Rover 75 - Blue_nova
MY friend is looking at a new car. He has looked at the Mercedes E-class. He needs a car that can tow a caravan, He has been looking at the the Rover 75 for a while now. I would like the opinons of any rover 75 drivers.
Thanks in advance
Well look at that
Rover 75 - DavidHM
What's his budget? Is he comparing an E200 Classic to a 2.5 V6 75, new, or does he have £7k to spend on a four year old Rover or 8 year old Merc?
Rover 75 - Blue_nova
His budget is about £22000
Well look at that
Rover 75 - NARU
He should bargain hard - there are some stonking deals on Rover 75. Aim for around £4k off. And as the only BMW-engineered model in the line-up I think its a lot better than it deserves to be for the money.

I don't drive one, but if I was looking at that price bracket I'd be very tempted.
Rover 75 - midlifecrisis
Had my MG ZT for six months of hard use now and it hasn't missed a beat. Just make sure your friend doesn't pay anywhere near list.
Rover 75 - GS
I can echo midlifecrisis' sentiment not to pay list on a new 75 as I visited my local MG-Rover dealer on Sunday and observed £3500 off a MG CDTi Tourer Auto and £5000 off a 75 2.5 V6 Tourer Connoisseur. The salesman told me that MG-Rover were offering retail customers the MG-Rover employee dicount on all 75s - so bargin even harder. I also thought the 75 plastics and build quality to be no better than average and inferior to a VW Passat. I think the Mercedes would be better in the longer term but the spec would be very low. Have you considered an approved used Mercedes? or a run-out BMW 5-series?
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
Marlot is obviously referring to the CDT diesel version. I've now completed just 1500 miles in mine (officially chipped to 131ps) but I don't tow a caravan so I can't really give an objective opinion regarding towing ability.

What I *can* say is that the pulling power is incredible, especially for a 1.9 diesel engine in a relatively heavy body. Coming down the A1 yesterday from Wetherby to Peterborough, several times I found myself behind overtaking trucks going uphill at around 60 mph. As soon as the way was clear, flooring the accelerator in fifth took the car up another 20 mph in what seemed an instant to leave tailgating Vectras and Mondeos reps' cars behind.

The engine is also very flexible and will accelerate up a decent slope from 800 rpm in its quite high fifth gear (not recommended, done only as an experiment) and accelerates quite strongly from around 1500 rpm or less. It's a waste of time going over 3000 rpm because there's so much pull low down. Maximum torque is at 1900 rpm, and there's lots of it!

Around town, I still prefer driving my BMW 525i auto estate but it is 'fussier' than the Rover on the open road and probably not much faster. The only thing that spoils open road driving in the Rover for me is the tyre roar on coarse surfaces. Mine was supplied with Firestones and I don't know if its the tyres or the car that is to blame for the noise transmission.

I think the Rover 75 CDTi would be an ideal car for towing, and perhaps the automatic version would be best suited for the job. The estate version might be even better, especially with the optional self-levelling suspension fitted. On my BMW estate, self-levelling suspension allows a 75kg towbar load instead of 50kg and I assume there's a similar benefit with the Rover.
Rover 75 - No Do$h
The driving experience Dizzy describes is common to many modern diesels. I too was tempted by the 75 tourer, but the Alfa lit my heart rather than that of my bank manager.....

Dizzy, if you are ever at Orton Mere on a Wednesday evening, keep an eye out for the lunatics boucing around in kayaks on the wier just over the railway line. My Alfa will normally be sat in the car park whilst I try not to drown in the Nene in my "other" transport.
If I don't reply it's nowt personal, I'm just working!
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
Dizzy, if you are ever at Orton Mere on a Wednesday evening, keep an eye out for the lunatics boucing around in kayaks on the weir just over the railway line. My Alfa will normally be sat in the car park whilst I try not to drown in the Nene in my "other" transport. >>

Alan (No Dosh), I won't be far away as I'm often at the Nene Valley Railway on a Wednesday. If I'm ever on the train I might stop off at Orton Mere station just to heckle you!
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
DavidHM mentioned a Mercedes E200, purely as an example. I'm sure he would have gone on to say that this is the car *not* to get for towing as the engine is underpowered even without a caravan hanging on the back.

Caravanners have a terrible reputation and they need at least a reasonable acceleration to mitigate their case. I don't think they'll ever be loved however; certainly not by myself.
Rover 75 - tonyl
I use a MG ZT CDT+ saloon (the one with the chipped BMW diesel engine) to tow a 1300kg caravan, and it is one superb towcar. The engine has plenty of torque on hand, and virtually pulls as quickly with the caravan on as it does solo. On top of that, its a very stable towing platform and is rarely bothered by crosswinds and the like.

I've towed various caravans and boats for 20 years or so, and short of a decent sized 4x4 the ZT is as good a towcar as I've tried.

I also towed with an unchipped diesel 75 2 or 3 years ago, this was also really stable but a bit lacking in grunt. Bottom line is the 75/ZT is a great car to tow with, but I'd go for the upgraded diesel engine. Can't comment on the petrol models.

Rover 75 - A Dent{P}
As towing has come up I?d like to ask the R 75 tow people, is the tow bar permanent or a removable item? and are there any visible wiring mods?.
I ask because I once bought an SD1 with tow bar and had to replace a noisy diff. I would like to avoid buying a 75 (about 3-4 yr old when I get around to it) that has been used for towing.
The IIRC user manual for our Focus shows a tow bar attachment that fits a vertical box section in the car body and I guess this is a standard now.
Advise appreciated, thanks.
Rover 75 - midlifecrisis
In response to GS. My ZT does not have a single rattle or creak. My previous 18 month old Passat sounded like the dashboard was going to fall off.
Rover 75 - DL
Dizzy said "especially for a 1.9 diesel engine in a relatively heavy body..."

2 litre CDT innit?
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
Dizzy said "especially for a 1.9 diesel engine in a relatively heavy body..."
2 litre CDT innit?

OK, at 1.951 litres it's 0.002 nearer to 2.0 than 1.9. Sorry for making such a catastrophic error!
Rover 75 - DL
Sorry! I didn't mean to nit-pick.
Rover 75 - DL
Sorry! I didn't mean to nit-pick.
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
No problem at all. I read your posting as though it had an implied 'smiley' and my response was meant to be likewise. You certainly didn't need to apologise twice! ;-)
Rover 75 - blank

This does not surprise me in the least. I think that, in common with many people, GS has fallen for the VW con-trick.

This relies partly on past reputation for building a quality product and partly on deceiving people into thinking their cars are well designed and built by using expensive interior materials.

Rover 75 - GS
Andy S,

I don't think that I have fallen for the VW con-trick as I know how bad VW's can be however the trim and fittings on the MG/Rovers were not as securly fixed as on the Passat. As the MG/Rovers I inspected were heavily discounted perhaps their prices reflected "unusual" construction.

I have been fortunate to drive several new cars recently and all had squeaks and glitches - a new Audi 3.7 A8 with intermittant rattles from the passenger door, an new XJR with rear parking sensors operating randomly in forward motion and passenger air bag lights iluminating and a Vectra 2.2DTi auto with rattling doors. A friend has a an 18 month old, 18000 mile Mercedes C2OO auto which is about to have its third catalyic convertor, a new engine management computer and a rear suspension rebuild to stop clonking noises.

New cars are now cheaper in real terms than ten years ago and I believe reduced quality is the price we are having to pay.
Rover 75 - GS
Midlifecrsis, I recall your Passat experiences from an earlier post and am glad that your ZT is far better constructed than your previous Passat. My comments about MG/Rover v VW Passat build quality were made after sitting in a VW showroom new Passat only 20 mins before I sat in the MG/Rovers. I love the shape and style of the ZT-T/Tourers however these particular examples felt inferior to the Passat I had just viewed in terms of quality of plastics and long term durabilty. To restore a balance, a friend of ours has a company Passat 2000 1.8T Est and at 70000 miles one of the rear door handles fell off and the climate control is erratic.
Rover 75 - Billy Whizz
A Dent - I once had a SD1 WITHOUT a tow bar and that also had a noisy diff.
But I take your point, towing does place a strain on a car.
Rover 75 - Martin Wall
If he's after an estate the Volvo V70 is great value just now with 3K off without trying too hard. No way would I spend my own hard-earned cash on a Rover. The 75 is a nice car but it's the only decent product Rover make. Longer term I don't think the prospect of MG Cars (or whatever the company is called now) look very rosy....
Rover 75 - DL
That's a bit of a sweeping statement, eh Martin?
Rover 75 - 3500S
I've had my Rover 75 for three months now, a chipped CDTi Connoisseur saloon. It is an absolute delight to drive, super smooth drive, fantastic ride and ultra quiet cab, I mean really, really quiet, the damping materials and thicker glass make a real difference. The gearbox is matched to the engine really well with a final drive of 30mph/1000rpm in top.

I took three people and a shed load of luggage down to Bude in it and it was a stormer up and down the hills and passing places of the A38. It took the hills no problem and with judicous use of the torque could easily blast up the hill with a full load to overtake less able cars.

As for a Passat/Laguna/S40 comparison. The Rover 75 is a much more rounded proposition. In a Driver Power survey the 75 left the Passat and Laguna well behind beating them in 8/10 categories. The 75 is very well screwed together, the plastics are very durable and it is a very high quality interior. The engine is a peach and no slouch with 300Nm of torque available on the chipped version. Cruising at 30mph at 1000rpm is still rather a strange feeling.

I'd bargain hard, you'll get a good deal. I bought a pre-reg'd '52' and got £3750 off and £1500 of options thrown in as well and the chip plus the balance of the 3-year warranty, 6 months road tax and some diesel ;)

Also in terms of depreciation, the CDTi is the least depreciating of all 75's, worth 48% of its value after 3 years.

Absolutely no mechanical niggles, the exception being a faulty rear speaker, they replaced all four speakers and wires without any quibbles.
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}

I'm equally impressed with my 75 CDT except, as I mentioned above, the road noise over anything other than very smooth surfaces. I don't know if this is down to the tyres (Firestones) or the car itself. Perhaps it wouldn't be that obvious if my BMW wasn't so quiet in this respect (but it cost £11,000 more than the Rover, and that was 11 years ago!). Even my old Triumph 2500 is quieter regarding road noise!

Mine is also a Connoisseur but it is the 2003 model which has only a front anti-roll bar whereas earlier ones had ARBs at both front and rear. I expect Rover stiffened the rear suspension to help counteract the ARB deletion and this may the problem. Pity they can't leave things alone!

The car is still better riding than many, but has nowhere near the 'floating armchair' ride that I had been led to expect and is not noticeably better than my BMW 525 estate. It does have far better handling than I'd expected though, surprisingly close to the RWD BMW. Again, these things are probably down to the recent suspension changes.

Three questions that I'd be pleased to have your answers on:
1. Do you notice pronounced tyre noise with yours?
2. What tyres are fitted?
3. Does it have a rear anti-roll bar? (I believe the rear ARB was deleted at the same time as the folding rear seat was made a standard fitment).
Rover 75 - PaulR
3500S -

As someone looking to buy a similar spec 75 to the one you have recently bought could you advise me where you went to get that kind of a deal? Many thanks.
Rover 75 - 3500S

I have Conti Contacts on mine and the 15'' alloys because I was told the 16'' take a lower profile type and it affects the ride.

I do notice road roar on the more 'chunkier' surfaces rather than smooth tarmac and it is quite noisy but I think its more noticable because it's always so quiet at other times. Someone told me why but it's kind of lost in the mists of time. I think it's something to do with the suspension bushes they fitted on '01 cars as the felt kits on the rubber gators wasn't damping the suspension clonks so they fitted harder bushes.

As for the rear axle ARB, I have a Dec '02 car and I only have the 'ski hatch' opener on the rear seats so I'd imagine the ARB is fitted. It is a bizarre feeling taking corners sharply as any side force into the corner occurs when the rear wheels are on the apex of the corner. It then rides the corner superbly well with a little body roll. Maybe it's because I have to be more aware on power into corner owning 1 FWD and 1 RWD car and mixing up the approach to a corner could be messy.

I've noticed over older 75's they've made a number of revisions to the car and some deletions due to cost. But then a Connoisseur was supposed to retail at £23K not £19K.

To answer where I got it, try SMC Rover, they are a very large turnover dealership and they do get some very good pre-reg deals from MGR. I got lucky, they'd got 15 pre-reg'd '52' 75 CDT's the week I went in.
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
3500S, thanks for the info. Conti Eco-Contacts were particularly quiet on my BMW (the Dunlop spare was quite a bit noisier) but it looks like the noise is down to the suspension bushes as you suggest.

I think the rear ARB was deleted for the 2003 cars so you just made it! As you probably know, it was kept for the V6-engined cars so it obviously served a worthwhile purpose. My wheels are also the standard 15" by the way.

When I fitted a front ARB to my Triumph I found that I needed notably weaker front springs to get the best ride because, as you will know, the two springs now share the load when either front wheel is deflected up or down. I didn't fit a rear ARB to the Triumph and I found that the adjustable Koni dampers needed to be set very soft to give the best ride/handling compromise. This all turned out superbly but I don't want to carry out similar experiments on the 75.
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
Paul, unfortunately you have chosen not to show your Profile. It would help us to recommend somewhere if we knew whereabouts you live, assuming that you would prefer to purchase locally.

W H Brand & Son of Whaplode drove, nr Spalding, Lincs., usually have half a dozen 'delivery mileage only - pre-reg' 75s at well discounted prices. I expect there are a lot of other Rover dealers that offer these -- certainly no need to pay anywhere near list price at the moment.
Rover 75 - 3500S
Sounds like a wicked set-up on the Triumph, what is it a 2.5 PI or a Toledo? A superb car but lived in the Rover P6 shadow a bit ;) Those two cars in my humble opinion created the sports saloon market.

My 3500s has a traverse suspension on the front which can lead to a little wander occasionally! Mainly due the De Dion set up at the back as it's too good at maintaining serious V8 torque!

I looked under the 75 before setting home and it has an ARB, now I know, I must try it out ;) I do prefer the setup of the P6 though, it's much more honest and direct.

I admit the sooner we see a RWD Rover the better.
Rover 75 - king arthur
I admit the sooner we see a RWD Rover the better.

They're coming, be patient! Well, at least the MG versions are, the Rover 75 V8 is still just hearsay AFAIK.
Rover 75 - Dizzy {P}
The Triumph is a 2.5, ex-PI and now on twin SU HS6 carbs. No longer as eager as a PI but still very lively - definitely still a sports saloon.

The anti-roll bar addition was simpler than it sounds. I took one from a 2500S, together with the matching suspension arms etc. The 2500S arms are a bit prone to cracking so I modified mine to make them far stronger.

I don't agree that the Triumph "lived in the Rover P6 shadow", not for me anyway. The Rover 3500S is an exceptional car but, in my opinion, the 4-cyl version that it derived from wasn't in the same league as the Triumph.

I used to work on Rover 2000s and much of the car was quite difficult to work on. I disliked having to grind shims to adjust valve clearances; also changing these required lifting the camshaft housing and this was held by the cylinder head bolts, so every shim change necessitated loosening and retightening the cyl head bolts! Getting the correct valve clearance was made even worse on the TC version because the high-lift camshaft, in an aluminium head, made so much valve noise that you didn't know if they were set right or wrong! Then there was the TC's tubular exhaust manifold which readily cracked so that the engine made even more noise.

The rear brakes would have been similar to yours on the 3500S, a so-and-so to work on. The starter motor could also fail, I think by bending its shaft, and removing this from the TC meant removing the exhaust manifold - which meant removing the inlet manifold - which meant removing the water connection - which meant draining or losing some water --- and then 'reassemble in the reverse order'. Changing a starter motor was a long job on the Rover but literally only five minutes on the Triumph.

I suppose the Rover 2000/2200 was in many ways an advance on the P4 and P5 but, having also had fair experience of the P4 (original Rover 75) and P5B (3500 coupe), I prefer both of these to the 2000/2200 by a long chalk. I'd love a 3500S though!

By the way '3500S', it's well known that the Rover V8 originated as a Buick engine, but did you know that Buick based their design on a BMW engine? So you now have two cars with essentially BMW engines!
Rover 75 - PaulR
I don't suppose anyone will see this now but I'm based in West Sussex - so SMC (in Slough) is not too far but a nearer option would be better.
Rover 75 - Blue_nova
thank you very much for all you help
Well look at that
Rover 75 - Paul531
Well, I would go for {have got} a mid to late 90s Volvo 960/V90 can be had for for £3k to £10k,

They go faster, tow better, look better, last longer, have self levelling suspension, are galvanised and cost less.

Unless your mate can write-off the £22k of to tax go for the Volvo or sim aged Merc Estate and spend the other 12k to 19k on something else, like speed boat, jet ski, trials bike or even a twin axle 6 berth caravan and 6 years worth of holidays, or just work less, play more, live life !!!!!!!!!!!!

also RWD so fantastic turning circle - one point turn with a 24 foot caravan on and ordinary width road no probs !!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul {Forest of Bowland}

Value my car