Troublesome Rover 3500

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Motor Sport

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Sir,

I list below some of the faults and general observations since taking delivery of my new Rover 3500 in August 1976.

The car was supplied by Messrs. Caffyns, Dover to the specification as requested with the exception of the colour.

The vehicle was returned at an early stage with a transmission rumble. This proved to be bad seating of the hand brake assembly. Also noted at this time was considerable letting of water into the boot compartment. This was coming in through the rear light assembly. The boot floor covering does not match or fasten down properly and a new one is still on order from the factory. The steering wheel was found to be off centre. The outer case enclosing the control dials and switches (dashboard) was falling apart. A new steering rack was ordered (and subsequently fitted), diagnosed through a knock on right hand lock. The driver’s seat rocks back and forth; according to the garage nothing can be done to overcome this basic fault in design.

The car has since been returned for other defects and subsequent rectification. Other faults to have appeared since: handbrake coming adrift; a further knock on lock; new steering bush on order; throttle cable snapped on motorway. Thank God for the AA and Supercover! Windscreen wipers failed.

Impression: Excellent general engineering and design concept. Very poor quality and finish and workmanship. Good all-round vision but poor visual access to dashboard dials. Generally a good ride, comfortable with no undue backache following a longish journey. Poor fuel consumption (which was one of its best potential selling points), 18-20 m.p.g. on a run at between 50-70 m.p h. We know the car is in great demand and has won the European Car of the Year Award BUT what a pity the finish and quality does no credit whatever to the basic excellent design and engineering. All in all for me a most disappointing car, very plastic and synthetic in its interior appointments. Poor value for money. Perhaps I have been unlucky!

Whitstable, Kent D. GEAR

(We know a number of owners who are having similar frustrating problems with their new Rovers. One such car with particularly bad problems, particularly in respect of distorted brake discs, serious water leaks, inoperative door locks, ill-fitting doors, is 1977 registered, suggesting that teething troubles for the model are being rather prolonged. Any comment, Leyland? Ed.)

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