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Road Test: Rover 75

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MG ZT

The Rover 75 is one of Britain’s fine cars although its lifespan is only last for six years. We first seen the car at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show and it went into production from 1999 to 2005. The Rover 75 is a car full with Britain’s taste. Everything from head to toe is beautifully crafted with all that chrome and leather. Some said it is a poor-man’s Jaguar, some said it is a cheaper version of the Rolls-Royces, we say it is Rover!

A Big thanks to Uncle Lee who had given us the chance to test drive his 2005 Rover 75 and also shared us the enjoyment he had with the car over the years. Uncle Lee’s Rover 75 is the 2.0 CDTi model that is using a diesel engine. He bought the car brand new in 2005 for RM176,761.49. Being a ‘diesel’ fan, Uncle Lee loves the car so much because it is cool and the cabin is quiet even at high speeds.

Overview

The Rover 75 is an executive car and available in three variants: the 1.8 liter Turbo, the 2.0 liter V6, and the economy version 2.0 CDTi. The 1.8 liter Turbo delivers 150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp) power and has a maximum torque of 215 N.m (159 lb.ft) at 2100 rpm. It takes only 9.1 seconds from zero to hundred. Top speed is acclaimed to be 210 km/h (130 mph). Fuel consumption for the 1.8 liter Turbo is 35 mpg. The price was RM154,897.20 in 2005 when it was brand new.

The 2.0 liter V6 delivers the same power with the 1.8 liter Turbo but the maximum torque is slightly lower at 184 N.m (136 lb.ft). It takes 9.6 seconds from zero to hundred and the top speed is acclaimed to be 210 km/h (130 km/h). Fuel consumption for the 2.0 liter V6 is 30 mpg. The price was RM176,038 in 2005 when it was brand new. It is expensive than the 1.8 liter but the performance is better.

The 2.0 CDTi model is what we are going to go for a road test today. The engine is a DOHC common rail diesel with a turbocharger. It was the latest diesel engines manufactured by BMW in 2005. The car delivers 131 PS (96 kW; 129 bhp) power and has a maximum torque of 299 N.m (221 lb.ft). From 0 to 100 km/h, it takes only 10.3 seconds which is very impressive for a diesel car that looks heavy. The top speed is claimed at 190 km/h (120 mph). The fuel consumption is 49 mpg which is similar to the Perodua Myvi.

There is also another high-performance version of the Rover 75, the MG ZT. It was produced from 2001 to 2005 and only 27,149 units were made. The outlook is similar to the Rover 75 if you did not compare it properly. The MG ZT 190 V6 model featured a 2.5-liter engine that delivers 190 hp @ 6500 rpm. It takes only 7.7 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. It is really an impressive record for an executive car.

Road Test and Review

“Swooooooooooooooosh!” Ambience cargo, smooth ride, and good handling. We thought the car is heavy when we first saw it. We thought it will be like riding an elephant, but it is not! It is like sitting in a Rolls-Royce. We tested the car up till 150 km/h. It runs very steady when it reaches 150 km/h and it gives us a feeling that it will remain the same comfort when the speed reaches 180 km/h. From 0 to 100 km/h, it took 12 seconds which is 1.7 seconds slower than when it was new. The cabin is comfortable and the back seats are spacious enough to accommodate three big guys comfortably.

Car Maintenance

Uncle Lee maintains his car with few different workshops rather than send it back to the dealership. He could not recall how much in total he had paid to maintain the car. But he mentioned to us that he had replaced the starter motor, thermostat, and front suspension. Other basic services such as automatic transmission oil replacement, engine oil change, and oil filter change are done according to time.

What is good about the car?

What you get is more than what you pay for. It is like paying less than half of what a Rolls-Royce cost but get the similar enjoyment. The car borrowed some technology from BMW such as chassis and the Z-axle from the BMW E36 3-Series. Thus, we feel the handling is like driving a BMW. The beautiful interior sparks a mood to enter. Although the production is no longer available, there are still many Rover 75 and MG ZT Club in the UK.

What is not so good about the car?

Spare parts are extremely hard to source because Rover Group plc went bankrupt few years ago. The dealership is also no longer there and no more official support will be provided. Uncle Lee is lucky to find a mechanic who owns the same car. The mechanic is able to repair the car for Uncle Lee. But for most of the people who wish to own this car, it will be hard to find any independent workshops that familiar with this car model. In the UK, you can get a used Rover 75 from £970. You may want to spend £1000 pound to buy another car and use it as spare parts just in case the spare parts you need is no more. Last but not least, the car interior is very beautiful but it comes with an old-style CD changer.

Used Rover 75 Price

If you are lucky, you may be able to get a Rover 75 for sale between RM50K to RM65K (As of 2012).

The competitors for Rover 75 and MG ZT: Although the Rover 75 or MG ZT is the star of the show but it does has some competitor include the Jaguar S-Type, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

In 2006, Roewe in China produced the Roewe Rover 75, namely, the Roewe 750. Although the car is no longer available as Rover 75, we do hope the British brand will be back again one day.

Rover 75 Interior
Rover 75 Interior

Cheshire Police Rover 75
Cheshire Police – Rover 75

Rover 75 Ambulance
Ambulance – Rover 75

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