1992 Rover - Austin Metro SL 1.4 8v from UK and Ireland
I love it!
Tyre wear can be high on front tyres if the car is pushed to limits at which it can easily cope. Although I advise purchase of T (rather than S) rater tyres as they last longer.
Rust can be a problem, as with most older rovers, especially watch out for the rear wheel arches and around the jacking points (can lead to an MOT fail).
Head gaskets are a common problem with K-series engines although regular checks while making general engine oil/water checks can spot the problem and prevent a major problem.
On mine the water pump is starting to go, and after long runs - the radiator hence needs topping up.
Other main problems include maintenace of the hydragas suspension system as lower ride heights result in a far less smooth ride, reduced handling, and also bottoming out (of the manifold) on speed humps.
For an onld, cheap to buy 8v car the metro engine is very good. Free reeving with good mid range talk means that it is surprisingly nippy - especially on back roads where you can keep up with bigger sportier (and heavier) cars.
Recently I was told that it handles like a go kart - you point it and it goes, although in winter understear can become a problem with the narrow tyres.
The cabin, especially with the beige trim looks smart and is comfortable, although the standard Philips radio is substandard (the speakers are good).
Running costs are low, I average 35MPG at worst and parts are reasonably priced.
I have driven the car for over 6 years and I have had no major problems with it, just a lot of tyres.
Cheap to buy, cheap to run, nippy and good handling. For the price I don't think you could do better now.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th December, 2004