The Rover owners says
will never drive anything else but a Rover", replies a Vancouver industrial arts
cars I ever owned. Built like a Rolls Royce", says a Wisconsin truck driver.
car commands my respect because of its engineering merit. I would buy another
at $4.000 itīs a steal!" states a Canadian electronics engineer/marketing
great car", answers a Bronx computer programmer-analyst.
four quotes above are representative of the enthusiasm and pride felt by Rover
owners responding to the owner survey. None of the other makes and models of
automobiles can boast of such a devoted group of owners. They, the people who
pay for the automobile and drive it daily, substantiate the results of our
unbiased and exhausting road tests of the Rover it is a great car.
the Rover owners can speak for themselves. Almost to the last man they listed
as the primary reasons for purchasing the Rover. A USAF instrument technician
stated the Rover gives him "peace of mind", while a New Jersey steamship company
executive finds the Rover "very secure and comfortable". He echoes many of the
replies which point out superb road handling and maneuverability, "it goes where
I point the wheels", says a 55-year old electronics engineer of the Rover.
computer prgrammer / analyst, who considered a Sunbeam Tiger and Corvette before
trading his MGB in for a 2000 TC, notes "superb brakes and excellent handling
(very forgiving)" as his most liked features. He lists "safe design and
construction with a fresh engineering approach" as his reasons for purchasing
the Rover. Then he adds: "Switching from a MGB I expected to sacrifice some
agility and enjoyment in driving for the additional safety, comfort and space,
but I find I have all the fun of the sports car (except for top-down driving)
plus better cornering, acceleration and braking."
Having covered 31.000 miles in 11 months, he goes on to praise the 2000 TC as a
car which "gives the most enjoyment driving on a twisting mountain road, as it
always feels in complete control under any driving condition. Itīs the kind of
car you drive in the rain, sharing a narrow two-lane road with trucks, without
tensing up. The combination of excellent brakes and handling, radial tire
stability, comfortable seating and suspension, and good ventilation make it
possible to put in an 8-hour day driving at high average speed (without bending
the limit much) and still arrive feeling rested and relaxed."
concludes, simply: "A great car."
Another converted sports car driver who is a graduate student in microbiology
looked at a BMW 1800 TI and two Alfa Romeo models and then bought a 2000 TC
because he feels "it is the best combination of comfort, handling, stopping,
economy and safety."
Safety is perhaps the leading reason given for their purchase by many current
Rover owners. One, who experienced the unfortunate act of totally demolishing
his 2000 TC, writes: "This controlled crumpling stuff is for the birds, or so my
insurance company said, when they gave me a check for $3.450." He walked away
from the accident. Apparently insurance companies donīt like that very much, but
Rover owners are obviously pleased with the sensible safety engineering of their
car. A young physicist from California even reports heīs "continually asked
about the Rover by strangers interested in safety, comfort and roadability."
sizeable percentage of respiondents cite ROAD TESTīs comprehensive report as
being the impetus to investigate the Rover as a possible purchase. Describing
the R/T review with various adjectives ("glowing", "rave report", "frank"), they
further add that they were able to make the same judgment after comparing the
Rover with other makes. One owner says: "After checking other cars, nothing else
would do except the Rover." Another points out: "The car is honestly built and
honestly advertised", something which some other manufacturers apparently donīt
feel is important.
owners report past experiences with Rover products as being the first reason for
them considering the car as their personal transportation. An electronic
engineer reports: "Three years using a Land Rover in Iran gave the impression of
terrific quality and reliability." He now owns a ī65 Rover 2000 and plans the
purchase of a 2000 TC as his next car.
pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force was sufficiently impressed with the Rover
75 he used to owe that he is now driver of a 2000 TC. When the time comes for
another car he plans the purchase of a third Rover.
form of loyalty to a marque is common to Rover owners responding in the survey.
Nearly half have experiences with previous Rovers and, surprisingly, many of the
reports are concerned with older models. One such is from the aforementioned
Industrial Arts Instructor who drives a ī59 Rover 105 S "because the car suits
my needs". His personal story reflects the type of pride found with satisfied
Rover owners. "I bought the car from its second owner and had it completely
rebuilt because of its mileage (80.000 miles). The cost for this was less than
for a domestic car. Iīve had a Ford, Chevy and Stude before but constant body
changes and only minor mechanical improvements made me sick. Now I have a car
Iīll drive for the next five years. Then Iīll buy a new Rover 2000."
traffic engineer from Utah reports his 1960 Rover 3-liter is one of only four in
the state and, as a result, he finds obtaining parts a problem because they must
be shipped from California. But he says: "The Rover is a high quality car,
comfortable and fun to drive. It took me three years to find a used one. Itīs
the best car I ever owned."
California newspaper reporter with a ī67 2000 Automatic succinctly states his
answer to survey question #22. Probable choice next time. "Next time, I hope
will be a long time from now, but I do not think we could ever be happy with a
Manufacturing integrity plays an important role in Rover owner happiness. A
non-com in the U.S. Army puts it thus: "Why am I a Rover convert? My experience
started in 1960 with my venerable ī51 model 75. It was hardly a spectacular car,
but it showed the qualities which make for convinced owners. Quality design and
construction clearly pointed out the attitude of the makers. Contact with Rover
in the U.S. supported this feeling."
2000 shows that, in addition to integrity, the Rover people have the ability to
design and produce according to their own good sense, not copy everything else
with complete slavery to cost-efficiency planning."
serviceman continues: "Everytime I drive the car, I am reminded that I have not
been short-changed by sloppy workmanship or shortcuts in design. I call that
as with every car in the survey, not all owners have experienced trouble-free
operation or find the Rover completely without fault. Perhaps one of the most
frequent complaints is of the nit-picking school but, nonetheless, important to
the drivers and sale driving, the outside left side mirror. It appears that
Rover had not placed it where it does the most good. Several respondents moved
the mirror further to the rear on the door. Others complain that it is useless
when it is raining as the windshield wipers do not paint the lower left hand
corner of the driverīs side where, from the driverīs point of vision, the mirror
is located. One driver asked why ROAD TEST hadnīt discovered this in our test.
Simple: It seldom rains in California. Nevertheless, this appears to be a
others are disappointed with the rear view mirror, pointing out that it is small
or canīt be adjusted when a heavy load is aboard.
handful of Canadians complained about resonators and mufflers quickly rusting
out during snow seasons, but we think the amount of salt used on the roads up
there during the snow season is contributory. All cars have the same problem in
these areas and thereīs not much to be done about it.
complaints about the disc brakes according to surveys answers other than the
usual squeal associated with this type of device. Many Rover 2000 owners wish
they had more engine power, but none of the 2000 TC drivers express this view.
They obviously are satisfied with the additional boost in performance afforded
with the TC option.
answers indicate there have been major problems with the 2000 transmission.
However, all owners indicate these were fully taken care of (up to and including
complete replacement) by the Rover warranty. One owners reports that his
transmission gave him minor trouble during the period of warranty but, after the
warranty had expired, it became very serious. The Rover dealer in his area
completely replaced the unit at no expense after the warranty had lapsed.
line with the transmission troubles, there are minor reports indicating personal
dislikes with the manual clutch, but they are relatively minor, i.e. pedal
pressure high etc.
owners would like more rear leg room, and one driver reveals that the front seat
backs have been torn by rear seat passengers getting in and out.
Several claim discomfort with the hanging accelerator pedal and would much
prefer less spring tension or, better yet, "an organ pedal" of larger size.
one-third voice some form of dislike for the speedometer, either not working or
beeing too noisy. This, of course, is one of the "bought-out" components on the
Rover and this particular type of problem is not uncommon with cars of English
manufacture. The source of the trouble is with the instrument manufacturer and
it is there that it will be solved.
steering wheel is plastic (to bend in event of accident rather than splitter)
but some owners in the colder climates find that it tends to become brittle and
crack when the thermometer drops to Zero. As one disgrantled driver put it:
"This shouldnīt happen on a $4.000 car."
the praises for the Rover far outweigh the problems. There are no major
difficulties reported. There is, however, somewhat of a problem with dealers in
the less populated areas. Sales volume and dealer organization is still rather
limited in the United States and Canada. Because of this, many foreign car
dealers handling other makes and models are serving as Rover agencies. And, as
with many domestic and foreign car agencies, there are good ones and bad ones.
These are quickly weeded out by just about every imported automobile
manufacturer. So, many owners in the less populated areas are left with the
closest dealer being 60 or 70 miles away. To combat this, many mechanically
oriented owners are doing their own work. Some of them donīt mind it at all, but
others find it a bit of a problem as they feel competent for minor tune-up
wrench tweaking, but little more. It is hoped Rover will make more vigorous
efforts in this direction.
Apparently Rover owners consider maintenance problems as just part of owning a
prestige automobile. None of the people reporting their problems have reached
the point where they are so dissatisfied with the machine to never purchase
another (as is the case with many of the other cars in our survey).
Precisely the opposite is true. The Rover, above all others, scores the highest
percentage for repeat buyers. Many owners are already on their second Rover, but
those who arenīt report they will buy another when the time comes. Of all the
Rover owners responding, 87,6 % will buy another! This, in itself, tells much
about the ownerīs acceptance of this automobile. Far down the scale in second
place is Corvette with 65 % of the owners reporting that they will buy another.
No other imported sedan or compact can come close to meeting the Roverīs level
of acceptability. It is in the best interests of the automotive art that they
try. Taking a leaf from Roverīs book might be a decent starting point.
/ USA June 1968