SOTW: Rover 825i Sterling


"I would like to buy a Honda, but built in Cowley to standards not quite on a par with those of a Japanese factory. I would, however, also like my Honda to look pretty much like the inside of a gentleman's club."


This is the statement you would be making if, in the late 80s or early 90s, you pointed your hard-earned in the direction of a Rover 800. If you bought a mid-to-late 90s model, you might want to add "Oh, and I want the outside to look like a 60s throwback".

But these are cruel things to say about Rover's final attempt at a proper executive car (for the purposes of this argument we'll call the 75 too small). Okay, so the 800 had very little of the technical or design innovation that marked out the SD1 or P6 (or even P5), and its reputations for quality or reliability were hardly sparkling. And if you're being really harsh, Honda's insistence (for this was a joint project that also created the original Honda Legend) that the front suspension should be a double-wishbone affair in order to allow a lower bonnet line stymied the 800's ability to produce a pillow-soft ride.


But there's a certain English elegance to the 800 that you just can't get these days (or perhaps I'm just having another one of my 'turns').

And of course the humble 800 is a bit of an endangered species these days - there were more than 300,000 produced originally, yet the PH classifieds only carries a single example at the moment, and even Auto Trader musters fewer than 20 cars.

Of those, we've picked a 94k mile, 1996 N-plate 825i. We're not 100 per cent sure whether this means it has a Honda V6 or an early K-series unit, but it looks tidy, has a long MOT and, apart from the tow hitch that suggests a part-time job as a caravan lugger, could easily have you playing '90s government minister'. And for a fiver less than £700 it is a heck of a lot of car for the money. Just don't get into the back seat hoping to get somewhere, because it doesn't come with a chauffeur...


Ps - we also spotted this 1997 Coupe up for £999, a rare manual version, but since the ad didn't provide an image of the front of the car we felt it couldn't be the main SOTW

Advert is reproduced below

1996 ROVER 800 825 STERLING 4DR AUTO TAXED AND TESTED
£695

94000 miles

4 Doors, Automatic, Saloon, Petrol, 94,000 miles, Metallic Silver, MOT-08-2012. TAXED AND TESTED, EXCEPTIONAL RUNNER. GREAT VALUE LUXURY MOTORING. Service History, Radio/Cassette, CD Multichanger, Heated front seat, Multi function steering wheel, Electrically adjustable seats, Electric sunroof, ABS, Adjustable seats, Adjustable steering column/wheel, Air conditioning, Alloy wheels, Anti theft system, Central locking, Colour coding - Body, Colour coding - Interior, Cruise control, Driver airbag, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Foglights, Head restraints, Heated screen, Leather seats, Metallic paintwork, Passenger airbag, Power assisted steering, Radio, Rear armrest, Remote locking, Spoiler, Sunroof, Tinted glass. Insurance Group:14, OPEN 7 Days, All vehicles HPI Checked. Stock Changing Daily. After Hours By Appointment. £695 p/x to clear





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Comments (300) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Morningside 13 Dec 2011

    "
    68. 1987 Sterling 825: Rebadged Rover 800-Series was based on the V6-powered Acura Legend, but was unreliable and rust-prone anyhow. Paint hardly even stuck to it and the electrics lasted a few weeks if you were lucky."
    "
    From here:
    http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

  • radlet6 13 Dec 2011

    Fun Bus said:
    Chicharito said:
    Promised much, delivered cheap and nasty with shocking panel fit. (It was a facelift car)
    That's interesting. I sold the 75 from launch and will say that the fit and finish was very good. Standards must have slipped on the facelift cars.
    As I say I used to own a 75 and found it a very refined car. Despite being a fan of the car I do think that the face lift model looked like an old car fitted with a cheap body kit. The interiors went down hill a bit too.

    I would love a V8 version but the wife; she keep saying no.frown

  • Fun Bus 12 Dec 2011

    Chicharito said:
    Promised much, delivered cheap and nasty with shocking panel fit. (It was a facelift car)
    That's interesting. I sold the 75 from launch and will say that the fit and finish was very good. Standards must have slipped on the facelift cars.

  • slarnge 12 Dec 2011

    Ok!! Passat good car,but i only use the 75 for knocking about in.My daily is a Seat ibiza dti .

  • Chicharito 11 Dec 2011

    slarnge said:
    Have you driven or been in one?
    Yes.

    Promised much, delivered cheap and nasty with shocking panel fit. (It was a facelift car)

    Ride quality was half decent, but the detuned BMW diesel lump was as uninspiring as the handling.

    I chose a B5.5 Passat instead - better reputation for reliability, and much better finished.

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