Used Rover 75 Saloon 1999 - 2005 review

Category: Family car

The Rover 75 is a comfortable, refined motorway hauler with a superb, supple ride

Rover 75 Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Rover 75 Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Rover 75 Saloon (99 - 05)
Used Rover 75 Saloon 1999 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Rover 75 saloon like?

Think of the Rover 75 as a comfortable, archetypally British take on a German small executive car. It was conceived when BMW ran the show at Rover and there was no way it was going to tread on the toes of any existing BMW. So, while the 75 grips well in corners, there's too much lean and the steering is too blunt for it to be as thrilling to drive as its German rivals.

However, it absorbs bumps and potholes supremely well - almost like a limo - and is a relaxed, effortless long-distance motor. If you want to shrink distances while sitting comfortably in the surroundings of a gentleman's club, look no further.


The Rover 75 is a comfortable, refined motorway hauler with a superb, supple ride

  • It's excellent over long distances and smoothes out bumps like a luxury car
  • The rear seats are cramped and you get a much sharper drive from its German rivals

There's a wooden dash and big, inviting seats, together with plenty of retro touches, such as sepia-tinted dials. You'll have no problem getting settled behind the wheel, but expect to hear complaints from rear passengers about the lack of space. Rear vision for the driver isn't great, either. Still, the boot's a good size, although the rear bench doesn't fold.

Ownership cost

What used Rover 75 saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Rover 75 saloon?

Prices got a good kicking when Rover went down the pan and they've never recovered, so you'll be able to snap up a 75 for a keen price. But, because the 75 is already pretty cheap, any loss of value in the future is likely to be comparatively modest.

Bear in mind that no 75 will have a manufacturer's warranty - that died with Rover - so you may want to budget for mechanical breakdown insurance to help cover any remaining teething troubles on newer 75s.

Servicing costs are pretty reasonable - not far off the cost of maintaining a Ford Mondeo and less than more upmarket motors such as a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class.

The 2.0 CDT is also very frugal (49mpg on average) and even the 2.5 V6 should deliver close to 30mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Rover 75 saloon should I buy?

The best engine, in our view, is the BMW-sourced 2.0 CDT turbodiesel. It just suits the 75's character so well - smooth, punchy, frugal and extremely quiet. In fact, you can barely hear it, unless you take it to maximum revs, which you won't because there's so much pull long before you get there.

The rest of the line-up are all petrol engines: a reasonable non-turbo 1.8, a much keener 1.8 turbo, a 2.0 V6 that feels underpowered and a 2.5 V6 that seems to have sourced its 174 horses from poor stock. Of these, the 1.8 turbo gives the best all-round balance of performance, economy and refinement.

Classic trim goes without air-conditioning, so we'd upgrade to Club spec, which also adds electric rear windows. Connoisseur brings electrically adjustable leather seats and chrome door mirrors and any car badged SE should have cruise control and a CD multi-changer.

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