Rover 75 2004 review
Several manufacturers have debuted diesel engined models in the past few weeks, no doubt with the same thought in mind.
The latest is Motor Group Australia (MGA) that is offering a diesel version of its stylish and popular Rover 75 sedan.
The good news is that it is a BMW-sourced engine and offers a good combination of power and economy.
Rover 75 CDti carries a $4000 premium over the base model bringing the price of the car to $53,990 before on-road costs.
But in addition to the diesel power plant it also comes with leather upholstery and a fully featured trip computer.
It makes the car an interesting proposition if you take into account fuel savings and the extra durabilty offered by the diesel engine, making it an attractive long term investment – maybe even a nice retirement present?
The 2.0-litre four cylinder DOHC turbocharged common rail diesel produces 96kW of power and 300Nm of torque from a low 1900rpm.
The combination of low power and high torque output characterises a diesel engine.
Ignore the power figure for the moment because it is the high torque output that we are more interested in – torque's the stuff that gets cars off the line quickly and makes easy work of the steepest hills.
In this case, 300Nm is almost as much torque as produced by a six cylinder Commodore.
To get the same amount of torque out of a petrol engine you have to step up to a much larger capacity power plant which in turn means the car is going to use more fuel.
However, the Rover sips diesel at the dainty rate of just 7.5L/100km which when combined with a 65-litre fuel tank gives it a range of more than 800km from a single tank.
That's fuel for thought isn't it?
But it is not all about economy because a car has to look good and go well too or nobody is going to want to drive it.
Although a little slow to respond to the throttle at times, the Rover scores well here too.
It has strong low to mid-range acceleration, but with a typical turbo surge of power as the boost kicks in.
This can be difficult to manage in stop-go city traffic, because if you are not careful you'll wind up breathing down the neck of the car in front.
The diesel engine is mated to a five-speed, adaptive automatic transmission.
But it really needs a sequential shift, something that you almost take for granted in a car of this price and calibre.
Changes need to be performed accurately otherwise you could find yourself leap frogging gears.
Keeping it in fourth works best for city driving.
Other than that it's all good with plenty of old world style, beaded leather upholstery, light oak wood finish, dual zone airconditioning, front, side and roof airbags and steering wheel controls for cruise and audio.
We should point out, however, that both the sound system and trip computer displays are almost invisible behind polarised sunglasses.
Range and Specs
|CDTi||2.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO||$4,070 – 5,940||2004 Rover 75 2004 CDTi Pricing and Specs|
|Classic||2.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$3,850 – 5,720||2004 Rover 75 2004 Classic Pricing and Specs|
|Club||2.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$4,510 – 6,600||2004 Rover 75 2004 Club Pricing and Specs|
|Club LE||2.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$4,510 – 6,600||2004 Rover 75 2004 Club LE Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data