Rover 200 (SD3)
Following on from the highly successful Triumph Acclaim, Austin Rover decided that its next joint venture with Honda should wear the Viking longship. For most people, this was a culture shock, considering that the Rover name had traditionally been the preserve of large cars.
So when the Honda Ballade-based 213 hit the market in 1984, the dealers and marketing people had quite some work to do. But it didn’t take long for the word to get out – here was a Rover that was reliable and efficient, with sweet-running Honda drivertrain, and within months of going on sale the 213 was mixing it in the UK top 10 sellers’ list.
The car was soon sold as a premium product within the Austin Rover line-up. The 200 range was extended in 1985 to include a locally-produced 1.6-litre S-Series engine, which was also available in fuel-injection form for the Vitesse version. 1987 saw the range lightly facelifted to include more equipment, a re-profiled boot lid, and uprated dashboard – subtle changes that really boosted sales.
In the end, the 200 would go on to out-sell the so-called volume-production Maestro and Montego, and setting its maker on a more upmarket course. All-round reliability was excellent, but the body suffered from horrendous rot all over, and as a consequence, not many are left now.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
For some, it was a badge too far, but for others, it was a sensible new direction for the Rover marque. Which ever side of the ‘Ro-nda’ fence you sit on, there’s no denying the Rover 213 and 216 were a good move for a struggling BL, and demonstrated that people would pay extra for […]
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Craig Cheetham If it weren’t for time, space and money, I’d have probably bought at least 50 cars already this year (I also say that every year, but hey). Irrespective of that, this one’s a bit special. According to howmanyleft.co.uk, there were only 18 Rover 216 Vitesse EFis still registered in the UK by the end of […]
Most of us know the Montego, along with the Leyland Roadrunner, celebrated a 30th birthday this year. Also, back in 1984, the Rover 200 was introduced – an important product that today, almost seems forgotten in classic car circles. Mike Humble stumbled upon the sole surviving early 216 Vitesse… and this one’s rather special too! […]
Keith Adams As the relative hoopla surrounding the quarter century racked up by the Rover R8 (200/400) this week dies down, I feel that it’s down to me to restore a little balance to proceedings. As you can see, it’s going to be a little ditty to the original Rover 200 series (which was nicknamed […]
Craig Cheetham Mind the cyclist, dear… because if you see this driving towards you, chances are you might take your eyes off the road for few moments… Cheshire Auto Promotions’ two annual Tatton Park classic car shows are always good for unearthing the odd gem – the Car Mart section might not be huge, but […]
David Morgan Yes, on 19 June 1984, Austin Rover Group unveiled the new generation Rover 200 Series, initially offered in 213 guise and four trim levels – and later to become known by its unofficial internal codename, SD3. Okay, so not everyone warmed to this new, smaller and less luxurious looking compact Rover. Some thought it […]
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Original Story: John Coles – Sun on Sunday Rover’s little feel good saloon as we all know, was a massive success for the Austin Rover Group from 1984 through to 1990. The first of the proper collaborations between ARG and Honda, the 200 range not only looked posh, but for the first time in a […]
Keith Adams If you’re in the market to re-live a prime slice of 1980s motoring (or indeed 1990s BBC sitcoms), then this Rover 213S, which has just popped up for sale on Car and Classic will be right up your street. Claimed by the seller to have a mere 12 miles on the clock, it’s […]
One car that marked a milestone in the long and chequered history of BL Cars Ltd was the Rover 200 range of 1984. Another collaboration with Honda akin to the Acclaim, but with much more British input and proving to the world that we could screw a car together. Nimble, compact and with svelte interiors […]