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…


Years produced: 1999-2005
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

Brief overview

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.

Recall data
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)

Running costs

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 75 settled down into the market very well indeed. BIK tax beating 150PS 1.8 turbocharged version from August 2002. 215Nm (159 lb ft) torque and low CO2 rating of 193g/km for both saloon and Tourer qualified it for a BIK tax base of 20% of the list price, which worked out at £3659 for the 1.8T Classic and meant a 40% taxpayer forked out £1463.60 a year. The 1.8T gets to 60mph in 9.1 seconds, from 30-50 in 7.1 seconds and from 50-70 in 7.4 seconds. The torque allows the higher 3.9:1 final drive of the 2.5litre to be used, giving 22.6mph per 1000rpm in fifth and a 130mph top speed for the saloon. Official combined consumption is 35.3mpg. Tyres are 195/65 15s giving much better ride quality than low profiles.

XPOWER Power Boost kit for Rover 75 and MG ZT diesels from September 2002 lifts output to 131ps and torque to 300Nm, pulling 0-60 back to ten seconds and giving much better mid range acceleration. Cost £490 from MG Rover dealers. All official Rover ‘new’ CDTis from Feb 2003 chipped to 131PS, but 114bhp CDT continued.

Diesels RECOMMENDED. Report of 215,000 miles from one with minimal trouble.

Spec upgrade for 2005 with Smartnav on all but entry level classic models.

Rovers generally had slightly below average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 93.69 v/s lowest 31.93), just beating Nissan. Link:- All petrol and diesel models average for breakdowns, problems and faults and rated ‘Worth Considering’ in 2003 Which survey.

XPart’s XPower diesel upgrade relaunched November 2007 raises power by 15bhp, reducing the 0-60mph time by up to ten percent. Towing capability is also improved with a 15 percent increase in torque across a wide rev range. Available through XPart’s 240-strong AutoService centre network. XPart’s XPower diesel upgrades are performed using the T4 diagnostic equipment which was utilised by the original MG Rover franchise dealer network and is now standard across XPart’s AutoService centre network.

To perform the upgrade, centres must order an installation pack which is unique to each vehicle. The pack contains a software CD, a one-time use ECU unlock code which is tied to the vehicle’s VIN number and an owner’s certificate of authenticity. Once the pack has been delivered to the AutoService centre the performance upgrade can be made in a matter of minutes. XPart’s diesel upgrade pack is available from any of its 240 AutoService centre or its accessories website ( for £199.99 plus VAT and installation.

XPart ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Logistics Services UK Limited, one of the automotive industry’s leading supply chain management companies. It has established a network of more than 240 XPart AutoService centres ( across the UK, providing franchise-quality repair at aftermarket rates. Its product range contains more than 33,000 parts for all makes of vehicle and since 2001, it has been responsible for the supply of genuine MG Rover parts.

For parts, try,, and

Exhaust systems from

08-05-2012: By 2012 Rover 75s and MG ZTs (particularly the 2.0-litre BMW engined diesels) were developing a strong following and values were starting to rise. Not just because of the looks of the car and potential future classic status, but because they are proving to be good long-life cars.

19-05-2012: Reader recommended specialist is  of JMA Cars of Colwyn Bay North Wales (T: 01492 535020 / M: 07831 457011) who provide specialised service exclusively to these models of car only.

25-09-2013: Alongside Xpart, has developed replacement stainless steel coolant pipes for both the early and later variants of the V6 engine cars. Members have also been developing and improving the Variable Intake System motors for the V6s which tend to fail due to oil ingress. Another project alongside Longlife exhausts has been the development of an OEM quiet stainless exhaust for the 75s. There is now also a quarterly magazine devoted to Rover 75s and MG ZTs.


Only 90% of cars up to 2 years old breakdown-free over previous 12 months in 2004 Which? survey, which is strange because the same survey found the MG ZT and ZT-T 100% breakdown-free and these are the same cars built on the same production lines. Some engine parts for rare 2.0 litre KV6 unavailable.

By March 2007, engine parts for CDTs and CDTIs were becoming slow to come through from BMW. Some parts becoming difficult to get or unavailable by July 2007. For example, engine radiator cooling fans back order to February 2008.


Parking dings in easily damaged slab-side doors.

A nice surprise is that Longbridge cars are better built than Oxford cars with better handling. The easy way to distinguish a Longbridge (MG Rover) built 75 from a Oxford (BMW) built 75 is that Longbridge 75s have body colour sills and Oxford built cars have black sills.

Early Oxford-built black-sill 75s need checking carefully for rust along door bottons and lower edge of boot. They also need checking for rusted front to rear brake pipes (well known problem). All Longbridge cars are fully EOBD compliant (3 oxygen sensors). Check clutch operation if buying a diesel.

Head gasket failure common on 1.8 petrol engines because very low coolant capacity of engine means small leaks rapidly lead to overheating. Weakest point is water heated inlet manifold ‘O’ ring gaskets. 1.8 K Series head gasket failures website link Bore liners of this engine can also drop. First reported failures of similar failures of KV6 beginning to feed through, but these are still rare. K-Series engine failure class action solicitor is:

Coolant level sensor kit available for the MGF and TF for £89.99 from MG Specialists such as Brown and Gammons (01462 490049) may also fit Rover 75.

XPart offers the MLS head gasket set which comes with a strengthened lower oil rail and new head bolts, as well as a water pump.  In designing the new kit, XPart and SAIC have used a combination of the revised lower oil rail designed by MG Rover engineers, higher tensile 10.9 grade long stretch bolts and a new single piece multi-layer steel gasket engineered by SAIC for its new N-series engine. The gasket should not be fitted in isolation and it is the kit together with revised torque settings that provides the best known repair. The XPart parts warranty only applies when the full kit has been used.

Have been problems obtaining body parts.

Have been problems with broken keys with owners being quoted up to £160 for programmed replacements.

Reports of electrical problems, especially in the electric seat wiring. Battery drains may be from boot light switch failure and boot light remaining on. If you hear a whirring noise after switching off, this comes from the fan unit on the f b heater that has started to run. It should not unless the engine is running and the outside temp. is below 3C. The pcb of the fuel burning coolant pre-heater is the likely problem. This will also drain the battery, simple fix is to unplug the power cord at the heater (plug-in type). Approx cost of new pcb is £300, yes that correct £300, hence the unplugging. (On some models you can have a timer you set so the car is ready to drive off with a nice hot cabin but as Rover was going down the pan they stopped fitting them so not all cdts have them.)

Tend to wear their tyres unevenly, especially their rear tyres. Possibility that some cars were supplied with misaligned suspension, maybe through undetected transporter damage. Rear tyre inner shoulder wear common, especially with lower profile tyres.

Cabin can suffer water ingress as the result of blocked or kinked plenum chamber drains and water from this can damage ECU. Garages frequently remove plenum chamber drain filter plugs to help water drain faster, but if the pipes then get blocked with debris as a result the problem can be worse. Take care that the ventilation plenum chamber drains are not blocked before putting through a carwash, otherwise can flood the ECU which then requires replacing at a cost of £1000.

The two scuttle ventilation plenum chamber drains (later models have one plugged) can become blocked by leaves etc. This allows a water build up wth the car standing during rainfall which can enter the car. Water settles in a well area where the ECU is located and will eventually cause damp/condensation in the ECU.

A few complaints of clutch noise on diesels, especially CDTIs. Cured by new sprung clutch plate.

Some problems emerging with 5-speed autobox on diesels: clutch packs breaking up after 3-4 years.

On automatics, a piston cracks and a third to fourth gear problem shows up, then gradually spreads as the bits from the damaged piston spread. Reverse goes next. and soon there is no drive at all. Reconditioned JATCO five-speed automatic transmissions £900 + VAT from

On the 1.8T a coolant hose can chafe through against the turbo with davastating results if the engine loses all its coolant. Check and try to relocate the pipe away from the turbo. Flexible pipe between exhaust manifold and cat converter of the diesel often fails and costs £480 for a pattern part to replace.

Parking brakes are separate small drums inside the rear discs and are very effective (BMW design, as on the BMW 3-Series) but require maintenance to remain effective. The system works very well if the correct sequence of adjustments is carried out. They are extremely fiddly to adjust and highly sensitive to bedding-in of the brake shoes. To keep them working properly you need clean and lubricate the linkages at the hub (using specialist brake grease), then adjust the shoes to binding point, which is somewhat tighter than the official Rover instructions. (Thanks to SK) Alternatively the linings may be worn out or grease from the bearing has contaminated them.

Tips from Matt Hicks:

‘On the KV6 cambelt replacement at 90k miles can be very costly. There are 3 belts, the main belt and then one belt on the rear of each bank from inlet to exhaust. The 75 is more crowded under the bonnet than the ZS/45 and the job is more difficult on this application. I think this is because the 75 has a double bulkhead, thick panels, large inner wings, etc and is BMW-like in its construction in an attempt to limit NVH.

‘Also, the KV6 seems to suffer from the VIS system packing up. Most owners do not seem to realise and merely report “VTEC” like engine characteristics, where the car will surge from certain RPM. The engine uses a plastic inlet plenum, which is a sealed unit and houses two sets of valves for the VIS system. Two motors drive the two sets of “balance” and “power” valves. Oil from the engine breather system seems to cag up these plastic valves and sliders, meaning the small motors which drive them burn out/the plastic rack in the motor wears where the motor jumps teeth trying to shift the stiff valve mechanism.

‘You can change the motor, which may resolve the problem for a short  while, until it burns out again. The cure seems to be either taking the manifold off and cleaning it, which is difficult as the thing is sealed, cleaning it up in situ, by taking the motors off and pulling the sliders too and forth while spraying in some carb cleaner or something to get rid of the gunk. Or replacing the manifold (costly and mostly unnecessary).

‘Another common 75 issue, especially as they are getting over 4 or 5 years old is the cooling fan packs up. If someone is not on the ball, low coolant capacity with wet liner construction can mean it heats up very quickly and gives a big bill for a cooked engine.

‘Finally, failure of the fuel pump O ring gaskets is so common on all 75s that AA and RAC patrolmen now routinely replace them as roadside repairs. On CDTs and CDTIs injectors are prone to seizing into the heads.’

Fuel tank sender pumps are a common failure: either the pump itself, the relay or the earth.

JATCO advises owners not to carry out AUTOMATIC transmission fluid changes themselves because it’s difficult to ensure the correct amount is added (the gearbox needs to be run to a specific temperature – This requires diagnostic equipment) and probably they will use the wrong oil, e.g. Land Rover Discovery ATF is different from a Land Rover Freelander, and Jaguar X-Type (Jatco) uses different ATF to a Land Rover Freelander (Jatco).

A rumbling noise may be caused by the roof support from B pillar to B pillar becoming unbonded from the roof itself. Needs re-sticking with mastic. Obviously will not happen if the car has a factory fitted sunroof as that has a different structure. But does happen to the rib between the ‘C’ pillars of Tourers whether fitted with sunroofs or not.


1. A false LOW reading seems to be obtained whenever the dipstick is left in place after running the car and returning home. Even reading the dipstick the morning after with the engine now completely cold, the first time the stick is extracted will give a false LOW.

2. On wiping and re-inserting immediately afterwards , a correct FULL reading will be obtained.

3. Also, If the dipstick is taken out and left on top of the engine whilst in the garage, then on reinserting a correct FULL reading will be obtained. Similarly ANY reading taken after first removing the dipstick and re-wiping will be CORRECT.

If speedo fails and ABS and Traction Control lights come on it could be because one of the front wheel ABS cables has chafed through. Reconnecting and properly insulating the cable may get your speedo back and the ABS and T/C lights off. Of course, this may also be the reason for an MoT failing ABS light coming on.

20-4-2011: Bumpers for 2004/2005 facelift MGZTs were unavailable for a while, but a fresh batch was commissioned by XPart. The new bumper is hand-manufactured, with tolerances tightly controlled to ensure fast, simple fitment. The bumper can be ordered from any XPart wholesaler under part number DQC001031 from

19-01-2012: On 2.0 litre diesels, damped ‘dual mass’ auxiliary belt crankshaft pulley can eventually fail.

01-9-2012: Airbag warning light problem common, but easily fixed. Caused by a loose connection underneath either the driver of passenger seat. With the engine switched off, pull apart the yellow connector blocks, clean with contact cleaner and re-connect. For a more permanent fix you can remove the terminal blocks and solder the wires together. An easy and inexpensive fix. It is important to wait 30 minutes after switching off to allow the residual energy in the air bags to dissipate before attempting this operation.


13/3/2000. 8550 cars VIN RJ 001242 to RJ 127623 built between Feb ’98 and Oct ’99 recalled to correct crankshaft position sender fault which could cause the engine to cut out, announced Radio 4 News 10/3/2000. Sensors to be replaced with modified units. 11-07-2002: 12,592 75s from VIN RJ001242 to RJ133299 recalled because “vehicles operating in high corrosion areas may experience fracture of the front suspension road springs” which may lead to puncturing of the inner wall of a front tyre. Front springs to be replaced.

Keith Adams


  1. I had a 75 2.5 V6 Club, and it was probably the best car I have ever had, although not quite so trouble-free as the Mazda Xedos 9 I had prior to it. I owned the car from 2007 to 2010 and took it from 37k to 84k miles. I went to France Switzerland and Italy with the family in it in 2007, this trip included 5 Alpine passes, then again to Italy 2 weeks later for a funeral. We then went to Germany (Rheintal and Gasrmisch-Partenkirchen) in 2008. Last holiday in it was to Marazion in Cornwall. The car was ridiculously cheap at £4500, but of course I only managed to get £1600 for it when I sold it to buy an aluminium Jaguar XJ6. The Jaguar is very nice, but I still love that Rover !! Maybe I’ll get one again some time.

  2. Anyone seen a rotten one yet? look under a Mazda 6 after three years and you will be shocked.

    Only brake pipes rot on a 75.

  3. Apparently X-Type Jags have a propensity to rot along the sills.

    Maybe a bit of cost-saving gone on?

  4. Worked on a Mazda 3 recently which was about 4/5years old…. underneath looked like was going to fall apart ! Top of the car looked fine, saying that a slightly younger Bini I’ve seen had shockingly rusty suspension but the floor looked ok.

    The Jag sounds typical Ford cost cutting with the thinnest paint applied, Still want a 75.

  5. My 12 and 11 year old 75s are still in good shape rust wise and as said above they just don’t seem to rust very quickly (although the brake pipes under the car certainly do). The only corrosion of note on mine is on the suspension members which are starting to look a bit crusty, although still sound. I think new suspension parts are though are still available from Xpart, Rimmers and the like.

  6. I own an early 2.0 KV6 75 auto that I bought for £300 no MOT no TAX as spares to repair a later MG ZT.
    The punchline is that the Rover was too good to break, so I MOT’d it (two bulbs and clear the washer jets) and have been using it for the last three years and its been a great car, the MG is still on a SORN and might end up as a breaker. (I’ve just bought another ZT with 28,000mls on the clock , the wife will be pleased………..!)

  7. The 75 certainly seems to be lasting well. Still loads round here in Cheshire including several very well looked after examples. A chap down the road has a metallic blue 04 plate MG that is very tempting and has held onto it for at least the past 5 years. It still looks immaculate. There is also another pale metallic green one on a Y plate that I see regularly driven by an older man. I suspect that this is a one owner car by the condition.

    Must admit that if I was in the market for a cheap family car, I would definitely consider a 75, especially a CDTi tourer.

  8. I recently found shocking rust behind the lower passenger door pillar (remove carpet in that area then large rubber grommet by all ths wires) on my 2001 connie I had stripped for spares before selling the shell. I shined my torch in and was really shocked how badly rusted it was. Will be checking my 3 remaining cars asap as expensive repairs will be needed if left.

  9. It’s a shame some people knock the 75 for being retro. What’s wrong with a look back to the past? MINI, Beetle, XJ, 500, Panda…

    Plus it’s beautiful and looks just as good as modern stuff.

  10. Strange that the article totally fails to address the 75’s most infuriating failure, that of the plastic concentric clutch slave cylinder (mounted inside the bellhousing). This basically writes off the clutch well before the pressure/friction plates are worn themselves. Add to this that changing the clutch/slave cylinder on a 75 is not exactly an afternoon job and you can see how it could write off a rough example.

  11. Hi Jim, you may have had a water leak at some point; check side trims, boot seal, rear light seals, plenum, sunroof drains etc…

  12. interesting that people are saying they don’t rust , i must have had a friday car!! mine had rust from front to back on the drivers side sill , so bad that i ended up with a hole in the rear of the sill!!

  13. @14, The materials matter not, nobody would reuse a concentric anyway,the fact that the master cylinder hold so little fluid and cant compensate for clutch wear unless the lid is ripped off and fluid syringed in while on a downward stroke, points more to a design quirk/flaw.

    Like anything,be it a Facel Vega, a MGB or a 75 looking after them and a bit of practical knowledge helps.

    Why it had a master cylinder with a pipe that passes through two bulkheads is anyones guess. Why would such a conventional clutch job put anyone off though? you dont even have to put the ‘box on the floor,it rests happily on the subframe one it is lowered enough.

  14. Of course your not going to reuse the concentric. The point is the clutch itself by all accounts is a strong unit and lasts well, but the concentric dies when the clutch is still more than serviceable. It’s a case of BMW engineering on project drive money, which is my main bugbear with the 75.

    There’s a lot of complexity in the 75s driveline and electrics, but the materials specified aren’t always up to the job.

  15. @17, Its CAN BUS electrical system that is simple once understood quite a lot of BMW components anyway, the only concentric failure i have come across which i got involved in was a newly fitted Valeo CSC,i suspect the fitter let the ‘box either hang on the clutch whilst fitting or pressed the CSC. There is no doubt they fail, which i refer to the hydraulics only having enough fluid in the system while new and would not overmatch the wear characteristics of the clutch-it reaches a point and starts acting the goat, you have a pedal one minute,then you dont. Its then no wonder the seals will turn in the system.

  16. Quote ; A nice surprise is that Longbridge cars are better built than Oxford cars with better handling. The easy way to distinguish a Longbridge (MG Rover) built 75 from a Oxford (BMW) built 75 is that Longbridge 75s have body colour sills and Oxford built cars have black sills

    Very interesting and it matches my own experience

  17. I had to replace the clutch on my CDT Tourer, and it was found that the slave cylinder was still in serviceable condition (I did replace it though). In my case, it was the plate that was worn out (85k miles). The DMF was also fit for further use, and so far another 15k without issue.

    Another potential weak point on the diesel not mentioned is a lazy thermostat, resulting in an engine that never gets to full operating temperature. It’s not that easy to get at either, being low down on the side of the block beside the drivers wheel arch. As a BMW engine, this will be something that they will suffer from as well. In the BMW ,the engine is north-south, so the ‘stat will be easier to change. The Rover with its transverse engine is a much more difficult job.

  18. @Comment 20 – DaveyP:

    Just as easy is to look at the visible VIN plate displayed at the bottom of the front windscreen on the nearside. If the last letter of the eleven-digit VIN prefix (beginning SARRJ…) is an ‘M’ then it is a Cowley built car. If it ends with a ‘D’ it was built at Longbridge.

  19. I got rid of the X-Type 2.5SE and fell for a 75, again!!! This light metallic green saloon is a CDT on 03 plate, 2 owners, only 87000 miles. 55k as a rep-mobile at 1st MOT in 2006, then it went to a granpa driving it 3-4K a year. VOSA MOT reading showed brakes and suspensions failures on a regular basis. Pity it’s “only”a Classic SE, it has kept the nice dashboard and seats, but the kit tally is a bit short! It’s getting very difficult to find low(ish) mileage Diesels, though. Anyone can tell me more about how to get the airbag light out, thanks.
    Been a long time I haven’t posted, ARonline is still a great read. Keep it up, Keith.

    • It’s a bit late now but if you have had water leaking into the passengers foot well you will find it’s the side impact sensor situated under the carpet under the passenger seat the seat has to come out plus the side trim and rear seat pad p.s. make sure you disconnect battery and leave for tin minutes before disconnecting any plugs under the seat. It’s a good day to do plus any time to dry out the thick foam

    • Hi, it comes now and again with my tourer 2003 estate. I just put my hand under the drivers seat and move the wires under there and it solves the problem every time. I don’t know why maybe a lose wire, hope this helps.

    • Hi, Regarding seatbelt light coming on, it comes now and again with my tourer 2003 estate. I just put my hand under the drivers seat and move the wires under there and it solves the problem every time. I don’t know why maybe a lose wire, hope this helps.

  20. @24 Any idea what the codes are for the airbag light are, assuming it has been code read with a scan tool?

    • Hi Can anyone tell me how to stop water getting in on the drivers side floor is it from the sunroof or somewhere else in my Rover 75 automatic connoisseur, help

      • Simple fix, there are three drain holes in the plenum tray, just poke a long screwdriver up them to clear. Beware there’ll be a lot of water.

  21. I have owned two diesels, a CDT and CDTI and the following faults have shown.
    The MAF sensor fails at 125 miles ish. Flat spots develop in low revs first, then the car will go to limp home mode sporadically, recovering when restarted. Replace the Bosch MAF with the Pierburg and chip kit from Rover Ron at
    Dual-mass flywheel clutches are weak and fail at 85k ish on manuals. £400 fix.
    Jatco auro boxes are bulletproof but are often neglected then refilled with the wrong grade of ATF; buy ONLY the approved stuff, at £60 a refill from Rimmers, and ONLY have a garage which knows the job to do it. Insist they explain how they are going to do it, as the car must be hooked up to diagnostics when this is done. Expect a two-hour labour charge, and insist you have one; if you are charged less, the job has been badly done.
    Boots leak. It’s odd and sporadic and has several leakage points. Look at the forums for details of home fixes.
    Bonnet catch linkage stretches; get this fixed before you can no longer open the bonnet.
    High pressure pump is expensive but can fail. Check for weeps. But performance and fuel consumption suffer very badly if not fixed, so it’s worth doing.
    Fuel tank pump can fail as can ‘sausage’ pump under bonnet; both £100-plus parts but will cause a breakdown and should be suspect if you suddenly grind to a halt.

  22. You can’t expect a car that was last made in 2005 to be totally reliable, but those that remain seem to be in immaculate condition and the owners don’t see them as cheap bangers to be used and abused and dumped when it’s MOT time.
    As for the rust issue, I saw a 54 plate BMW 3 series in Morrisons this week that had rotten wheel arches and rust along the tailgate. Even a Fiat wouldn’t look this bad at ten years old and it’s more proof that BMW are the world’s most overrated car firm.

    • BMW make some of the world’s best cars. How do you know it’s not been badly repaired in the past?

  23. My 2004 Mk I CDTi Club SE (dark blue) is now ten years old; I’ve owned it for nine of those years, and driven 101k almost trouble-free miles in it. It’s been to Sardinia and back four times, and turns a lot of heads in Italy! A really cool-looking guy in an Alfa Brera once stopped to looks at it.

    The high pressure fuel pump went down and stranded me on the motorway in 2010, while suspension coil snapped and burst a tyre in 2013. I’ve also just managed to lose one of the keys! But, apart from that, it’s a gem: quick, reliable, economical and gorgeous. Despite Rover’s bad reputation, everyone who’s ever been in it has admitted that it’s a nice car.

    I honestly don’t know why people go on about the retro looks. Because of the timeless styling, it looks better than any other ten-year-old car on the road. I’m no old codger either … I was 28 when I bought it, and have often wondered if that made me the youngest 75-owner ever.

  24. Hei

    Or hello……not youngest 75 driver, may be in GB but in Norway he is 21..if the car did work…..some truble with the RH direction indicator lightening in the wing and rear….not the bulbs in front it Works prperly….even left frt window is parked Down happen at the same time……Power in wire for indicator until disconekting the battery or the big fl in enginerom…

  25. @ Glenn A – But I have seen plenty of 54 plate 3 series that look as good as new, as indeed most 54 plate cars do if they have been reasonably well looked after. You cant draw conclusions from one car parked in Morrisons!

  26. My battery fail light is coming on when I switch on the fan – am worried this might drain the battery and cause it not to start AGAIN! Rover75 diesel ? My hubby keeps threatening to sell it but I love it even though lately I have started to not trust it? Any ideas guys?

  27. Saw three immaculate ones in Hawick 2 days ago. Indeed a very famous resident of Hawick, the late Bill Mc Laren, owned one. I could just imagine Bill Mc Laren cruising down to Twickenham in his 75 at a steady 70 mph. The car sort of represented the values Mc Laren stood for, dependability( well maybe not the 1.8), sturdiness, an unruffled manner and old school charm.

  28. We’ve had a 2004 2lt diesel tourer facelift model since Sept 2005. Has had the airbag light on since the week we bought it. Took it to Rover they fixed it ,it came back several weeks later just left it now. Best family car we’ve ever had. Had most of the jobs mentioned done. The back passenger door/window has a rusty hole where the rain got in so need to seal it. Ours has done nearly 190k. My hubby used to do 600 miles a week in it for work. Great motorway car , just eats the miles! Our ECU got wet. Our brilliant mechanic sent it way to be refurbed for just over £250. Had a Rover 400 before that for 10 years until dreaded k series headgasket went. Had another great 2nd car up until last Oct a Saab 900 2lt 1997 bought for £210 lasted 18 months. Would definitely buy another 75.

  29. Just bought a 2002 moonstone green 75 Classic SE, 69,000 miles, been very well looked after. Wanted one for ages, this one was too good to pass up.

  30. Had my car (2002 52 75 classic se in moonstone green) out a lot in the last week, amazing the attention it gets, especially when parked, plenty of comments from folk about how they love the styling and always wanted to own one etc. To these people I say GO GET ONE! There are models to sit all budgets and never mind the criticism the car gets, it is undeserved. Any car will have problems if its not looked after!

  31. I’ve owned a Trophy yellow ZT 131 since 2008. Superb car in the same condition as when it left the factory. I’m keeping this to let it develope to classic status.

    Denis Halls,

  32. Rover should have exported the MG variant to the USA, that badge still carries a lot of gravitas in the colonies. Just had some crazy smiling person waving like a looney and yelling “Safety Fast!”, on the freeway this morning, but not waving at me, waving at my 1976 Midget.

  33. I have just bought a lovely pale gold 75 estate diesel 2002 and she drives like a dream, makes me queen of the road. Only one key and they are hellishly expensive to copy. Still she’s such a gorgeous lady she’s worth it.

    The gold estates are not that common but passed one day after I bought mine. We waved and smiled – nice.

    S. Wales getting dragon stickers now.

  34. I bought an MGZT CDTI 2litre diesel automatic (135bhp) 2004 Facelift model some three years ago and it has proved to be a superbly reliable car. The BMW Diesel engine really is bulletproof, mine is now at 140k and still running sweet, average mpg is 40 although on a motorway run at a steady 70mph I can get 55mpg. It uses no oil and its emissions are spot on. The 5 speed BMW auto gearbox is also a dream, very smooth, no violent gear changes. I have owned many BMW’s in the past and can honestly say my ZT has all the comfort and refinements I like, so much so that when I do eventually change my car I will be looking for another ZT CDTI or a Rover 75 CDTI Contemporary. Yes when I first bought the car, the boot was leaking after every rain shower, an easy fix, just removed rear light units, took out foam seals from around the back of the lights, found they had both split open at join, quick dab of superglue, re-assemble and dry boot! Also water can leak into boot where the bodywork side trim beading strip is attached, another easy fix, pull back carpet at each side of boot, you will see plastic screw-on clips with rubber washers that hold beading strip to bodywork, just tighten the few you can see each side of boot bodywork. I agree about keeping the plenums clear at the rear of engine bulkhead, leaves can block these and the ECU ends up sitting in water. I check mine every time I open the bonnet to check oil, water or fill washer bottle. In the three years of ownership I have replaced the usual items like oil, filters, tyres, wipers and the odd bulb here and there. The only parts that have failed on me have been the under bonnet fuel pump (replaced £30) and the dual mass drive belt pulley (replaced £60) Every now and then the airbag light comes on, usually after my wife has driven the car, as she always changes the seat position. I have found that with ignition turned of, reach under drivers seat and disconnect the airbag wiring at its plug, easily visible when you look under the seat, then all I do is reconnect the plug and turn on ignition, bingo airbag warning light goes out and stay out! I love the look of the ZT and the Rover 75 and the insides are so comfortable. Even though my car is 11 years old, when it has been washed and polished it gleams and is rust free, no areas of rust bubbling anywhere, yes a few stone chips. I also love the colour, Goodwood Green. I am also a member of the MG ZT & Rover 75 Enthusiasts Club so I am sure these cars will still be seen on the roads for many more years. Parts can still be found, online forums and owners clubs are great for help and advise and will ensure these brilliant cars are not going to vanish.

  35. I reckon in ten years time Practical Classics will be full of features on Rover 75s and thousands will probably still be around in 2025, as they were the last big Rover. It seems that the 75, like the Morris Minor in the seventies, has developed a following of enthusiasts that are determined to keep most of them on the road. You never see a rough one, or one running with blue exhaust smoke due to lack of maintenance, and this is a sign the 75 and the MG ZT, which is even more of a drivers car, is well respected and lasting well.

  36. I have a 2001 MG 190+ ZT-T. Red. Had it since new been to Switzerland a number of times and still used daily. 95k but still drives and looks like new. Also have the air bag light fault. Been on for year but will now try the fix. Thanks guys. Currently in garage, new clutch cylinder – £790.

  37. Re comment 24/01/2015.

    The auto gearbox in the Rover 75/ MGZT is not a BMW unit (BMW favour ZF units – they do not make their own). All of the automatic gears were JATCO FPO 5 speed units. JATCO (Japanese Automatic Transmission Company) are majority owned by Nissan, with minor share holdings by other Japanese motor companies and are now common on other European built cars.

  38. Just purchased a Rover 75 classic SE 2001 Y Reg in immaculate condition inside and out, it may not be top of the range, but has only 23,000 genuine miles, with all the service history and old MOT’s, I’m like a big kid with it, I feel like I’ve just purchased a real future classic, I’ve always loved the 75 😀

  39. My 75 Connoisseur SE ( with SE ‘Pack’! ) CDTI Auto Tourer is undoubtably the VERY BEST car I have ever owned.
    Purchased 10 years ago, just after poor old Rover was forced into liquidation, it replaced an Audi petrol turbo estate, ( which I’d had for 13 years & was nice enough ). But I’m just SO GLAD I managed to buy this vehicle new ( @ the bargain price of £18,000 ) for it really has proved / is proving to be far better built, so much more economical & comfortable ( if not as fast.!) as the said Audi.
    My youngest son-in-law sat in it recently, mentioned that his mother had just bought a very expensive new Mercedes and then went on to express his opinion that the Rover’s interior was “far nicer in every way than Mum’s Merc”.!!
    I agree. Every one of the 55,000 miles it’s covered has been a delight. My wife & I keep a smaller car as the R. is too nice to use for short runs where the engine cannot reach proper operating temperature. Anyhow it’s on the longer journeys that the 75 really comes into its own. We’re now both in our 70’s but can still drive from Inverness to home in East Kent in a day and, thanks to the Rover’s effortless motorway cruising ability, not feel exhausted on arrival. I often think it’s like sitting in your favourite, leather armchair listening to something nice on the excellent built-in Radio / CD and watching the world glide happily by. Absolutely marvellous. I’m just hoping we might live a little bit longer to put a few more miles on the clock. Whoever acquires ‘her’ when we’ve gone will inherit a gem….Honestly.!!

  40. The 25 and 45 are fading into oblivion now, with the remaining ones often seen as cheap bangers , but the 75 seems to be treated in the same way a Mercedes of the same era would be, maintained correctly and being well looked after. It’s clear an enthusiasts market has developed for the 75 and ZT and no doubt they’ll be around for many years yet. Also a tribute to Rover for making a car that seems to have lasted far better than the 800 and SD 1.

  41. I’ve had my 04 plate 75 cdt tourer for three days now. On almost every other car ive had, numerous sundry minor faults and niggles Id missed on test drives have become apparent i odd bulbs missing,

  42. There are a few other things I would look for, on the diesel models. The clutch is an expensive job and the slave cylinder is in the bell housing. Any hint that the clutch is faulty, walk away.

    Check the front suspension, the bushes on the lower control arm fail, not an expensive part, but a nightmare job. The ball joints on the lower control arm is not replaceable, and once again, these are very difficult to change.

    The 75 can also rot around the jacking points in the sills. Check the sill covers are there, and if they are remove them, they are push fit and have a look inside.

  43. Bought my “Sir Roger” 2.0 Cdti, Starlight silver tourer nine years ago, most comfortable, practical, reliable and stylish car I’ve ever owned. Unfortunately Rovers name has been tarnished by previous cars in the UK, but when I tour France every summer (even with 138000 on the clock) I can honestly say that i’ve lost count of the admiring looks, pouting of lips and nods from the French who admire stylish load luggers. I’ll be keeping him for a bit longer yet, he’s still immaculate.

  44. just bought a 75 cdt tourer, fantastic car….alas am already hearing the clutch whine when pedal depressed,which is perplexing because it seems to have had a new clutch fitted 3000 miles ago.Is this indicative of a new problem,or just one i ‘ll be able to live with for a bit before spending?any views ?

  45. The Rover 75 diesel is by no means my favourite car as I greatly prefer the Rover 825 turbo diesel for what it hasn’t got (It has no cam-belt, no DMF, no CSC and no black boxes or MAF sensors so IMHO the Vancelli-Martelli engine is still the best ever)

    As to the Rover 75, a friend who lives and works in Cardiff bought one and got me to drive it back to Cornwall where it has now been stored in his garden for several years. It always did leak with damp in the boot so a drain hole was drilled in one of the blanking bungs. The leaking eventually got so bad that the passenger side foot-well filled up with water almost as high as the top of the sill. I couldn’t see any suitable bungs to drill so I hammered a six inch nail through the floor. The hole has stopped the water from accumulating so this was a really good mod. Needless to say the key and the car stopped communicating with one another years ago. When the car did run, the power delivery at low revs was extremely poor which made the car difficult to drive in traffic (it would stall a lot unless the revs were kept up) Presumably it was faulty when he bought it. The GOOD point is that on the motorway if one keeps in the slow lane driving at 55 to 60 it uses almost no fuel! Of course these cars have a MAF which can be very troublesome if pollen, dust or oil burns on to the hot wire and thermally insulate it.

    Hot Wire MAF horror story. £300 for a milligram of dirt! A friend had a problem car, a 1.8 petrol Vauxhall Astra. After carb trouble and trouble with a hairline crack in the coil-on-plug assembly the car ran fine. Unfortunately it failed on Emissions at the MOT even though the exhaust was completely colourless! The fault was Oxides of Nitrogen fractionally too high. Two new Lambda sensors costing £90 each were fitted but the NOX reading was unchanged. Next he got a Drive-By-Wire expert to scan the car but there were no faults stored. The expert did say that it might be the MAF so a new one was bought. The result was that another £90 later the NOX readings became acceptable. The story got relayed to a person up-country who rebuilds gearboxes for a living and he immediately said “Oven cleaner!” What happens is that dirt burnt-on to the hot-wire causes the engine to use more air (to get the wire to the temperature that the ECU wants) More air = lean mixture which gives a higher burn temperature hence more NOX. What the cognoscenti do is to (1) Remove the MAF (2) Using a child’s paint brush carefully paint oven-cleaner onto the sensing wire. (3) Leave overnight. (4) In the morning rinse-off the oven cleaner. (5) Allow unit to dry. (6) Re-fit to car. The saving of hundreds of pounds is not to be sneezed at especially as no special tools are needed. Modern cars are just too complicated!

  46. I agree….it was all so much better when we could spend our weekends decoking heads, messing around with contact breakers, trying to buy a new condenser on a Sunday teatime, farting about with feeler gauges in a vain attempt to learn the art of setting tappets, and best of all….praying to the deity of your choice to get the damned thing to start on damp mornings.

  47. I bought a 2003 reg silver 75 1.8 Connoisseur SE in 2014 for just £850! with just 69000 on the clock, and have had no major problems with the car, and it drives A1.It has all the bells and whistles ,rear blinds all leather and etc ….
    Clean body, and service records.
    The Best car i have ever driven and one of the cheapest i have ever bought.
    A bloke in my street came over to look at it and told me he was a Rover engineer before he retired and gave me good advice, fit new coil springs all round as they snap after a certain age, and keep a keen eye on water levels using quality coolants. And give the big rear suspension arms a clean up and a good coat of rust treatment of your choice. .
    All this work was done

    by a local mechanic in his home pit at a very reasonable cost…… The car handled even better now and i have had no sign of any head gasket symptoms ever.
    Just had MOT no advisories. JAN 2016
    Buy one, there are some giveaway cars still about as people think you cannot get parts now, but i have had no problems.Even got the springs cheap
    as old stock sale.

  48. I purchased my 1.8 Classic SE 75 almost two years ago for the princely sum of £600. It was in excellent all round condition with 78k on the clock with service history. Nearly 20k of serene trouble free miles, including trips to Germany, it continues to drive superbly, attracting lots of admiring looks from the German public. What can you say ? I love it, what a bargain.

  49. @ Heather, the ones I see around locally, and you never have to look that hard, all seem to be immaculate and well loved by their owners. I particularly like the 75 in metallic green and navy blue, and consider the diesel versions to be the best if you want economy with your Rover, and the older school BMW engine seems to last well.

    • Thank you Glen, yes the metallic green is such a lovely colour. Silver, the colour I have is very nice too. Before I bought my 52 reg 75, I had a mechanic friend check thoroughly mechanics and body, in his opinion it was an excellent example…and so it has proved.

  50. We have an 01 reg diesel 75. We bought it seven years ago with 45K on the clock. It now has 110K. It has been a comfortable reliable car. It had had a new clutch when we purchased it. Last year we needed a new clutch – since then we have had FIVE new Master cylinders fitted under the guarantee. The garage cannot find a fault but suddenly the clutch pedal has no pressure and the gears will not go in. This happens each time. We have today had another new Master Cylinder fitted. The garage are at their wits end! Anyone have any suggestions? thanks. We fear the next time this happens we will be force to scrap an otherwise brilliant car!

  51. I have a 1.8 T K Series.
    My mates all begged me not to buy one along with horror stories about failed head gaskets etc.

    That was 2 years ago, the car is immaculate & still going strong, I just keep a close eye on the coolant level & oil. Make sure it’s serviced, maintained & looked after. Can’t go wrong. Did have a slight water ingress problem through the rear light clusters which was an easy fix, the fan sensor packed up which again was quickly identified due to my obsession with keeping the car in tip top condition.

    Last year everyone thought I’d finally lost my mind when I drove it 1700 miles to the Algarve all through France & Spain, had a weeks holiday with the family & then drove it all the way back again, didn’t miss a beat, no issues. Nearly 4000 miles in 10 days with driving around down there.

    Doing the same journey again in summer 2017 & have no concerns at all.
    Like anything else, look after the car, the car will look after you.
    Anything will break down if not maintained, even your BMW..!!

  52. My 03 MG ZT-T with sunroof has water in the drivers side rear foot well, please tell me where it is getting in?.

  53. Yesterday on a housing estate near me (South Shields) I saw a light gold V reg R75 parked up (for sale, priced at just £525). Mileage unknown. Looked tidy exterior, with some red MG badged stripes on the lower body.

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