1996 Rover - Austin 600 Reviews

1996 Rover - Austin 600 600ti (620 Turbo) 2.0 16v turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 16v turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance168000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro

Summary:

A lot of car for the money, try one!

Faults:

Alternator went, second hand replacement was £15, and nice and high up in the engine bay, so an easy replacement for a DIYer.

Clutch hydraulic slave and master cylinders have both failed. To be expected with the miles on my car.

Gearbox differential bearings failed. Replaced myself with steel caged items.

Small bit of rust on the right rear wheel arch.

General Comments:

Complete Q car. Extremely fast in a straight line, keeps pulling. Owned the car 5 years, and been a very reliable motor considering the mileage.

Interior is very comfortable with its half leather seats. Very robust too, you can't tell its approaching 170,000 miles!!

High specced car, electric windows, air con, electric sunroof, heated mirrors, remote central locking, alarm etc.

Passengers often comment on how comfy it is, and also on its acceleration if you choose to use it.

You can fit 5 adults in, and not be too squashed; middle rear seat has a 3x3 belt, which is a nice touch.

Engines are very reliable with general servicing.

If you stay off the power, will do 30mpg, but this will drop considerably if you constantly use the performance, but then it is a 2.0L turbo, so this is to be expected!

To fill the petrol tank costs around £50, and does 330 to 350 miles to a tank.

If you want quick, high spec, car for almost loose change, you will struggle to do better!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2010

1996 Rover - Austin 600 i 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carNissan Micra

Summary:

This car is a gem

Faults:

Nothing major went wrong.

Just usual maintenance every 15-20,000 miles.

Timing belt/pump belt changed at 67K.

Silencer went at 60K.

Main fuse (80 A) blew at 119,000; fixed with a piece of wire. Had to reset the engine control block by taking out the "radio" fuse.

Tyre wear a bit dodgy, but not very quick.

General Comments:

This car is a would-be upmarket replica of Honda Accord 1.8. However this didn't work for the Rover went "over".

Hence, forget about the dealer, and service this car in a backstreet garage.

My specific car has very basic specs and still is fun to have. The car looks, works and drives as new forever. The economy is excellent for this size: 6.9 L/100 km combined thanks to the brilliant Honda 1.8 16v engine.

The seats and driver's position are second to none. Very relaxing and great mile muncher as well; good cornering, passing and takeoff. Had it 2.5-3L under the bonnet, it would be unrivalled by any German.

Pity it was discontinued in 1999...

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

Review Date: 14th September, 2007

1996 Rover - Austin 600 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8i petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired69000 miles
Most recent distance70000 miles
Previous carCitroen AX

Summary:

Excellent value and a comfortable cruiser

Faults:

Nothing... yet.

General Comments:

Rover are the bargain of the year. Everyone is scared stiff about parts availability since the company went under and the second hand value is dropping across the board like a stone! Even in the Honda-based models of the early to mid nineties, including the 600.

I managed to procure a base model 600 in immaculate condition with 69,000 miles on the clock for a meagre £850, which is plain ridiculous! Not that I'm complaining, of course, but let's get that in perspective - before I go on to the car itself:

A low-mileage, 'N' reg, 1996 Honda Accord (the same car, to all intents and purposes) will cost you £2,000.

A high-mileage 1996 BMW 3-Series (with which the Rover 600 was designed to compete) will also cost you £2,000.

So £850 for a car in this class is crazy value!

OK, so I bought the base model. In fact, the base model is the only one I would consider. Why?

The engine is smaller and more economical (and definitely not under-powered, as the Honda Accord 1850cc VTEC engine copes more than adequately, I might add).

The interior, while not sporting leather, is very comfortable and spacious.

There are far less electrics (far less to go wrong!) which IMHO is a massive bonus. And because it is an executive car, even the base model is plenty comfortable enough - electric windows, decent stereo, excellent seat positioning, adjustable steering column, air bags, etc.

All the mechanics so far have been everything I would expect from a Honda (in this case, effectively a Honda Accord with a different shell stuck on top). Smooth, clean and trouble-free.

And of course, because they're Honda (who have not gone bust, and I think it's safe to assume won't be going bust either) spares and servicing are not a problem.

The only parts which can be hard to find at the moment are interior trim and body panels, apparently. But happily, mine is so clean I can only assume it spent the first 10 years of its life garaged, as there is not a speck of rust on it and even the rubber seals show no sign of sun bleaching. So I couldn't care less about body parts - the only time I'll need them is if I crash, and then it's the insurance company's problem!

So, to sum up, this is comfortable, quiet, economical executive car, well worth every penny and the same amount again. I can have no complaints. Looking forward to a good few years of happy motoring! Even if my friends do now call me grandad...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2006

23rd May 2006, 10:23

Watch for rust on the rear wheel arches. Quite common on the 600. Keep an eye on it, get some waxoyl in there as a preventative treatment.

24th May 2006, 10:41

Thanks for that! Excellent advice!

I read the rear panels rot out on the Honest John website, so I checked the back end very very carefully - had the spare wheel out and everything. It's clean as a whistle at the moment, but I'll do the old Waxoyl trick.

Cheers!

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 20 reviews