The Rover Streetwise was a clever addition to MGR’s range in 2003 – although it wasn’t met with universal praise from the press, buyers liked its mix of tough looks, bright colours and city-friendly bumpers. It was styled under Peter Stevens, and foresaw the huge expansion of B-segment crossovers that took over the marketplace in the mid- to late-2010s.
It was very closely related to the Rover 25 and MG ZR, although the plan was to introduce Streetwise versions of the 45 and 75 – sadly its launch coincided with a massive drop-off in sales following widespread press reports surrounding the financial irregularities of the Phoenix Four.
The Streetwise ceased production in April 2005, when Rover ceased trading and went into administration, but it was briefly reincarnated in 2008 as the MG 3 SW in China, where it was built built by the Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC).
As well as the cladding and bumpers, other changes include a 10mm raise in ride height and chunky roof bars. It was also available in four or five seats (optional), with the rears in the four-seater being separated by a centre console.