1993 Rover - Austin 800 Si Fastback ABS 2.0 T-series from Netherlands

Summary:

I love it!!!

Faults:

- The clutch slave cylinder leaked and had to be replaced.

- The electric windows on the driver's side wouldn't open; I got this fixed (soldering the contacts under the switch in the door).

General Comments:

I love the fastback design, great interior, especially the seats. The only minor problem is that some plastic parts rattle at certain speeds.

The ride comfort is very good, although it's a very soft ride and the cornering is a little unpredictable, though very stable.

Acceleration and fuel consumption are very good for a car of this size and age - I manage about 35 mpg on average.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2009

1993 Rover - Austin 800 825D 2.5 TD from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cheap, reliable and elegant

Faults:

The clutch slave cylinder failed, new part was £120.

New radiator and (secondhand) cooling fan required - £100.

Replaced the heater switch as it was only working on one speed - £10 secondhand.

General Comments:

This old barge was a bit of a bargain at £180 with a long MOT, but it needed a little work - still, I can't complain, because these problems could easily have struck a car costing 10 times as much.

Although Rover build quality has been much derided over the years this car still drives with a lot of grace, no creaks and no groans. A solidly built car, and doing exceptionally well for the mileage on it.

Driving is a bit like being at sea around corners, but it holds the road very well even at very high speeds and rides with a bit of dignity. The steering is too light and doesn't give you much information. It's not a car to hustle, but it can cope reasonably well with it...

The interior is very '80s (it's basically the same as the mk1 Rover 800 launched in 1986) and it's disappointing that Rover carried on with it up until the year 2000. The buttons are scattered everywhere - adjuster for the dashboard lights at the bottom of the centre console anyone? The materials are mostly hard and cheap-looking, but the design is "endearing" and preferable to the often very boring and equally cheap Honda dashboards found in later Rovers. Headroom is tight in the front, probably because the sunroof takes up so much space, but accommodation in the rear is very good, even with the front seats right back on their runners. The boot is huge though, you could stash a good few corpses in there, if you wanted...

VM's 425 OHV engine (shared with Ford Scorpio TD, Jeep Cherokee TD, Chrysler Voyager TD, etc.) is very good despite its weird backwards design - pushrods and valves instead of cams, gear driven instead of belt/chain driven, but it makes it a tough and friendly old thing. It has around the same torque as the sporting 820 Vitesse models, so accelerating is a cinch, but unlike the Vitesse it has the potential for 50MPG. I manage to derive about 40MPG from it, but factor in that it runs well on vegetable oil from the supermarket and it's the cost equivalent of 80MPG.

The exterior styling has grown on me, subtle and elegant - but then most see it as an old man's car which should be in the scrappy. The body is in very good condition for such a cheap old car with only two small rust scabs and a little laquer peeling off the boot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2006

1993 Rover - Austin 800 Sterling Honda 2.7 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

It will never lose its 'old git's mobile' image, but the performance and comfort are hard to beat

Faults:

The suspension top joints find it hard to cope with the extra engine weight. They have been changed at least 3 times.

The rotor arm shattered once. My fault!

Air con 'o' ring leaked. Big wow!

Electric seats/windows an have intermittent fault.

Ignition switch needs cleaning or changing.

General Comments:

I know nothing had been done to the car when I bought it and nothing, other than the above, has been done to it since, so, considering its mileage, I would say it has proved to be an incredibly reliable car.

A real woofer in tweeter's clothing. These motors can take your kiddies hot hatches at lights effortlessly... whilst still picking your nose!

Interior refinement and comfort is extraordinary. Doe skin leather, climate control, cruise control, electric everything. My only criticism is that the driver's seat sits a little high due to all the electronics underneath it, but if you have never had a standard 800 to compare it to, you would never notice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2005