Unsung Heroes : Rover 620ti

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

We take yet another look at the cars which once littered the highways and by-ways of the UK. This one is often regarded as a talented machine which was handsome, refined, well built and astonishingly capable when driven hard.

Mike Humble  explains all – and gets emotional. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury… The Rover 620ti


The quiet hooligan

Rover's true Q-car: the 620ti

As most would agree, the 1990s were pretty good times for Rover. At the start of the decade, we saw the brilliant R8; the MGF in the middle; and the 75 towards the end. The 600 launched in 1993, was in the tradition at that time, jointly developed with Honda. And at a glance, it looked similar to the Accord, sharing both the same powertrain and suspension system. Rover changed the styling above the window sills and altered the front and rear appearance. This was skilfully achieved by Richard Woolley.

The 600 was a good car, which was well made, looked fine – but also lacked any feel. It felt ever so slightly artificial, and lacked any kind of sporting prowess or visual intimidation to woo the thrusting executive out of his BMW 3-Series. In its original format, the 600 was a Rover of the ’90s for drivers approaching their 90s!

Plans were in place to address the balance, though. For a headline model, which would go some way towards shrugging off the plain Jane image of the 600 and give the car some well deserved credibility, and the talent which was to come was home grown.

The Rover 620ti was launched in the UK a year after the standard car, and featured the Rover 2.0-litre T-Series engine in turbocharged guise, allied with a close-ratio PG1 gearbox (with built-in TorSen differential) – the same drivetrain as used in the 820 Vitesse Sport. Engineers also took this chance to alter the suspension settings, giving the 620ti truly superb road manners. With this brilliant engine kicking out close to 200bhp, and having a totally flat torque curve from 2000rpm to beyond 5000, the new model gained shattering performance. Rover had finally added that vital ingredient to the 600: soul!

The heart and soul of the 620ti: the 197bhp turbo-intercooled Rover T-Series

It didn’t just end their either, the ti also had better fuel economy than the basic 1.8-litre when being driven out of pursuit mode, though urban economy could make a grown man weep if you weren’t wearing slippers. Visually, the ti didn’t give much away from other models, only the 16in alloys and a little glimpse of the intercooler from the lower front bumper could indicate this new model. On the inside, the Ti was treated to Rover’s appealing ‘Silverstone’ half leather trim with body hugging front seats – once again, similar to the then-current 800 Vitesse.

Rover now had a Q-car, or which I used call the ‘stealth bomber’, and out on the road the car behaved just as well as the on paper figures suggested. The sheer power of the engine gave no turbo lag, just a solid non stop surge of effortless grunt – a gulf apart from the ‘wait for it… wait for it… BANG’ power delivery of early turbo engines. Off the boil, the Rover 620ti simmered down to be as smooth and creamy as bar of Galaxy, while at the same time, being as refined as Audrey Hepburn. 0-60mph sir? just wait 7 seconds. Only Rover could pull off this trick!

Where the Tomcat turbo and 800 Vitesse felt out of depth in their ‘on the limit’ handling, the 600Ti using an uprated Honda double wishbone system, felt great and the TorSen differential kept things in check during hard cornering. I reckon the T-Series turbo engine found its ideal home in the 600 – and my own 1999 model I owned a few years back never failed to reward, entertain, set fire to or reward my senses in equal proportions. Equipment levels were good too with all round electrics, power sunroof, remote locking and a decent wireless.

After the 1996 range revision (marked technically, by the fitment of PCF steering), the 620ti became cheaper to buy and gained extra features including front fogs, CD changer and an excellent air con system. The already talented road manners were improved by the fitting of the superb Rover 1-2-1 damping system and some new paint schemes made the ti an even prettier car than before. Technical revisions came in the form of an MLS head gasket to cure the common fault of oil leaks from the front right corner of the cylinder head and fuel efficiency was slightly improved through the use of a new engine management system and distributor-less ignition system.

Underbonnet access was also impressive, the ti required only annual servicing and everything was easy to get at and work with. Selling well in the fleet market, this made sure whole life costs and vehicle downtime were minimal but the braking system could cause concern. Owing to the high performance nature of the car and its size, the 620ti if abused, would eat the front pads and discs alarmingly quickly. The brake pads were simplicity itself to change, but the front discs required skill and special procedures to change to avoid costly damage to the wheel bearings.

Other in-service concerns included the differential carrier bearings which for cost reasons, were encased in a nylon cage and were simply not manly enough for the job. Many used and abused models suffered gearbox failure at early mileages and the electronic boost control that the T series employed was in fact partly in reason to prolong the life of the gearbox. Various engineering firms today will supply a modified gearbox with a steel bearing race to combat this fault, but my own Ti which had 110,000 miles on the clock still ran the original box when I sold it.

Today, the 620ti is slowly dwindling in numbers. High insurance costs, increasing fuel prices and the recent Scrappage scheme have seen many cars go to automotive heaven. Models still running today seem to either be owned by brand enthusiasts or have been customised to the point of making you want to cry. The general consensus of opinion seems to be that the 620Ti was a fine car that looks best when unmolested and in standard visual appearance – one of the few cars that I bitterly regretted selling owing to raising capital for a self employed business venture.

Would I own another? You betcha!

A standard looking 620ti from 1999 - did the Rover of the '90s look any better than these?

Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

46 Comments

  1. PCF came in the facelift models didn’t it? I know I owned a ’95 Ti that had the (shit) honda variable assistance system.

    Always great at weighting up, or massively over assisting at exactly the WRONG time.

  2. The Rover 600 remains one of my all time favourites and that’s before including the 620Ti.  I liked the improved colour schemes and colour coding of the later versions.  One of my company cars was a 1996 Accord 2.0S which I enjoyed but I still think the Rover 600 was a better looking incarnation.   Richard Woolleys design was well executed.

  3. Never got to own a Ti but had a 2.0 SLi (99 registered). What a superb car. I put 125,000 miles on the clock, drove it all over the UK and the continent, and the only drama I had with it was the exhaust going(at about 100,000 miles). It was far superior to the 75 I had later.

  4. The R600 was a well made car, I remember watching a progamme on TV years ago all about the manufacture, and lot of effort with the anti corrosion aspect of the car, I have not seen that since, I have driven long time ago a TI and I aggree handles a bit better than my R800 Vitesse. I love to own one in the future. I have been in R623 Gsi, nice and comfortable. It had a good range of models to suit all tastes and as well, later ones with 1.8 engine were good too. I do see some nice examples around. Regards Mark

  5. The 600 was an irrelevance, a car Rover didn’t need?
    Former Maestro owners bought R8 200’s, and Montego owners bought R8 400’s, and SD1/800 owners had the 800.
    The 600 wasn’t needed, but it was a handsome motor and appealed to 800 owners who wanted to downsize.
    In essence it split the 800 market in two, a market that was reformed with the 75 that replaced them both.
    The 600 development costs and the 800 coupe for that matter- would have been better spent replacing the 800 in 92/93?

  6. Probably the ultimate Q car – to the uninitiated it looks the same as any other 600.  I always thought that the 600 was a damn good car.  I had the Honda Accord version with a 2.2i VTEC powerplant (pretty much the same car under the skin as a 600 except for the engine) and it was excellent – a superb mile eater.

  7. Sorry Mike, I have to disagree on your last point, whilst there has been some truly awful things done to a 600 over the years, they do look good with a few subtle mods to enhance the shape, well I think so anyways
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  8. @Steve Bailey…  As you also had an Accord like me, what was the power output of the 2.2 VTEC?  My 2 litre was 131ps, same as most Rover 620’s although I believe entry level cars (620i) were de-tuned to 115ps.  The later Accord & R600 1.8 were also 115ps.

  9. I personally think the WHOLE 600 range was an unsung hero. A Rover that just worked. Barring the 2.3’s engine issues it was one of the most reliable cars ever to have the Longship badge on the front. Also the first to get the L Series engine (so I am probably biased!) My uncle had one in 1996 and then swapped to the equivalent Accord simply because the Honda dealer knocked more money off (and got him a spoiler). For some people the 400 was too small and the 800 saloon too big so this car suited them. I nearly bought a late V reg 620 SLDi with leather air con and alloys back in 2008 but was thwarted because it needed a new clutch and no local garage would touch the job with a bargepole!

  10. 13 @ Hilton D – January 27, 2012
    Power output of the Accord 2.2i VTEC was about 150bhp.  The performance was superb, top end power fantastic and loads of torque too thanks to the VTEC system.  The mid range was poor though.  It also did 28mpg, which I was happy with given the car’s performance potential (book top speed was 129mph).  It wasn’t one of the high-revving 8,000rpm DOHC VTECs though like the 170bhp 1.8 version in the Civic of the time!  My 2.2 did about 6500 rpm.  

    The VTEC model also had sports suspension (slightly lower), full leather, air con, ABS, cruise, full electrics, electric seats, headlight wash, alloys, CD changer etc.  Mine also had the extra-cost option of front fog lights – not sure why they weren’t standard!  Cost £23k new – I bought it with full dealer history when it was eight years old for £1.5k!  Parts for it were very expensive though, as it seemed to have a lot of different parts specific to the VTEC rather than the generic Rover/Honda parts of the normal models.  The parts for the CR-V I replaced it with are far cheaper.

    (@Steve Bailey…  As you also had an Accord like me, what was the power output of the 2.2 VTEC?  My 2 litre was 131ps, same as most Rover 620′s although I believe entry level cars (620i) were de-tuned to 115ps.  The later Accord & R600 1.8 were also 115ps.)

  11. 14@Ben Adams
    “I personally think the WHOLE 600 range was an unsung hero”

    I agree – it looked the part, felt the part, was beautiful inside (for nicer than my black hole Accord version), and drove superbly.  It also looked and felt like a product from a premium manufacturer – indeed it was compared to to the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class of the time and the Rover came out on top.  It deserved to do better.

  12. The whole 600 range was utterly bland and devoid of any convincing reason to pursuade the majority of car buyers to take the plunge. They were standard issue in my employer’s company car fleet at the time and it did nothing for my car interest at all. I chose a different car maker’s product but that’s a story for another day.
    Mike has waxed on about the performance of the 620 Ti but I would wager a few pennies that the almost contemporary 406 V6 with a manual box and close to 200 horse power would run the 600 close against the clock while bettering it for refinement, ride, handing and probably fuel economy as well.

  13. An employer of mine ran an R reg 1998 one as a pool car, I was utterly gobsmaked with how well it drove (it was at least 10 years old at the time), I still hate them for letting it fade and die ! Rip Gold fella

  14. I remember the praise heaped on the 600 series at launch – it really was seen as a BMW 3-series beater. Even Clarkson liked it. It was a very handsome car (esp. in dark blue metallic and red metallic – which were the 2 colours most launch cars were seen in), and it had a fantastic (better than the beemer?) interior. That it drove well and had silky smooth engines only added to the appeal! I’m nearing 40, with the choice of a company car or the allowance, roughly in the Audi A4/BMW 3-series range. Had I have been looking for a similar car in 1993, I think I would have gone for the Rover. In my opinion it was that good. A neighbour of mine had the 620T, and having been for a ride in it, it FLEW. It also had a lovely half-leather interior and, until 2000 at least, looked classy as hell. Good car.

  15. I ran a 620SLI and a 620SDi (and a couple of other 600s briefly). Both game excellent service. Good looking, well appointed car. I would of loved a Ti. My neighbour runs a 99 620 1.8iS and it still looks superb and runs like new

  16. I don’t see many 600s about now, but a nice car. Came close to a purchase more than once  but glad I finally ended up with a 75 – the ultimate!!

  17. A friend who has his own Mini cab says his rover 600 was the best Taxi he has ever owned. never let him down. Sold on to another cab driver with over 200K on the clock!

  18. @ 15 Steve Bailey… thanks for the detailed account of your Accord Steve.  Sounded nice!  My Accord felt powerful enough at 131ps and I managed over 40mpg on a run with steady driving.

  19. I had a 620si in Nightfire Red from new as a company car. On delivery it looked like it was made from glass as the paint was so perfect. The car’s build quality in general was excellent and I had 3 years of trouble free motoring. I have very fond memories of the car and it was much admired by other motorists. I agree with the comment above, the whole range is unsung. Perhaps the car appealed to those who owned them because they wanted to and not because the media told you to!

  20.  Having owned my 1998 TI for ten months now, I’m absolutely passionate about this car!
    The unique blend of luxury, understatement and the sheer power makes it definitely a Rover. To me, it stands clearly in line with Rover classics like the SD1 or the Tickford 800.

  21. I had a 1996 Rover 600ti. My wife absolutely adored it,  Lovely alloys, a bright vibrant red and half leather interior with a cd changer in the boot and excellent Air con.
    It was such a hoot to drive, my friends always wanted to have a go and I had to drive everywhere! The downside?  HGF at 60,000 (nothing to do with my heavy right foot surely?) and an incredibly noisy gearbox byt eh end which prompted me to trade it in.
    A totally underrated car that drove well, had class and wow, incredible power and sheer grunt for the day , the memories still bring a smile to my face. I’ve never had another like it since.
    An excellent article again Mike.
     

  22. I’ve never considered the 600 an irrelevance nor the R8 400 the successor to the Montego for reasons I won’t explain here for fear of straying off the 600 point & onto the 400 one.

    My girlfriend’s parents have a 600 & a 75. Both are very well appointed but the 75 can’t hold a candle to the 600 in terms of reliability. 

  23. I had a 618 as an mvo car and it was awful – gutless, poor fuel economy
    Had a 800 on order and they offered us 620TI on special so took it.  Brilliant car and such a contrast from the 618.  The wife also loved it.  The biggest disappointment was it was the only car taken back on time

  24. I remember the Auto Excuse press demo car putting a leg out of bed. The boost pressure hadn’t been turned up..MUCH. A classic Austin Rover trick. The 600 was to be honest a bloody good car, and seemed fairly well screwed together. After the 600, Rover lost their way. Perhaps things would have been different if they had kept the Honda ties.

  25. Astonishing drivability and throttle response (no fly by wire nonsence).You would not think the car had a turbo.No pinking even on normal unleaded.Why is it a certain highley regarded german car company not produce an engine as good as this ten years later. The only fly in the ointment were the oil leak issues.Ionce drove a ti with faulty boost control,for a few seconds it would have what felt like 400 horse power.The ti’s biggest problem was the unbeleavable reliability of the honda powered versions.

  26. I ran a Nightfire red 620ti for 6 months at the start of 1996 as my Rover Group management car. I’m not sure when it had been built, but the initial demand had been over-estimated by RG Sales and Marketing, hence the need to push them out on the Company scheme. It came after a succession of 5 R820 Vitesses, all 180ps versions and initially I wasn’t keen on stepping down to the 600, but I grew to love its excellent straight line performance. As far as cornering was concerned, lifting as you turned in and then feeding the power back on seemed to help with the Torsen diff. Pirelli did a unique tyre for the thing. Good luck to anyone trying to find them now, it was bad enough persuading Kwikfit to put them on 12 years ago.

  27. BSD

    UNFORTUNATELY,I GOT TO KNOW THIS GREAT CAR ONLY FROM ROADTESTS DONE BY VARIOUUS ISRAELI CAR MAGAZINES AT THE TIME,AND THE CAR CAME OUT SUPERB!

    AS A MOTOTR FAN I KNEW-AND NOW KNOW-THAT THIS CAR IS OUT OF THE ORDINARY.
    HOWEVER,DUE TO IMPORTER THAT WAS INERESTED ONLY IN MAKING MONEY,THE ROVER SUFFERED FROM BEING LABLED AS HONDA’S POOR COUSIN…

    IT WAS BOUGHT ONLY BY ENTHUSIASTS (ALTHOUTH IT HAPPENED THAT THE CAR-ESPECIALLY THE 200,WAS BOUGHT BY YOUNG BOYS&GIRLS INTERESTED IN MAKING IMPRESSION ONLY-WE HAVE A WORD FOR THAT IN THE HEBREW SLANG WHICH IS ACTUALLY AN ARAB WORD USED IN HEBREW,AND IT GOES LIKE THIS-SHUFUNI YA NAS-MEANING-PEOPLE,LOOK AT ME!!! I’M…,YOU GET THE POINT).

    UNFORTUNATELY,TODAY THE ROVERS SUFFER FROM LACK OF DECENT GARAGES BEING ABLE TO SERVICE THEM,LACK OF SPARE PARTS (FOR MANY PARTS-ESPECIALLY BUMPERS,SIDE MIRRORS AND INET/OUTLET DOOR HANDLES ONE HAS TO PAY A VISIT TO THE LOCAL JUNKYARD…),SO IF SOMEONE BUYS A SECOND HAND ROVER,HE IS THOUGHT TO BE OUT OF HIS MIND AND SUFFERING FROM TEMMORARY INSANETY…).

    AND IT HURTS!!! YES,IT HURTS!!!

    THERE ARE ONLY HANDFULL GARAGES BEING ABLE TO SERVICE THE REMAINING ROVERS,SPARE PARTS COST A FORTUNE (NO ONE HEARD OF RIMMER BROS IN ISRAEL-A LEAST AS FAR AS I KNOW),AND THE ROVERS ARE MAINLT DUE TO BE SCRAPPED!!!

    ABOUT 2 ONTHS AGO A SAW A 620TI NEAR MY WORKINGPLACE,OWNED BY A YOUNG GUY WHO DOES HIS BEST TO KEEP THE CAR IN GOOD SHAPE-AND IT WAS THE FIRST TI I SAW IN YEARS!!!

    THERE ARE OTHER 600’S IN THE CITY I LIVE IN,AND ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE IN A HEARTBREAKNG CONDITION.

    IF I HAD THE MONEY TO OWN ONE,IT WOULD HAVE COST A FORTUNE,NOT ONLY BY THE COST OF SERVICE BUT ALSO THE INSURANCE-INSURANCE COMPANIES STILL RELATE TO THE ROVER ANS A GOLDEN EGG…).

    AND AL I CAN DO IS LIE BACK,GO THROUGH ARONLINE,SEE MIKE HUMBLE’S 620TI AND SIGH WITH A HURE HEARTACHE…

  28. BSD

    UNFORTUNATELY,I GOT TO KNOW THIS GREAT CAR ONLY FROM ROADTESTS DONE BY VARIOUUS ISRAELI CAR MAGAZINES AT THE TIME,AND THE CAR CAME OUT SUPERB!

    AS A MOTOTR FAN I KNEW-AND NOW KNOW-THAT THIS CAR IS OUT OF THE ORDINARY.
    HOWEVER,DUE TO IMPORTER THAT WAS INERESTED ONLY IN MAKING MONEY,THE ROVER SUFFERED FROM BEING LABLED AS HONDA’S POOR COUSIN…

    IT WAS BOUGHT ONLY BY ENTHUSIASTS (ALTHOUTH IT HAPPENED THAT THE CAR-ESPECIALLY THE 200,WAS BOUGHT BY YOUNG BOYS&GIRLS INTERESTED IN MAKING IMPRESSION ONLY-WE HAVE A WORD FOR THAT IN THE HEBREW SLANG WHICH IS ACTUALLY AN ARAB WORD USED IN HEBREW,AND IT GOES LIKE THIS-SHUFUNI YA NAS-MEANING-PEOPLE,LOOK AT ME!!! I’M…,YOU GET THE POINT).

    UNFORTUNATELY,TODAY THE ROVERS SUFFER FROM LACK OF DECENT GARAGES BEING ABLE TO SERVICE THEM,LACK OF SPARE PARTS (FOR MANY PARTS-ESPECIALLY BUMPERS,SIDE MIRRORS AND INET/OUTLET DOOR HANDLES ONE HAS TO PAY A VISIT TO THE LOCAL JUNKYARD…),SO IF SOMEONE BUYS A SECOND HAND ROVER,HE IS THOUGHT TO BE OUT OF HIS MIND AND SUFFERING FROM TEMMORARY INSANETY…).

    AND IT HURTS!!! YES,IT HURTS!!!

    THERE ARE ONLY HANDFULL GARAGES BEING ABLE TO SERVICE THE REMAINING ROVERS,SPARE PARTS COST A FORTUNE (NO ONE HEARD OF RIMMER BROS IN ISRAEL-A LEAST AS FAR AS I KNOW),AND THE ROVERS ARE MAINLT DUE TO BE SCRAPPED!!!

    ABOUT 2 ONTHS AGO A SAW A 620TI NEAR MY WORKINGPLACE,OWNED BY A YOUNG GUY WHO DOES HIS BEST TO KEEP THE CAR IN GOOD SHAPE-AND IT WAS THE FIRST TI I SAW IN YEARS!!!

    THERE ARE OTHER 600’S IN THE CITY I LIVE IN,AND ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE IN A HEARTBREAKNG CONDITION.

    IF I HAD THE MONEY TO OWN ONE,IT WOULD HAVE COST A FORTUNE,NOT ONLY BY THE COST OF SERVICE BUT ALSO THE INSURANCE-INSURANCE COMPANIES STILL RELATE TO THE ROVER ANS A GOLDEN EGG…).

    AND AL I CAN DO IS LIE BACK,GO THROUGH ARONLINE,SEE MIKE HUMBLE’S 620TI AND SIGH WITH A HUGE HEARTACHE…

  29. BSD

    SORRY THAT MY REPLY CAME OUT TWICE!!!

    MY LAPTOP IS PROBABLY A BIT OUT OF HIS MIND DUE TO THE LATE HOUR (IT IS NOW 23:30 IN ISRAEL).

    GOODNIGHT EVERYONE…

  30. Quote: Off the boil, the Rover 620ti simmered down to be as smooth and creamy as bar of Galaxy, while at the same time, being as refined as Audrey Hepburn. 0-60mph sir? just wait 7 seconds. Only Rover could pull off this trick!

    Ahem… (points quietly at the Saab 9000 Aero hiding in the corner).

  31. I had one of the last 620Ti’s and I still miss that car, despite having owned Jag’s and Merc’s since.
    My BRG Ti is still the car I most enjoyed driving.
    I particularly liked the looks you got from the boy racers in their Subarus and Toyota’s who couldn’t quite believe that an old Rover was capable of keeping up with them!
    Performance was simply stunning – 7 seconds to 60 for a saloon car – while handling was also excellent. It was a car that really inspired confidence.
    I always wanted a 220 Turbo Coupe but after the 620Ti I though there was no real point. The 620 was a better car.
    I’d earlier had a Vitesse, which was also great but not as good as the Ti.
    In fact my boss at the time had a new Merc 380Elegance yet prefered to be a passenger in the Rover as he thought it was more comfortable!
    Sadly the Rover and I parted company after it blew a core plug on the A30 and cooked the engine. I bought a 3 litre X-Type after that but it wasn’t a patch on the Rover.
    If I ever find another in good nick I’d buy it!!

  32. i owned a grand total of 5 Ti`s in my time,
    first was typical with head gasket failure that meant it was parked up, 2nd was gearbox failure that was reborn useing number 1s parts, both white, 3rd and 5th were BRG and were stunning and refined to drive number 4 was modded with new suspension, wheels and gearbox as well the engine breathed on by a specialist in scotland, harsh ride ensued as well as crazy fuel so was moved on, but one thing about all my Ti`s was that when you sunk your foot on the warp factor pedal you could easily scare the life out off bmw`s and fast vauxhalls and fords, these cars were for grown ups who just wanted to sometimes act like they did when they were 17, i honestly feel choked thinking back to the image of my last BRG driving up my street with some lucky punter about to learn the joy of owning a grown up street sleeper.
    and hitting the angry pedal for some fun.

  33. The Ti was another of Rover’s potentially good cars spoiled by poor execution. When working as a consultant at Rover in the mid 90s, just after the BMW acquisition, I used several nearly-new Ti’s: there was a field containing several hundred of them after an over optimistic sales forecast, so they were used for internal fleet purposes prior to going out to the trade.

    Two things were memorable about the car – one, it had the ride of an old Nissan minicab, by turns fidgety, hard and sloppy depending on the surface, and vastly inferior to the Peugeot and German contemporaries, and two, the money had all been spent under the bonnet, so that the interior had really no more charm than a base model 618i. This was a crucial factor in the company-car wars, as Ford knew so well. Of course the flat-out performance was very good, but it was delivered in a harsh, crude way that was very disappointing.

    You could at the time buy these cars internally very cheaply, because Joe Public and Joe Company stayed away in droves. The rest, as they say, is history.

  34. I traded in my 2.6 CDX Carton for a 620Ti and had a whale of a time. Not as comfortable as the Carlton, but put your foot down and it was a real hoot. I ran the car for several years before having the engine expire on a long and very fast journey up from Provence. The car made it back to the UK (engine knocking badly – sounded like a bent conrod) and I traded it in in Farnham on a sleepy Saturday morning, fresh off the ferry, for a V70 estate. I had tried getting it fixed but was quoted £2500 at the local Rover dealers “just to have a look” and their offer of £1000 trade in as is was derisory on a car worth £6-7000 trade in at the time. The Volvo dealer gave me £6500 on a near new £13000 V70 2.5se, so a deal was done and I continued home to Scotland.

    I loved the sleeper nature of the car and yes, like others have mentioned, the look of suprise on “hot hatch” owners faces when you zipped past and then pulled effortlessly away from them was priceless. It was lovely to own and drive, refined yet fast and always put a smile on my face.

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