The Rover 75 has an image problem. There are those that say it is called the 75 because that is the average age of the owners of the vehicle. For this I think we have to look at Rover's corporate image and the image chosen for the 75 in its advertising.
Rover does not seem to have benefited in image terms for its period of ownership by BMW. Rather Rover seems to be have been perceived in these terms, Rover owned BY and subservient to BMW and not Rover being part of the BMW range of products. Whilst for BMW this made the sale of Rover relatively easy it has left Rover vulnerable to a perception of inferior quality.
The Rover 75 was introduced as a quality rather than a mass volume vehicle a change in emphasis from the Rover 600/800 it replaced. However this means that if it does not achieve the build standards of a quality vehicle and will not have the sales of a volume car it will be a failure.
It was surely a marketing mistake by Rover to compromise the "whole new car" image of the 75 by applying a 75-like look to the Rover 200/400 and selling them as the Rover 25/45. Whilst this has been beneficial particularly for the 25 it sub-consciously implies the 75 is no more than a re-skinned 600.
This is unfair, the 75 is a very fine car. Styling is subtly dated but if you compare the 75 to what Jaguar have achieved with the new S-type then many buyers of a classic retro styled vehicle are going to shell out the extra £4-5k for the entry level S-type.
The dated style applies to the interior also but the materials chosen are of a high quality. The choice of colours for the 75 may not be to everyones taste, again the criticism may be that they are not 'young' or striking colours.
The car's performance though makes no compromises and is not disgraced in terms of speed or acceleration with other current cars. It is a very comfortable car with a good ride and handling.
In the very competitive world of cars today though many buyers dismiss all the statistics and ask simple questions ; Is it a car I wish to have on the drive, be seen in and reflect my personality? As I said at the beginning the Rover 75 has an image problem and if the styling says Dull Car only dull owners will get one.
There are people out there, small minded, misinformed people that see a rover badge and run a mile. Well a lot has changed since the 70's, hairstyles, TV, and somewhere in there rover's car design. I have been the proud owner of 2 rover 800's one diesel and one petrol, both are still around and don?t show any sign of giving in to their 200000 mile odometer. When the rover 75 was released I was not ready to dive right in, you never can tell what bmw might have done under the covers, and the boot space of the saloon did leave a lot to be desired. The 75 tourer was a godsend, and somehow rover had managed to make it look better than the saloon, keeping its elegant lines, but also reminding you its ready for business. For a 2 litre diesel I am simply amazed at the engine efficiency, not only is the power there when you need it but your fuel bills aren?t up there with a harrier jump jet. The on board computer provides the driver with all the information you would ever need and I find it extremely helpful - especially the speed limit warning as it is easy to get carried away on the motorway trips. The more I drive this car the more I fall in love with it. Corners feel like straights, road holding is second to none, and the ride, it really does leave you lost for words. You can literally feel the build quality of this car and even at 65000 miles this rover really does drive like it did when I rolled it out of the showroom. The interior design, like the saloon is very pleasing to the eye reminding you that rover is not dead yet and will continue to pull great cars out of the bag (except the coming tcv which is a toilet of a car) Even rover sceptics will have to admit that this is a car up there with the best. An elegantly quiet engine to go with an elegant car, perfect for anyone who wants to love driving again. Before I leave you I must inform you of the only, and I mean only shortfall of the rover 75 tour
er. In order to deliver the incredible road handling the rover does tires are the weak link. The outsides of the front and back tires wear at a scary rate giving you about 15000 miles before its time for the next set. A good plan is to slightly over inflate them and swap the fronts for the backs half way through their lifecycle.