1997 Rover - Austin 400 Si 1.6 Twin-Cam from UK and Ireland
Cheap and ever so sensible
Driver's electric window regulator failed.
Vibratory engine at idle, especially from cold (possibly engine mounts). Doesn't affect the car when driving.
Heater switch only works on the top two speeds.
Surprisingly good small saloon from Rover, with no real build or mechanical issues. And only £600 with 12 months MOT! You couldn't buy an (awful) Ford Escort of the same age and spec for the same price.
The 1.6 Twin Cam K-series engine is revvy and responsive, thanks to the light weight of the 400 (just over a ton). I worked out the MPG to be 37mpg which is pretty good since I have a right foot of lead and it's been towing fairly heavy trailers recently. The car is very low geared though, and it's pulling nearly 3000rpm by 60mph.
The car drives much like a Honda, unsurprisingly given the Civic underpinnings - which means independent suspension by double wishbones all round, just like a Ferrari! The car is a little understeery in the wet, but it's probably due to the feeble Chinese tyres currently on it more than anything.
The styling is very grandad, but the saloon does look a lot better than the hatchback. I'm of a "boy racer" age and it's an very unsuspecting car to thrash around the countryside in. I really ought to get a tartan rug and tissue box to put on the parcel shelf...
The dashboard looks dated, but it's held up well over the past 8 years - the uphoulstery looks like your grandma's 30 year old couch though, and the faux-wood is nasty (I'm thinking of painting it piano black). The interior isn't incredibly roomy, I practically have to stoop to drive it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th July, 2005
23rd Aug 2007, 08:06
The heater fan problem you are experiencing seems to be a common fault with this car. It's also very easy to cure this very annoying problem. If you remove the glove box you will see behind it, in front of the relays,two small screws holding a plate in place. Remove these screws and withdraw the plate. You will most likely see that the resistor coil has fused. This item will unplug and can be replaced for a cost of about £20.00 from any (Ex) dealership that still stocks rover spares. Hope this helps.