2005 Rover - Austin 75 Connoisseur 2.0 diesel from UK and Ireland


Great piece of old fashioned British motoring



General Comments:

The third I have had. The last one having usual clutch slave issues. Cheaper to replace the car than the clutch.

These things are utterly great. My new one is an auto, and for two grand for an 85k top spec car, how can you complain? Heated electric everything with wood and leather. I have a Jag and this is just as nice. Comfy and quiet. Economical. Reliable. Very pretty. Cheap.

An overlooked piece of superb car. Thoroughly recommended.

Steer clear of the 1.8 petrol unless the head gaskets have been done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2015

2005 Rover - Austin 75 Connoisseur SE 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Solid and comfortable executive car


Footwells filled with water the first time it rained after purchasing from a local trader. The problem was traced to both drains from the bulkhead plenum chamber being blocked, allowing water to fill there, then seep into the car. The root cause of this was found to be that the trader had not done the servicing we'd paid for (not at all; they'd just reset the service indicator), where the plenum drains are listed on the service schedule.

General Comments:

Generally lives up to the 'executive' image. In terms of driver comfort, it feels a premium car throughout, and is well put together. The experience from the door handles to the driving controls feels good, with components that are solid and well made. I'll add one exception here for the rear seats, both base and seat-back. These are quite thin, and on this car the mechanism to fold down wasn't working, due to what I see as basic under-engineering of the latch mechanism. However having had the carpets up to look for the leak, I can attest to the near-excessive padding and soundproofing inside the cabin itself!

With full leather, heated, electric-memory seats and climate control, it's not hugely specified with toys, but there's enough to make it comfortable. This car is a Connoisseur SE, but seems to have no extra options on top.

On the road it's an easy drive - one of those cars where everything feels right and I don't have to adjust myself to any oddities (which, for me, has the car joining the Focus and S-Type!). The ride is as near to the "magic carpet" I've heard discussed in forums as I've experienced. It's really very smooth and quiet inside, even on budget tyres. Mentioning the S-Type, I'd put the 75 marginally over that for comfort. Lovely smooth and progressive clutch (night and day to the near-vicious clutches most of my non-75 Rovers tend to have) and a decent positive action on the gear shift.

For handling, I wasn't particularly confident throwing it into corners, it rolled somewhat, the steering gearing seems to have a few too many turns lock to lock, and I think the budget tyres did not help.

The 1.8 K series motor is well suited to pottering about town, and is even quite happy to sit at speed on the motorway. It is however underpowered for such a large car if you have any pretence to driving fast. Not sure on specific MPG figures, but seems okay. I'd guess in the 30s, though the car is used for 95% short local journeys.

At current prices (we paid around book) these cars are true bargains. They can be bought from traders at about 2/3rd the cost of a similarly specified Mondeo, but are far more substantial cars (this replaced such a Mondeo).

In summary, the car is cheap to buy, fairly cheap to run, comfortable, solid and a nice car to drive. It's not fast or specced to drive fast, but then I guess that's why there are other engine options and the ZT. I suspect I'd be happier in a ZT190.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2012

17th Oct 2015, 19:35

Original reviewer back for an update:

I have to say I still like driving this car. The comfort and drive is excellent.

It's had a bit of cash spent as it reached its 3rd year with us:

1. Coolant t-piece broke, threw all the coolant over the road. Put 5 litres back in, so pretty much everything was lost. £30 new part replacement.

2. Inevitably after loosing coolant, head gasket failure. £500...

3. A door lock started setting the alarm off. £25 replacement.

4. Light Switch Module (LSM) failed, kept lights on/flickering, which drained the battery. Replaced with a second hand one for £14.

5. Brake line corrosion - new lines put in to the rear brakes for MOT.

6. Broken suspension spring, also fixed for MOT.

So it's needed some TLC recently. The saving grace being that the car is wonderful to be in, and that the total cost of buying the car and everything done to it is still significantly less than the "similarly specified Mondeo" mentioned above in the original review.

That would also assume if we'd bought a Mondeo it'd need no work - and since we did have one for near 10 years I'm going to say no, it would certainly have needed the odd bit doing.

So while the HGF has annoyed me, I'm still giving the car the thumbs up, but again recommend the V6-engined versions of the car.