When i was offered this car i thought oh no not a rover i test drove it for the weekend as i was offered it at a price i could hardly refuse. It took a day or so to get used to as with any car but now i love it. It is comfortable, reliable and very nice to drive. The only down side to this car is i have found it heavy on fuel but as i very rarely drive long distances it doesn't make much difference to me. Mine has 60k on the clock and still runs very well i am assured by the old dear i bought it of she has had very little trouble with it at all. So if your like me and are put of by the Rover name i am not scared to say i was wrong.
I bought my Rover 214Si in September 1998 and owned it for just over a year before buying a newer car. When I bought it (for £1,000) it had 100k miles on the clock and I would say was in average condition for a H reg (seven years old) at the time. There are still a lot of these cars on the road so I thought this may help someone looking to buy a second hand car. They would be quite good as a first car really, you can pick up a decent one for around £500 or so today I expect. My Rover was red with grey trim. The vast majority of these cars seem to have the same colour scheme, I have seen green as well which is quite nice, I haven't seen any in silver though, this would look really good I think! In fact my wife's uncle used to have a white one, used it for their wedding and it looked quite good with all the ribbons on it! You must of seen these cars driving around, I would say they look OK even today, the top of the range ones looked really nice when they first came out but have aged a bit. Still they are far from ugly, perhaps a bit of an old mans car, some would say, if they were a bit unkind. I don't have a small dog and wear a hat I should point out! Inside the car is very comfortable, it is big enough to accomodate four adults easily but not so big to be a problem in tight spaces. The pedals are a nice size and well spaced out so those with big feet (size 12 mine) wont have trouble pressing the pedals one at a time. This is advisable when driving, pressing two pedals with one foot can be a problem! The visibility all round is good, reversing not a problem although you do seem to sit down quite low, not great if you are short I suspect. The build quality is fairly good as well, the carpets and upholstery are nice and feel quite expensive. Although the version I had did not come with power steering you only really miss this when parking, the tyres are quite wide and so it is heavy on the steeri
ng only when parking. The instrument panel is well laid out and uncluttered, the rev counter is standard and easy to read. There are no special extras with this car, although mine came with electric windows and mirrors. Drawback with electric mirrors is that mine broke and cost £150 to replace just the drivers side mirror! On the road the car drives very well. It isn't all that quick though, especially when pulling away from standstill, but it is better at overtaking as the power comes in well in 3rd gear at around 50mph. Not a brilliant top speed either, but it happily cruises on the motorway at the legal limit all day with hardly any noise. It handles quite well too, the wideish tryres give plenty of grip even in the wet and there is little body roll, I liked the brakes especially as even though it has no ABS it is very hard to lock up. The car is very good until it comes to the cost of running. You really struggle to get more than 40 mpg out of it although if you are careful you may get 45mpg on motorways. I often only achieved about 30mpg around town, not cheap compared to my current car. Worse still is the cost of repairs. I spent almost £200 getting the clutch repaired and then found out the cylinder head gasket needed replacing, which was going to be around £600 for all the associated work. That's when I got rid of it and got a newer car. I did manage to get tyres for about £50 each which was suprisingly cheap in my experience and insurance was £300 a year for me with my no claims discount. I think it was group 5 insurance. Having said this my car was pretty reliable. It was left outside all the time and started every time even in winter. I did find people very courteous to me when I was driving it, often letting me out at junctions and that type of thing. They aren't so courteous to me now in my little Corsa! Overall if you can pick one of these up fairly cheap with some kind o
f warranty (preferably lowish mileage)I would recommend them as good cars when they are going well. Really I can't complain too much as it had done over 100k when bought so what do you expect?
I purchased my rover 214i in March this year it is a 1998 and I find that it is a very comfortable car to drive, I have previously driven a Fiat Tipo and a Fiesta and find the rover a much better car to handle. I drive 48 miles per day so I require comfort. This car is very economical, I usually fill the car with petrol on a monday and if I am just driving back and forward to work I never need to visit the garage during this time. The interior of the car is nicely laid out and everything is close at hand, this model has electric windows and sunroof. The stereo system is quite good however speakers are on the front doors only and kids complain about being unable to hear the music in the back. The only complaint I have heard about this car is from my children who think that the suspension isn't very good and as we live in the country the roads are quite bumpy. I would recommend this car to everyone, my husband drives a Rover 400 turbo diesel, this is also an excellent car to drive, and very economical but I much prefer the smaller 214