Buying guide : Rover 75
Rover’s bargain 75 offers class, refinement and ability for not much money.
Richard Dredge gives you the low-down on the front wheel drive models…
|Body style:||4-door, 5-door estate|
|Engine options:||1796cc K-Series, 115bhp
1796cc K-Series Turbo, 150bhp
1991cc KV6-Series, 150bhp
2497cc KV6-Series, 177bhp
1951cc M47-Series CDT, 116/131bhp
|Transmission options:||5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic|
While the Rover range has had a hard time over recent years, the one model that has stood out is the 75. It may look retro inside and out, but it’s good to drive and well put together. Despite Rover’s recent problems, the 75 makes an excellent used buy – not least of all because you can now get so much more for your money. Buy a Tourer and you get a stylish load carrier – find a ZT260 V8 and you’ll get a bargain Q car that’s guaranteed to become a classic.
|The Rover 75/MG ZT range at a glance|
|June 1999||75 launched with choice of 120bhp 1.8, 150bhp 2.0 V6 or 177bhp
2.5 V6 petrol units. Also 116bhp 2.0CDT diesel engine available.
All have 5-speed manual gearbox or option of 5-speed auto, and
a choice of Classic (from 10/99), Club or Connoisseur trim levels.
|October 2000||Production of Longbridge 75s commences.|
|October 1999||SE packs available, offering more standard equipment.|
|January 2001||MG ZT and ZT-T launched, initially featuring the same engine range
as the Rover 75. Ride and handling are suitably tuned, and the
interior/exterior trim packs are given a more sporting emphasis.
|March 2001||Tourer (estate) launched; engines and trims the same as the saloons|
|November 2003||MG ZT 260 V8 is introduced. Available in standard and SE form, as
well (later) in Tourer form.
|January 2004||Facelift with new grille, bumpers, headlamps and upgraded interior
|May 2004||V8 introduced in saloon and estate forms with 256bhp 4.6-litre
engine. 17-inch alloys, climate control, leather trim and heated
seats are standard.
· The 2.0 diesel and 2.5 V6 petrol engines are reliable, but head gasket failure is common on 1.8 petrol engines because of its very low coolant capacity. Small leaks rapidly lead to overheating – the weakest point is the water-heated inlet manifold gasket.
· Make sure you get both keys with the car, and that neither of them have broken. If you have to replace them you could end up paying up to £150 apiece, by the time the necessary reporgramming has been done.
· Make sure all the electrics are working, as there have been reports of electrical problems. Be especially wary of the SRS connector to the seat, leading to the air bags failing – revised connectors are available to dealers to retro fit, eradicating the problem.
· Tyres often wear unevenly, especially at the rear. Some cars were supplied with misaligned suspension when new. It’s always a good idea to check rear tyre wear on early models, the best solution being to get a four-wheel alignment done. Front coil springs are also prone to breaking.
· Cabin can suffer water ingress (with consequent ECU problems) from blocked or kinked plenum chamber drains. This was fixed in later cars by a redesigned front drainage system. Check the three plenum drain points – one on each side and the centre one found at the base of the pollen filter and ECU.
|March 2000||Engine may cut out while the vehicle is being driven
(cars built 01/02/1998-08/10/1999)
|July 2002||Front suspension spring problems
(cars built 01/12/1998-27/10/1999)
|May 2004||Possible damage and deflation of tyre due to road spring
(cars built 27/10/1999-20/02/2002)
There are three service bands (A, B and C), with costs varying depending on whether the car is powered by 4, 6 or 8 cylinders as well as whether it’s petrol, diesel or LPG-powered. The transmission also affects servicing costs – automatics cost more to maintain.
The A-band service is done at 15, 45, 75 and 105,000 miles; the B-band is at 30 and 90,000 while the C band is at 60 and 120,000 miles. An A-band service costs £150 for all models while a B-band service is anywhere between £300 and £400 depending on model. A C-band service can cost up to £520, for an automatic diesel 75.
· Service intervals: 15,000 miles or 12 months, for all models
The pence-per-mile and retained value costs have been thrown into confusion by Rover’s woes – they’re not easy to guess at this stage but they will settle down in time.
· Insurance groups:
o 1.8 Classic 8
o 2.0 V6 Club 11
o 2.5 V6 Connoisseur 14
o 2.0 CDT Club SE 9
o Tourer 2.0 V6 Club 11
· Pence per mile:
o 1.8 Classic 47.8
o 2.0 V6 Club 56.0
o 2.5 V6 Connoisseur 62.8
o 2.0 CDT Club SE 50.6
o Tourer 2.0 V6 Club 59.8
· CO2 emissions (g/km)/tax liability:
o 1.8 Classic 185/19%
o 2.0 V6 Club 228/27%
o 2.5 V6 Connoisseur 225/27%
o 2.0 CDT Club SE 163/18%
o Tourer 2.0 V6 Club 232/28%
The recent Rover problems have ensured 75 residuals are softer than ever – which means now is the time to scoop a bargain. It’s reckoned that 75 values have been slashed by a third since Rover went bust, yet the cars are still good to drive and well built. For the price of a well-used (and possibly abused) Mondeo or 406, you could have a very nice Rover 75 or MG ZT.
We know which we’d rather have.