1984 Rover - Austin Maestro HLE 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Economical Load Carrier


Fuel pump replaced (Rover wanted £40), got one from local parts shop for £11.

Automatic choke failed on vehicle, therefore had a manual one fitted.

Other than that, nothing that I can remember.

General Comments:

This was the HLE version of the Maestro, complete with 3 speed and overdrive VW gearbox. It also had a silly light display in the centre of the dash, graduated from green to red to tell you when you were driving at the most economical speed. Bit of a gimmick really.

The car itself though was very versatile and was very roomy inside.

As to the A plus series engine, well it was ancient, but never gave any trouble.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

29th Jul 2009, 13:06

I had 1.3HLE. Impressed with legroom for rear passengers, general feeling of interior space and airiness. There was no power assisted steering, it didn't need it.

The straight line stability in a cross wind at speed on a motorway was amazing. Any Golf I have driven cannot come anywhere near it in this respect.

The 3 plus E gearbox was too widely spaced. 3rd gear often was often treated as top if high speed progress was to be maintained.

The luminous bar scale in the centre of the dashboard, was great if you wanted to drive economically around town and also at speeds no greater than 55 to 60 mph out of town. In a so-called professional review, this device was referred to as "a crude indicator of accelerator depression"

It was in fact a vacuum gauge display of the amount of suction in the carburettor. Using this device which was a great training aid to economical driving, made 42 - 56mph easily achievable in a variety of driving conditions.

It taught me how to drive economically, not necessarily slowly, in other cars since without a vacuum gauge.

In 15 years of ownership - the auto choke was changed to manual, 2 clutch cables were replaced and the only unscheduled garage job was a new water pump. Apart from this I did my own servicing. It was simple to work on.

Body rust-proofing could have been better, and the push rod 1.3 engine was noisy when revved hard.

1984 Rover - Austin Maestro L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Typical British Leyland - great concept, poor execution


This was a company lease car, so I have no record of what went wrong - so long as it started and ran who cared? It got its regular services, and anything it needed got fixed.

It did rattle a lot as it got older.

General Comments:

When the car was delivered I had a look round it and thought - Yes, for once British Leyland are getting it right.

This was a deceptive package - a roomy comfortable five door hatchback with a small 1.3 litre engine.

The longer I had it, the more disappointed I was. The concept was good, but build quality was poor. By the time it went back off lease, it rattled and shook, particularly around the fascia, which had a constant rattle.

I did not have it long enough to have any rust problems, but most of them were showing serious rust by the time they were 5 - 6 years old, and there are few of them around now.

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

Review Date: 27th February, 2003

13th May 2003, 08:00

This is no worse than my German built VW Golf - it has various rattles and needed plenty of repairs under warranty. Maybe British cars deserve their reputation, but how does Germany get away with building complete junk?

20th Jun 2003, 06:42

Hmmmm while I agree with the comments about the maestro I find it very hard to believe about the Golf. From the many I have seen and known people to have owned I think you unfortunately got a one off lemon.

1984 Rover - Austin Maestro LE 1.3 petrol from Poland


The only thing that went wrong with the car was the rear glass heating switch.

General Comments:

I was really fond of this dynamic and unique (to me at least) British car. I found the suspension extremely well-balanced which made it possible to use 100% of what the car had to offer.

Sorry, I had to sell it...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 1998