1997 Rover - Austin 600 SLi 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Much better than expected


Electronics caused the most headaches. ABS light came on twice in my ownership, always a sensor, got them fixed at reasonable costs. Windows would often fail, finally replaced regulators and everything else at reduced cost sourcing parts online. Radio would not work, replaced with something more modern.

The rest was mechanical wear and tear - exhaust, suspension, brakes, etc. I kept the car serviced on time and replaced the belts, battery and alternator in my ownership, never let me down.

General Comments:

I had heard this Rover 600 was similar to the Honda Accord. At least the engine is anyway. General reliability was always a concern with old Rover's, but the 600 with the help from Honda turned out to be their best.

620 SLi auto in dark green metallic, and beige interior. Was a great looking car, alloy wheels were also very nice. To ride in it was very smooth. I liked driving the car, auto-box blunted acceleration a bit, and economy (30 MPG at best), but it was a luxury car.

I miss it to this day; I got it for very cheap to begin with, then sold it to a Rover enthusiast when it was 10 years old approaching 100K miles. Wish I had held on to it, rare cars nowadays.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2021

1997 Rover - Austin 600 620 Si 2.0 16v SOHC from UK and Ireland


Comfortable cruiser ideal for a runabout hack or budget family saloon


Drivers door electric window stopped working - the motor was still making a whirring noise- stripped the door panel down to find the "Scissor Arm" controlling the window had detatched - apparently a common problem and fixed easily.

Heater blower blew constantly hot and couldn't be turned to cold and you could not alter the setting to blow through the de-misters for the windscreen, causing the car to steam up. I stripped it down and found that the heater control panel was at fault, £3 for a new panel at the scrappy soon had the problem solved!

Backbox started blowing 115k and will be replaced shortly for the upcoming MoT but that's just basic wear and tear...

General Comments:

Having owned an R reg Honda Accord 2.0iS in the past, I knew what to expect from the Rover 600 as it is essentially the same car, albeit in a different bodyshell and with a different badge. I really liked my Accord but ownership was brought to a bitter end when it was written off by a Shogun - a shame as it was a 110k with a full history and absolutely immaculate.

I generally always run 2 vehicles - one a newer car that gets used for long journeys and is my "for best" car, which is currently a 2002 (52) Ford Mondeo 1.8 Zetec (review in the relevant section) and the 2nd is a cheap runabout vehicle for work etc. When my Rover 400 was due for change I spent a period of time looking for a cheap replacement and I stumbled accross this P reg 620Si, taxed and tested for £495 as a part ex bargain at a local garage. Some haggling later I drove it away £400 lighter.

The car itself is finished in metallic Nightfire Red with 15" Rover alloys (although have since been upgraded to the 16" Ti alloys greatly improving the look). The car recently went on a 1200 mile round trip to Cornwall and back as my other-half was using the Mondeo and it performed absolutly faultlessly.

The engine is the tried and tested Honda unit which provides adequate performance for a vehicle of this size. It pull extremely well in all gears although fuel consumption does suffer, returning around 30mpg combined. My daily commute is mainly dual carriageway, however, so it spends most of its time sitting in 5th gear at 70 odd, to which it copes exceptionally well and does my daily journey in extreme comfort.

The interior of the car is a bit bland compared to the Honda sister - my previous Accord had a black dash and black interior trim on the seats which looks a lot better than the grey of the Rover, but nonetheless it is still a very nice place to be.

The MoT is looming shortly, however looking through previous receipts it had £550 spent last year getting work done so hopefully it should sail through this year only needing minimal work. I've bought a replacement backbox for it which will be fitted soon, although apparently these cars have a tendancy to blow backboxes if used for short trips a lot? Maybe the previous owner was to blame for the failure...

Overall, if you are looking for a large runabout or cheap family car, then do not discount the Rover 600. The Rover badge really isn't ALL that bad (I've had 4 Rovers) and its basically just an Accord, without the Honda dress up. Parts are cheaper for the 600 also (if I ever went to a scrap yard for parts for my Accord, the Honda part was always more expensive than the Rover part - i. e £15 for an Accord electric wing mirror, £5 for a 600 electric mirror) - both the same part and my old Accord had mostly 600 bits fitted!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2008

27th Jul 2020, 16:26

Excellent review, I know it was written a while ago but this sums up my experience of these cars perfectly. Had a 620 GSi years ago, great car, never broke down on me. Rover had a bad name for reliability, but as you have mentioned the 600 was one of their best cars, probably due to similarities with the Honda Accord.