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Rover 45 Hatchback (99 - 05) review

(1999 - 2005)
Rover 45 Hatchback
Review continues below...

Which used Rover 45 hatchback should I buy?

Ignore the diesel versions, for a start. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is available in two states of tune, 100 and 110bhp, yet even the more powerful version fails to do the business. It's short of low-down punch and, perhaps more crucially, it's unrefined. If you want a quiet, civilised life, it's best avoided.

The 2.0-litre KV6 engine was well received and worked well with the Steptronic CVT automatic gearbox, but whether such a small car merited such a large engine is debateable.

Certainly we have always favoured the smallest and simplest, in the form of the 102bhp 1.4, although the 107bhp 1.6 and 115bhp 1.8 are impressive, too.

In April 2004, the 45's exterior was revised and the interior freshened up. There were further enhancements in 2005, and before the end came, final-spec GLI cars had alloy wheels and leather trim. It's worth sourcing a GSI if you can, because that also gets air-con.

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Which used Rover 45 hatchback should I buy?

Ignore the diesel versions, for a start. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is available in two states of tune, 100 and 110bhp, yet even the more powerful version fails to do the business. It's short of low-down punch and, perhaps more crucially, it's unrefined. If you want a quiet, civilised life, it's best avoided.

The 2.0-litre KV6 engine was well received and worked well with the Steptronic CVT automatic gearbox, but whether such a small car merited such a large engine is debateable.

Certainly we have always favoured the smallest and simplest, in the form of the 102bhp 1.4, although the 107bhp 1.6 and 115bhp 1.8 are impressive, too.

In April 2004, the 45's exterior was revised and the interior freshened up. There were further enhancements in 2005, and before the end came, final-spec GLI cars had alloy wheels and leather trim. It's worth sourcing a GSI if you can, because that also gets air-con.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here