eBay Find of the Week : Rover 45 with less than 2k miles on the clock…

Craig Cheetham

Thanks to AROnline reader Matthew Cooper for finding this one


The better part of £2,600 might seem like quite a lot of cash for a 12-year old Rover 45, especially when there are hundreds of half-decent examples still knocking around for between £500 and £1,000 (Indeed, as an aside, has anyone else noticed how much more rust-resilient 45s seem to be than the near identical 400 HH-R predecessor?).

So little use, you can even read the labels on the shock absorbers...
So little use, you can even read the labels on the shock absorbers…

Look at this the other way, though, and it’s like buying a nearly-new car for the fraction of the cost – the car, which is offered for sale in Purley, Surrey, has covered a mere 1,958 miles from new and has recently had a full service and brand new cambelt to cover the effects of aging.

I've covered more miles than this in the company car in the past three weeks...
I’ve covered more miles than this in the company car in the past three weeks…

As you might expect, the interior looks absolutely spotless, whilst under the bonnet the car is equally clean and grime-free.

Interior apparently smells like new...
Interior apparently smells like new…

Three previous owners seems quite a lot for a car that has covered so few miles, though the first two were an elderly couple who bought the car new, so it’s quite possible that one of them passed away and the car was taken over by the other – it certainly hasn’t seen a huge amount of action in its 12 years of existence.

Engine bay looks utterly spotless
Engine bay looks utterly spotless

Whichever way, it’s unlikely you’ll find another that’s in such well-preserved, low-mileage condition and, although the 45 is still a long way away from being considered a bona fide classic, there’s enough of a following from fans of this site alone to know that the last mid-size Rover will always have a reasonable number of admirers.

What’s more, while there are still plenty of 45s in the classifieds, how’s this for a startling statistic? According to the website www.howmanyleft.co.uk, at the end of 2014 there were 31,748 Rover 45s taxed and registered in the UK. At the end of 2009, just five years previously, there were 62,360. That’s almost a 50 per cent attrition rate in just five years, so it won’t be long before the 45 is a rarity in itself, all of which makes this example even more worthy of preservation…



Craig Cheetham


  1. Appalling project drive model with vastly inferior seats, horrible cream coloured dials, thin “EE ZEE scratch” paintwork, no rear compartment heating, disgusting 1970’s hostess trolley mock wood veneer on the dash and nasty thin carpets – a sad sad example of what initially was a smart suited little car when launched in 99.

    These later but pre-facelift motors are simply not worth a pi**

    Its a low mileage 45 true enough, but the quality of the sum of parts by this year was shockingly poor. Now… if it was a 2000my Connie saloon with that mileage……. It WOULD be special!

  2. My wife needs to throw her 2004 45 away – it’s got 16k miles on it.

    Let’s hope that just sitting in the garage has done it no harm.

    But as a keeper, £2,600 is not much to pay.

  3. Rover tried hard to pass it off as a premium product, but it was anything but and it even made a Hyundai or Kia seem special. The 45 just doesn’t have any redeeming features that make it stand out, except perhaps the V6 models, but then you may as well have the superior Rover 75.

  4. It may have lots of Project Drive “cut backs” but I don’t think it’s totally devoid of appeal. The mileage and condition alone!!

    I don’t think, in general, the 45 is without appeal. A high spec, early saloon has more appeal than it really should given the base ingredients. Some 5 doors can look a bit naff though and I think a rear spoiler should be reserved for the ZS. It can look a bit “limited edition mark IV Escort” on the 45.

  5. Wow! Even the engine coolant looks pristine.

    A beautiful car & in the best colour too.

  6. I’ve run a few 400/45’s the diesels are vitually free motoring. But they are superb cars, good looking comfortable refined and well built. I love them.

    this one looks great.

    Paul about that 45 your wife is throwing away!

  7. A very smart car without doubt however it still does not effect the book price sadly. The Honda Civic on this platform was a vastly better machine and no head gaskets to worry about.

  8. Boredom on wheels. I had a few of these on hire in the 1990s. They were instantly forgettable. My brother owned one for some years, and whilst I remember virtually all of his other cars (MGBGT, Maestro 1.3 HLE, Cavaliers Mk1 & 3, Mondeo) my mind was completely blank when he mentioned owning a 45! Bearing in mind that he owned it for over 6 years, Iought to have remembered but it wasso bland and anonymous that I never even noticed it.

    *Nice* for some little old pensioner and would probably make a *nice* little runabout for someone not particularly interested in driving. *Nice* in a beige slippers and cardigan sort of way. Stick it in a museum.

  9. Deserves to be preserved as testimony to Project Drive.

    Does anyone know the trim level of this example is it an impression S ?

  10. A quick check based on working out the registration number from the photos above revealed the following info on the car:

    FG53FPY Rover 45 1.6 Impression S3 5 door. British Racing Green. 3 Recorded Keepers. Date of First Registration 30.09.2003. MOT expires 17.08.2015. Currently on SORN.

    A very nice car for it’s age and I hope it finds a good home. However, as others have rightly said, by 2003 MG Rover was certainly feeling the pinch and the standard of the interior trim finish had been ‘cheapened’. As a former Rover customer of mine once remarked, “the carpets look like sprayed-on mouse fur!” I remember the lower spec. 25’s from around the same time having seat facings that were so harsh to the touch you could almost file your nails on the material! Then there were those awful hard plastic backs to the front seats, hardly traditional Rover ‘luxury’ by any stretch of the imagination…

  11. I owned a 414, 45 1.6 Olympic S and a ZS. Luckily I didn’t have any bodywork/ paint problems or HGF, with any. My 45 had the rear spoiler & Fission alloys… thought it looked OK.

    I remember the 2003 project drive cars with those cream dials and other economies… yes, my year 2000 car looked more upmarket than those. I guess the cream dials were an attempt to align the 45 with the 75.

  12. Still a nice looking car even with the Project Drive cutbacks inside. It seems to look a lot nicer than an Astra or Focus of this era.

  13. Good to see that 8 years later this car is still in action. However, it now has >90k on the clock. Someone has made it into their daily car, which I think is a bit of a shame.

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