm and it pulls hard, all the way up to the 6000 rpm mark, accompanied by the meaty K-series roar. I'm sure its capable of more, but excessive noise may deter one from progressing into the higher rev range, not to mention potential head gasket problems that may arise as a consequence. But its quick enough!

OK, so its not exactly a sports car, but its not particularly expensive either. With reliability and performance to match, why buy anything else for the same money?

Keep an eye on coolant levels and top up with a quality antifreeze at the recommended dilution.

Oh, only run them on quality 10W-40 motor oil and feel the difference.

Equivalent Fords, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault eat my dust.

On the look out for the bubble shape (new 200), hopefully a rev-happy 218Vi.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2002

1994 Rover - Austin 400 Si 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A nightmare on wheels


Speedometer cable snapped.

Alternator failed.

Replaced battery three times. May have been fried by the alternator.

Water leak in both foot-wells, we are talking Niagara falls here.

Cam belt expensive to replace.

Water leak from upper left front of roof.

Break discs warped.

Clutch went at 60,000 miles.

First motion bearing in the gearbox has been making loud noises for last 20,000 miles of the car's life.


Head gasket blew.

Water pump failed.

Just after I had the cylinder head gasket and water pump replaced... I found it had also destroyed the "Big End". R.I.P.

General Comments:

I feel a complete muppet for keeping the car so long. It was possibly the worst vehicle I have ever known.

During the rare moments when the car was running, it was quite comfortable. However if it rained, the wellington boots were in order.

The above list of problems is only a selection that I can remember - I'm sure there were more.

I fully understand why Rover failed.

Buy Nissan, Toyota, Lexus, BMW... for your own sake - or that of your bank balance, steer clear of Rover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th September, 2001

26th Oct 2001, 05:44

You have obviously been very unlucky. Look at the other reviews here and it is clear that most owners find the 400 excellent. I think that the 89-95 model was a much better car than the 95-2000 model.

3rd Apr 2005, 14:28

Indeed, you have been very unlucky. The biggest problem is the fact you had a 1.4 litre version, which has the Rover built K-series engine, which is prone to head gasket failure and generally unreliable.

Luckily, the 1.6 version of the 89-95 car is equipped with a Honda engine which is far more reliable, and the 2.0, although a Rover, is a T-series, and because it is larger does not need to be thrashed as much as the other 2 since it has more torque.

Unfortunately the 1995 on 400 and the 45 use the k series engine, so beware if you buy one of these.

29th Apr 2006, 13:31

The T series engine is as bad as the K series for head gasket failure and poor lifetime.

The only Rovers worth buying are those with Honda engines.

21st Nov 2006, 13:02

I also have a rover 400 - 1998. Luckily it is my wife`s car and is not used too much. Also have huge problem with leak coming into passenger foot well. Anybody know probable cause?A solution would be welcome. Showed it to a car repair guy and he said it would be too much trouble to take dash apart. Better to buy new 2nd hand car!!