1987 Rover - Austin 800 Reviews

1987 Rover - Austin 800 825 Si 2.5 V6 PGM-FI petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 2.5 V6 PGM-FI petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired86000 miles
Most recent distance124000 miles
Previous carFord Sierra

Summary:

Smooth, refined and surprisingly good fun

Faults:

Believe it or not, nothing went wrong at all!

General Comments:

I bought this car off a work colleague for just £1800 back in 1993. Not bad for a car that cost best part of £20,000 six years previously. It was a rare manual 825Si (most were autos), in a dark metallic bronze. Nicer than it sounded and to my mind, the original 800 looked more subtle and cleaner than the facelift model with its tacky, stick on chrome grille and bulbous rear end.

The engine in the car was incredible. It was almost silent at idle, with no vibration at all. At about 4,000 RPM there was a lovely metallic growl which never became intrusive. It was a bit lifeless at low revs for a big V6 (the main reason they brought out the 2.7 version if I recall), but really came alive in the top half of the rev range. As mine had the manual 'box it was easy to exploit it, and if I did, it was a quick car - 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and 140 maximum. It also averaged 26 mpg which was not bad for the size and performance of the car.

It was good to drive too with sharp steering (for a big car) and a nice turn in. It rode comfortably, didn't roll too much in the twisties, and in the dry it put its 170 bhp down cleanly and without torque steer. In the wet it would wheelspin ridiculously easily in the lower gears, but remember front wheel drive in big cars was a fairly new thing back then.

The Si model wasn't as well equipped as the Sterling, but still provided electric everything, a fuel computer, decent (for the time) stereo and alloys. The seats were armchair comfortable and the driving position was natural. The dash looked a bit cheap though, and there were a few rattles here and there.

One sunny Summer afternoon in 1996, joyriders took a fancy to it and after being chased around the outskirts of Oxford by a police helicopter for several hours that same evening, it was driven into a ditch and set alight. Thankfully it had burned itself out before the fire brigade got there, as I didn't want it back after that anyway.

Fun while it lasted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2004

1987 Rover - Austin 800 820E 2.0i from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission 2.0i Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired53000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carOpel Manta

Summary:

A quick, comfortable rust machine

Faults:

Head gasket twice.

Valve replaced in engine.

Seat belt replaced.

Battery replaced twice.

Starter motor replaced.

Alternator replaced twice.

Small fire in headlamp wiring.

Front disc's replaced.

Headlamp replaced.

Front and rear wheel arches rusted away.

Power steering pump made groaning noises.

New radiator.

Front suspension joint replaced.

General Comments:

A very comfortable and quick car.

Very poor rust control on the body work.

Expensive spares, the seat belt was £75.

Economical, motorway journey on a full tank full would give 500 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2002

1987 Rover - Austin 800 820Si 2.0i 16v DOHC from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 2.0i 16v DOHC Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

Suspect Build Quality, But Went Well

Faults:

It leaked like a sieve!

Cam belt broke, costing £1000 in repairs. It was gutless after this.

A few electrical faults, repaired fairly cheaply.

Boot failed to shut properly due to a previous accident (before I owned the car)

General Comments:

I bought this car after moving house, so finances were a bit tight. The Saab 900 Turbo I had previously was almost dead, so I was looking for a reasonably cheap, but quickish car for the family.

After a quick search around I found this 6 year old 820Si 16v for £2,000 which wasn't bad at the time, snapped it up for £1,850.

It managed to tow our (heavy, big) caravan down to the south of France twice, until the cam belt broke whilst descending a mountain motorway in France with the caravan in tow *wince*. After the work was done, the car was completely gutless, and in September '96 my wife wrote it off. The Insurance company payed £2,000 for it, so I ended up making a profit anyway!!

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

Review Date: 23rd July, 2002

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews