1985 Rover - Austin SD1 Vanden Plas EFi 3.5 V8 from Australia and New Zealand
Great bang for your buck
Chronic starter motor problems which were eventually fixed by splashing out and buying a brand new starter.
A few electrical niggles, but nothing too bad.
I love these cars (I have another) and would not drive anything else. They are comfortable, stylish (even 15 years down the track) and the simplicity of the engine and running gear means anyone can work on it themselves.
It's just a pleasure to own.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th July, 2000
3rd Mar 2004, 04:36
Does anyone have a review for a 1985 rover sd1 2300 's' if so could you e-mail me one thanks my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th Dec 2004, 06:10
I owned a 1985 Vanden Plas for two years (1995-97). I had a great experience with a Rover P6B 3500 which I owned for 11 years and when I sold it at the age of 19 it owed me nothing! The Rover SE was a disaster! During my ownership:
1. I had to replace the Boge dampers with conventional ones (new springs made to allow this)
2. McPherson strut discovered to be bent, replaced - could be attributed to abuse by previous owner, but what in blazes could bend it?
3. Fuel consumption improved from 12mpg to a best ever recorded 16mpg (!) after cleaning injectors, new plugs and tune up, etc.
4. Despite cooling system flush and checking of head gaskets, compression, water pump and thermostat, engine still ran warm to hot in anything approaching mild weather. Radiator expansion tank absurdly small. On one occasion I drove in city traffic on a warm day with the temp gauge stable and reading normal. I had inadvertently left the cap off the expansion tank and for better or worse I drove the car without a hassle with an unpressurised cooling system for the following year.
5. Needlessly complex exhaust system corroded throughout (admittedly wear & tear), replaced by a simple (why didn't Rover do it?) direct pipe from Y-pipe to rear with one large, universal muffler. This also cured the problem of exhaust fumes entering the cabin - I never discovered the reason for it happening.
Once the car was sorted out, cruising on the freeway with the roof open and reclining in that leather armchair with my long-suffering girlfriend (now wife) was the best ride of my life.