Our Cars : Keith Adams’ Rover 75 Tourer Connoisseur SE 2.0 CDT

Keith Adams hasn’t had a Rover 75 since his misadventure in a rather ropey 1.8 almost a decade ago. But he’s back in this Copperleaf Rover 75 Tourer – the AROnline team is therefore now well and truly back in the R40 camp.

There are a few bits and pieces to do on this one, though.

Rover 75: seeking out new estates

Talk about happenstance. Literally days after Mike Humble gets his new and rather nice Rover 75 Connoisseur, I find myself with a very similar-looking car on my driveway. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and, given I’d concluded that after my last Rover 75, I’d steer clear for a while… but, hey, that was 2012 and the world’s moved on somewhat since then.

How I came across it seems to be rather typical of how my car purchasing has gone in 2020 and 2021 – it came to me, and I wasn’t really looking for it. Long-time friend of AROnline, former British Leyland and Rover Group Public Relations Officer, Ian Elliott dropped me a line recently on an unrelated matter, signing off with a throwaway ‘I’m thinking of selling my Rover 75’ comment…

Emails went backwards and forwards, the car was thoroughly described and, in the end, we struck a deal on his pride and joy. I should say that I’ve known this car a very long time – I remember seeing it at the Austin Centenary parade in Birmingham in 2005, and also at various shows along the way. It was a handsome beast then and, in my head, and after Ian’s very honest run-down of its faults, I knew that it could well be a great AROnline project car for the coming months.

As well as this fine car, I also picked up a spare set of 17-inch alloys, a new Kenlowe fan (more of that in a moment) and its extremely thorough service history. Being a Connoisseur SE, it comes pretty well equipped. There’s an electric sunroof, heated seats, parking radar, cruise control, leather interior, sat-nav and much, much more. In addition, there are a few options, including remote-controlled pre-heater for the engine, an MG Rover-branded towbar and a fairly lively remap, care of Superchips.

Picking up the car from Ian’s house, I was very aware of just how long he’d had this car and how much it meant to him. After a long and very thorough handover with Ian and his wife, I gingerly piloted it off his driveway with a bit of a lump in the throat. I suspect Ian and Dotty might well have had tears in their eyes, too…

On the drive home, it was lovely to be reacquainted with its snug and cosy interior, and those restful-looking backlit instruments. It took a while to dial in to the automatic diesel’s engine characteristics, but once rolling and used to it, I found it perfectly quick enough to mix it with today’s overly aggressive drivers, while settling down to a relaxed 2000rpm canter on the motorway. And that ride quality… sublime!

There are a few faults that need attending to (listed below), but all-in all, I’m very impressed, and I hope that I end up giving it the good home it so richly deserves. The coming months are going to be very interesting in this fine car that seems to be ageing very well indeed.

  • Refit interior driver’s door handle – to do
  • Investigate damp carpet in passenger footwell – to do
  • Refit passenger carpet trim – to do
  • Investigate current drain from sat-nav system – to do
  • Reset sat-nav to UK location (currently this thinks that the car is in Prague) – to do
  • Investigate oil smoke from engine pre-heater – to do
  • Investigate door mirrors that won’t adjust – to do
  • Refit surround for rain-sensing wiper unit – to do
  • Investigate non-working cooling fan and fit new Kenlowe – to do


Keith Adams


  1. It thinks it’s in Prague – you need to Czech that.

    I can’t talk though – after I drove my Mondeo off the Isle of Wight ferry, it became convinced it was swimming across the Solent. It’s never been the same since, I just use my ‘phone instead.

  2. RE. WATER IN N.S.F. FOOTWELL. It’s highly likely that this is caused by one or more of the 4 Sunroof drains. I’ve got 4 of these wonderful cars. [ 2 CDTI Connoisseur SE Tourers, 1 CDTI Contemporary SE Tourer, 1 V8 ‘Mustang’ Connoisseur SE Saloon ] All 4 have the Electric Sunroof & with 3 of them I’ve had
    the wet carpet problem described here. Not being very good at DIY nowadays, MG Rover 75 specialist of
    Colwyn Bay, Jules Anderson, has modified these drains for me over the years. ALL THE VERY BEST.

  3. FWIW Jules Anderson is JMA Cars – NB the website is jmacars.co.uk not jma-cars.co.uk as listed in certain places on the Interweb.

    I had considered a diesel 75 Tourer, since 400 Tourers are now extremely rare, but unfortunately Hubnut has convinced me that they aren’t really a DIY proposition for quite a few common problems that can crop up.

    • I had the water in the passenger footwell problem in my 75 Tourer and I don’t have a sunroof. It was caused by a de-bonded windscreen. In heavy rain water would short out the electrics and stop the wipers. When it stopped raining, they would work again! I also have similar problem with the Sat Nav but my car is in the North Sea heading East. I have not managed to solve it so I will be interested to see if you can resolve the problem.

  4. Congratulations on your latest acquisition Keith! It looks superb, and the list of things to fix doesn’t look too daunting.

    My Rover 75 Tourer 1.8 Connoisseur SE (see Car of the Month July 2018) continues to be my best ever car purchase (and it only cost £1695). I’ve taken it from 49,000 to 73,000 miles during the four years since I bought it and I can honestly say that I’ve never owned a car which more successfully blends comfort, practicality, and sheer driving pleasure (and I’ve owned quite a few cars in 45 years of car ownership!). Although I look after it as well as possible, it’s not a cossetted car. My daughter recently moved house and I used the Rover to transport items of furniture, large boxes and people over considerable mileages, without the 1.8 engine missing a beat. I couldn’t believe how much could be packed into it with the back seats down.

    When not transporting items, I still use it frequently as a very comfortable and enjoyable family car. It has covered journeys of hundreds of miles with no problems and lots of compliments from the passengers.

    I’m sure you’ll enjoy your 75 Tourer as much as me Keith – I wouldn’t want to be without mine!

  5. Most of those are pretty standard issues with 75s as they get longer in the tooth. Sunroof drains are the most likely culprit for a damp passenger footwell, although it could be blocked plenum drains. If so, that needs addressing quickly as you could end up with a flooded ECU. Carpet trim falling off is a common one too, the clips get brittle and if you catch them getting in to the car they break. The lack of mirror adjustment is an easy fix, I’ve had to do it on 3 of my 5 R40s over the years. It’s the driver’s door switch pack. The contacts get dirty and just need a good clean. Pop out the switch pack and carefully unclip the top half to expose the PCB. Give it and the contacts on the rubber cover a good clean with PCB cleaner, and spray a bit of silicone on the plastic sliders in the top of the switch pack as these can be prone to sticking with age, or previous owners spillages.

    Enjoy the car it looks a good ‘un. Ours went to a new home in North Yorkshire 2 weeks ago and I’m already missing the old thing.

  6. The sat-nav issue must be related to cars with “Rover” in their name

    Whilst sitting safely on my driveway, which is definitely in Hampshire, my 2005 L322 Range Rover reckons it is actually in the North Sea, about 6 miles off the coast of Hull, and refuses to be convinced otherwise.

    • This also can happen with the Mercedes-Benz Comand system if the car has been moved with the battery disconnected . Assuming you have the instructions for your sat nav system, if you have a look in the book, it should tell you how to reset it manually . On the MB system it took me about 15 minutes

  7. From the ext & int images shown here, this car looks excellent for its age. Perhaps Mike can help you with those tasks on the to do list Keith?

  8. A great colour combination, while the 17-inch wheels you also have will help fill in some of the space in the wheel arches. I look forward to reading more about your progress with the jobs to do.

  9. is that a Doby cassette deck next to the digital( as in digital, rather than DAB) radio? Except for very basic small cars, I thought cassette decks had vanished by the end of the end of the nineties, and I’m surprised to see this in a Rover.

  10. @Glenn Aylett:

    You’d be surprised how many new cars were still having a cassette player fitted in the ‘noughties’. I remember driving a brand new L322 generation Range Rover Vogue in April 2002 and found that when I pressed a button next to the satellite navigation screen, the panel opened forwards to reveal a cassette deck hidden behind it. In the week I had that vehicle on loan, I used the cassette desk more than the CD autochanger fitted in the glovebox.

    • I had over 300 cassettes 20 years ago and my 1996 SEAT Ibiza was ideal for me and quite often I used to record CDs or radio programmes for the car. Then I changed to a 2003 Hyundai that had a CD player and the cassettes became mostly redundant, although I have kept all of them as I do have a cassette deck in the lofr.

    • My 2004 L322 had a cassette deck as well. My current 2005 doesn’t however, which was very disappointing!

    • I believe the first gen Skoda Superb (on sale till 2008) had a cassette deck – one of the last cars I believe that had them. (I had a 2000 Volvo S40 that had one also). Mid last year we bought a Mazda CX-5 and this is the last year a CD player is included in that model. (they were deleted for the next model year) – My wife still uses them in the car.

  11. In the opposite way, I have a 64 reg Yaris and was surprised to find that the radio isn’t DAB, only FM-AM, and doesn’t have a CD player either.

  12. 2004 Discovery had cassette player, miss that.

    Nice 75, always fancied one never got round to owning one, probably won’t now they are all a bit long in the tooth. Still if the right one turned up….

  13. Please completer your last sentence, Bob. “if the right one turned up………”. WHAT ?
    What, for ex., might make a “right one” ? I’d be interested to know because there
    are still a few ‘beauties’ available if you look in the right places.

    • May I ask why you want to have four examples of the same car unless you are Rover 75 specialist centre aswell as a Vicar?

      • All 4 are quite different. Retired vicars are allowed hobbies even if he can’t persuade Rob to answer.

  14. Great Choice. I have had my 75 Tourer same colour same spec 2.0 CDT a 2002 for 9 years now. Yes its a manual and slave and master cylinder problems rear suspension arms plus my air can had a complete rebuild. Now need rear shocks and drop links. However its done 217,000 and have a full service history from new. I will not part with it getting rare now and its a a cossetted place to be after a long day at work. People say “my god you still have that thing”. My mechanic his has done 320,000 and there is one I know of that has done 500,000. My sat nav packed up turned up to be the brain not turning off and draining the battery. Well done on your purchase.

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