1995 Rover 400 review and pictures

Posted on Wednesday, 30 August 2006 , 10:08:38 byEmil

Filed under Rover

Rover 400

The Rover 400 is the last model developed as a result of the collaboration with Honda in 1995. This is a little larger than its family hatchback rivals, some six-inches longer. Five adults can be accommodated reasonably comfortably, but the luggage space is not as big as expected. The Rover power-pants are user-friendly so you will get maximum power. Every model will have an airbag for the driver and you can get as an option side airbags for the passenger. Concerning security, a dual volumetric alarm system with passive engine immobilization was also standard across the range. The majority of the versions have electric front windows and, from June 1997, air conditioning.

4dr saloon and 5dr hatch, 1.4 8v and 16v, 1.6, 2.0 turbo diesel and intercooled turbo diesel [base, i, Si, SE, SLi, GSi, iE, iS, iL, XL, Executive, D, SD, SDi, SLDi, GSDi]

The Rover 400 announced in 1995 was the last of the company`s collaborations with Honda. It was based on the same design used by the Japanese company`s Civic five-door but was executed with a touch more class. Chrome and wood touches couldn`t, however, hide the fact that, despite Rover`s claims, this was not a Mondeo-sized car. Think Escort and you`ll be pleasantly surprised to find the Rover a little larger than you expect. It`s a sound family hatchback all-rounder.

As we`ve said, the 400 is a little larger than its family hatchback rivals, some six inches longer than an Escort and a foot longer than Peugeot`s 306. Five adults can be accommodated reasonably comfortably, but more impressive is the capacious boot, which makes the most of the Rover`s extra inches. Inside the cabin, there isn`t quite as much room as the exterior packaging suggests. Still, user-friendly features include plenty of oddment space for maps, tapes and coins and you`ll find that the stereo display is separate from the actual unit, making the theft of it effectively pointless. Every model will have a driver`s airbag, while a passenger-side `bag was an option below SLi level. On the security front, a dual perimetric and volumetric alarm system with passive engine immobilisation was also standard across the range. Most versions have electric front windows and, from June 1997, air conditioning.

The earliest M-reg 1.4-litre five-door models start from around ?600, with more typical N-platers starting at around ?800. Pay ?200 or ?300 more respectively for plusher i and Si trim. Later 97P cars are around ?1,200 and a 99T should cost just under ?1,650.

At 1.6-litre level, you get the choice of saloon or hatch. The earliest 1.6-litre five-door models begin at about ?700.

Pay ?100 or ?300 more respectively for plusher Si and SLi trim. Saloon models are worth fractionally less. The 2.0-litre petrol saloon and hatchbacks start at just over ?900 in i form on an N-plate.

Pay a ?150-300 premium for Si trim, a ?400-700 premium for SLi or a ?600-?1000 premium for GSi. As far as saloon and hatchback 2.0-litre turbo diesels are concerned, the base D model starts at around ?1,000. Pay a ?200-300 premium for an SD, an ?200-500 premium for an SDI, a ?500-1,000 premium for an SLDi or a ?600-1,000 premium for a GSDi.

Very little: the car tends to prove predictably reliable. A full service history is preferable.

(based on a P-reg 416 approx ex-Vat) A full exhaust system (excluding catalyst) is around ?360 and a full clutch assembly around ?105. Front and rear brake pads are around ?60 per set respectively. A starter motor is around ?150, a radiator around ?125, an alternator around ?190 and a front headlamp around ?95.

Most entry-level 414s shared the same twin cam, 16-valve 1.4-litre K-series 103bhp engine that was used in the old 200/400 series but youll also find some SEi models from June 1999 with a less powerful eight-valve unit.. The better-equipped manual-transmission 416 variants got Rover`s newer 1.6-litre unit developing 111bhp. That means rest to 60 in around 10 seconds on the way to a maximum of 118mph. The rare automatics have a single cam, 16-valve Honda engine and transmission.

The Rover powerplants are certainly user-friendly. Instead of having to thrash it all the way to 5,000 revs before you get maximum power, the Rover K series unit develops all its output much earlier, at 3,000rpm. In other words, you don`t have to work the car half as hard to wring the performance out of it. It`s the 2.0-litre engines, however, that do most to justify the 400`s ambitious claims to mix it amongst Mondeos and Vectras. The 136bhp T-series petrol version for example, combines refinement with a useful turn of speed. Rest to 60 takes nine seconds on the way to 124mph. Plus there`s plenty of choice, with four trim levels. On the diesel front, there were two versions of Rover`s L-series engine, developing 86bhp and 105bhp respectively. The lower-powered unit served budget buyers, while the more potent engine came initially in plusher SDi, SLDi and GSDi guises. On the road, Rover made much of the 400`s long distance ride qualities due apparently to an innovative suspension system and hydraulic engine mounts. You`ll have your own opinions. Certainly, the standards of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) suppression do put the car amongst the class leaders.

In summary, then, the 400 makes a worthy used contender though the reasons lie mainly with Rover`s clever packaging. Still, when it comes to that vital first impression on the forecourt, it has a class missing from most of the volume-produced competition. And that could make all the difference.