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My last car was a Laguna estate, however when I put that through for it's MOT and they told me it was going to cost £1,500 to repair I thought it time to get a new car! My budget was low but at the time my job was 76miles away meaning I was doing almost 160miles a day, every day, so I was looking for something reliable, cheap to run and cheap to buy. Impossible you might think, that's certainly what I thought when I was looking! However, when a P reg Rover 216 was advertised near me for just £250 I thought it worth a look. I have heard that Rovers were unreliable but I thought it worth a look anyway.
The exterior of the car caught my attention and whilst it's against everything I know to buy a car based on looks alone I have to admit I think I knew I was going to buy it even before I got behind the wheel. The body is very sporty and the previous owner had had alloy wheels fitted making it even more attractive. Just from looking at the outside all my preconceptions about Rover being an "old man's car" disappeared. The inside is very luxurious and makes the car appear much more expensive then it actually was, the steering wheel is bulky without being excessive and has good grip. The speakers and inbuilt stereo are also very good
Now, I'm quite a nervous driver and whilst this car takes corners relatively well it does tend to roll a bit which wouldn't usually be a problem but it's not very good for my nerves so I tend to take corners slower then I would otherwise. The engine however does have plenty of power, for a small car it's a 1.6 and 16V so runs well on the motorway and main roads but not so well through the city with all the corners. I've also found that the brake pads wear thin quite quickly although this may be due to the miles I was doing at the time.
The back seats are also very small, there is plenty of room for bags etc or two small children but you couldn't comfortably fit adults/teenagers in the back.
Running costs are low, over 6 months it has not needed any repairs besides one set of replacement brake pads and I average 41MPG.
My little red Rover….not quite the same as Corvette! My 216 convertible is stripping its roof for the first time under my ownership, and it feels good, but I knew that it would… I purchased my Rover 216 16v convertible from’ Bournemouth Ford, Palmerston Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset I bought it at the end of January, as I knew that the selling credibility of a convertible then, was a lot less than it is now. In fact I paid £6000 for it then, but it is worth at least £7000 now. The details of the car are, 1996 P 216 16v Convertible 19,000 miles on clock when purchased 3 owners, full service history Fire engine red 2 doors Standard features Power steering Electric windows Remote central locking Red dials Black hood Radio cassette Rear seat belts Extra options included on car (not standard when purchased) Electric Power hood £1000 extra option Alloy wheels £500 extra option Recaro sports seats £250 extra option All that for £6000, (advertised for £7000, but knew the boss!) Facts and figures 0-60 in about 9 seconds Top speed of 115 mph (not advisable) 5-speed gearbox Full tank of petrol is roughly £27 Average 36 miles to the gallon Handling. Not to impressive I’m afraid, if you are after a secure feeling while you drive, then stay in town with this car. After 70 MPH it shakes, rattles and rolls. Lots of surface noise and vibrations, but no more than you would expect from a convertible. Corners fairly well, but not really its forte. The ride at low speeds is no problem whatsoever, but same again, not really a motorway car, although it is handy to have in a traffic jam, as you just put the roof down, enjoy the sun, and relax. Comfort. Very good in the front, if you are comfortable with spo
rts seats. They tend to grip you into the seat. Furthest journey so far was to Manchester and back, and apart from the noise, no real problems. Back seat is more squashed than a hedgehog on the M1! No way comfortable for 2 adults, and even 2 teenagers would struggle. Conclusion This is a superb car for the enjoyment of summer driving around the streets of a beach town. Great feel good factor about it, but still looks a little hairdresser (ish) 8 out of 10, and holds her own against more expensive cars. I half expect to have a very brown face this summer Angus
I bought my P reg 216 Si 3dr in August 1999. I had to trade in my old car for something more reliable as I do 15-20k miles per year. I had previously owned two older Rover 200s, an H reg and a B reg. My main reason for choosing the new 216 Si was its economy to performance ratio, it will do 42 MPG and take me to 60 MPH in 9.3 secs. My options were a Megane, Astra or Fiesta but the Rover felt and looked like it was in a different class both from the inside and outside. Once behind the wheel the first thing you notice is the chunky steering wheel. The interior is quite luxurious looking compared with other cars in this class and the standard stereo and speakers are very good. The dash is reasonably well laid out but the opposite end of the speedo needle obscures the tripometer when cruising on the motorway. This is a trivial but flawed design fault, and not the only one. The window rim which stops dirt going into the door when a window is opened doesn’t even touch the glass, so when the windows have morning dew on them and you roll them down and back up to clear them, it has no effect! Also, the protective rubber on the sides of the car are placed on the pit of the bowl-shaped doors and offer no protection at all in car parks, in this case looks topped practicality - the 200 does look great, especially with the optional 15” alloys. However, its manners are not as sporty as the looks suggest. At first I was disappointed with the soft ride and spongy handling as I was used to my previous car - an Astra GTE 16v. There is quite a lot of body roll in the corners, this is a shame as the engine has plenty of power which can’t always be used because of the soft suspension. Running costs over 18 months have been excellent with group 7 insurance and good MPG. The car had a new cat fitted when I bought it at 23,000 miles. At 40,000 miles I bought two new tyres and at 56,000 it needed a new exhaust and backbox. The gearbox sometimes has problems getting into fi
rst or reverse, I have to declutch and when it's cold, the dashboard rattles like it's loose. Apart from that lot it's just had routine servicing. Apparently a lot of the design flaws from the 200 have been rectified in the Rover 25. One of the main areas of improvement on the 25 has been the suspension, which is now stuffer on even the base model than it was on the sporty 200 Vi.
We have had our Rover for around six months and it has been an excellent car. The luxurious quality to the interior of the car is unrivalled for the range and price of this second hand car. The smooth ride is great around towns and on long distances. Fuel economy is excellent for a 1600 engines as we average 42.6 miles to the gallon. The acceleration is good making life easier when overtaking with no effort from the car at all, coping with overtaking up hill with no problems. So far we have had no problems with the car which is a 'P' reg and it continues to be a unsung hero of our family. Slightly more expensive at the time of purchase than comparable sized cars but the quality and build both inside and out makes this car worth every penny.
I have owned my Rover 216 GSi for about 20 months now. It is a 1990 H-Reg, and was purchased for £1300 with 90,000 miles on the clock. It has most of the extras, except for ABS and PAS. I have enjoyed owning the car, and apart from the old man image it has been fun to drive. The Honda engine is a gem - it revs strongly in every gear, and is really quite fast. The 16 valves really come on song at about 4000rpm, and rev right up to about 6,500rpm. My previous car was a 205 GTi 1.6, and I have to say that the Rover is just as fast, the only downside being the Rovers Image and seats. The seats just dont support you enough, and the legroom is sometimes insufficient. The main problems I have had with the car have been the back brakes, which have had replacement calipers, pads and disks, and also the clutch. I have also noticed a few spots of rust appearing on the front wings and lower doors. Another thing to check is the front anti-roll bar mounts, as mine has just failed it's MOT on this - only needs welding though. Also, the electrics can be a bit dodgy - My RWW doesn't work, and the heater has stopped working in positions 1 and 2. My opinion is that it is a great car for the money, with plenty of options, and a fantastic bullet-proof japanese engine. Having covered 117,000 miles, I still only have to top the oil up every 6 months, and that is at an average of 15,000 miles per year. It is also doing 45mpg at the moment!!!
I remember seeing this car on the forecourt at our Local Dealer - I thought it was the bees knees. We bought it about 5yrs ago and now owe nothing on it. It is a Jreg and did have a pretty low mileage when we got it although it is now up to 83,000. It has all the modern features and the power steering is a dream. It has a leather interior with wrap around seats and is comfortable both in the front and the back. The boot has plenty of room and ideal if you have children who need a lot of stuff. We have used it several times for our holiday in the UK with 2 children and had no problems getting everything in. Performance wise it goes!!! Very fast smooth drive and a pleasure to drive. If I had one complaint it would be that because you are fairly low down with it being a sporty car it is rather noisey so if you are travelling long distances on the motorway I wouldnt recommend it as you cant really hear your stereo - and I have it pretty loud. Overall though an excellent buy, it has never failed an MOT and has never needed any major work - oh apart from when my husband crunched the front but that is another story!
The Rover 200 series of cars were an excellent addition to Rover range of cars in the 1990’s being both affordable and stylish. I currently own a Rover 216 si it is a brilliant car, I have had mine for about eighteen months. In that time I have had no major problems with it and the servicing costs have been reasonable. The performance of the car is excellent as it is as happy cruising along on the motorway as it is on city centre streets. The Engine being a 1600 allows for a high level of acceleration, I can guarantee that not many other cars in its class will leave you standing at the lights. The level of space in the boot is high although there is not much space in the back of the car for the rear passengers, but then again it has no less space than other cars in its class. To sum up the rover 200 is a good car. The only worry about it is the future of Rover now that it is an independent company and if they will continue to support the older models.
The Rover 216GSI, is a great budget car, it comes normally with ABS, PAS, central locking, alarm, nice RDS stereo, electric windows, mirrors and sunroof and some come with leather interior and rear headrests. Looking at the list of features, it sounds like we have a bit of a luxury car on our hands, especially when they can be bought relatively cheap due to the decline in Rover name. The main attraction of this car for me was that it really is a Honda with a Rover badge, since it boasts the Honda designed K2 engine and also the Honda designed clutch and gearbox. This is why they are so popular and so nippy around town and quite fiesty on the motorway. I would recommend it as a good second hand buy because of the ease of drive, the good seating position and the responsive engine. The only disadvantage I found was that the ABS does play up a bit. One tends to find a constant noise from the ABS when braking hard, this is observed now and again, and can be hard to diagnose as my mechanic found out.