Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andymc {P}
Ok, I know I've asked similar questions in the past, but I'm still on the lookout for a 3-year old "keeper" to replace the Passat late this year/early next year. I'm essentially looking for something with similar equipment levels to the Leon, with nearly as good mpg (ie diesel), which is a bit bigger but still an enjoyable drive. I've pretty much eliminated most other choices on various grounds. So I'm down to searching for either a 3 year old 320d SE, or a same age 75 Connoisseur with the official aftermarket power upgrade (therefore virtually the same engine as the 320d).

I don't think there are any significant reliability/build quality problems with the 75, it seems to have shaken off the Rover curse. Image isn't a factor for me. Although I haven't driven one yet, I reckon the 320d will handle better, being RWD, and hold its value better as well. But the 75 still seems to handle pretty well, and may be more comfortable. So, if like me you rate both cars, which do you think is the better option - the 75 for being slightly roomier/more comfortable as well as cheaper to buy & insure, or the 320d which although more expensive to buy & insure, is (slightly?) better to drive and will depreciate less? Which one is more likely to reward me, which will be better to live with? What have I forgotten? Opinions welcome.
andymc
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dude - {P}
You have obviously given this matter considerable thought and covered most of the pros and cons, but you may have overlooked reports of the 75 suffering from rust problems, particularly around the lower edges of doors and the boot. The greatest cost in car ownership is undoubtedly depreciation, and apart from its superior build quality and handling, the BMW 320d holds its value far better than the Rover, and will be much easier to sell on. !!!!
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dizzy {P}
As a current and very satisfied BMW owner, I might be expected to favour that marque over Rover - and I do, in general. However I spent months in weighing up which new car to buy and I settled on the Rover 75, partly because my wife loves the interior (which is the bit you see when you are in the car) and partly because I was very impressed with most other things about it. I have selected the CDT because that has the superb BMW 2-litre diesel engine.

If the E39 5-Series had been priced a bit more reasonably and wasn't about to be replaced with the E60, I would have gone for that as I agree with others that it is the best in its class. I wasn't very impressed with the 3-Series though; can't really explain why, just that it didn't give me the buzz that I get from the E34 and E39 5-Series.

I suspect that a BMW 320dSE will hold its value better than a Rover 75 if buying new, but I decided that my priority was the pleasure to be provided by the car itself, not the smile that might be on my face when I come to sell in a few years time. There's no guarantee anyway that BMW will remain ahead of Rover in the 'retained value' table. There's also the fact that some very good deals can be had on the Rover so probably less money to shell out up-front than with the BMW.

I haven't seen any reports of the rust on Rover 75s that Dude refers to, neither have I seen any rust on the many actual cars I've looked at on the road and on forecourts. Dude, I would appreciate being pointed to these reports so that I can see them for myself.


Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dizzy {P}
I'll just add that if buying a three year old car, as andymc says he is thinking about, the 'depreciation from new' factor takes on a different slant because a Rover 75 of that age is likely to cost quite a bit less than the equivalent BMW. In fact he could go a bit newer on the Rover for perhaps less money.

Drivers of the Rover also avoid the BMW stigma that has attached itself to the 3-Series in particular because of the way many of their drivers behave!
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Oz
The brand value attributes of the BMW 320d SE are overwhelmingly in its favour. I re-congratulate myself almost daily on my choice of this car in March 2001. I am impervious to the 'image' created by a minority of Beemer drivers and prefer to define my own driver image (see my recent thread). The car itself it what counts, so don't pass this up for the wrong reason.
I am rewarded with 100% reliability, low fuel costs (47 mpg even at a steady 85 mph in French autoroutes and cruises effortlessly at this speed at less than 3000 rpm). I'm just trying to decide which SatNav unit to buy in order to make it (for me) the ultimate European touring car.
Oz (as was)
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Nortones2
What does "The brand value attributes" translate into? Have you been taken over by the brochure, or did you make this all up by yourself?
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - midlifecrisis
I got rid of my Passat and considered a BMW 3 series and an MG ZT. I eventually got a 4 month old ZT+ for £14000. For the same money I would have been looking at a poorly equipped BMW, that was at least 3 years old. There was no contes. The MG has been fantastic. It doesn't disappoint and the build quality surpasses the VW.
Don't have any fears about buying one.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Oz
What does "The brand value attributes" translate into?


From what I have read, BMW want their image ('Ultimate Driving Machine') to represent Quality, Technology, Exclusivity, Performance.
I also read that their sales are going from strength to strength (with, and without the Mini). If you're showing out, you have to accept that people will be taking pot-shots at you.
Oz (as was)
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andymc {P}
Had a look on Autotrader just to try & make a comparison. Did a trade only search within 60 miles from me and set the maximum price as £12500. Five 320d's came up, mostly year 2000 for under £11k but with high mileage (80000 or more) - not that that would really worry me. None for less than £10k. Cheapest was the only 1999 car, for £10250.

Did a similar search for the 75, and unfortunately many of the the ads say SE, but don't specify whether that's Classic SE or Connoisseur SE - which certainly makes a difference! A few cars were carrying 70k, one had 50k, but none of the others provided the detail. Anyway, the best option seemed to be a year 2000 Club for just under £8k, although with unspecified mileage. The other eight were either lower or unspecified trim level, all for over £9k. Comparable prices to the BMW were for 2001 cars, rather than 2000.

It seems that for equivalent cars with similar mileage I can expect to pay anywhere between £1k-£2k more for the BMW. Question then is, is it worth it in terms of depreciation. In terms of kudos/personal satisfaction, I'd probably be just as happy in either, but I still reckon the BMW might overall be better to drive. Just need to check this possible offset pedals issue. If that was ok and the cost was the same, I'd probably go for the BMW, but purchase price and insurance premiums still matter!

I have to laugh at myself, as it will be months before I do anything about this.

andymc
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Morris Ox
You have obviously given this matter considerable thought and
covered most of the pros and cons, but you may have
overlooked reports of the 75 suffering from rust problems,
particularly around the lower edges of doors and the boot.
The greatest cost in car ownership is undoubtedly
depreciation, and apart from its superior build quality
and handling, the BMW 320d holds its value far better than
the Rover, and will be much easier to sell on. !!!!


Which rust problems are these? If this is the same \'problem\' reported on this site in a previous thread which examined the steel Rover use I think we concluded there was some malicious intent behind some of the things which were said. If, on the other hand, this is new, tell us more...
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andymc {P}
I too would like to know more about this possible rust issue. According to HJ's Car-by-Car; "A nice surprise is that Longbridge cars are better built with better handling. The easy way to distinguish a Longbridge (MG Rover) built 75 from a Oxford (BMW) built 75 is that Longbridge 75s have body colour sills and Oxford built cars have black sills. Early Oxford-built black-sill 75s need checking carefully for rust along door bottons and lower edge of boot."
Should we assume that the rust problem only applies to 1999 cars built at Oxford? That therefore a 2000 car should be alright?
As far as image goes, not important to me - for either car!
andymc
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - lezebre
As far as image goes,


BMW 320d : top salesman / top technician

Rover 75 : sales manager, or bank manager of town centre branch


Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - lordwoody
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andy n
if your paying with your own hard earned cash dont even think about it go for the bmw you will get a far better constructed, more rewarding to drive car and suffer far less depreciation (my father in law recently had both rear door skins replaced due to corrosion on a 1999 75 !} dont even consider the rover as a long term bet you only have to look at the condition of your average 10 year old rover compared to the comparable german product to tell all you need to know about rovers build quality
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dude - {P}
I read a report on the rust problems with the 75 in one of the many motoring mags that I read, but unfortunately can`t remember which one. - The car was an early example, that had covered 70k miles, but had rusted areas at the bottom of all doors and the lower area of the boot.This was a one owner car from new, and the owner complained bitterly about this problem and definitely decided it would be his last Rover.!! With reference to Dizzy`s comments and his consideration to buy a 75, - with his background in engineering and appreciation for technical integrity, I find it hard to understand that he is even consideribg a Rover. A car is the sum of many parts and IMHO few manufactures on the market today can match the thoroughness and detailed engineering that is the hallmark of BMW. As someone mentioned on an earlier thread, they are run by engineers and not accountants, and their design specs are developed irrespective of cost.!!!!
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dude - {P}
I would also like to add to my previous thread, that with the consolidation taking place throughout the motor industry worldwide, when it is your own hard earned cash going into your vehicle, one of the questions I considered, was how many less manufacturers will there be worldwide in 10 years time ??? I most certainly don`t wish to be alarmist, but think Rover are skating on thin ice, evidenced by the fact that nobody of any merit within the manufacturing world has rushed to merge or take over the company, except an unheard of outfit in India. If it was my hard earned cash involved in making this decision, the answer is not too difficult to conclude!!!!
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - midlifecrisis
I can only speak from what I see. My friend, until recently had a BMW 330 Coupe. In two and half years (from new), the car had been returned to the dealer on numerous occasions. It went through three clutches and was returned to BMW for examination. The engineer decide it had a major fault, but couldn't identify it. As well as numerous electrical problems, the fault was never rectified. He eventually got fed up and has just bought a Mercedes SLK.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andymc {P}
Again, it seems that the two examples of corrosion cited are early Oxford-built cars, ie 1999. Has anyone come across evidence of a corrosion problem in Longbridge-built cars, those built from 2000 on? I'm aware of a problem with chrome pitting, but regard that as relatively minor, no more than the odd stone chip. I would be very concerned though if rust turned out to be an issue in the version I am considering.
andymc
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Gen
Dude

The Tata group has about Euro 9 billion in sales a year. Hardly an unknown company. If they really wanted to improve Rover they could pump in a lot more money than GM or Ford could.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - lordwoody
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Aprilia
I cannot believe the piffle that people write about BMW. I do a certain amount of work for BMW (I am going over to Munich for a couple of weeks from July 12th on) and I know exactly how they operate.
The notion that the company is run by engineers and not accountants - and that the cars are designed without regard to cost is absolute and utter rubbish and betrays a lack of knowledge about how the modern motor industry operates. It is true that BMW is probably more engineering led than some VM's, but cost is very much #1 priority. If this were not the case then a 3-series would cost about £250k !!

There are about 7000 staff at the FIZ in Munich (Research and Innovation Centre) - about 80% of them are working on cost reduction. Much component production has been farmed out to lower cost areas such as eastern Germany and other East European countries. In fact the eastern Germans are on strike at the moment - arguing for parity with western workers - its starting to hit production.
The project I am working on is all about reducing new vehicle development time by elimiating the need to build so many prototypes and hence shorten development time and take costs down (I can't say more - but you can probably imagine the technologies employed...). All the other VM's are doing this too.

BMW's marketing in the UK is brilliant and they have managed to establish a reputation which far exceeds the reality. The UK is also, I believe, their most profitable market in terms of gross margin.
Most UK motoring journalists are gushing in their enthusiasm for the marque, for reasons I've never fully understood. This is not the case in BMW's homeland, where reviews are a little more measured and Japanese cars (so often denigrated by the UK motoring press) are receiving growing praise.

If you arrive at Munich station on the airport train you step out to the taxi rank in Arnulfstrasse - now, the Bavarians are fiercely patriotic, but you won't see many BMW's (maybe the odd 5-er estate). The taxi drivers drive MB's, Toyotas and Nissans. If you take a ride and chat to a driver he'll tell you that the BMW's don't last like the MB's and the Japanese. These guys expect a car to do 500k kilometres before major work.

Speak to any 'vehicle analysis' engineer in a European motor company (these are the guys that strip down competitor's cars to uncover their secrets) and you will find that they are all pulling the same cars apart - Lexus/Toyota, Infiniti/Nissan, Accura/Honda. Those cars are incredibly well designed and built.

I am not saying that BMW are not good cars - they are very good, as are many other brands, but don't swallow all the marketing hype and keep a sense of proportion.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - king arthur
That's a very interesting post, Aprilia, very enlightening.

Hands up all those who knew that most of the BMW 3 series sold in this country are not actually made in Munich, but in the Republic of South Africa?
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - king arthur
This thing about rusty 75s, I wonder if it might have anything at all to do with the fact that around about the time BMW sold Rover they had airfields full of cars sitting around not being bought, and nothing to do with build quality problems as such?
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dizzy {P}
If you arrive at Munich station on the airport train you step out to the taxi rank in Arnulfstrasse - now, the Bavarians are fiercely patriotic, but you won't see many BMW's (maybe the odd 5-er estate). The taxi drivers drive MB's, Toyotas and Nissans. If you take a ride and chat to a driver he'll tell you that the BMW's don't last like the MB's and the Japanese. These guys expect a car to do 500k kilometres before major work.


Aprilia,

I think your comments about BMWs not being used as taxis in Munich misses the point. As a visitor myself to Munich in the course of my pre-retirement work (attending the European Patent Office, not BMW) I am aware that not many taxis there are BMWs, but then you don't see many Jaguars used as taxis in Coventry. MBs are basic transport in Germany, much like Fords in Britain, so you expect to see them as taxis!

I am about to move away from BMWs but I still rate them above MBs in almost all respects, the latter having degenerated over the past few years. MB have probably now overcome the awful build of the post-1994 E-Class but they still use agricultural 4-pot engines whereas BMW start the 5-Series range with a refined, smooth and powerful straight-six. Moving up the MB price range, it is possible to have a 6-cylinder but only in vee formation and quite a bit thirstier than BMW's offering.

If I was buying a car for taxi work in Germany, I might buy a Mercedes. Since I'm not, I won't. Sorry to criticise the make that you own and respect but I think I started to become biased against MB at the moment their silly parking brake pedal hit me on the shin when I released it at the start of a test drive!
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dude - {P}
>>>The notion that the company is run by engineers and not accountants - and that the cars are designed without regard to cost is absolute and utter rubbish and betrays a lack of knowledge about how the modern motor industry operates. It is true that BMW is probably more engineering led than some VM's, but cost is very much #1 priority. If this were not the case then a 3-series would cost about £250k !!>>>

Of course manufacturers, in an extremely competitive market, have got to cost and budget every stage of manufacture and component sourcing, - that goes without question. My point was that, if BMW have got their priorities between technical and accountants inputs into their business so wrong, how come they were awarded the bronze manufacturers award in the J.D. Power survey for 2003, behind two world class Japanese manufacturers, namely Lexus and Toyota.!!

Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dizzy {P}
Dude,

Thanks for responding to my question re: reports of rust on the Rover 75. Seems fair comment, now that you have explained where it came from, however I am pleased to read that this problem probably applied only to some very early cars.

Regarding my decision to order a Rover rather than a BMW; as I mentioned, I rate the E39 5-Series more highly than the Rover 75 but the diesel version (525d or 530d) with all the 'bits' that I'm about to get on my highly-discounted Rover 75 Connoisseur would cost around twice the price! Of course the 320d is a very good car and quite a lot less money than the 5-Series but, as I mentioned before, it's not the car for me.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - eMBe {P}
andymc - at the end of the day, only you know what you like. However, as you said "opinions welcome", you have had a variety of opinions here and it is easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff in them.

One of the most technically qualified people here is Aprilia, and although he did not answer your specific question as to BMW vs Rover, he did say:>>> " ... Speak to any 'vehicle analysis' engineer in a European motor company (these are the guys that strip down competitor's cars to uncover their secrets) and you will find that they are all pulling the same cars apart - Lexus/Toyota, Infiniti/Nissan, Accura/Honda. Those cars are incredibly well designed and built. ... I am not saying that BMW are not good cars - they are very good, as are many other brands, but don't swallow all the marketing hype and keep a sense of proportion. " >>>>

The one point which is bothering you seems to be the rust issue. In an earlier discussion, I recall that someone with inside knowledge of the steel industy had claimed that sub-standard steel that was rejected by particular car manufacturer was then being sent on to another manufacturer. You can try and find out the truth behind this and then draw your own conclusions.

For what it is worth, let me declare my own interest: I have owned Rovers in the past - but never again. I drive a BMW E39 currently and it has done 110,000 faultless miles. I know many other BMW owner/drivers; none of them has said a single negative thing about their car to me. Next year when we replace our smaller car, it is going to be the Lexus IS200.

Possibly, all this will have been of no help to you; but then I like to show off my knowledge(or lack of it) and brag about my cars, and that is why we egotists post on this forum - don't we? !! ;-)
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Aprilia
OK, to answer the specific question - I think both cars are very good. Personally I would go for the BMW by a small margin - but it is a personal thing and if I were you I would take a drive in both cars and see which you feel happier in.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - lordwoody
How can you brag about a Lexus- Alan Partridge drives one.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Aprilia
In reply to eMBe

The Lexus IS200 is a very nice car - superb engineering. Most European manufacturers cannot match the machining tolerances of the Japanese, their production engineering is beyond reproach (I say this with envy, not with any pleasure!).

Mind you, in all of these discussions you have to remember that the majority of modern cars which will not disappoint (there are a few, mind, and I think most folk know the culprits). Even a base model Focus does 95% of what a BMW 3- will do, for a fraction of the price. As you pay more, you get proportionally less ('diminishing returns').
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - eMBe {P}
In reply to eMBe
The Lexus IS200 is a very nice car - superb engineering.>>

Thank. I am a CEng and know, but it is nice to have it confirmed by an "insider" car engineering expert. I test drove one for 48 hours and gound it very satisfactory.

lordwoody said "How can you brag about a Lexus- Alan Partridge drives one" aha, aha, knowing me knowing you, it is the best 2nd car for me. aBBa eMBe. :-)
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Aprilia
The Japanese have always been good when it comes to production engineering.
I remember about 20 years ago I was doing some work for a well-known British prestige car manufacturer. Some of their guys had pulled apart a Honda (don't know which model - Accord, I assume). They were looking at the gearbox parts and marvelling at the quality of the workmanship - I remember them saying that they couldn't get anywhere near to the same quality, at any price.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Pugugly {P}

"The Japanese have always been good when it comes to production engineering."



Which in a nutshell is what happened to the British Motorcycle
industry when the Honda CB750 was imported to the UK in 1969 - we could not match their engineering precision. Guess what happened next...at least the USA/European car industry adapted, funny how Honda and BMW straddle both worlds.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Observer
No quarrel with present day Japanese engineering - I would not dare risk the possible disasters with a twin turbo were it not a Toyota.

But let us not forget where the Japs learned from. There was that Royce crane at the Imperial Dockyard in Kobe; when the agent went back looking for a repeat order he found a duplicate already there! Including the nameplate. They got very good at building British style warships too.

And in respect of both Germany and Japan, the Soviet threat got them far more aid than we alleged winning allies could hope for.

The post war Japs were not lumbered with antique machine tools and no cash to replace them.

Nor were they with unions.

Only, are the Koreans now where the Japs were say 30 years ago?
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - andymc {P}
Well, I'm glad I started this thread - a lot of interesting opinions and information. Thanks to all those who've replied so far, and keep it coming!

I must agree with Aprilia and eMBe about the superior overall reliability of Japanese makes above what Europe has to offer. Although I always try to look at individual motoring surveys (eg JD Power) in context, the overall trend is that Japanese marques come at or near the top of every survey out there. If Lexus had a diesel-engined version of any of their cars, it would quite likely go straight to the top of my list. Unfortunately, the words "diesel", "refinement", "reliable", "handling" and "quick" seem apply to relatively few brands, even today. The previous and current versions of both the Avensis and the Primera just don't float my boat for one or more of the above reasons, although the Primera comes close. The Passat I currently have isn't a bad car, it just isn't good enough - the handling lets it down. Audis have the same problem, so both are out as I'm not prepared to pay for 4WD both up front and in terms of fuel consumption.

I'm very pleased to hear of the forthcoming diesel Accord, as I think that a car which has attracted such praise for its ride, handling, styling and build quality, together with Honda's excellent reputation for reliability, will be a virtually unbeatable package in diesel form. But again, the fact that I'm spending my own money means it won't be in range for another couple of years at least.

Back to the two under discussion then - it seems that at three years old, the premium for the BMW over the equivalent 75 will be around £1500, plus an additional couple of hundred or so in insurance every year. They seem to depreciate more or less in parallel, but the BMW might be easier to sell on. If build quality and reliability are not a particular issue with either car (still would like to hear more about the 75's potential rust issue), then the only other criteria to consider is ride and handling - finding out which one can keep me comfortable over long journeys while still being able to go round corners! I guess a couple of back-to-back test-drives beckon.
andymc
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - A Dent{P}
Judging by the lack of further response on the rust issue, I concur with Morris Ox.
Had there been a real life problem I would expect one or more irate owners or their colleagues to give first hand details. It is remarkable how little there are on Rover 75 problems. Early examples would be in trouble now if faults are endemic.

I am looking to step up to a 75 CDT late this year, but I would not consider the BMW, just personal preference. I think I would be allergic to ridiculous parts and service costs beside the premium price tag.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Dizzy {P}
AD,

I agree that BMW dealership service costs are too high but the few parts I have needed for my E34 5-Series have been priced on a par with Peugeots, Vauxhalls, VW, etc.

Also, I agree that the premium price tag goes against BMWs but I have been pleasantly surprised at the build quality of my 1992 car in areas that would not normally be seen, and this has to be paid for. There are one or two signs of the cost-engineering that Aprilia referred to but this hasn't been taken to the extremes that can be seen on the more run-of-the-mill cars.

There I go again, defending BMW even though I am awaiting delivery of a Rover 75! However, since the high build quality of the Rover 75 was influenced by BMW, and the CDT has their engine, there's no real contradiction! ;-)
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - blank
I have never seen or heard any comment relating to the (IMO) awful pedal layout in the 3-series. After many rave reviews, I had begun to fancy a 320D Touring as the (eventual) replacement for our Mondeo.
Had a look around Motorpoint a couple of weeks ago when we were passing and sat in one. Very nice except that the pedals were horribly offset in all sorts of directions.
Oh, and the boot is just hilarious! Our Polo's is not much smaller.

Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - Pugugly {P}
There was a thread bemoaning the pedal layout of the Three which ran and ran a few months ago. Personally does not affect me - ran a series of threes over the last decade + - do not suffer from a bad back despite being fortysomething. Agree about the boot though - solved that problem and got a Five. One moa about the 3 is that if one does wear "leisure" shoes, the clutch foot tends to foul the footrest, no problem in work shoes though. Buy one/don't buy one, I personally don't care, but I like them.
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - blank
Pug:

Didn't expect you to care! I won't buy one, but I too quite like them!

Cheers
Andy
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - blank
I really meant to say that I was mainly interested to see if anyone else had noticed the wierd pedal layout and whether they were bothered by it.

Andy
Rover 75 CDTi or BMW 320d SE? - eMBe {P}
I really meant to say that I was mainly interested to
see if anyone else had noticed the wierd pedal layout and
whether they were bothered by it. >> >> Andy >>


Andy: Yes, this topic has come up at least a couple of times before - to repeat what Pug said : "There was a thread bemoaning the pedal layout of the Three which ran and ran a few months ago." Do a search and bring it up again by all means if you really wish!

 

Value my car