1990 Rover - Austin 800 820e 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland
Good looking, excellent value big car. But can suffer with fairly major electrical problems with age
A lot has gone wrong. Starting with the rear screen de-mister, which was un-noticeable until Winter.
One problem that I thought was an inactive temperature gauge, which I ignored for over a year. It turned out to be the thermostat in the engine which had jammed, causing the engine to permanently be in "warming up" mode (ie choke out). The temperate gauge WAS correct, the engine had just never warmed up in over a year.
Had to replace the engine management computer due to internal corruption causing erratic behaviour. It got to the stage of taking your foot off the accelerator, and the engine would die - VERY dangerous as it is a large, heavy car, which relies on servo brakes and PAS. When this happened to me at speed on several occaisons on the way to the dealer, I came into some rather un-nerving situations.
The mechanism on one of the rear doors has broken irrepairably. The other rear door lock won't unlock on the central locking system during cold months.
Condensation in the front indicators.
Radio cassette wouldn't play cassettes without chewing them up.
Paint has begun to fade, most noticeably on the plastic boot-lip spoiler.
Big 195/70 HR14 tyres can be difficult to get hold of in some areas.
Alternator went defective, resulting in the engine getting no charge whatsoever. Really confused the breakdown call-out guy in Tesco's carpark. Only managed to start it with a LARGE power pack, and then when it was disconnected, the engine stopped.
Being the single point injection model, whenever the battery gets disconnected, the fuel computer loses its memory and the car needs to be taken to a Rover dealer to be reprogrammed (which costs).
Aside from all the problems, it is a great car. It is nice to look at, being the extended bumper model. In flame red, all shined up, it looks really snazzy.
The engine still purrs (albeit quite loudly now - and after initial ticking) and it can pull quite readily.
Loads of internal space in the fastback model. Managed to get a full size Single Divan including mattress into the load area (front seats moved forward a bit, and couldn't quite close the back).
Measly specification as it is only one model above the basic 820.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th December, 2000