Used Rover 25 Hatchback 1999 - 2005 review

Category: Small car

The Rover 25 is a cheap supermini with a decent drive, but well past its sell-by date

Rover 25 Hatchback (99 - 05)
  • Rover 25 Hatchback (99 - 05)
  • Rover 25 Hatchback (99 - 05)
Used Rover 25 Hatchback 1999 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Rover 25 hatchback like?

The Rover 25 is a reworked 200 - and far better for the revisions.

Steer clear of the diesel, and you won't have any complaints about the engine. All the petrols respond willingly for their size and go easy on the juice. They can sound a little rowdy when you're going for it, though.


The Rover 25 is a cheap supermini with a decent drive, but well past its sell-by date

  • The 25 is cheap, quiet and has a roomy boot
  • Fuel consumption is good on petrols, too
  • The interior is plain, build quality is iffy
  • the turbodiesel is unrefined and safety standards are poor

And you'll certainly do that, because the 25 handles well enough to make back roads fun. The ride is firm at town speeds, but the suspension works well once the car's going a bit quicker and it absorbs motorway creases well. The car's also nicely refined on a cruise.

However, with nothing else to concentrate on, you can't help but notice the cabin, which is bland and drab: it's a bad combination. Still, it's all laid out logically, and, fiddly stereo buttons apart, easy to use. The driving position isn't the best, though.

Inside, you get reasonable space for passengers, and the boot is family-shop friendly. However, getting at the back seats in the three-door is difficult.

Ownership cost

What used Rover 25 hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Rover 25 hatchback?

Used prices nose-dived when Rover went bust, but they've since stabilised. However, they're still nice and low (good news for buyers), just no longer dropping like an elevator in a horror movie (good news for selling on again later).

Routine servicing won't put too much of a dent in your wallet, and neither will filling up at the pumps - just over 40mpg for the 1.1 and 1.4, high-30s mpg for the 1.6 and 1.8, and low-50s for the 2.0 TD.

Our recommendations

Which used Rover 25 hatchback should I buy?

Not the turbodiesel. It's like diesels used to be before they got smooth, strong and refined. Worst of all, you'll probably pay extra for the privilege of being saddled with the worst engine.

All of the petrols (1.1, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8) are eager, while the 148bhp 1.8 VVC turns the 25 into a respectable hot hatch. They're also economical, but our money would go on the 1.4.

And, we'd recommend you go for a five-door, too, unless you rarely use the back seats. Access to them in the three-door is a contorted affair.

Many 25s have air-con, but otherwise, it's a bit spartan for creature comforts and safety kit - a passenger's airbag was an option, and only the plush models have anti-lock brakes. Basic spec is no-name 'i', and E ups the ante only slightly, so aim for the L or sportier S.

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