1995 Rover - Austin 400 SLI 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A pleasurable drive ruined by expensive running costs


Recently failed its MOT on the usual Rover problems.

Driver and passenger sills excessively corroded.

Rear suspension mountings severely deteriorated.

Anti roll bar showing signs of deterioration, resulting in excessive movement.

Warped brake disk, resulting in steering judder.

Exhaust back box corroded and rattling from the catalytic converter.

General Comments:

This car has more good points than bad ones. Rover were never renowned for their build quality, but a few good ones did come off the production line, just not the one I owned.

The car drove beautifully on the motorways and was surprisingly comfortable, however high running costs and parts don't come cheap with these cars, and when the faults start cropping up, you are in for an expensive wallet denting experience.

As for fuel economy and performance, the twin cam 16 valve Honda engine gives some serious grunt and pulling power, however you are torn between listening to that beautiful 16 valve engine grunting at you, and watching the fuel gauge start to slide down to the red. Even though you are still looking at a good 30 mpg, with petrol prices being so high in the UK, you may feel a smaller engine would be a better option.

To summarise, if you want a good reliable motorway runner, but are not worried about the running costs, then this is your car of choice. If you are looking for economy, you are better off looking for a smaller engine 1.4, which is just as good and gives that bit better MPG.

Finally, be aware that these are not cheap to insure, and these cars still have the stigma of being a pensioner's car, and boy racers just shouldn't buy one of these at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th September, 2010

6th Oct 2010, 05:01

For a vehicle to be in such poor condition after such a low mileage, it seems like it hasn't been looked after.

15th Feb 2011, 01:06

As far as I knew, only the R400 automatic transmission model came with a Honda D series 1.6 engine, all manual transmission R400 1.4 and 1.6 engines use the Rover K series. The 2.0 model is not the K series, but is a Rover engine nonetheless.

The car in question here is 15 years old at the time of the review, so I would reasonably expect it to be rusting by this age, despite only having done a low mileage - although the R45 seems to fare better than the R400 in the rusting problems. I have noticed no rust on my 2001 R45 on the rear sill arch area where the R400s normally suffer.

Like any car, rusting is dependent on how the car is looked after and whether it is garaged, not to mention where it is used - A Rover used all its life by the NorthEast Coast and never garaged is going to rust worse than one living in Cornwall that's garaged every night.

1995 Rover - Austin 400 414 Si 1.4 i from Portugal


Rovers are good cars, if well maintained


My head gasket blew at 55,000 km.

My brake discs had to be replaced at 70000 km.

The air conditioned doesn't work... The gas goes somewhere. Have to find the leak.

The car was totally abandoned by previous owner, and seems that dogs had slept inside of it... The interior was full washed several times to reach its brightness.

The varnish is getting out, because it seems that the previous owner had the idea that not washing the car keeps it OK...

Some plastics lost its colour due to intense sunlight exposure.

General Comments:

The car is very comfortable. I can do hundreds of km without stopping.

The engine is very nice. After being in the right temperature, revving it to 4000-5000 rpm is a pleasure. However, you can use it from 2000 up, and it has enough torque.

Doesn't handles like a sports car, but it is nice to use it in any road. Engine response doesn't get you embarrassed in any way.

Immobilizer/alarm is very good, for a 14 year old car.

Electric sunroof is nice in winter.

Its exterior lines are beautiful, even after 14 years passed from its release (but that's just my opinion).

How much you spend in petrol depends on your driving. I can do from 6l/100km to 10l/100km. The more you rev, the more you pay. However, it is not difficult to make 7l/100km.

Brakes could be better, but if you change the disks to vented ones, it brakes better.

Interiors are nice, but driver seat could go lower than it does.

It is a good car, sometimes unfairly underrated.

Its engine is a bit sensible, mostly when driven cold. Be sure to warm it properly before revving it up. Avoid more than 3000rpm before it is in good temp.

Keep an eye in fluid levels and check water and oil at least once a week.

If you experience head gasket failure, find someone who do the job well done and change all kit: Gaskets and head bolts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2009