Rover 75 diesel 2004 review
One does not normally pull up at an eastern suburbs servo and fill up the luxury saloon with it.
Well, that's been the perception in Australia for a long time.
In fact probably for far too long.
In Europe, diesel is far more widely accepted for use in a whole range of cars than it is here. For starters it's comparatively cheaper and the longer mileage range makes it an economic marvel.
European car makers, principally BMW, Peugeot and Citroen, have been leading the way in diesel technology for years but now it has arrived in the stiff-upper-lipped British brands such as Rover.
The new Rover 75 CDti, for instance, boasts a common-rail, turbo diesel, 16-valve two-litre engine.
It's fair to say that people will either love or loathe a diesel but this one has the potential to swing a few decisions in its favour.
Hiding behind the conservative-looking gentleman's club-style interior, with its traditional clock-face elliptical dials, wood-grained and leather themes, is a car with some striking features.
Thanks to the modern diesel technology, the company claims fuel consumption figures of 6.7 litres per 100km for combined city and highway driving.
On this test, principally around the city, figures of 9.4l/100km were returned.
When the range-to-go meter showed there was 605km before you needed to refuel, you know fuel economy is a virtue of this car.
The chatter of the diesel engine is noticeable under acceleration – but it is certainly not annoying.
Instead, it helps to define the individual nature of the car.
There is adequate power for city work with a 0-100km/h time of 11.4 seconds.
That's nearly two seconds slower than the livelier 2.5-litre petrol version, but it is a very smooth transition up through the gears.
The adaptive automatic transmission is smooth and steady.
Flicking the gear lever switch to sports mode improves pick-up in the low range.
The suspension is typically soft for a British car but the ride is still smooth over city bumps and potholes.
Standard features include leather seats and armrest covers, leather steering wheel and a rear seat centre armrest and console.
Missing is an automatic driver seat adjustment that is available in the higher spec petrol models.
ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and a host of driver and passenger airbags are standard.
There's dual air-conditioning, automatic climate control and an engine immobiliser.
Without doubt the most striking interior feature is the classic dashboard with its cultured dials.
The digital trip display and the information display also includes an outside temperature reading.
And as you would expect in a car of this class, cruise control, one-touch electric windows, electric operated and heated mirrors plus an array of delay and dimming lights are standard.
The Rover sits on 16-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and it has a full-size alloy spare wheel.
The 75's stylish exterior lines have won significant praise but its true test in Australia will be people accepting the car as a unique package.
Just as with Warnie, there are plenty of tins of baked beans to pick from – it's just whether you want to try something different.
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