1976 Rover - Austin Maxi 1.8 Litre petrol from UK and Ireland


Great concept - deserved to do better


The front brake calipers seized regularly. They were sliding calipers -there was only one hydraulic piston which pushed one brake pad on, and the reaction caused the whole caliper to slide in a groove and bring the other brake pad on to the disc - the groves were forever getting rusty and dirty, the caliper would stick, and one pad would have to do all the work, and consequently wore out fast. I got to be quite expert at stripping the front brake assembly.

I am sure there were other problems, I cannot remember them from so long ago, but there were no major engine/gearbox/auxilary component failures.

General Comments:

This was an unrecognised great design for a car, but it suffered from all the troubles of British Leyland in the 1970's, and poor attention to detail - like the front brakes.

The concept was brilliant. A big version of the Mini, with a 1.75 litre cross engine driving the front wheels. Lots and lots of space inside, good luggage carrier, and a heavy, solid car.

The adhesion on the road was good, but they had a reputation as a poor drivers car due to an upright seating position in relation to the steering wheel and a vague gearshift. I never found any problem with the gearshift - it was a long shift stick coming out the floor, but it worked fine.

Ours had a front end accident with a wall - nobody got hurt, but it was time to part company with it. I think older ones had rust problems - lots of curved panels and rust traps underneath.

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

Review Date: 27th February, 2003

27th Oct 2005, 07:59

My dad had a Maxi 1750 as our family transport in the early 80's and I remember it being lively, comfortable, spacious and actually very reliable. The 5-speed box was also a relative rarity then, let alone when the car was built in 1975.

One amusing thing I recall though was helping my dad change the engine oil once and hearing a loud "plop" as soon as the drain plug was removed. Looking into the oil container, we found a ball bearing the size of a garden pea which had dropped out of the engine with the old engine oil. Twenty years on, my dad still has it in his garage as a souvenir.

To this day we have no idea where it came from or how long it had been rattling around in the sump, but the engine didn't seem to be any the worse for wear, and still ran as well as ever afterwards. What a car!

1979 Rover - Austin Maxi 1.7 from UK and Ireland


Dire, '70's relic that deserves to be laid to rest - NOW!


The front suspension collapsed.

The steering rack failed.

The front wheel bearings seized.

The head gasket went at 69000, which resulted in a constant oil leak after the repairs.

The tail gate struts would not hold the boot open!

The drivers door lock failed and snapped the key!!!

The headlights failed one lovely wet night and I had to drive home on sidelights - NOT recommended!

The radio blew a fuse and caused an electric fire - Unfortunately it didn't spread and put itself out!

General Comments:

Possible the worst car EVER on Gods green earth. I actually can't believe that the Maxi was designed by Issigonis the man behind the Mini!

A prehistoric '70's Dinosaur which became the bane of my life. Never again will I look for a cheap car as a fill in! I will use public transport and be late for work and blame them - not my Austin Shed!

The only redeeming feature that the Maxi has is that the rear seats fold to make a double bed - just as well, as you will spend most of your time waiting at the side of the road either for the AA or the RAC!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th April, 2002

6th Nov 2002, 08:14

You are talking about a car that was designed in the 1950's, what do you expect. The Maxi is no more unreliable then any other car from that period and is one of the most practical cars ever built. No other car has the space inside that the Maxi offers.

11th Dec 2002, 16:31

I had five Maxis and three of them were awful, cost me a great deal of stress and £`s.Major failings included, engine seizure at 100000 miles, front cv joints, burning more oil that petrol, clutch problems, starting problems, rust and rot in sills, clutch slave cylinders ever popping, the only good maxi I had was built in 1977 and I did find that as the Maxi got to the end of it`s miserable life, the overall quality deteriorated, R.I.P.

18th Nov 2005, 03:30

Sounds pretty normal for a worn out 20 year old car.

14th Apr 2010, 06:40

For it's size, the Maxi was very roomy and practical. Same goes for the Maestro too. Still, I wouldn't own one these days...