1999-2005 Price: £1000 Although it seems to hark back to a golden era when Britannia ruled the waves and men wore pinstriped suits and bowler hats, the Rover 75 actually arrived in the showrooms on the very cusp of the new millennium. Its attractive exterior was reminiscent of Rovers past, and its cosseting and high-quality interior reeked of wood and leather.
Don’t go writing this car off as cynical retro-trash, though: it’s worth remembering that this was the first Rover produced during the firm’s fleeting ownership by BMW, so it’s surprisingly well made and quite sophisticated underneath. The bodyshell is impressively stiff, for one, and the clever suspension endows the front-wheel-drive 75 with more than competent road manners. Alas, BMW bailed out of
Rover soon after, production of the 75 never hit the envisaged peaks and subsequent owners even relabelled it an MG, after which the car was never quite the same again.
Now, it’s as cheap as chips, and a used forecourt favourite. All 75s were well equipped, for starters, and there was a good choice of engines, including BMW’S own 2.0-litre diesel and Rover’s creamy petrol V6.