1982 Rover - Austin SD1 Reviews

1982 Rover - Austin SD1 SE 3.5 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission 3.5 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.5 / 10
Distance when acquired215000 kilometres
Most recent distance230000 kilometres
Previous carFord Falcon

Summary:

Beauty and the Beast, but beauty wins

Faults:

The front suspension struts needed replacing, as did the ball joints. The water pump went. Then there were 5 dashboard switches, the radiator, the cylinder head was getting rattly. Mainly it was silly things; like the sunroof that wouldn't close one day when it started to rain, but just before I had a heart attack, it closed. Or the rear wiper that sometimes wouldn't work when I was reversing, but by the time I was about to drive forward & wasn't bothered, it wiped... Plus small trim irritations. It was in the garage at least once a month.

General Comments:

I loved this car & despite the fact that I could barely afford to run it & cycled most places to save it the short journeys, it was the only car (out of 9) that I actually loved. It was a dream to have one as a boy & even toward the end of the 2 years I had her, I would still look at her from my windows at night. She was a dream to drive, except for spongy brakes, endemic tothe SD1. On rainy nights, it felt like I was driving in the dry. All in all, a beautiful car & I want another, especially as now I can put an SD1 to reserve car duty as I already have a disposable Japanese hatchback. I highly recommend an SD1 if you can run it as a second car & pamper it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2005

1982 Rover - Austin SD1 2600 SE 2.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired52495 miles
Most recent distance55234 miles
Previous carFord Granada

Summary:

Bargain luxury car

Faults:

Nothing gone wrong with the car since I acquired it, and would definitley recommend one to anyone, as they are cheap to buy.

General Comments:

Comfortable long distance cruiser. Quite happy to cruise at 115MPH where legal. Beats most hot hatch trash away from the lights. Very quick and fast for very little money. I only paid £200 for mine.

Good specification too, electric windows, power steering, alloys, central locking, air con, sunroof and all for 200 quid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2001

1982 Rover - Austin SD1 3500SE 3.5 V8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 3.5 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired148000 miles
Most recent distance198000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro

Summary:

Age defying design propelled by a classy V8 motor!

Faults:

The car was a bit of a shed when I bought it. There was a bad engine earth so the car sometimes would only start on N and not in P and then the starter motor packed in.

I knew that the car was a bit of a rust bucket when I bought it, but these cars rarely give structural rust problems, only cosmetic (door bottoms, wheel arches, leading edge of the bonnet). Cheap prices mean that repairs/replacement of rusty panels is fairly easy.

"Green Flag" breakdowns include a burst radiator pipe (my fault), alternator pulley that ate fan belts, ignition switch failure and the headlight switch that broke apart. Other than that, perfectly reliable for an 18 year old car - and a BL car at that...

General Comments:

European Car of the Year 1977. Tow Car of the Year too.

The V8 engine is probably the reason why these cars have become classics in their own right. The straight six engines can be made to be reliable too.

There are a growing number of committed parts and garage specialists who can help you to keep these cars on the road. Run the V8 on LPG for even greater cost savings!

The interiors are (for the driver and front passenger at least) very roomy and very comfortable. Not quite armchair motoring, but not far off it. Some switches become delicate with age though. Beware of sagging headlining and temperamental electric window motors. And if the heater doesn't work, the whole dash has to come out.

There are at least two car clubs for the model so you will never be alone with your SD1.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2001

3rd Sep 2001, 17:59

Totally agree with you! I have owned 7 of these cars, and only ever been let down once with a faulty wire on the fuel pump... Mind you I recently bought a 1987 Jaguar XJ40 for very reasonable money. You really should try one!

21st Feb 2004, 01:04

For the price that we paid for our Rover, it has been a wonderful buy. Yes, we have had some minor faults with it, but nothing major. It is the best car we have driven.

1982 Rover - Austin SD1 SE 3500 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 3500 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired69000 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles

Summary:

Bargain flying machine

Faults:

Well...... the master cylinder on the clutch went, the rear drivers door & hatchback locks broke, there was a little rust in the boot, doors and bonnet. And a bloody annoying squeak from the bushings..

General Comments:

A great car and one that I really enjoy using at weekends! Love the V8 and comfort..... I would really love another one (Vitesse).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2000

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 4 reviews