Buy­ing Guide

Rover 600

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - WORDS Richard Dredge PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Mag­icCarPics

The Rover 75 has a huge fol­low­ing, as does its badge-en­gi­neered cousin the MG ZT. Yet the pre­de­ces­sor to th­ese is all but for­got­ten, even though it was a good-look­ing car that was com­fort­able, well built and has stood the test of time pretty im­pres­sively. It’s a shame re­ally, be­cause the Rover 600 promised much – al­though in terms of sales, it failed to de­liver.

Launched in April 1993, the 600 was mar­keted by Rover as an ex­clu­sive model that rel­a­tively few peo­ple would have the priv­i­lege of own­ing. How prophetic that would turn out to be – just over 270,000 would be built in a five-year pro­duc­tion run. The BMW 3-se­ries out­sold it by six to one, with the Audi A4 not far be­hind.

It should re­ally have com­peted for sales in the main­stream com­pany car sec­tor. but Rover nei­ther wanted nor ex­pected the 600 to be as mass­mar­ket as the Ford Mon­deo or Vaux­hall Vec­tra, both of which of­fered buy­ers a much wider model range that en­com­passed hatch­backs and es­tates, as well as saloons. The 600 was based on the 1993 Honda Ac­cord, with which it shared its en­gines, sus­pen­sion, front doors, roof, the lower half of the rear doors and even the fas­cia. But thanks to some clever de­sign you’d never have known.

At launch there were 2.0-litre (113bhp and 129bhp) and 2.3-litre (158bhp) four-cylin­der Honda petrol en­gines but within a year th­ese had been sup­ple­mented by a 103bhp L- Se­ries tur­bod­iesel and a 197bhp 620Ti, the lat­ter fea­tur­ing a tur­bocharged 2.0-litre T- Se­ries pow­er­plant. Th­ese later units were Rover prod­ucts, but the 113bhp 1.8-litre petrol en­gine that was in­tro­duced in spring 1996 was an­other Honda unit.

As a clas­sic, the 620Ti model is the one that ev­ery­one wants but th­ese don’t come up for sale in good con­di­tion very of­ten. If you do come across one, be very wary if it’s been highly tuned – the safe limit for its en­gine is just 200bhp yet some are taken sig­nif­i­cantly higher than this, jeop­ar­dis­ing the con­rods, pis­tons... and the own­ers’ peace of mind.

‘The 620Ti is the one ev­ery­one wants, but they don’t come up of­ten’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.