As much as I’d never wish ill of anyone, I have to say that in a way, I’m glad the Rover 45 isn’t with us anymore. Yes, okay, it wasn’t a bad old bus to drive in MG ZS form, and the carriage-clock styling belied a certain sophistication under the skin, but let’s face it… the HH-R/X20 had seen better days.
To ram the point home, Honda has recently launched its latest Civic – and it’s a belting, futuristic, stylish, adventurous and daring design. Okay, many people are going to bemoan the company’s baffling decision to ditch the independent rear suspension (something the R8 had all those years ago), but factor in that styling, the availability of one of the world’s best diesel engines, and VTEC petrol power, and it is fair to say we’re not just looking at a car that embodies ‘now’, but something that resembles an Eighties vision of 21st century motoring. Can you imagine the magazine and website group tests that lined up the 45 (and rivals) against this car? It doesn’t bear thinking about…
All of a sudden, the Focus, Astra and Golf look staid – and they’re all still reasonably new…
And just think, a little over ten years ago, the company that built this car owned a 20 per cent stake in the Rover Group. If only British Aerospace had more courage and a little less ambition to turn over a quick buck selling the company to BMW.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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