Product Type: Rover cars
Newest Review: ... it over that time. The car is 14 years old and the only sign of age is a slight indication of rust over one of the rear wheel arches. T... more
Not bad for a rewarmed Honda Accord
Member Name: ShapeShifter
Date: 03/01/03, updated on 03/01/03 (6748 review reads)
Advantages: 2.3 is quick and yet unassuming, Japanese Reliability, Good secondhand buy
Disadvantages: Some odd switch placements, Goes through brake pads, Nondescript appearence.
I've owned two of these, the first was a company car, the next, a secondhand purchase.
Basically, this is a Honda Accord. Rover's part of their collabouration was in presentation and packaging something that as a Japanese company, Honda didn't know much about. Rover did make some changes to the car itself, the rear wings are the biggest difference. The last 600 I owned was 623GSi Auto, a secondhand bargain, ex company with a full Rover service history.
Having owned two, I can honestly say the only thing of real expense that went wrong was a holed radiator as the air intakes to cool the radiation aren't meshed and a stone hit it off the road. That was £170. In the four years I had the two of them that was it. The 2L and 2.3L are twin cam and it had a belt change which I was surprised came to less than £250.
As for ride, the GSi is a lot better than the other incarnations, they stiffened the chassis used different dampers and improved the suspension geometry. As a result it felt more direct and less likely to jump about on less than good roads. On a motorway, this car is a absolute cruiser, there is plenty of power available but being a Japanese engine, the power is shifted more to the higher rev bands of 4,500+ making maximum progress quite a noisy affair. It is a nice roar though, the kickdown on the auto was slightly stodgy but it didn't take long to get used to it. Top revs at 6,250. Basically 25 in 1st, 70 in 2nd, about 95 in 3rd and .... in 4th, I'm not saying ;) One thing I will say about the auto is they had a reputation of going through brake pads every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. They were cheap and easy to replace though.
The engine was the well known and bombproof H23, a bit of a timewarp as Honda wouldn't let Rover use the 2.2 VVC engine for the 600. They feared it would steal Accord sales.
As for the interior, it was all leather, the car was Oxford Blue with the Beige lea
ther, it was durable, easy to clean and smelt great !. The driver seat was fully adjustable and it had electric everything, as I said it all worked. For some unknown reason to me, the car had a sunroof and air-con, still it made summer days more enjoyable. I guess it would look a bit dated now but it was utterly functional and the switch made sense. The only one that had an odd placing was the hazard warning light switch was the furthest one away from the steering wheel. It had twin airbags as well, the brakes were good too, discs all round.
As for running costs, the auto box was a penalty but I knew that when I bought it. Floor it and you will see an 8 sec 0-60 and a resultant lowish mpg. I think I managed between 25-29 mpg depending on driving style.
The boot was cavernous and even carried a full sized spare.
All in all, it was a nice secondhand buy and totally reliable, I put over 35,000 miles on the last one and took my first one over 85,000 miles with only tyres, brake pads etc required. I would have liked to get a 2L turbo which was a sub 7 secs Q car but in the end went for the new 75 instead.