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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The 75 is cheap, well equipped and practical, and comes with olde-worlde charm

Against Reliability problems

Verdict Feels like a car from a bygone age brought up to date, and it's a good load-carrier, too

Go for… 2.0 CDTi Connoisseur

Avoid… 2.5 V6 Connoisseur

Rover 75 Tourer
  • 1. Watch for leaking head gaskets on the V6 and 1.8 petrols
  • 2. Cooling fans sometimes pack up on cars after four to five years
  • 3. Clutches are a weak point, so check the gearchanges are smooth and the clutch bites properly
  • 4. Intruding rear suspension narrows the otherwise good boot
  • 5. The load area is deceptively roomy
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Rover 75 Tourer full review with expert trade views

The 75 is a cushy cruiser that looks as if it was designed in the 1960s. The cabin on all but the entry-level Classic drips with wood and leather, while the instruments resemble the dials from an old Bakelite radio. Meanwhile, the fat front chairs are comfy, but take up too much room.

The load area is roomier than it looks, although the intruding rear suspension narrows the available space. Lots have cabins trimmed in pale colours, which get shabby quickly and the fabrics look too delicate to stand a tough life.

The 1.8 petrol engines and 2.0 diesel are good, but the 2.5 V6 feels a bit weak and there are plenty of complaints about it developing faults.

All models have plenty of kit, and they’re good to drive in a slushy, relaxed sort of way. But, probably the most attractive thing about a 75 is its low price, although you should remember that, following Rover’s demise, there’s no dealer back-up should problems occur.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Classic styling still desirable. Boot space doesn't compromise passengers

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Go for the diesel. This 2.0 CDTi engine comes courtesy of Rover’s one-time owner, BMW. It is a hard worker, but smooth with it. It’s also capable of reaching high mileages without causing grief.

Of the petrols, the 1.8 is fine if you take it easy, but the 1.8 turbo is much better. We’d avoid the 2.5, which feels limp for a V6, has an unhealthy thirst for fuel and may need expensive repairs.

The base Classic models make do with fabric seats and plastic wheel covers, but move up to the Connoisseur and you get leather trim and alloy wheels that suit the car perfectly. ‘Contemporary’ models attempt a more modern look for the cabin, which doesn’t look right. A face-lift of the range for 2004 tidied the dash, beefed up the front grille and merged the twin headlamps into one.

Buy from car supermarkets or independent dealers specialising in estates.

Trade view

John Owen

BMW build quality but no more dealer support

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Tourers are cheap to buy, but you're getting an old design without dealers to support it. Reliability isn’t a strong point, and although getting spare parts shouldn’t cause problems yet, there are reports that some replacement body panels are in short supply.

Future depreciation should not be a worry, though, because most of the car's value has already vanished.

Day-to-day running costs are reasonable, too, helped by the fact that you’ll be using independent garages for servicing, which are usually cheaper than main dealers.

Insurance costs are low - most models slot into groups 8 or 9, although the 2.5 V6 pushes up into group 14 - and fuel economy is reasonable. The diesel is good for up to 48mpg across a mix of driving, while the 1.8 petrol should manage up to 36mpg and the 1.8 turbo 35mpg. The 2.5 V6 struggles to 30mpg.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Classic styling still desirable. Boot space doesn't compromise passengers

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The 75 gets an average-to-poor rating from the What Car? Reliability Index, and Rover's lack of a dealer network means servicing is carried out to varying standards and some items may be missed.

Cars finished in 2005, just before Rover went bust, were - by some accounts - pretty shoddy. So if you’re buying one of the last, a professional pre-purchase inspection is wise.

Otherwise, watch for leaking head gaskets on the V6 and 1.8 petrols, and check for coolant system leaks. Cooling fans sometimes pack up on cars after four to five years and, if the driver doesn’t notice the temperature gauge rising until it hits the red, the engine can cook.

ECU failure is also possible, and given away by misfires and poor starting. Clutches are a weak point, too, so check that the car changes gear smoothly and that the clutch bites properly.

Trade view

John Owen

BMW build quality but no more dealer support

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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