1996 Rover - Austin 400 416i saloon 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Bargain, comfy, reliable, practical


Drivers window doesn't seal properly, rear exhaust box is from the hatchback model, so it was too short. I extended it with a bolt on a shiny pipe! looks good and stops exhaust fumes coming in the boot.

Slow leak on rear drivers side tyre.

General Comments:

The car over all is very nice being only £1600.

The ride is fairly good, but gets upset over potholes. It is a bit soft, so can't corner as well as I thought, that's why its more comfy I suppose due to the softer set up.

Auto box is a bit antiquated. It shifts up and down quite aggressively, and changes gear at the wrong time sometimes making it a bit jerky to drive when driving a bit harder.

The steering is accurate and positive, fairly light, power assisted.

Boot is big, rear leg room could be better.

Engine is good, but urban mpg is only 25!

I like the car for its price and drive, but the headroom with the sunroof is poor, I have to lean the seat back extra so my hair doesn't catch the roof!

I would recommend this car, it's a very good car for the money and has few issues to let it put you off ownership! Go for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2006

1996 Rover - Austin 400 416Si 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A very smart, comfortable car that's always a pleasure to drive


Sounds like a cliche, but the head gasket needed replacing at almost exactly 50,000 miles! It was a gamble I knew I was taking when I bought it, however, so I won't hold it against a car that has been otherwise absolutely faultless.

I knew that 400s are renowned for the head gasket failing, and I'd advise anyone thinking of buying one to bear that in mind. Find out if it's already been replaced, look out for residue inside the oil filler cap and check the cooling system's not been contaminated. My car had a full service history and with less than 50k on the clock, it all seemed absolutely fine at first - so a shame it had to go so soon!

Also, the starter motor sounds a bit noisy. Always starts first time though.

Otherwise, a great car that has just sailed through its MoT without any problems!

General Comments:

In all honesty, this really is a very nice car.

Driving close to 3 hours a day, my criteria when I bought it was that I needed something as comfortable as possible for around £1000. I don't think I've ever felt as relaxed in any other car as I have in the 400, which has proved a pleasure to drive and made my daily commute a lot less stressful.

They've basically done all their devaluation now, so the 400 is a very good buy - because you get a lot of car for your money. It still looks very smart on the road and feels plush and comfortable on the inside with its wood-style finishing. Despite what some people have said, I find the stereo is fantastic, with plenty of bass. Remote locking is great and I'm looking forward to hotter weather so I can actually use the electric sunroof.

The emphasis is certainly on refinement and comfort rather than performance. Probably not the car to buy if you want to thrash it around, but great if, like me, you just want to enjoy the drive by chilling out in your own space for a few hours every day.

An added bonus is that the engine is surprisingly powerful and responsive, with plenty of power if you do need it at any speed. It runs smoothly and quietly in town, and gets noisier at speed - but the cabin is always a comfortable place to be, good for getting through town and great for cruising down the motorway.

Despite what people say about the 400's "granddad" image, in my opinion it's a very smart, modern and good looking car which you can feel proud of! And anyway, my grandad drives an Audi TT, so it goes to show you can't judge anyone by their car!

Lastly, you'll save yourself money by avoiding over-priced Rover dealers and going to a reliable independent garage instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2005