1989 Rover - Austin Maestro EFI 2.0 from UK and Ireland


MG Maestro Hot Hatch


Original engine started smoking badly at 60,000 miles. My first mistake was taking it to my local Rover dealer who promptly stated they hadn't a clue what was wrong with it. Left it in their "care" for 2 days, during which they did nothing, then when I rang them, stated it needed a new engine as valve guides etc etc were badly worn and it would cost £1200 for a new engine plus all their usual rip off charges. Decided against that, and had a recon engine fitted and all work done by local independent garage including getting a fault fixed on ecu for a total of £800.

Other than that, wheel bearings needed replacing on both sides at the front. Beyond that it was just wear and tear, although it did seem to eat michelin tyres on the front quite a bit, and had by the time I got rid of it started to succumb to the usual Maestro rear wheel arch rust.

General Comments:

Other than the faults I have detailed above, which all came pretty close together, I had 4 years of fun motoring all over the place with this vehicle. It was finished in a nice red and was the MG version. Only ever succumbed to burning off a baseball cap wearing boy racer on one occasion, and he got a nasty shock when his Escort was blown off the road by this car. The look on his face was a picture made my day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

1989 Rover - Austin Maestro 500 Van 2.0 diesel from UK and Ireland


A turbo would be nice. :o)


Since I've had the van next to nothing has gone wrong with it, all I've done are the usual things, filters, oil and tyres. The day after I bought it I did 1030 miles in 24 hours.

Just took it for an MOT and it failed on wiper blades, brake pipes across the back axle and the vacuum pump for the servo. Not a great deal for a 12/13 year old workhorse, that still looks better than a lot of other cars on the road.

Before I bought it I personally fitted new hand brake cables, rear shoes, N/S/F strut, new pads and a rear exhaust pipe. All of which was paid for, just prior to buying the vehicle.

General Comments:

I think I've said just about everything in the last column. I've made a few changes to it, such as car carpets, digital clock, centre console and Montego seats. It's still very bouncy though.

All said and done this is probably the best vehicle I've ever owned. Reliability, second to none. Go out and buy one now, before it's too late.

Trust me.

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

Review Date: 10th October, 2001

1989 Rover - Austin Maestro L 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Totally underrated car


1 front wheel bearing.

1 rear wheel bearing.

Headlamp bulb.

Number plate bulb.

Light in the clock.

Brake pads.

General Comments:

Very cheap to run, but getting uncomfortable now I commute from the Midlands to Luton daily.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2000

1989 Rover - Austin Maestro L 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A lot of car for not much loot


Not a huge amount really, the alternator failed, it's had a new front wheel bearing and a few interior trim bits.

Rust on the rear arches, but it is over 11 years old now!

General Comments:

Easy to run and maintain on a shoestring, nimble handling and lively performance make up for the rust on the rear arches of my particular car!

Very economical, returning around 32mpg on the urban, and upto 39mpg on long runs.

Also infinitely upgradeable, my car started life as an ordinary '1.6L' but it now has central locking, electric front windows, electric sunroof, electric heated mirrors, an early MG Maestro digital dashboard and trip computer, all the electric items previously mentioned bar the digital dash are totally modular and very easy to fit.

It also has a rear EFi anti-roll bar and MG Montego Turbo front anti-roll bar, MG Montego crossspoke alloys and is currently undergoing an engine swap in favor of an 'M' series 2.0 16v engine from a Rover 820Si, the latter is a bit a of a pain to do, but very much worth it!

If you prefer to buy a car and just drive it instead though, the Maestro is an unreasonably maligned car but it's a very worthwhile buy and very cheap along with it. Physically strong as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2000