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First review from me in a long time, so thought I'd get back into it by telling you about the new car I have purchased since I last wrote on here! *** Lou's New Car *** Back in March 2007 I took a walk down the road just to simply go to the shops, but while walking past the car sales place I noticed a nice red car that really caught my eye, upon taking a closer look I found this car was a Rover Streetwise, I had a sit inside, checked it all out as you do and decided that I wanted this car without even taking it for a test drive! So what was it about the car I like? Read on and all will be explained! *** Rover Streetwise *** The Rover Streetwise is an acquired taste I have discovered! It looks kind of like a smaller 4x4 crossed with the Rover 200/25 range, it is very plasticy to look at which I think is what makes it a car you either like or wouldn't go near! The Streetwise is (or was) manufactured by the Rover car company. It has rather large plastic bumpers front and back as well as thick plastic strips down the sides and roof bars on top. The main body is as a regular car would be with metallic paintwork in various colours, mine personally being a dark red. The car comes with Rover Alloy wheels as standard and both front and rear fog lights. *** The Details *** My Streetwise is a 5 Door, 53 plate registered in 2004 and cost me £3995 in March of this year. It has a 1.4 engine, however due to the fact road tax now goes on the emissions of the car rather than the engine size this does mean that tax is slightly on the expensive side compared to what I was used to with my Peugeot 106, the Streetwise costs me £90 to tax for just 6 months compared to my 106 at £60! Insurance for this car is also higher due to the fact insurance companies class this as a sports model for some reason and still being counted as a young driver at 24 my insurance was £989 per year when I bought the car, however this was halfway through my old policy and upon re-newing my insurance in August this year I was extremely pleasantly surprised to find it had taken a massive drop to just £444 for the year fully comp. Obviously insurance will vary from person to person but that's a rough idea for you! *** Have a Look Inside *** The inside of the Streetwise I would say is very stylish and possibly more stylish than the outside! The front and rear seats are half leather and half material, which I personally think looks much nicer than full leather. The rear seat is a split seat to enable you to have easier access to the boot area, however so far I have only worked out how to push the seat forward from the boot as the little push buttons are in the backs of the seats in the boot, I found this quite inconvenient on a recent camping trip! While on the subject of the boot though I must point out that this is massive and definatly meets my needs and more! My perfect example of this is I recently took myself and 3 friends on a camping trip and we managed to fit everything including all luggage, camping equipment and all the useless things you take and never use in the boot which meant we could travel in the comfort of not having things under feet or on legs! The spare tyre is located in the boot area underneath the carpet which pulls up reasonably easy. The spare tyre isn't a regular tyre, it is one of the 'temporary X-amount of miles' ones which you are restricted to travelling at 50mph maximum and must have changed at first opportunity! Personally I hope I never need to use this as it is thin and looks kind of scary and I wouldn't feel comfortable driving with it! The model I have comes with electric sunroof, which I actually can't use at the moment as the fuse has blown! It also has electric front windows and manual back ones. The driver front window is 'one touch' which means to open it all the way you only need to flick the switch and you can carry on using your hand to drive while your window opens. Air Conditioning is also a feature but I never use it due to the petrol consumption being quite high and I would rather have the window open anyway! The CD player I have is the factory fitted one and I think it is great! It has a flip down front to access the slot for cd's, 6 programmes to save radio stations and the best part is the steering wheel controls so again I don't have to lose concentration by playing with the cd player as I have control at my finger tips! On the dashboard there is a clock display which for some unknown reason stopped working, but also next to this there is a built in Traffic Congestion Alert, this basically beeps at you up to 15 miles in advance to tell you if there is congestion ahead on most main roads and motorways. It gives off a small beep then the display tells you where the problem is, how far away and the direction. I found this to be very useful especially lately as my partner lives in Dudley and I have been using the motorway to get from Dudley to Sutton Coldfield, so combined with the radio traffic reports I have been able to avoid traffic as much as possible and get to work on time! Other little accessories inside the car are cup holders in the two front doors and one in-between the front seats for use by backseat passengers, there is a cd holder in the drivers side door. The car has a 12v electric point, very useful for Tomtom and phone chargers and great for me when I use that fact that its not a cigarette lighter as an excuse not to let people smoke in the car! There is also a reasonable sized glove box area which I mainly used for storage of cd's, lollypops and a first aid kit! There are front driver and passenger airbags, which my friends constantly joke that they are grateful for! How cheeky! The back doors have child locks which can be turned off or on. The car has an adjustable steering column which I found fantastic as I could have full control of exactly how I wanted everything to be positioned while driving! This feature is really easy to use, you simply pull the leaver at the side of the steering wheel down, move the column to your desired position and side the lever back in place! *** Driving The Streetwise *** Ok, if you had asked me what the car was like to drive when I first got it I would have probably sworn at you and told you I was taking it back! However with a little persistence and a few minor adjustments in the garage I now find the Streetwise a pleasure to drive! When I first bought the car I had many problems with clutch control, at first I thought this was due to it being a new car to me and I needed time to get used to it, however upon asking a couple of different friends to have a go at driving it, I discovered they were having the same problem, so off to the garage I went to have the clutch looked at and they said it just needed a little adjustment, so I let them do their thing and sure enough problem sorted and now we have to clutch problems therefore making the Streetwise ace to drive! The Streetwise handles the road really well at all speeds and all conditions I have experienced so far, which is most except snow! The car provides a smooth ride at both city street speeds and the higher speeds of the motorway. I feel safe driving this car on the motorway and like I am in full control at all times... which is probably a good thing really! Petrol consumption really varies on the car, I find that if I fill the car up completely, at a cost of approx £40 this will last me a lot longer than if I put £40 in £5 intervals. Petrol also seems to be lasting me more miles on longer journeys rather than short in and out of Birmingham 6 mile at a time runs. *** Spare Parts *** I thought I would just take a moment to touch on the spare parts subject due to the fact this car is a Rover and Rover are no longer in production which of course raises the question of spare parts if things go wrong. I have asked this question myself (admittedly after I bought the car!) and I have been re-assured that parts will be easy enough to obtain as parts for vehicles must continue to be manufactured or available for 15 years after the date of the manufacture of that model. I as of yet have not had to have any new parts so do not know how true this is, but I am hoping the information I have been given is accurate! *** Overall *** The Rover Streetwise has so far been a reliable car for me, it is spacious and looks good. The amount of random stuff you can fit in would make this car ideal for anyone from the camper (me) to families with children and pets! The economy of the car is what I would describe as reasonable, it isn't as good as my 106 was, but is much better than my Corsa. Overall I would recommend the Rover Streetwise. Thanks for reading!