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I have had two rover 114s and think that they are a great car. There are problems like with any car but they are a good car and a great first car.
I had my rover metros as my first and second car, (after writing the first one off). While my friends were driving novas and corsa i had my metros and they were great. Both 4 doors and both came with electric windows.
As i said there are problems though. First and like many rovers from the 90s head gaskets. These do go on metros and unless you fix them yourself can be quite costly. If you can buy one that has had the head gaskets replaced but this won't stop it from happening again.
Second problem are the rear wheel archs, these rot out on metros like its going out of fashion. These can be repaired or replaced but it also may cost you.
Lastly a major problem for all rover drivers is parts. The parts for all rovers and now going up in price and are getting hard to find. Luckily are there are still many metros in scrap yards so there are still second hand parts available.
Dont let any of this stop you buying one, i would have another one in a heart beat but just take into consideration these points when buying one.
My first ever car was a an Austin Metro - called Esmerelda. It was red and had a go faster stripe down the side. I was 18 at the time and spent my life savings of £999 on it. It was great, not many of my friends could drive so I was suddenly popular as I could take them out and about and it was easy to run and cheap.
Unfortunately I was young and thrashing the car to its limits soon took its toll and I had to get rid of it. I sold it amazingly but later discovered that it had been used for a ramraid in Brighton whilst still in my name - fortunately I did have the proof that I had sold it on at this stage.
I had various small cars - Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf since those days but when Austin sold the company to Rover and the old metro received a facelift it was only a matter of time before I was going to find myself behind the wheel of one again.
At first glance the cars themselves have not really changed that much in appearance - many still mistake them for Metro's and deep down they still are. On the front you now have the new grill which all Rover cars possess and they are still the same box shape but the colours are now more interesting - mine is Platinum and with a 1.4 litre engine these little cars can go from 0 - 60 in 10.7 seconds not that there is a lot of scope for such speed on the roads of Kings Lynn.
Although small the car copes amazingly well on motorways although it does not have the oomph of the larger sporty models. Around town it is cheap to run, comfotrable to travel in whether in the back or front although there is not a great deal of room if carrying puschairs etc in the boot. I was seldom able to go shopping with the children as I could not get both the pushchair and the shopping in the boot at the same time. If you have large pushchairs or double then you lose the parcel shelf altogether or you can not shut the door. Despite the small amount of room I have travelled with pushchair, travel cots, luggage, changing boxes, 3 children and toys on a 300 mile round trip more than once and it was not too bad though you could not have got anything else in.
A drawback with the seating is that the central seat in the back is only a lap belt which is OK but not really suitable for children in booster seats as the belts are too loose over their laps when they are on the seat, remove the seat and they are not that secure, I have had to travel with my eldest in the front which is not really that practical and an adult in teh central seat in the back which is uncomfortable when you have to childrens seat in place either side, which you have to clamber over to get to your seat in the first place.
The car comes fitted with an immobiliser which has been more problems than it is worth, as I am unable to shop at locations throughout the town because the immoboliser locks me out of the car and ceases to work. I did purchase another immoboliser at a cost of £90.00 fitted and the same problem occured. Something to do with Telephone masts!!!
The car also comes with central locking which many cars these days does but I am unable to use mine as only the boot now locks with the immoboliser leaving the car unsecure. This could probably be rectified but as all 4 doors do not lock I think it would be cheaper to purchase a new car.
As a small car for somebody on their own these are great. Cheap and cheerful however when the family grows and the amount of items that you need to take with you grows you would need to consider a larger car.
The Rover 100 is the first (and currently) only car I own. I bought it back in 1995 before I knew anything about cars and just stumbled into a Rover franchise. 6 years and nearly 90,000 miles later it's still running after a few patch ups; mainly the ignition and the injection system both of which are relatively inexpensive to fix. I'll have to say it's not the best car to drive on long hauls across the country, but running around cities and towns it's right up there with the big boys. It acceleration is pretty good for squeezing in and out of tight spots; it's small size is perfert to zipping past huge 4x4 morons who like to take up the entire road down a high street. The interior is nothing to shout home about, but then I've driven cars 3 times more expensive and they look just as "cheap". I would definately recommend this as your first car, it may not turn heads but it's good solid engine and small size will give you a welcomed surprise.