1985 Rover - Austin Maestro Vanden Plas 1.6 from UK and Ireland


If you want an old nippy car that is cheap to run and comfortable, this is great


Head gasket went recently.

Using a lot of oil.

Used to use loads of petrol.

General Comments:

I was not sure about the car because it had Austin wrote on the back.

But I have been impressed.

It is cheap to run and is very nippy.

It is extremely comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2002

1985 Rover - Austin Maestro 2.0 injection from UK and Ireland


Dirt-cheap performance and reliability offset by high insurance


CV joints.

Camshaft seal.

Broken rear door handle.

General Comments:

Despite 100000 miles of abuse over 15 years this car is boringly reliable.

Body rot is the weak point, particularly around the rear shocks. I have had to do a lot of welding.

Very little street cred!

Outrageous insurance group 14!!)

Still sees off newer stuff from the lights.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2001

1985 Rover - Austin Maestro Vanden Plas 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


If this car was a horse I would have shot it!


Front wheel bearings needed replacing.

New clutch plate.

New steering rack.

New brakes - front and rear.

Constant electrical problems.

Trip computer never worked.

Rusted badly in the time I had it (like all Maestros).

Various other problems I can't remember.

General Comments:

This car cost me £750 (in 1994) and I had to spend another £700 during the year I had it just to keep it on the road.

The only redeeming feature was its engine, which never required any attention and was fairly quick (and thirsty - 25mpg).

The most amazing thing was when somebody went into the back of it and wrote it off - I got £800 back from the insurers when it wasn't even worth £200!

Having also owned an old Metro my advice is to steer clear of any old Austin car like a Metro/Maestro/Montego, even if they are being given away as they are all rusting piles of scrap that you will need to take a mortgage out on just to keep them running!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2000

27th Nov 2000, 18:43

I own a 1985 Maestro Vanden Plas, and while it's true that just about all Maestros have a tendency to rust, if they're well looked after they will give you years of reliable running. I've had mine for 2 years now, and apart from bodywork, have only needed minor things doing to it in that time.

I find the engine is nippy and reliable, with great fuel economy (30-40mpg on motorway journeys) and with virtually no emissions at the last MOT. I've had the odd electronic niggle with temperature sensing, but this was easily cured with the replacement of the fan switch.

On the whole, I would recommend a Maestro as a reliable, roomy and well-performing family car. Given the TLC that any car deserves, there is no reason why your Maestro should not give you many, many years of pleasure, and who knows, in 5 years time yours may be a shining example of what could all-too-easily become a rare breed.

PS My car was recently at the NEC classic car show with the Vanden Plas Owners Club - another benefit of putting a little effort into a deserving car.

1985 Rover - Austin Maestro Vanden Plas 1.6 S series petrol from UK and Ireland


I bought it second hand, so the brakes needed work, also the bearings have been replaced, the clutch, the timing belt and a few minor electrical faults (the electronic fuel used system never worked) also the gear linkage dropped off on the M1 motorway.

General Comments:

The car is 12 years old, now covered 140 thousand miles, the body has needed it's first "weld" to pass the MOT, (under offisde rear sill, the car in general works fine, but the body work has accumulated several dents, and it's rusting steadily.. (anyone recommend a good bodyshop in the midlands?)

Mechanically it's pretty good, and excellent for motorways.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 1998

1st May 2001, 06:30

I purchased a Vanden Plas model! What a bargain, the car was cheaper than the road tax and will last for a few more months to boot!!

14th Aug 2002, 11:14

I have got a maestro 2.0L turbo and there is more rust round the wheel arches than there is on a 20 year old skoda.